By Joe Henricksen

Save the date for these 40

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By Joe Henricksen

The Illinois high school basketball season tips off this Monday with the opening of Thanksgiving Tournament play. With the season upon us, the City/Suburban Hoops Report highlights 40 games involving Chicago area teams for fans to get to and watch this winter. This list includes 40 games (non-Christmas tournament games) of varying degrees of interest and intrigue.

Homewood-Flossmoor vs. Mt. Carmel, Tuesday, Nov. 23
• A little early to be hyping a game with just a couple of weeks of practice under their belt, especially since H-F could still be without arguably its top player, 6-7 Tim Williams. While Williams is quarterbacking the Vikings football team, coach Jim McLaughlin's crew will gear up for Tracy Abrams & Company next week.

East Aurora vs. Hales Franciscan, Wednesday, Nov. 24
• A year ago this one was an "Instant Classic," with hustle, intensity, big plays and even bigger shots as Hales Franciscan won an absolute wild one. Aaron Armstead hit two buzzer-beaters to lift Hales to a 98-97 overtime win. Both Aaron and Aaric Armstead return for a ranked Hales team, while East Aurora's Ryan Boatright is certainly capable of some offensive fireworks of his own.

Loyola Academy vs. New Trier, Wednesday, Nov. 24
• A North Shore battle in November featuring two talented teams. Coach Tom Livatino, now in his second year at Loyola, has a sleeper with size. Rockford Boylan transfer Austin Angel arrives for New Trier to help out 6-7 big man Connor Boehm.

Warren vs. Waukegan, Friday, Nov. 26
• Maybe the top game in the North Chicago Thanksgiving Tournament as the post-Jereme Richmond Era begins for coach Ron Ashlaw and Waukegan. The Bulldogs will still be tough with the tandem of Aaron Johnson and junior Akeem Springs. Plus, it's an intriguing Central Suburban League vs. North Suburban League contest.

De La Salle at St. Rita, Friday, Dec. 3
• The Catholic League favorites, De La Salle, travel into what will likely be a hornets nest as St. Rita is anxious to show it has arrived as a basketball program. St. Rita is ranked in the Hoops Report's Top 25 and has an opportunity to open eyes early in the season in this Catholic League showdown.

St. Joseph at Hales Franciscan, Friday, Dec. 3
• No, St. Joseph may not be ranked in the Hoops Report's preseason Top 25 and isn't one of coach Gene Pingatore's juggernaut teams of the past, but it's a bit of history for a storied program. St. Joseph takes on a ranked Hales Franciscan team in the first Chicago Catholic League game in school history.

Benet Academy at St. Patrick, Friday, Dec. 3
• This East Suburban Catholic Conference tilt, which features the top two teams in the league, comes too early in the season. Thankfully they meet again in early February. St. Pat's, led by the experienced tandem of Kourtney Darby and Jacob Williams, looks to regroup after a tough 7-6 ESCC season a year ago. A win here for Benet will go a long way in capturing a second straight conference title.

Homewood-Flossmoor vs. Morgan Park, Sunday, Dec. 5
• A barnburner at Chicago State in the CPS Showcase event, which features two teams ranked in the Hoops Report's preseason top five. H-F has the size, length and athleticism to potentially give Wayne Blackshear and the Mustangs problems.

Simeon vs. De La Salle, Saturday, Dec. 11
• Last February De La Salle took it to Simeon, beating the Wolverines 64-46 in the City-Suburban Showdown at UIC. That loss helped turned the corner for Robert Smith's Wolverines. Simeon didn't lose again, capturing the Class 4A state title. Now both teams enter the season ranked among the top five teams in the state.

Lyons Twp. at Downers Grove South, Saturday, Dec. 18
• A dandy of a West Suburban League crossover game as LT (West Suburban Silver) squares off with DGS (West Suburban Gold) in a marquee matchup featuring talented guards. Keep an eye on DGS junior Jeron Wilbut against LT's Nick Zeisloft, a pair of outstanding 2-guards.

Evanston vs. New Trier, Friday, Jan. 7
• The talented tandem of Garrett Jones and 6-7 James Farr will help lead Evanston first-year coach Mike Ellis into his first Evanston-New Trier war.

Brooks at Simeon, Tuesday, Jan. 11
• When coach Bobby Locke took over at Brooks, you better believe he took an immediate look at the schedule to see when his talented team would get a shot at the defending state champs. A big opportunity for a group of Brooks seniors. Simeon can't afford to look ahead to ....

