NBC Sports Chicago Preps Power Rankings: Curie stays No. 1

NBC Sports Chicago Preps Power Rankings: Curie stays No. 1

A slow week before the Martin Luther King weekend events means minimal changes to this week's Power Rankings.

Only one new team enters the mix, while only a few ranked teams lost during the week. This week should see tons of changes thanks to shootouts and tournaments going on all over the state.

1. Curie (14-1, 5-0) (1) -- Massive win for the Condors over No. 5 Bogan in conference play as they stay in the driver's seat in the Red South/Central. Curie showed they can win against a top team without a huge game from senior Ramean Hinton. 

2. Evanston (16-0, 4-0) (2) -- Quality win for the Wildkits taking down Niles North to stay unbeaten. The Wildkits get another intriguing matchup against Hillcrest this week. 

3. Bloom (16-4, 5-1) (4) -- Two blowout wins for the Blazing Trojans during the week. Bloom will be heavily favored again this week with matchups against Rich South and Rich Central. 

4. Whitney Young (9-6, 5-0) (6) -- D.J. Steward had a potential signature performance with 40 points against Christian Brothers (MO) at the Highland Shootout. It was also a strong win for Whitney Young before a week that includes two conference home games and a trip to Hoop Hall.

5. Bogan (16-2, 5-1) (3) -- Bogan lost a tight road game to Curie in Red South/Central league play. The Bengals bounced back with two wins as they prepare for Kenwood and Lindblom this week.

6. Loyola (17-1, 6-0) (7) -- Loyola retained the Jesuit Cup over St. Ignatius before taking down St. Viator in overtime the next day. The Ramblers are still unbeaten against Illinois competition as that will be heavily tested against No. 9 Homewood-Flossmoor this week.

7. Notre Dame (17-2, 3-0) (8) -- The Dons continue to pile up impressive wins, this time over St. Viator and Fenwick. Notre Dame will face Morgan Park in a huge showdown at Fenwick on Monday.

8. Thornton (16-0, 6-0) (9) -- Still unbeaten, the Southland leaders face a major test in No. 9 Homewood-Flossmoor during the week. The Wildcats will look to add another top-ten win to its profile. 

9. Homewood-Flossmoor (13-1, 0-0) (10) -- The Vikings earned two more victories to stay in the top ten. Homewood-Flossmoor faces two top-ten teams this week as they're scheduled to face Thornton and Loyola.

10. Lincoln Park (14-3, 5-1) (11) -- Even in the midst of controversy with suspended head coach Pat Gordon, the Lions are playing great ball with wins over North Lawndale and Lane. The Lions have a tough game against No. 20 Joliet West at Hyde Park this week.

11. DePaul Prep (15-2, 6-0) (12) -- Three wins for the Rams during the week. DePaul Prep gets three more games this week when they play Manual and two Catholic League matchups.

12. Marian Catholic (13-4, 3-1) (15) -- The Spartans got back on track with a notable win over Morgan Park at DePaul Prep. It's hard to figure out Marian Catholic at this point in the season but they maintain a very high ceiling.

13. Morgan Park (9-6, 3-1) (5) -- Morgan Park dropped a game to Marian Catholic at DePaul Prep. Even with all of the star power, the Mustangs can't seem to figure out how to best play together yet.

14. Waubonsie Valley (16-1, 3-1) (14) -- Two double-digit wins for the Warriors as they continue to be one of the area's hottest teams. Waubonsie Valley plays at Burlington Central this week for Martin Luther King events.

15. Stevenson (12-3, 4-0) (17) -- The North Suburban is now in Stevenson's control following a massive conference win over Mundelein. The Patriots play on the road, including an intriguing matchup in Libertyville during the week.

16. Mundelein (14-2, 3-1) (13) -- The Mustangs dropped a North Suburban road game at Stevenson. Mundelein deserves credit for a solid follow-up win against Willowbrook the next day. Strong week of games for the Mustangs once again as they play Libertyville and No. 19 Glenbrook South at Lake Zurich.

17. York (14-2, 3-0) (18) -- York stayed the course with two wins during the week. Huge week in conference play for the Dukes when they host Glenbard West and Oak Park-River Forest. 

18. Kankakee (13-1, 4-1) (19) -- The Kays won two during the week, including a blowout win over Danville. Kankakee stays in Southland play this week with two winnable games.

19. Glenbrook South (15-2, 4-0) (20) -- The Titans picked up two wins, including a win over Palatine at Lake Zurich. Glenbrook South matches up with New Trier and Mundelein this week. The game against the Mustangs should be a fun matchup of top-25 teams.

