Here are five high school boys basketball thoughts for your Tuesday.
1.There hasn't been much talk about the Red-North this season, but Foreman is quietly having a strong season. The Hornets are 14-1 overall and 7-0 in conference, and their only loss is to an out-of-state opponent. Foreman has been succeeding without a star, too. "We've been doing it as a community,” Foreman coach Terry Head said. "They work hard, and they believe in our system. It's more of a family.” Junior forward Carl White could be one to watch down the road.
2.Is there a tougher conference than the Red-West this season? The Red-West in a lot of ways parallels the Big Ten. Both are deep leagues, possess some big-time players and almost any team can win on any given night. Marshall has somehow remained unscathed by the Red-West competition, but nearly everyone else has been beating each other up. Orr, Farragut, Crane and Crane have two losses in the conference. Right below them, North Lawndale is 4-3 and Westinghouse is 3-4.
3.Curie and Whitney Young had their shots at Simeon and couldn't get the job done. Now, it's Bogan's chance to defeat the top-ranked Wolverines, who are undefeated in the state. The Bengals take their 19-1 overall record and 7-0 Red-South mark into Simeon on Wednesday for one of the more anticipated conference games of the season. Simeon defeated Bogan 69-60 last year.
4.Quality basketball is being played outside of Chicago as well, of course. One of the teams that could make some noise come March is Collinsville in Class 4A. The Kahoks are 18-3 with two of their losses coming to St. Louis-area teams by a combined two points and their other loss was to East St. Louis. They have a rematch with East St. Louis later this week, and the winner will take control of the Southwestern Conference. Collinsville will also host its own sectional. As a side note, Collinsville recently became the third boys basketball program ever to reach 2,000 wins, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations.
5.The nominations for the McDonald's All-American Games were released last week. On the boys' side, only Simeon's Steve Taylor was nominated. Ranked 64th in the Class of 2012 by ESPN, Taylor is a long shot to be named to the game. Since 1980, there has been only one year where the state of Illinois has not been represented in the boys' game. No Illinois player was picked in 2009. Four times Illinois has had three players in the game since 1980.