Michael O’Brien’s Super 25 basketball rankings

Simeon's Marquise Brown (2) tips in a rebound for an easy bucket against Bloom in the Pontiac Holiday Tournament, December 30, 2016. Allen Cunningham / Chicago Sun-Times

With record and last week’s ranking

1. Simeon (11-0) 2
Pontiac champions

2. Evanston (13-2) 4
Second at Beach Ball

3. Kenwood (10-3) 7
Broncos are well-traveled

4. Young (9-3) 8
Proviso West champions

5. Bolingbrook (10-0) 6
Hinsdale Central champs

6. Morgan Park (9-2) 3
Second at Proviso West

7. Fremd (13-0) 15
Champs at Wheeling

8. Uplift (11-3) 10
Lost to Morgan Park

9. Orr (7-1) 11
Champions in Detroit

10. Homewood-Flossmoor (10-2) 14
Second at Hinsdale Central

11. Bloom (9-3) 17
Terrific at Pontiac

12. Joliet West (13-1) 5
Lost to Bloom

13. Conant (13-2) 24
Champs at York

14. Benet (11-3) 25
Second at Pontiac

15. Curie (11-2) 1
Upset by Danville

16. Marist (16-0) 18
Champions at Centralia

17. Fenwick (10-3) 12
Lost to Young

18. Thornton (9-3) 16
Won Big Dipper

19. Joliet Central (12-1) NR
Won title in Bloomington

20. Jacobs (12-0) 19
Cruised at Jacobs

21. Farragut (6-2) 20
Won title in Normandy

22. Wheaton-Warrenville South (13-1) NR
Second at Bloomington

23. North Lawndale (11-3) 9
Lost to WW South

24. Geneva (13-0) 21
Champs at DeKalb

25. Notre Dame (11-3) NR
Second at Wheeling



  • Bobby

    How do you like prospect

    • Michael O'Brien

      I think Prospect is a really good team. Not sure they will crack the Super 25 this year, but they will be a very difficult team for anyone to beat in March.

  • Robert

    ND isn’t even in the same conversation as the other 24 teams, OPRF would beat them with there second string team. What games are you watching this ranking is a joke

  • lee

    Basketball fan.. The kids in Evanston are on top aau teams and play top competition all summer long just like the kids at Simeon…. not ready for city ball..lol.. I guess Benet Academy is well schooled in city ball.

  • Coach LB

    Bolingbrook should be rank number 2. You guys seem to keep talking about the transfers to bolingbrook does that really matter? If the kids transfer there and it was approve through the district what is wrong with that? You have to say that with them being 10 and 0 and playing there 1st year together that they deserve to be number 2.

    • Hek

      Just because it was approved doesn’t mean that everything was above water. It doesn’t pass the smell test. I hope the team take it to the house but I anticipate an investigation. Free agency is at the high school level and the writers know it.

      • Coach

        So because it was approve through the district and there parents or guardians are living in the area you not happy with the ruling? Why don’t you just give credit to a great team that having a great season. Just because kids transfer to a school doesn’t mean they will be successful. Kids transfer all the time. I look at Bolingbrook and I see a team that plays together and with a lot of heart. A pretty good head coach that has them playing together and buying into the team concept. It not an easy thing to do when kids and playing there 1st year together and to be 10 and 0 is outstanding. Good luck the rest of the season. From a former Romeoville basketball player and college player and graduate from 85.

  • Basketball fan

    Yall must don’t follow EYBL……
    All these so call highly regarded players can not play in the Red South nightly.
    That’s where Simeon get Battle tested. playing out of town is great exposure but Battle in your city/state where it counts. Simeon will beat Evanston they are not ready for that city ball!

    • Coach LB

      That is true the Red South and Red West are the toughest conference in the state. There are no easy games. Tough and physical.

  • CP3

    LOL. Kris Kringle entitled to your opinion. But I will take Evanston’s 13-2 record with losses to top team in US, and top team 4x state champion from PA. Nojel, is showing why he is the best player in our state. No doubt the most college ready player right now. What player would you take over him if your starting a team right now. He’s a swiss army knife, with all he can do. Coach T….you already know. The schedule is great preparation for the state run.
    But KK is right. It’s gotta be earned despite the fact they haven’t lost a game to an in state opponent. But they deserve #2 ranking right now, even though I know they don’t care about it.
    Just might run the table the rest of the way! That team from PA, was deep and talented. Evanston hits free throw’s and we might be talking why they could be #1. But no need, that will a great game when they meet Simeon.