20. Joliet West (15-2, 8-0) (22) -- Strong week for Joliet West knocking off Oswego and Oswego East for two quality wins. A strong matchup against Lincoln Park looms at Hyde Park on Monday.

21. Niles North (13-3, 4-0) (21) -- Niles North lost in a test against No. 2 Evanston as Aquan Smart continues his All-Area campaign. The bounceback win over Highland Park maintains control of the CSL North for the Vikings.

22. Orr (10-5, 4-1) (23) -- The Spartans earned two during the week to stay in the mix in the Red North/West. Orr has two conference road games this week and a trip to East St. Louis to face Cardinal Ritter (MO). 

23. Oak Forest (15-1, 7-0) (24) -- Oak Forest made a strong statement with a double-digit win over Oak Lawn during the week. The Bengals hit the road to play TF South this week. 

24. St. Charles North (12-3, 5-0) (25) -- The North Stars earned an easy conference win during the week. St. Charles North faces Batavia and Libertyville for two tougher matchups this week.

25. DeKalb (14-3, 4-0) (NR) -- After a 2-3 start, DeKalb has run off a winning streak to get into the rankings for the first time this season. The Barbs own wins over No. 14 Waubonsie Valley and Neuqua Valley as they lead the DuPage Valley.

Curie stays atop the latest Preps Power Rankings

Curie stays atop the latest Preps Power Rankings

With the short week following the holiday tournaments there weren't many changes to the Preps Power Rankings.

Twelve of last week's top 25 have yet to play a game during 2020. And many of the teams who did play faced out-of-state competition in showcase settings. 

This week should see things really pick up as some crucial conference matchups take center stage.

1. Curie (12-1, 3-0) (1) -- The Condors finally fell to an out-of-state opponent in Callaway (MS) but bounced back with a win over Muskegon. Curie has three games this week -- including a showdown with No. 3 Bogan this week in conference play.
2. Evanston (13-0, 3-0) (2) -- Evanston had the week off as they prepare for the stretch run in the CSL South. The Wildkits get a challenge this week when they face Niles North in a top-25 showdown.
3. Bogan (14-1, 4-0) (3) -- The Bengals had the week off as they prepare to play No. 1 Curie in a Public League Red South/Central showdown this week.
4. Bloom (14-4, 3-1) (4) -- Traveling to Louisiana to play some strong out-of-state competition, the Blazing Trojans went 2-2 on the trip -- falling twice on Saturday. Bloom will look to get back on track against Rich East and Crete-Monee this week.
5. Morgan Park (7-5, 1-1) (5) -- Nice win for the Mustangs over Missouri power Hazelwood Central as Brandon Weston had a standout game. Morgan Park has conference matchups with Hyde Park and Vocational before a big matchup with Marian Catholic next weekend.
6. Whitney Young (7-6, 4-0) (6) -- Whitney Young had the week off before a busy week ahead with three matchups. Orr in conference play is a big road game and the Dolphins also travel to Highland to face Christian Brothers (MI) this weekend.
7. Loyola (14-1, 4-0) (7) -- Still unbeaten against Illinois competition, the Ramblers battle St. Rita, St. Ignatius and St. Viator in a week that should really test Loyola. 
8. Notre Dame (15-2, 2-0) (8) -- The Dons made quick work out of Bulls Prep in a non-conference win. Interesting week for Notre Dame as they play St. Viator and Fenwick.
9. Thornton (14-0, 4-0) (9) -- Thornton stayed unbeaten with a win over Saginaw (MI). The Wildcats face Thornridge and Rich East this week as they attempt to stay atop the Southland. 
10. Homewood-Flossmoor (11-1, 0-0) (10) -- The Vikings will try to maintain their recent momentum when they face Andrew and St. Laurence this week. 
11. Lincoln Park (12-3, 3-1) (11) -- Lincoln Park returns to the area after heading out of state for the holidays. The Lions are busy with three matchups -- including a tough road game at North Lawndale. 
12. DePaul Prep (12-2, 5-0) (12) -- After taking some time off, DePaul Prep is back in the mix with three games during the week. The Rams face St. Rita in a Catholic League crossover before hosting Deerfield in a shootout on Saturday.
13. Mundelein (13-1, 3-0) (13) -- Resting since Collinsville ended, the Mustangs have their biggest game of the season on Friday when they travel to Stevenson in a North Suburban showdown. Mundelein also has to face Willowbrook during a difficult week.
14. Waubonsie Valley (14-1, 2-1) (23) -- Waubonsie Valley has firmly established themselves in the Power Rankings with a notable blowout win over Marian Catholic. Red-hot the past few weeks, the Warriors are on the road at Lockport and Naperville Central this week.
15. Marian Catholic (11-4, 2-1) (14) -- The Spartans dropped a matchup to Waubonsie Valley in Moline after beating Carmel the night before. Marian Catholic has been up and down the past few games but they'll look to bounce back against St. Patrick and Morgan Park this week.
16. Bolingbrook (11-3, 0-0) (17) -- Off since Jack Tosh ended, the Raiders have an interesting week when they play Tinley Park and Neuqua Valley. 
17. Stevenson (11-3, 3-0) (18) -- The Patriots were off this week as they prepare for a North Suburban showdown against Mundelein at home on Friday. That matchup could very well determine the conference race.
18. York (12-2, 2-0) (19) -- York has been off since the Jack Tosh title game as they prepare for the West Suburban Silver. The Dukes battle Downers North and Immaculate Conception this week.
19. Kankakee (11-1, 3-1) (20) -- Off week for the Kays as they continue to fly under the radar. Kankakee will have a fun game with Danville in a shootout this week that should be one of the tougher games on the schedule so far this season.
20. Glenbrook South (13-2, 3-0) (16) -- Glenbrook South dropped one to Peoria Notre Dame on Saturday as they've dropped two straight. The Titans will try to get back on track when they play Maine South and Palatine this week.
21. Niles North (12-2, 3-0) (21) -- A week off for the Vikings as they have two road games during the week against Evanston and Highland Park. The showdown with the Wildkits will be a big chance to see where Niles North stands among the area's elite.
22. Joliet West (12-2, 6-0) (22) -- Cruising to a win over Minooka, Joliet West continued its solid recent stretch play. Both Oswego schools are on the schedule this week, which will be a nice test in the Southwest Prairie for the Tigers.
23. Orr (8-5, 3-1) (24) -- The Spartans picked up a win over T.F. South after leaving Illinois for the holidays. Orr has a monster week ahead with three games, including a home matchup against Whitney Young in conference play. 
24. Oak Forest (13-1, 5-0) (25) -- Oak Forest continued its strong recent stretch with a blowout win over Argo. The Bengals get an intriguing matchup against Oak Lawn in a South Suburban crossover on Friday night.
25. St. Charles North (11-3, 4-0) (NR) -- The North Stars are back in the Power Rankings with an impressive win over Lake Park on the road. In the driver's seat of the DuKane right now, St. Charles North faces Glenbard North and Batavia this week.

