High School Confidential

By Michael O'Brien



Perry Barclift, Quincy
Jesse Clements, Champaign
Nate "Sweetwater" Clifton, Du Sable
Dick Foley, Paris
Phil Judson, Hebron
Walter Kirk, Mt. Vernon
Billy Ridley, Taylorville
Hiles Stout, Peoria Central
Don Sunderlage, Elgin
Whitey Verstraete, Moline


Doug Collins, Benton
Mike Duff, Eldorado
Ronnie Fields, Farragut
Kiwane Garris, Westinghouse
Rashard Griffith, King
Hersey Hawkins, Westinghouse
Sam Puckett, Hales Franciscan
Bogie Redmon, Collinsville
Deon Thomas, Simeon
Dwyane Wade, Richards


Jackie Joyner Kersee, East St. Louis Lincoln
Nancy Kennelly Olson, Maine West
Carla McGhee, Peoria Manual
Tangela Smith, Chicago Washington
Michele Savage, Immaculate Heart of Mary

Morgan Park's Kyle Davis is eligible

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According to Morgan Park coach Nick Irvin, guard Kyle Davis is eligible to play in the Mustang's first game tomorrow against Southland Prep.

Davis transferred from Hyde Park to Morgan Park at the end of last season.

Irvin expects word soon on the eligibility of guard Markee Williams. He said he expects to be at full strength for Morgan Park's game against Notre Dame on Sunday.

Williams played his first two seasons at Morgan Park. He transferred to Crane last year and sat out the season. He returned to Morgan Park last spring.

McGinnis Jump Ball Showcase lineup announced

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Tilden coach Cyrus McGinnis has announced the lineup for his shootout Dec. 2 at Notre Dame:

Morgan Park vs. Notre Dame, 7 pm
Curie vs. Benet, 5 pm
Bogan vs. TF North, 3 pm
Julian vs. New Trier, 1 pm

Should be four good games, with four ranked teams (Morgan Park, Notre Dame, Curie, Bogan) and three teams that were nearly ranked (TF North, New Trier, Benet).

The Team Rose Classic schedule is also out, all games are at the Kroc Center, 1250 W. 119th St. in Chicago.

Dec. 8
Von Steuben vs. Riverside-Brookfield, 1 pm
Morton vs. Leo, 2:30 pm
Crane vs. Notre Dame, 4 pm
Farragut vs. Chatham-Glenwood, 5:30 pm

Dec. 9
DuSable vs. Westinghouse, noon
St. Rita vs. Hyde Park, 1:30 pm
Providence St. Mel vs. North Chicago, 3 pm
TF North vs. Marshall, 4:30 pm
H-F vs. Curie, 6 pm

Jabari Parker isn't worried about being No. 2

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Since Andrew Wiggins reclassified as a 2013 recruit, most of the national recruiting sites have dropped Simeon senior Jabari Parker from the top spot in the class.

Monday at Simeon Media Day, Parker left very little doubt about just how much that bothered him.

"It's unimportant to me," Parker said. "I know what I need to do to get better and that's what is most important to me. I know my dad got a little upset. At the end of the day I'm going to be in college and they aren't really going to be ranking people. They are just going to focus on who wins the national championship and being an NBA prospect."

Parker has an MRI scheduled for Nov. 19. He thinks he will be ready for Simeon's season opener on Dec. 1 and so does Simeon coach Robert Smith.

"I think Jabari will be ready to go right away, his basketball ability and IQ is so high," Smith said. "The biggest thing will be getting him in shape. We will look at it and see where he is at physically. He's not in good shape, as you can see. But we will see what we can do. I told him if he is just out there for his presence, it is huge for us."

Smith thinks Kendrick Nunn is ready to step up and lead the Wolverines if Parker needs longer to get back.

"Kendrick is definitely ready to step up," Smith said. "He will take the 12 shots that Jabari would have been taken, I can guarantee you that. I think the guys are already prepared to play without him. They have been in open gym and now the first week of practice. I really think he'll be ready for the first game."

Short and sweet: The Twitter previews

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I'm tweeting short previews for every team that sends back their preseason questionnaire. We're at 35 right now. Follow @michaelsobrien to get the updates as they go out. Coaches, send roster, schedule and any other info to mobrien@suntimes.com

ADDISON TRAIL: Program growing. JR James Pupillo is back from injury (13.1 ppg as soph). Should go 10-12 deep. Watch for soph Taylor White.

BARRINGTON: Young and inexperienced, other than stalwart guard Brad Zaumseil, who has an offer from UC-Davis.

