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Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Boys basketball notebook: Big year ahead

By Scott Powers

The 2010 boys basketball season is young, but we’ve already discovered some truths about it

  • The race for ESPNChicago.com’s Player of the Year is going to be going exciting: Perspectives’ Anthony Davis is putting up 30-plus points and 20-plus rebounds like it’s an ordinary feat. It’s hard to imagine anyone topping East Aurora’s Ryan Boatright’s 55-point Thanksgiving tournament performance. Morgan Park’s Wayne Blackshear dominates in every category and does it in the clutch. Benet’s David Sobolewski scores, passes and just wins. The list goes on and on.

  • Simeon is pretty darn good: Being the No. 1 team in the state and nationally ranked by ESPN’s RISE, Simeon has obviously been thought of highly. But what the Wolverines did in Sunday’s 57-29 win over defending Class 3A state champion and a top-10 area team, Hillcrest, showed just how special this year’s team can be. What makes Simeon even more unique is how balanced it is. There are about eight players capable of hurting you.

  • St. Joe’s will be missed in the ESCC, but …: For many years, St. Joe’s carried the East Suburban Catholic Conference. While the Chargers and legendary coach Gene Pingatore have departed for the Catholic League, it hasn’t affected its old conference all that much. Benet, which is ranked No. 3 in the area, has picked up that torch. With talent in all their classes, the Redwings appear they’ll be around for a while. No. 14 Notre Dame has also been impressive in the season’s opening weeks. St. Patrick could also be among the area’s best later in the season if its offense can figure it out. The Shamrocks have talented pieces.

  • Proviso West is stacked again: In its 50th year, the Proviso West Holiday Tournament unveiled its pairing on Monday. No two ranked teams meet in the first round, but they will soon after. The field includes No. 2 Morgan Park, No. 3 Benet, No. 7 Homewood-Flossmoor, No. 11 Proviso East, No. 12 Hillcrest, No. 18 Proviso West, No. 19 T.F. North and undefeated Glenbrook North.

  • These programs reload: Glenbrook North and Thornton lost their star players from a year ago with Alex Dragicevich going to Notre Dame and Reggie Smith to Marquette. Yet, the two programs continue to flourish. Glenbrook North is off to a 5-0 start and is on the verge of being ranked. The Spartans have size and a rising sophomore star in Andrew McAuliffe. As for No. 15 Thornton, senior guard Brian Green leads the way, but there’s plenty of talent on the undefeated Wildcats.

  • The Illini are set for the future: Illinois coach Bruce Weber has challenged his incoming 2011 recruits to record a triple-double every time out. So far, they’re not far off. St. Ignatius center Nnanna Egwu has already achieved the feat twice. Orr forward Mycheal Henry had 24 points, 11 rebounds, 10 steals and four blocks in his season debut last week. Last week, Mount Carmel guard Tracy Abrams had 17 points and seven steals against St. Francis de Sales. And as always, De La Salle forward Mike Shaw is compiling numbers in all categories.