  • CP3

    LOL. Kris Kringle entitled to your opinion. But I will take Evanston’s 13-2 record with losses to top team in US, and top team 4x state champion from PA. Nojel, is showing why he is the best player in our state. No doubt the most college ready player right now. What player would you take over him if your starting a team right now. He’s a swiss army knife, with all he can do. Coach T….you already know. The schedule is great preparation for the state run.
    But KK is right. It’s gotta be earned despite the fact they haven’t lost a game to an in state opponent. But they deserve #2 ranking right now, even though I know they don’t care about it.
    Just might run the table the rest of the way!

  • Jason

    In all fairness to the whole ranking system….. I cant see how a 10-3 kenwood (some outta state teams are whack) leapfrogs a 10-0 Bolingbrook after winning Hinsdale and defeating 2 top 20 teams..

  • Vince Terrnano

    Joliet Catholic beat Oswego East for Gods sake

    Oswego East is not a quality team

  • RealityCheck

    Michael are you allowed to make wagers? $100 Geneva loses to a mediocre St. Charles North team at home this Friday.

    • James

      Reality -who do you think should be in ahead of Geneva? Not the kids fault they played a weak schedule. They have won every game and that is never easy. St pats and other bubble teams also have weak schedules or bad losses. I would but OPRF in ahead of several of these teams. But not too many other teams can make a case to be in.

      • RealityCheck

        How about a school like Stevenson? You honestly think Geneva would beat Stevenson at a neutral site?

        • James

          Stevenson lost to hinsdale central and prospect. Two unranked teams. HInsdale central lost their first three games of the season to unranked teams and plays a bunch of 5′ 10′ kids. Stevenson has a couple of good wins, but not great. Genevas win over Larkin looks better now that Larkin showed well at Proviso West.

  • Aisha Gilyard Thompson

    Let’s Go Wolverines! #1

  • James

    Mike you have to love that your top 25 list has turned into the best chat room for HS bball.

  • Leegs1

    Thought Benet would be higher. Can’t back Bolngbrook with three transfers. Very happy for Joliet Central. Sure would like to find state ratings somewhere. Both Danville and Bloomington did well at Pontiac. Joliet West v. Bolingbrook should be a good one.

  • Coach T

    Tell you what Kirk… Evanston certainly isn’t running from anyone and soon we will all see who’s the best in Illinois! 😈

    • Kris Kringle

      They look like they’re running from the best in the state and after that 30 point debacle I think we see why. Listen “Coach” no one is saying Evanston isn’t good. I am just surprised they seem to move UP with every loss. Sure, I understand that losses to out of state teams insulate them from being judged against the in state competition. Truthfully, if this was Simeon then I’d be more inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt, but this is Evanston. They have no history of dominating the state. Overall I think the rankings are pretty good, just thought Bolingbrook would be one spot higher (didn’t see Kenwood leapfrogging) and I thought Jolie West and Curie fell too low. Bloom is going to be a problem for most teams they face, they play tenacious D and those guards are ferocious, plus they’re motor doesn’t stop. In Simeon they happened to run into similar guards, but the JW tandem couldn’t handle it. Yet they bounced back and trounced Curie. My 4A pick is Joliet West.

      • West burbs bball

        Kringle where are you on south subs as a whole after brook? Bloom beats jwest, HF beats bloom twice, brook beats HF round 1-3. But you have jwest winning that sectional over brook?

        • Kris Kringle

          Well, West Burbs, Bolingbrook is West Burbs, thats why the town sends kids to Naperville, Downers Grove, and Plainfield schools. That said I think Joliet West comes out of that sectional. They have too many weapons. Raiders could upset them though. Not sold on West Aurora, Joliet Central or Oswego E. The Hinsdale Central Sectional may as well not show up. Either JW or Brook will be in the final 4, its a given. That South Suburban/South Side on the other hand just needs one upset and it could be up for grabs, but I wouldnt sleep on Bloom, or HF since they beat Bloom 2x already. Obviously Simeon. Then Thornton and Marist are threats as well. That West Side/Near West Burb one is a problem too.