Curie is new No. 1 in latest Preps Power Rankings

Curie is new No. 1 in latest Preps Power Rankings

The busy holiday tournament swing is complete as 2020 begins. We learned a lot about where the best local teams stand after many ranked teams faced each other during the holidays.

We see four new teams enter the Power Rankings this week, while there is also a new No. 1 and a lot of other overall movement. We'll see plenty of ranked matchups in the coming weeks with conference play heating up.

1. Curie (11-0, 3-0) (2) -- The Condors proved themselves as the No. 1 team by capturing the title at Pontiac and beating previous No. 1 Bloom in the title game. Ramean Hinton is firmly in the Player of the Year mix and this is a balanced team full of weapons.

2. Evanston (13-0, 3-0) (3) -- Staying unbeaten is the Wildkits as Evanston won the title at Centralia. Blake Peters took MVP honors while Jaylin Gibson was also a first-team all-tournament selection. 

3. Bogan (14-1, 4-1) (4) -- Bogan took down the field at Proviso West to claim another title there. The Bengals get scoring from all over and remain one of the city's elite teams entering the new year.

4. Bloom (12-2, 3-1) (1) -- Falling short at Pontiac after losing to Curie in the title game, Bloom will have to recover quickly with a very difficult conference slate in the Southland. Even with some early slip-ups the Blazing Trojans are still a major state title hopeful.

5. Morgan Park (6-5, 1-1) (5) -- The Mustangs had a difficult week playing in the prestigious Beach Ball Classic facing national competition. Although Morgan Park was 1-3 in the event against national competition, Adam Miller did drop 52 points in a Morgan Park win to close the event.

6. Whitney Young (7-6, 4-0) (6) -- The Dolphins went 2-2 at Beach Ball coming off of another national week at City of Palms. Whitney Young's closing Beach Ball win over Millenium (AZ) is a strong one as that program beat Lincoln Park by 19 earlier this season.

7. Loyola (14-1, 4-0) (7) -- Loyola saw its holiday tournament streak snapped in Naples, Florida with a loss in the title game to Santa Fe Catholic (FL). The Ramblers are still unbeaten against Illinois competition as they remain the frontrunners in the Catholic League. 