Simeon at Morgan Park, Thursday, Jan. 13
• If there are five games to circle on the prep basketball calendar this season, this is certainly one of the five. Even my sister is marking this one down on her calendar. Simeon and Jabari Parker take on Morgan Park and Wayne Blackshear in a mid-January showdown that could decide the state's best conference.

Farragut at Whitney Young, Thursday, Jan. 13
• After a sub-par season a year ago, Farragut looks to bounce back and make a run at its first Red-West title since 2007. The Admirals are hungry, play hard and will be flying under the radar a bit heading into big, bad Whitney Young.

Proviso East vs. Glenbard East, Saturday, Jan. 15
• A couple of ranked teams with big expectations highlight the Downers Grove North Shootout, with two outstanding perimeter attacks squaring off. The Glenbard East veteran tandem of point guard Zach Miller and Johnny Hill will get all it can handle from the likes of junior Keith Carter, rugged junior Treshaun Carroll and super sophomore Sterling Brown.

Homewood-Flossmoor at Crete-Monee, Tuesday, Jan. 18
• Arguably the two best teams in the south suburbs go at it with no shortage of athletes. Crete-Monee big man Greg Mays will be back for this one after missing the first month of the season. There will be no shortage of talent or athleticism.

Orr at Whitney Young, Thursday, Jan. 20
• Orr is a year older, wiser and boasts one of the great talents in the state, 6-6 scorer Mycheal Henry. Whitney Young is ... well, Whitney Young. A pair of future Big Ten players in Henry (Illinois) and Young's Sam Thompson (Ohio State) highlight what could very well decide the always-tough Red-West.

Downers Grove South at Proviso East, Friday, Jan. 21
• West Suburban Gold supremacy will be at stake as two teams loaded with junior talent take center stage in a big mid-season showdown.

Hyde Park at Curie, Friday, Jan. 21
• These two programs have shared the Red-Central title in each of the last two seasons and will be the frontrunners again this season. First-year Hyde Park coach Lamont Bryant would like nothing more than to

Glenbard East vs. Benet Academy, Saturday, Jan. 22
• Arguably the two best teams in the far western suburbs meet with a No. 1 sectional seed on the line. Benet beat Glenbard East in the sectional final a year ago. The rematch between these two preseason top 10 teams is the featured attraction in the High School Hoops Showdown, which also includes a Lockport-Schaumburg matchup.

Crete-Monee at Hillcrest, Tuesday, Jan. 25
• If Crete-Monee wants to make a statement in the south suburbs there are a couple of ways of going about it: 1. Going out and winning the Big Dipper in late December or 2. Beating the defending Class 3A state champs on the road in late January.

Whitney Young vs. Simeon, Saturday, Jan. 29
• The "Game of the Year" during the regular season as the Hoops Report's preseason No. 1 and No. 2 teams meet in a regular-season showdown at UIC. The two teams last met in last year's Class 4A state title game in Peoria. There will be 20-plus Division I prospects in the scorebook for this one.

Plainfield Central at Plainfield East, Tuesday, Feb. 1
• Oswego, Oswego East and Plainfield North have ruled the headlines in the Southwest Prairie the past couple of years. Now these two Plainfield schools take center stage, with Central boasting the league's top player in Boise State-bound Derrick Marks and East possessing a talented junior-dominated team ready to blossom.

Homewood-Flossmoor at Joliet West, Friday, Feb. 4
• The old Joliet (the schools have split into Joliet West and Joliet Central) took two from H-F last year by a combined 10 points. If Joliet West, led by the backcourt of Remy Roberts-Burnett and Morris Dunnigan, wants to capture a league title, it will have to handle H-F again.

Schaumburg at Conant, Friday, Feb. 4
• While the Mid-Suburban League West could be a tangled mess this year with so many contenders, the Hoops Report believes this matchup in early February will go a long way in deciding the MSL West champ.

St. Patrick at Benet Academy, Friday, Feb. 4
• Will this decide the East Suburban Catholic Conference?

Hillcrest at De La Salle, Saturday, Feb. 5
• The defending Class 3A state champs get what may be its biggest challenge this winter, a road date with a Class 4A heavyweight in a terrific non-conference battle. Can the young De La Salle guards handle the vaunted Hillcrest trapping defense? And can the Hawks hold their own against the De La Salle frontline of 6-8 Mike Shaw, 6-7 Alex Foster and 6-6 Dre Henley?

War on the Shore, Saturday, Feb. 5
• An impressive tripleheader at Loyola Academy will bring six teams all ranked in the Hoops Report's preseason top 35. Evanston will square off with Nnanna Egwu and St. Ignatius in the opener, followed by New Trier-Mount Carmel and Loyola Academy-St. Patrick.