          • West burbs bball

            Lol. I consider them south. They play in the southwest suburban blue so I guess we both have a case. Although I disagree with you on pretty much everything regarding Bolingbrook, I do think they beat Joliet west. C

      • Norm

        Kris, I agree with your assessment that a lot of those out of state teams aren’t that great that Evanston has played and that they don’t dominate like Simeon. But they are good enough and Nojel is dominating enough to deserve #2 in my opinion

      • Coach T

        Total respect Kris! As my dad used to tell me…this is why they play the games. We all have our opinions and teams that we support.. at the end of the day the teams will work it out in the big dance! Until then I wish your guys luck and all of the team luck! E Town will have to prove it all at the dance! Everyone will! Happy New Year!

      • Coach T

        Kris I have to tell you a secret that I know for certain… Are you listening? Simeon and Young could have played Montverde but chose not too!! That’s a fact! Hmmm?? Think about that. It was a set up game for sure. Playing a Prep school with 11 D1 prospects who’ve been playing games and practicing since Early fall. But no excuses…E Town loss big!! Now that’s that, but there aren’t any comparable games that anyone else in state has played… Including Simeon. Whitney Yoing played Dillard Florida and lost by double digits. The team Evanston lost to at the buzzer beat Dillard by 28! I’m very knowledgeable of who’s played who around here and trust me.. Evanstons schedule is more competitive. St. VINCENT ST MARY you said is bad??! Wow, not sure where that info comes from but they’re #2 in Ohio. Again though,we are doing the fun stuff by talking… The kids will settle it. And I’m going on record now of saying E Town will be in the conversation in March!!

      • Willy

        Kringle anyone that has researched the schedules of the projected top 25 teams can see why Evanston should be number 2. After waking up at 3 am and to fly to the beach ball classic they had an hour and a half to prepare for their first game against providence who won last years florida 3A state title. In the semi finals they beat back to back Georgia state champion pace academy and duke commit Wendell carter by 13. A week before they played lebrons alma mater (#2 in Ohio) and beat them as Elijah Williams won MVP of the tournament for Etown. The two losses on the scorecard come from the #2 team in the nation, montverde, and Imhotep who has more players in espns top 100 database than anyone else in Pennsylvania… or Yano what? Keep sleepin on em, it’s good to be the underdog

        • Kris Kringle

          No one cares about these names of schools, no one cares that they beat “LeBron’s alma mater” that doesnt make them good. A lot of teams beat LeBron’s alma mater. Hey some teams beat Kevin Garnett’s alma mater this year and that means what? There should be a rule: If you lose by 30 you drop. I mean, yeah, they have a nice win over Niles West…

  • rs

    Geneva drops 3 slots w/a tourney win? Soft schedule or not, still undefeated….comments?

  • Dave Kunka

    A little too tough on Joliet West, a little too kind to Fremd. West would beat teams #7-#11 sixteen out of 20 times. West 7, Fremd 11, Curie 12.

    Marist needs to be at #13 ahead of Bloom, Conant & Benet. Might not yet deserve because of softer schedule, but 16-0 is 16-0. Marist at Benet on Jan. 20 will be a barnburner.

    I respect Joliet Central’s 12-1 record as well, but have seen them play and they’re not a top 25 team. They’re not as good as Oswego East.

  • Dan

    How far do u view Lincoln way east out of the top 25?

  • James

    Good work. I think you were too tough on Joliet West. A real bad free throw night and they still almost one. I would take them 8 of 10 times vs Bloom. I was very impressed with Williamson from WY, one of the best pure shooters in the state. But fenwick should have beat them, several missed bunnies on a tight rim at PW. I am interested to see who was on your bubble?

  • Marist fan

    Why does Marist only move up two places?

    • Michael O'Brien

      Because they don’t have a very strong overall resume.

      • Mark Krueger

        I will see Marist and B. Rice in 2 weeks. Looking forward to it

      • Jim

        I agree that there overall resume is not that strong. But they looked really really good this weekend at Centralia. Wiped the floor with first 2 opponents then came back from a 16 point third quarter deficit to beat a good Champaign Central team. I believe Marist may actually be the real deal. They have always had good shooting little guards but this year they have that dominant big man they have been missing.

        • Michael O'Brien

          Totally agree. I’m high on Marist. But it’s January and they haven’t even faced a ranked team. That’s an issue. Keeps them down.

