Here are five high school boys basketball thoughts for your Tuesday.
1. Simeon is the obvious favorite to win the city playoffs, but it doesn’t have an easy path ahead. The Wolverines will likely see Hyde Park in the second round, probably either Marshall or Whitney Young in the quarterfinals, likely Orr or Farragut in the semifinals and probably Bogan or Curie in the championship. The Wolverines could face four teams which were ranked at some point this season in four consecutive games. If Simeon does advance to the championship game on Feb. 17, it also plays De La Salle the following night.
2. The sleeper team in the city tournament could be Taft. The Eagles won their first Red-North championship since 2001. They recently lost by 29 points to New Trier, so it’s hard to gauge whether they can hang with top-20 ranked teams, but they have a few quality wins over Marist, Maine South and Foreman. If they are to compete against the city’s best, they’ll rely on the athleticism and inside-outside games of 6-5 sophomore John Joyce, 6-4 senior Tim Reamer and 6-6 senior Kevin Siudut.
3. It doesn’t look like much competition for ESPNChicago.com’s Player of the Year award this season. A year ago, you could have made an argument for Ryan Boatright, Wayne Blackshear, Anthony Davis or David Sobolewski. It’s been all Simeon’s Jabari Parker this season. No one has really put up astronomical numbers where you would have to give it some extra thought.
4. I ran into junior point guard Markee Williams at the DePaul-Marquette game on Monday. Williams confirmed he had transferred back to Morgan Park. He spent his freshman and sophomore years at Morgan Park and then transferred to Crane to start this school year. He was ruled eligible to play at Crane after a few games and was one of coach Chris Head’s top players. Recently, he left Crane and enrolled again in Morgan Park. He didn’t a give a reason for leaving Crane. He hoped to play next season.
5. Waukegan could surprise some people come playoff time. The Bulldogs may only be 13-8 overall, but they appear as if they’re starting to figure it out. Since losing to Lyons by 27 points on Jan. 7, Waukegan has won seven straight, including a win over New Trier. Devonte Taylor (22 points) and Jordan Johnson (19 points) led the way in a recent win over Loyola. Akeem Springs had 20 points against New Trier.