Warren at Glenbrook North, Saturday, Feb. 5
• It could be argued these two programs have been the most successful in the north suburbs over the past decade. These two split the last two seasons.

Neuqua Valley at East Aurora, Thursday, Feb. 10
• Will Neuqua's three-year dominance finally come to an end? The Upstate Eight has shuffled things up with two divisions, but the East Aurora-Neuqua Valley battles have meant a lot over the years. Last year East Aurora stunned Neuqua Valley in the regional championship game with Ryan Boatright nearly dropping a half-a-hundred on the Wildcats.

Evanston vs. New Trier, Saturday, Feb. 12
• Round II -- and once again at Northwestern. The wounds of the first battle are always still lingering. This one, though, may have CSL South title implications as both teams head towards the home stretch.

West Aurora at East Aurora, Saturday, Feb. 12
• How fitting to have East-West on the same night as New Trier-Evanston, which are without question the two best rivalries in the state of Illinois. While West Aurora gave up its home game last year to play at the NIU Convocation Center, no way will East Aurora give up its home game in this great rivalry. The Tomcats hope to get a win while star Ryan Boatright is still roaming the halls on the East Side.

Homewood-Flossmoor at Rockford Boylan, Saturday, Feb. 12
• Great test for talented H-F team as they travel to a tough environment and play a traditional program with some talent.

Rockford Auburn at Waukegan, Tuesday, Feb. 15
• Jereme Richmond may have moved on to the University of Illinois, but Waukegan has still put together a rugged schedule. Talented Rockford Auburn, led by Division I point guard prospect Fred Van Fleet, travel to the Dog Pound for an interesting non-conference tilt.

Warren at Stevenson, Friday, Feb. 18
• Although the likes of Libertyville, Mundelein and Zion-Benton will have a say in things in the North Suburban Lake, favored Warren will get its biggest test from Stevenson. And this road date may be the final step in running the table for the Blue Devils in league play.

Lyons Twp. vs. Proviso East, Saturday, Feb. 19
• A couple of teams picked to win their respective divisions of the West Suburban Conference meet in one of three City-Suburban Showdown games at UIC. This will be a beneficial tuneup for two ranked teams as March approaches.

Rock Island vs. Morgan Park, Feb. 19
• The middle game of the City-Suburban Showdown could be a preview of a Class 3A state championship in March, along with a look at two Mr. Basketball candidates -- Rock Island's Chasson Randle and Morgan Park's Wayne Blackshear.

Benet Academy vs. Simeon, Saturday, Feb. 19
• The City-Suburban Showdown at UIC offers up a rematch plenty of fans are anxious and hyped to see. Simeon beat Benet Academy in a supersectional thriller last March. The majority of the key figures in that game return, including Benet's Big Ten tandem of David Sobolewski (Northwestern) and Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin).

West Aurora at Glenbard East, Saturday, Feb. 19
• There is a real possibility Glenbard East could be riding a 26-game DuPage Valley Conference win streak when coach Gordie Kerkman's Blackhawks roll into Lombard.

Perspectives at De La Salle, Tuesday, Feb. 22
• The game may not be a contest but Anthony Davis vs. Mike Shaw sure will be fun.

The first issue of the City/Suburban Hoops Report, now in its 16th year of publication, is out this week. For more information or to subscribe, call (630)-408-6709 or email

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Oh my the Hoops Report is the BEST!!!!! This is awesome. Thank you!

Can't wait for the event at UIC and the CPS matchups featuring Young-Simeon and Simeon-Morgan Park.

Just received my first issue of the Hoops Report in the mail today. Great stuff as always. Now I read this and see that Simeon, your Number 1 team, plays #2 Young, #3 Delasalle, #4 Morgan Park and #6 Benet Academy. Wow!

Great list and thanks but attending as many games as I do I have to leave all Thanksgiving games off there or first week games. Ugly, bad basketball and we can't take the results too seriously.

The Big Dipper Tourney at Rich South is the best in the state!

This list right here shows a big difference in high school basketball today than 15, 20 or 30 years ago. There are so many more big regular season games in terms of crossover matchups from different parts of the city, suburbs and the state.

Great work on this and thank you. This helps me plan my winter and ruin my wife's winter.