  • Norm

    No one is beating Montverde. Last night lost at buzzer to a great team. But you are correct that some of those teams that were supposed to be real tough aren’t. I do think Evanston is for real though because Nojel has taken his game to an elite level.

  • Kris Kringle

    Thought you would move the Raiders up to 4. Surprised that Evanston only moves up even with losses. Think Curie and Joliet West fell too far.

    • West burbs bball

      You mean Morganbrook-Nazwego? Lol

      • Kris Kringle

        Nope. Just the Raiders. Oswego East and Morgan Park are looking better this year, must not have lost much!

        • West burbs bball

          Haha. Morgan park wins at proviso if they had Binns. The raiders aren’t even .500 if those 2-3 guys don’t fall in their lap.

          • James

            Nana is good enough that even without the transfers they would have been good. He might be the best dunker/three point shooter combo in the state.

          • Kris Kringle

            Suuure buddy. Oswego E and Morgan Park get better without those players, but now all of a sudden on The Brook they are Michael Jordan re-incarnated. You guys have some vivid imaginations!

        • West burbs bball

          James- they might be good I agree. But they don’t beat Westinghouse, Marian and HF without the transfers. Sorry…

          • James

            West burbs. Who are the best 5 teams in the west burbs?

          • West burbs

            I guess benet, fenwick, oak park right? West aurora and Downers south after that? oak park is really the only public school in the west burbs that could compete with anyone and everyone.

          • Kris Kringle

            Downers is South Burbs according to you.

          • West burbs

            Kringle you are VERY low functioning from what I can tell. Go bully someone in the brook and feel better about yourself.

          • Kris Kringle

            I feel great. I always have time to correct an imbecile.

          • West burbs

            Lol. Thanks for making my point. A “grown” man on a high school basketball website acting like that. whatever gets you through the day….

          • Kris Kringle

            All I do is return what I get. You were the one who said a West Suburb was a South Burb. All I did was point out the absurdity of it.

          • James

            Easy boys. I agree with the top.3. After that it is to open. Naperville North beat West Aurora by 19 and was beating DGS in the 4th, so they are in the picture and dont sleep on the Wheaton schools. Wheaton north beat up DGS at York. But overall a down year for the west burbs. We need Naperville north to show well against Evanston.

          • West burbs

            Bolingbrook- SOUTHwest suburban blue
            DGS- WEST suburban gold

            Even tried to say we were both right. But the bully needed to fight so…

            Like I said- low functioning

          • Kris Kringle

            With literally the rest of the conference being in the South Burbs, who do you think makes it the SouthWEST Suburban, Thornton? Talk about low-functioning. I even helped you out and you still couldn’t grasp it.

    • Norm

      Evanston’s schedule is so much tougher than most teams. Anyone except Simeon would have more than two losses with Evanston’s schedule

      • Kris Kringle

        30 point loss? and some of those teams they played were bum. Look em up.

        • Coach T

          Kris the only team Evanston played last week that had more than 1 loss was Pace Academy GA. They have a 6-10 Duke commit and a 6-6 kid with Big Ten, SEC and other high major offers. Their losses are to prep schools… They played in the City of Palms tournament. (LOOK that up). Also Providence who Evanston beat in game #1 at BBC loss to Monverde by 8. Evanston did not play well versus Montverde. Would be a very competitive game now. Definitely single digit game.

          • Kris Kringle

            Falling for the ‘ol “out of state teams are better simply because they are out of state” myth. I expect more. A 30 point loss is terrible no matter how you slice it. St. Vincent St Mary = trash. Pickerington N = trash. So on and so forth.

    • Coach T

      Evanston has losses to Montverde (Top 3 IN NATION) Prep school and Imhotep (Top team in Pennsylvania who beat competition at prestigious Beach Ball Classic by 34, 18 and 28. But Evasnton lost to them 78-76 on a buzzer beater. Only second Illinois team in Beach Ball Classic history to make the championship game.. Whitney Young with Okafor the other. Also have beaten every Illinois team they’ve played this far by average of 20!

    • Frank

      Evanston’s only 2 losses came against #1 team in the country and a buzzer beating loss in the championship game of one of the best tournaments in the country. Nojel tore it up this week. They deserve the #2 spot.

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