Michael O’Brien’s final Super 25 basketball rankings

Young coach Tyrone Slaughter reacts after a call during the Class 4A title game against Simeon. Worsom Robinson/ For the Sun-Times.

With record and preseason ranking

1. Young (27-7) 11
2. Simeon (30-4) 2
3. Morgan Park (26-6) 3
4. Bolingbrook (30-2) 8
5. Fremd (31-2) NR
6. Fenwick (30-5) 14
7. Orr (23-5) 25
8. Evanston (28-4) 4
9. Joliet West (26-4) 5
10. Jacobs (30-2) NR
11. Conant (27-5) 20
12. Naperville North (25-6) 16
13. Wheaton-Warrenville South (29-2) NR
14. North Lawndale (23-8) 10
15. Oak Park (24-7) NR
16. Curie (25-4) 1
17. Thornton (23-6) 6
18. Waukegan (21-9) NR
19. Brother Rice (25-6) NR
20. Marist (27-4) 21
21. Wheaton North (24-7) NR
22. Hinsdale South (19-12) NR
23. Joliet Central (23-6) NR
24. Benet (23-7) 18
25. Hope Academy (29-4) NR



  • George Chiropolos

    Fenwick under coach Malnati will make a deep run again in 2017 and 18 I saw them playing this summer league they beat Romeoville and they just got beat at the end by Curie Malnati’s boys are ready and the opposition better be ready to.

  • gene martin

    hey for years the state wasn’t representative with the best teams, its a fact Chicago area teams will be better due to numbers & competition, that probably the reason for the 4 classes , so its an unfix able problem, unless you restrict CPL teams to neighborhoods & not let them recruit .

  • Ken Johnson

    Prior to 1971, Back before AA and before CPS got the automatic bid to go downstate after winning the city championship there was 1class. CPS had to play outside the city in at least 4 regionals sectionals and supersectionals just to get downstate. The odds of winning were heavily stacked against them to. They were always cheated and the officials were all white. This is not racial this was the truth. Suburbs and downstate stop crying. You’ve had an easy route to downstate for years. A lot of CPS coaches sacraficed and fought hard to level the playing field. Every time CPS plays by the rules and win they change the rules. Stop whining. Just ask Charlie Brown Abdul the 1954 DuSable Panthers about fairness in the state championship. Study your history.

    • gene martin

      so unusual when I was attending high school the city champ always seemed to play in the toughest regional, thus barely made it to state, now the tables have turned. So many years the public league was labeled street ball & didn’t belong, wow way to go public league, and keep red/blue format, just made this reply to another article here yea someone also remebers the time

      • Leegs1

        From 1957- 1971, the only times the city team lost to the eventual state champ was in 1970 and 1971. The city champ was seated in the “sweet sixteen” and there was one class. Very few times did the city champ not reach the quarters and in several occasions won state. Check it out at ihsa basketball records.

        • gene martin

          I attended high school from 67-71 the only city team to go downstate was crane, during that period, I remember they had to play some tough sectional, with Evanston, provios east , after a rough public league

          • gene martin

            & they never won state during those years i was in high school, carver won in 63 & hirsch won in 73

          • Leegs1

            Marshall won state in ’58 & ’60. Carver won state in ’63 and took second in ’62. I believe, under one class, the Chicago rep was automatically seated in the sweet sixteen.