Thanks for this blog Joe! I am so pumped for high school basketball after reading this! East Aurora vs West Aurora will always be my favorite but Glenbard East vs. Benet will be on the top of my list this year.

wow! that's a lot of pressure on Glenbard East to live up to another near undefeated season in the DVC! They lost two big pieces with Lee Skinner and Jack Merithey graduating.

Glenbard East went 14-0 last year and return the two best players in the conference. Yes its tough to go unbeaten in any league but no surprise if they do run the table again. DVC not exactly a loaded basketball conference and there is young talent coming up for the Rams. Merrithey will be a big loss as the Hoops Report pointed out in an earlier blog that I read.

This is just what everyone needed to get the basketball juices going. Thanks for bringing the list of great games together early so we can all make plans to see as many as we can.

Benet vs Pats. Yep, that will shed some light on who wins ESCC. Does Jacob Williams finally arive? Or does he fade into the sunset. And can Benet win without their two enforcers from last year. I'm not missing this one.

If people want to see some high flying dunks, they might want to check out Wheaton Academy. They have several kids with some major rise, speed and scoring ability. You'll get your moneys worth with this team.

Glenbard, you gotta love Zach Miller. The most unselfish player in the state. He does a great job drawing defenders and dishing. He's just plain smart. He definately makes the other guys on the team look better. If you're open, he'll get it to you, and get it to you in shooting position. Gotta love him.

St. Rita. Nice team. They will definately surprise. So teams best prepare for a well coached and talented group of young men. I don't see a week link other than maybe in years of experience with some of the younger guards. They have a 6'7" young man with game!

East Aurora. Now that's a tough one. The Boat is missing a full supporting cast this year except for the talented Snoop Viser. But can two guys bring enough every game to challenge the top teams?

December 10th Crete Monee vs Rich South 1st meeting of the season, and two future Big East teamates will go head to head in which if no games conflict the whole DePaul staff and some players will be there.

What has happened to northwest suburban basketball? The last few years have been brutal up this way in terms of prospects and top teams.

Hoops Report.. Thank you!

To still mention Waukegan in the "post Richmond era" is really flattering. Im a biased Waukegan alumn however I still feel with Aaron Johnson, Akeem Springs and Dennocio Pierce Waukegan will have a better than average squad.

Thanks for not overlooking this team even since the #1 recruit in Illinois went souf to Champaign!

Billy C,

I agree. Excellent! This is what Illinois High school basketball should be. The top teams should be playing eachother and not worrying about insane national schedules like Witney Young had the last couple of years. (One year, they played moe games out of state than in their own gym!) Other teams are doing that too.
I'm all for playing tough competition, but there is plenty of that here in Illinois!

DeLaSalle plays Hales, St. Joe's and St. Rita all twice (new conference allignment). They also play Simeon, Hilcrest and Anthony Davis High school.

Other schools are also creating their own tough schedules against good IHSA schools... the way it should be.

So which hyped up team ranked high in the preseason is going to falter and sputter despite rich talent? Remember last year all the buzz was surrounding Mundelein with Brust and other talented kids and they were awful.

I would advise DePaul fans to stay away from the Rich South-Crete Monee game. While nice players, its sad to see the level of recruits my Blue Demons are getting from the Chicago area. Even passing up on others that are clearly better prospects and players.

whats your views on crete monee this year, besides that they need to either win the dipper or beat hillcrest?

Joe, is Kortney Darby playing for Pats vs Benet or is he still hurt?

Benet is way too hyped. True, they are the defending ESCC Champs and went to the Elite 8 last year. But i just don't think they will be as good. They remind me of the Blackhawks. Kept the core. The role players left. Their role players graduated. They'll be a good team. Maybe win the ESCC, a very weak ESCC. Pats is always a contender but they lose games to beatable conference teams at least twice a year when they don't come to play...or 6 times per year lol. there ever anyway possible that someday the IHSA will go back to 2 classes....or is that never possible and i shouldn't get my hopes up for 20 years down the road?

If Anthony Davis in the number 1 player in the nation and all that he is hyped up to be....shouldn't he give DeLaSalle at least a little bit of a challenge? In the win-loss column i mean

These games couldn't get here fast enough. Keep the great info coming Hoops Report. Love your stuff and need more of it.

Been gone from the Hoops Report blog for awhile and I'm back. As always its great to see some recruiting person who can put together complete sentences, put a comma where it belongs and is actually readable!

I would like to see the Simeon vs. DeLaSalle game on Saturday (12/11).

Where and when is it to be played?

Thanks in advance.

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Henricksen published on November 17, 2010 9:26 PM.

Waukegan's Springs commits to Tennessee State was the previous entry in this blog.

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