BENET: 6-9 Sean O'Mara and 6-5 Pat McInerney are elite talents. The guards will be the question marks. Lots of good teams in the ESCC.

BLOOM: Johnny Griffin, Dejahown Freeman, Jataryan Dejareaux and 8 more back from 4th place state finisher. 6-4 JR Jared Johnson can score.

BOGAN: Loaded,much taller this year. Juwan Henry is solid, super soph LuWane Pipkins exciting. 6-6 Mysirell Green,6-7 Dontrell Whitaker bigs

Morgan Park coach Nick Irvin expects his two high-profile transfers to be cleared to play.

Kyle Davis, a Dayton recruit, transferred from Hyde Park at the end of last basketball season. Williams, who played at Morgan Park as a freshman and sophomore, sat out last season at Crane.

Irvin said that Hyde Park and Crane signed off on the transfers. DePaul commit Billy Garrett Jr. will team with Davis and Williams in what could be the state's top backcourt.

Irvin is very high on two of his freshman, guard Charlie Moore and 6-7 Alonzo Chatman--both will play on the varsity.

Josh Cunningham, a 6-7 forward that showed flashes of brilliance last season, has taken a few steps forward according to Irvin.

"He's the third best junior in the state I think," Irvin said. "Right behind [Jahlil] Okafor and Cliff [Alexander].

Morgan Park is tentatively scheduled to open the season Dec. 2 against New Trier in a shootout at Notre Dame.

Week 5 Chicago Consensus Basketball Rankings

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Here are the consensus rankings entering Week 5. Rankings used: Sun-Times, Tribune, ESPN Chicago. Young suffered the biggest drop, falling out of the rankings after spending the last couple weeks at No. 2. No significant jumps this week, as most of the ranked teams did not lose.

1. Simeon (75) 1
2. Proviso East (72) 3
3. Curie (69) 4
4. Seton (66) 5
5. Warren (58) 7
6. Bloom (56) 6
6. Andrew (56) 8
8. Plainfield East (51) 10
9. De La Salle (49) 11
10. Bogan (48) 12
11. Hyde Park (47) 9
12. Crane (43) 13
13. New Trier (39) 14
14. Downers South (38) 15
15. Homewood-Flossmoor (32) 16
16. Harlan (27) 17
17. Stevenson (23) 18
18. St. Rita (22) 19
19. Metea Valley (17) 20
20. Morgan Park (15) 20
21. North Chicago (13) 22
22. Farragut (12) 23
23. North Lawndale (11) NR
24. Marshall (8) 24
25. Notre Dame (7) 24
Others receiving points: Orr (2), Young (1), St. Viator (1)

Tipped Off: Michael O'Brien's hoops notebook

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The next brother
Nobody is paying any attention to TEAM Englewood. I haven't seen them and don't know how good they are, but they are 7-2 and have a point guard with a serious basketball pedigree--Johnny Roland, the younger brother of Luther and Crandall Head.

Roland has been putting up impressive numbers all season. Tuesday night in a 62-49 win over Dyett he scored 24 points and dished out 10 assists.

Curie beats Hyde Park

Well, Curie certainly did prove me wrong Tuesday night. The Condors displayed a lot more patience in their win over Hyde Park than they did in the previous two games I'd watched them play. It was a huge win, possibly enough for the conference title. They also provided some nice proof that people are reading this blog, refusing to talk with me after the game because of yesterday's notebook in which I wrote that they were "a bit overrated right now."

Wednesday's games
It's a really good slate of games for a Wednesday. If I can get out of the office in time I'm going to head over to see Vocational at Bogan. Both teams have some top-notch guards.
Young at Orr is another great bet. There are only a few chances to see Young play this year, unless you want to buy a plane ticket.
Bolingbrook at Neuqua Valley should be the best bet in the suburbs.

Pekin/Collinsville/Bloomington pairings

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Three more tournaments have pairings released, still waiting on Carbondale and Centralia.

Pekin Tournament, Dec. 27-29
Limestone vs. Richwoods, 9 am
Plainfield East vs. Thornridge, 10:30 am
King vs. Boylan, 12:45
Morton vs. Hersey, 2:15
Normal West vs. Freeport, 3:45
Pekin vs. Lake Zurich, 6:30
Lanphier vs. LaSalle-Peru, 8
Washington, IL vs. Mount Carmel, 9:30

Collinsville Tournament, Dec. 28-30

East St. Louis vs. Oakville, MO, 9 am
Plainfield South vs. Springfield Southeast, 10:30 am
Belleville East vs. Lincoln, 1
McCluer North vs. Dunlap, 2:30
Quincy vs. Decatur MacArthur, 4
Chatham Glenwood vs. Granite City, 6:30
Collinsville vs. Decatur Eisenhower, 8
Belleville Althoff vs. Urbana, 9:30

