By Joe Henricksen

Public League powers to collide Dec. 19

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By Joe Henricksen

There are some definite similarities between Simeon coach Robert Smith and Whitney Young coach Tyrone Slaughter. Aside from having won a state title and coaching arguably the two premier basketball programs in the state, they will put just about anyone on their schedule -- including one another.

The two Public League powers will meet in what will be one of the most highly-anticipated showdowns of the season. Simeon will travel to Whitney Young and square off with the defending state champions Saturday, Dec. 19. This will be the first matchup between the two powers in eight years. Whitney Young will also face Waukegan and Jereme Richmond in the City-Suburban Showdown at UIC in late February.

Smith, in just five years as head coach, has already won two state championships (2006 and 2007) and finished second (2008) once. Smith has averaged a remarkable 28 wins a season in five years.

In Slaughter's four years as head coach, the Dolphins have never won fewer than 20 games in a season, have averaged 25 wins a year over the last three seasons and captured a state title last March.

When the City/Suburban Hoops Report's preseason rankings come out in November, the two programs will surely be among the top five teams. Plus, Whitney Young and Simeon boast arguably the best young talent in the state. While it will be an early showcase of two of the most talked about young players in Illinois -- Simeon freshman Jabari Parker and Whitney Young freshman Tommy Hamilton -- the game will include a host of Division I recruits and prospects.

Whitney Young will rely heavily on the trio of senior point guard Ahmad Starks (Oregon State), shooting guard Anthony Johnson (Purdue) and one of the premier juniors in the state, 6-6 Sam Thompson. When you add Rice-bound J.R. Reynolds, 6-7 junior Luke Hager, 5-7 sophomore Derrick Randolph, 6-8 sophomore Jermaine Morgan and a host of others, it's easy to see why the Dolphins will be making a run at a repeat.

Simeon's Brandon Spearman, who has committed to Dayton, is looking for a breakout year. The backcourt tandem of junior Tywon Pinckney and super sophomore Jelani Neely should be special, while up-and-coming 6-6 sophomore Steve Taylor and unheralded junior Darien Walker add to the talented mix.

The first issue of the year will be out in November. To subscribe or for more information about the City/Suburban Hoops Report, now in its 15th year of publication, call (630)-408-6709 or email hoopsreport@yahoo.com

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4 Comments

Kudos for mentioning Darien Walker of Simeon. This kid played well as a sophomore in what was a disappointing season for Simeon yet he was largely unnoticed.

Another largely unnoticed 2011 player who played well last season was Demetrious Tolliver from Farragut.

Look for both these players to earn some notice in the Public League this coming season.

I HAVE SAID THIS BEFORE AND I WILL SAY IT AGAIN, SIMEON HIGH SCHOOL ISN'T AFRAID OF A GRIZZILY BEAR, SO THEY AREN'T AFRAID OF ANOTHER TEAM, THE OTHER TEAM PUTS THEIR UNIFORM ON ONE LEG AT A TIME, COACH SMITH WILL HAVE HIS BOYS IN THE GYM ON TIME, GAME DAY, HE MAY NOT WIN THE GAME, BUT HIS TEAM WILL NEVER BE AFRAID TO COMPETE AGAINST ANYONE, THAT IS THE SIMEON WAY, AND BOB HAMBRIC INSTILLED THIS IN COACH SMITH, AND COACH SMITH CONTINUES THE TRADITION TODAY, SO TO ALL TEAMS, THE BLUE MACHINE DOESN'T BACK DOWN FROM ANYONE, SPREAD THE NEWS, THEY WELCOME COMPETITION, AND THAT IS A GOOD THING!
ASK TIM BANKSTON, ASK RODNEY HULL, ASK NICK ANDERSON, ERVIN SMALL, DERRICK ROSE, ASK DEON THOMAS, SIMEON WELCOMES COMPETITION, LONG LIVE THE MEMORY OF BOB HAMBRIC AND ALL THE PLAYERS WHO HAVE WORN THE SIMEON UNIFORM!
I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE BASKETBALL SEASON TO BEGIN!

TOLLIVER! I LOVE HIS GAME! HE DOESN'T GET NOTICED BECAUSE HE PLAYS TEAM BASKETBALL. HE DOESN'T CARE IF HE SCORES ALOT. AND I HAVE SEEN HIM SCORE WHENEVER HE WANTS TO. BUT HE IS INCREDIBLY UNSELFISH AND I'D TAKE HIM ON MY TEAM ANY DAY. HE IS UNNOTICED. TOO BAD, BECAUSE I WOULD PLACE HIM TALENT WISE IN THE TOP 10 IN THE STATE. AND ALL THESE RANKINGS OF THE TOP 50 KIDS, IT IS INTERESTING THAT THEY INCLUDE BASICALLY ALL THE KIDS FROM THE WOLVES, PEORIA IRISH AND FIRE. YOU CAN TELL WHOSE EATING OUT OF WHOSE POCKET. THE RANKERS DON'T WANT TO OFFEND THESE GUYS OR IT'LL KILL THEIR RELATIONSHIPS THEY TRY TO BUILD UP. NUFF SAID ON BEHALF OF KIDS WHO DON'T GET RANKED. IT DOESN'T MEAN YOU WON'T GET A SCHOLARSHIP OR PLAY COLLEGE BALL. STAY FOCUSED AND STUDY HARD. RANKINGS DON'T GET YOU SCHOLARSHIPS, GOOD GRADES AND TALENT DO. AND DON'T FORGET TO ENJOY THE GAME! THAT'S WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT.

please watch out 4 ORR HIGH SCHOOL they have mutipal div 1 recruits, an no one wants 2 ply them!!!! mike henrey if not 1 is definitly top 5 in class of 11, an by the end of season he will b 1st, curtis jones is 1st in 12, and santino siggers is very underrated!!!! last but not least is the big boy in the paint malik ,yhs is a very good team thts well coached,i expect them 2 b ranked in your top 25 if u have been watchin ths summer and fall....

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Henricksen published on October 6, 2009 10:50 PM.

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