8. Notre Dame (14-2, 2-0) (8) -- Impressive week for the Dons in winning at Wheeling. They knocked off some strong teams including a ranked Glenbrook South in the finals. Louis Lesmond earned MVP at Wheeling while Anthony Sayles and Troy D'Amico were all-tournament selections. 

9. Thornton (13-0, 4-0) (9) -- The Wildcats won all four games at Big Dipper by at least 11 points in easily capturing the title. Demarco Minor took home MVP honors of the event while Brandon Hall and Derrick Williams also made the all-tourney team.

10. Homewood-Flossmoor (11-1, 0-0) (13) -- Huge week for the Vikings winning at the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic. H-F knocked off two ranked opponents in Stevenson and DePaul Prep to earn the title as they look like a major state title sleeper. Senior R.J. Ogom is strong on the interior and the guard play of Joel Watts, Josiah Palmer and Brandon Brewer is very good.

11. Lincoln Park (12-3, 3-1) (11) -- The Lions went 2-1 in Michigan playing in the Motor City Roundball Classic. With only an in-state loss to Whitney Young so far, Lincoln Park is still in solid position entering the new year. 

12. DePaul Prep (12-2, 5-0) (12) -- Nice week at Hinsdale Central for DePaul Prep as they placed second after falling to H-F in the title game. The win over Marian Catholic was strong. The Rams only have losses to top-ten teams so far this season. Junior guard TY Johnson continues to develop.

13. Mundelein (13-1, 3-0) (16) -- Mundelein had a solid trip to Collinsville, advancing to the title game and losing to the hosts for their first loss of the season. Conor Enright, Scottie Ebube and Trey Baker all made the all-tournament team. The Mustangs could be the favorites in the North Suburban.

14. Marian Catholic (10-3, 1-1) (10) -- The Spartans finished third at Hinsdale Central as they fell to DePaul Prep before bouncing back against Stevenson. The Spartans also have a win over HCHC champion Homewood-Flossmoor earlier this season. 

15. Lake Park (13-1, 3-0) (17) -- After falling on the road to Mundelein before the holidays, Lake Park had an impressive week in taking the title at Pekin. Luke Sgarbossa and Trevor Montiel both made the all-tournament team for the Lancers. Lake Park has a major conference clash with St. Charles North on Saturday.

16. Glenbrook South (13-1, 3-0) (18) -- Glenbrook South's strong start maintained by making the title game at Wheeling before losing to Notre Dame. Although senior Dom Martinelli generates most of the attention he's had plenty of help. Sophomore Coop Noard continues to emerge and Justin Leszynski had a strong event. 

17. Bolingbrook (11-3, 0-0) (NR) -- Nice bounceback effort from the Raiders in winning the Jack Tosh at York. Wins over the hosts and Hinsdale South were impressive. Darius Burford also showed why he made the preseason All-Area team with a strong week.

18. Stevenson (11-3, 3-0) (15) -- The Patriots fell twice at Hinsdale Central to ranked opponents, falling to Homewood-Flossmoor and Marian Catholic. Stevenson is still figuring out how to play against more athletic teams. The Patriots have no bad losses on the season and will look to bounce back in North Suburban play.

19. York (12-2, 2-0) (25) -- The Dukes made the finals of Jack Tosh after four wins, falling to Bolingbrook in the title game. With only losses to the Raiders and Patriots, York has quietly put together a very strong season.

20. Kankakee (11-1, 3-1) (23) -- Quietly winning its own holiday tournament, Kankakee still only has one loss on the season to Bloom. LaVell McIntosh won MVP honors as his good season continues.

21. Niles North (12-2, 3-0) (20) -- The Vikings placed third at Wheeling after falling to Glenbrook South in the semifinals. The win over Joliet West earlier this season looks even better now. Aquan Smart continues to draw considerable buzz.

22. Joliet West (11-2, 5-0) (NR) -- Joliet West made a strong impression at Pontiac by knocking off Simeon and taking Curie to the limit. The balanced Tigers had strong weeks from Jamere Hill, Jaiden Lee and Trent Howland.

23. Waubonsie Valley (12-1, 2-1) (NR) -- Entering the Power Rankings for the first time is the Warriors after winning at Jacobs. Marcus Skeete is putting up a big season while Ben Schweiger is another weapon to watch.

24. Orr (7-5, 3-1) (24) -- Winning third place at the King Cotton Classic in Arkansas against national competition, the Spartans are an intriguing team at the back of the Power Rankings. Orr faces T.F. South this weekend.

25. Oak Forest (12-1, 4-0) (NR) -- The Bengals are back in the Power Rankings after winning the event at Maine East. The win over Crane in the title game is a good one. Sophomore Robbie Avila continues to blossom into a star and must-see college prospect.