Bloomington Tournament, Dec. 27-30
North Chicago vs. Culver, IN, 9
Normal vs. Thornwood, 7:30
Normal U-High vs. Oswego, 6
Mesa, AZ vs. Champaign Centennial, 4:30
North Lawndale vs. Springfield, 2:30
Grayslake Central vs. Rock Island, 1
Rockton Hononegah vs. Peoria Notre Dame, 11:30 am
Glenbard East vs. Mahomet Seymour, 10 am

Week 4 Chicago Consensus Basketball Rankings

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Here are the consensus rankings entering Week 3. Rankings used: Sun-Times, Tribune, ESPN Chicago.
With points and last week's ranking. Seton made the biggest jump after knocking off Crane. St. Rita took the biggest spill, despite having the best in-state win (over De La Salle) and losing to out of state powers. Stevenson and Bogan both entered the poll.

1. Simeon (75) 1
2. Young (72) 3
3. Proviso East (69) 4
4. Curie (66) 5
5. Seton (62) 14
6. Bloom (56) 7
7. Warren (53) 2
8. Andrew (50) 8
9. Hyde Park (49) 16
10. Plainfield East (48) 9
11. De La Salle (47) 10
12. Bogan (45) NR
13. Crane (38) 10
14. New Trier (37) 13
15. Downers South (35) 14
16. Homewood-Flossmoor (29) 12
17. Harlan (23) 18
18. Stevenson (22) NR
19. St. Rita (14) 6
20. Morgan Park (14) 17
20. Metea Valley (14) 19
22. North Chicago (13) 19
23. Farragut (11) 23
24. Marshall (6) NR
24. Notre Dame (6) NR
Other receiving points: Marist (4), West Aurora (2)

Tipped Off: Michael O'Brien's hoops notebook

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Let the speculation begin...
The big news of the day was Proviso West's announcement that next year's holiday tournament would feature 32 teams. That's simultaneous action on two courts (the second would be in the fieldhouse). So far I've heard some mixed reaction to the super huge holiday tournament idea. I haven't made up my mind yet, gonna think about it for awhile.

The press release also mentioned that a lot of the teams had already committed. I haven't heard any names yet, but will certainly start asking around.

Injury news
Matt Harness broke the news today of Andrew McAuliffe's injury. That's a rough blow for a Glenbrook North team that was surpassing expectations early in the season. Here's the story on that.

The new kid

There's a new holiday tournament in town, Hinsdale South. Pairings were released today. Metea Valley, Brother Rice, Schaumburg and Minooka were the top four seed.

Nazareth vs. Brother Rice, 8:30 a.m.
Lake Forest vs. Highland Park, 10 a.m.
Wheaton North vs. Stagg, 11:45 a.m.
Glenbrook South vs. Schaumburg, 1:15
Downers North vs. Minooka, 3
Sandburg vs. Providence, 4:30
Eisenhower vs. Metea Valley, 6:15
Rolling Meadows vs. Hinsdale South, 7:45

We are working on all the holiday tournament brackets now and will have them up and ready to go on the site as soon as possible.

Tuesday's best games
I'll be seeing Curie at Hyde Park. I was very impressed by Hyde Park last week, and to be honest I think Curie is a bit overrated right now. They have talent, but I just don't believe in them as top-flight team right now. They can prove me wrong tonight.

Burlington Central at Elgin
would also be a good bet. I'll be checking Elgin out on Friday.

Proviso West Tournament expanding to 32 teams in 2012

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Here is the press release:


The Proviso West Holiday Tournament has announced plans to expand its Christmas Classic from 16 to 32 teams starting next year.

"I got tired of saying 'no' to new teams that wanted to play here" said Holiday Tournament Executive Director Joe Spagnolo.

The new format will allow for games to be played on six days instead of the traditional four, and will allow for simultaneous games being played on three days of the tournament. The tournament expanded from eight to 16 teams, after the first year of the event in 1961.

A state-of-the-art facility including portable flooring and baskets will be brought in to the adjacent fieldhouse to provide a two games under one roof setting for a single admission price. Single sessions will remain at their current pricing, but on days where there are games in both facilities that ticket will allow admission to all games on both courts in that session.

"If you're quick on your feet, you'll be able to see the end of all 61 games" quipped Spagnolo.

Most of the 32-teams have already been secured and those teams and the dates for next year will be announced later this month.

Recent Comments

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  • Alex: Is there a link to the brackets for this tournament? read more
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