Boys Basketball: Proposed regional/sectional hosts through 2017
By Michael O’Brien firstname.lastname@example.org August 19, 2014 8:38PM
St. Rita's Charles Matthews | Worsom Robinson/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 22, 2014 11:57AM
The Sun-Times has obtained the Illinois High School Association’s tentative sectional and regional hosts for Class 4A and 3A boys basketball for the next three years.
Regional assignments remain to be determined, so it’s just a guessing game right now as to which schools (aside from the hosts) wind up in each sectional. However, the new setup could mean that national powerhouse Simeon heads to a south suburban sectional. Depending on how the supersectionals are arranged that could mean Simeon and another Public League power could advance to state.
The IHSA regularly changes sectionals and regionals every few years. The sectional assignments have generated plenty of discussion over the past few years. Many area fans weren’t pleased that top-ranked teams Simeon (with Jabari Parker) and Young (with Jahlil Okafor) were lumped together in the same sectional.
The North Shore will be in with Lake County powers Stevenson and Waukegan. Not great news for them.
The new setup may be good news for Will County, moving Joliet/Lincoln-Way/Bolingbrook-area schools out of old SICA East area into a southwest suburban sectional.
Local sectional sites for Class 4A are Bolingbrook and Eisenhower in 2015, Lockport and Bloom in 2016 and Lincoln-Way East and Thornwood in 2017.
Class 3A sectional sites for local teams will be Julian and Rich East in 2015, St. Laurence and Streator in 2016 and Julian and Plano in 2017.
For a complete list of local Class 4A and 3A sectional and regional sites for the next three seasons, visit highschoolcubenews.com.
Top seniors in town
for Nike event
The Nike Global Challenge hit Chicago this week, where many of the top prep seniors around the country converged at Young for the four-day event.
The eight-team, 16-game tournament featured the top high school and U-19 basketball players from the best international teams in the world and played under FIBA rules. U.S. participants were selected from across the country based on the four regular season sessions of this year’s Nike Elite Youth Basketball League.
The Chicago area was well represented, with St. Rita’s Charles Matthews, Stevenson’s Jalen Brunson, the Simeon duo of D.J. Williams and Ed Morrow, and Whitney Young’s Joseph Toye all a part of four separate US teams.
As one would expect, the state’s best player, Brunson, showed why he’s so highly regarded. The 6-1 point guard was productive and efficient in four games, averaging 14 points a game while shooting 20-of-32 from the field, including 10-of-15 from beyond the arc. He also dished out 25 assists with just nine turnovers.
Brunson visiting five
Brunson recently set up his five official visits. Illinois is first up, with Brunson visiting Champaign Aug. 28 through 30.
The 6-1 point guard, one of the top 25 players in the country, will then visit Villanova from Sept. 4 through 6, Temple from Sept. 11 through 13, Michigan State from Sept. 19 through 21 and Purdue from Sept. 26 through 28.
Other visits set
Glynn Watson, of St. Joseph, one of the top half-dozen senior prospects in Illinois who recently received an offer from Tennessee, is set to visit Nebraska from Aug. 28 through 30 and Creighton from Sept. 4 through 6.
Several unofficial visits are in the works as well, with Simeon’s Isaiah Moss planning to visit Creighton on Monday and Michigan State on Aug. 29.
Zion-Benton’s Admiral Schofield will take an unofficial visit to Tennessee on Saturday. The 6-5 wing is also involved with West Virginia, Ohio and Wichita State.
Hinsdale South’s Barret Benson, one of the top junior prospects, took an unofficial visit to Stanford over the weekend.
Obediah Chuch, of Springfield, a bouncy, athletic 6-7 senior and top-15 prospect in Illinois, has two official visits lined up and two others in the works. Church will visit Missouri State from Sept. 5 through 7 and Wisconsin-Green Bay from Sept. 12 through 14. He is in the process of setting up visits to Ohio and Indiana State.
Although he’s already committed, West Aurora’s Roland Griffin, a 6-5 senior forward who missed July with an injury, will take his official visit to Illinois State from Sept. 12 through 14.
Tough offseason for St. Viator
There’s no program that has been hit harder than St. Viator during offseason.
When the season ended with a sectional loss to Stevenson in March, the Lions were expected to be a clear Top 25 team in the preseason and favorite to win the always-tough East Suburban Catholic Conference when the 2014-15 season tipped off this November.
The Lions returned point guard Mark Falotico, sharpshooter Pat McNamara and a bona fide star in Roosevelt Smart.
But St. Viator has lost its star. Smart, a 6-2 shooting guard and one of the top dozen prospects in the Class of 2015, will be attending Sunrise Christian, a prep school in Kansas.
Plus, the program is in search of a coach. Mike Howland is leaving his alma mater for a position on the Missouri State basketball staff as director of basketball operations in July. Finalists were interviewed this past week.
Another Niego to watch
Lyons guard Harrison Niego again will be the catalyst for coach Tom Sloan again this season after averaging 15.6 points and 3.8 assists a game as a junior.
But how good Lyons will be this winter and whether it can challenge Hinsdale Central in the West Suburban Silver may depend on another Niego — sophomore Connor Niego, Harrison’s younger brother. Connor Niego, a long, 6-6 forward, is a promising talent who impressed this summer with his versatility, size and shooting stroke.
Contributing: Joe Henricksen