        • gene martin

          1956-57 Herrin (H.S.) 31-2 Earl Lee Collinsville 34-1 Vergil Fletcher 45-42
          1957-58 Chicago (Marshall) 31-0 Isadore “Spin” Salario Rock Falls 33-2 Dick Haselton 70-64
          1958-59 Springfield (H.S.) 33-1 Ray Page Aurora (West Aurora) 22-7 Dick Dorsey 60-52
          1959-60 Chicago (Marshall) 31-2 Isadore “Spin” Salario Bridgeport 33-2 Ray Estes 79-55
          1960-61 Collinsville 32-0 Vergil Fletcher Harvey (Thornton) 27-3 Bill Purden 84-50
          1961-62 Decatur (Stephen Decatur) 31-4 John Schneiter Chicago (Carver) 28-5 Larry Hawkins 49-48
          1962-63 Chicago (Carver) 28-5 Larry Hawkins Centralia 32-2 Bob Jones 53-52
          1963-64 Pekin 30-3 Dawson Hawkins Cobden 32-3 Dick Ruggles 50-45
          1964-65 Collinsville 30-2 Vergil Fletcher Quincy (Sr.) 26-6 Sherrill Hanks 55-52
          1965-66 Harvey (Thornton) 31-2 Bob Anderson Galesburg (H.S.) 27-3 John Thiel 74-60
          1966-67 Pekin 31-2 Dawson Hawkins Carbondale (H.S.) 29-3 John Cherry 75-59
          1967-68 Evanston (Twp.) 30-1 Jack Burmaster Galesburg (H.S.) 27-3 John Thiel 70-51
          1968-69 Maywood (Proviso East) 30-1 Tom Millikin Peoria (Spalding) 28-4 Ron Patterson 58-51
          1969-70 LaGrange (Lyons) 31-0 Ron Nikcevich East Moline (United) 30-3 Cliff Talley 71-52
          1970-71 Dolton (Thornridge) 31-1 Ron Ferguson Oak Lawn (Community) 30-3 Len Scaduto 52-50
          1971-72 A Lawrenceville 25-8 Ron Felling Mounds (Meridian) 30-2 Jim Byassee 63-57
          AA Dolton (Thornridge) 33-0 Ron Ferguson Quincy (Sr.) 28-5 Sherrill Hanks 104-69
          1972-73 A Ridgway 32-1 Bob Dallas Maple Park (Kaneland) 20-12 George Birkett 54-51
          AA Chicago (Hirsch) 29-2 Charles Stimpson Winnetka (New Trier East) 26-7 John Schneiter 65-51
          1973-74 A Lawrenceville

  • RC

    Notre Dame finishes 25-6, 2nd place finish in ESCC (7-2), Regional Champions with W over Niles North, beat Hinsdale South at WWS MLK Tourney. 5 of 6 losses to ranked teams. How are they not Top 25 and Hinsdale South is with 12 losses and 19 wins????

  • Johnathon

    Benet didn’t win their regional championship game.

  • CP3

    Certified I have zero argument. WY won period. I had stated before the game that I felt whoever won that game was gonna win state. WY was the 1 team I didn’t necessarily want them to plsy for exactly that reason you stated. No whining. Just an appreciation for how WY executed their game plan.

    • Norm

      CP3….The two additional years with the sophomores we would have anyway. I’m not saying get rid of them. Look what happened when Lance got banged up. There was no depth. The other 2 sophomore’s ball handling was terrible and one of them didn’t score at all. It doesn’t matter what they did all year. Remember, they’re young. One was suspended a game for a bad attitude. Everything is about preparing for a game like WY. After all the traveling around and everything else we weren’t prepared. The seniors didn’t step up and we only had the sophomores left. Malik bailed us out last year against WY. Everyone else was crumbling and he stepped up and was tough and made FT’s. If those guys were part of the team it could only have helped. In my opinion.

  • Reggie

    SIMEON ranked over MORGAN PARK is a travesty They won the 3A title SIMEON did not win their title game

  • CB

    That is true Norm and none of them ever go to U of I. Its a shame.

  • Paul Mazzone

    I agree that the cpl has gamed the system. The IHSA should not allow non- boundary schools to dominate. Maybe they should play in they’re own tourney. Obviously the cpl does not support the state tourney. It’s a travesty that teams like Thornton, Bloom ,H-F amongst other south suburban teams do not have a realistic chance of advancing to Peoria, when they have to meet all star teams from the city. The days of a school having a chance of by coincidence of having a couple very skilled players and making it downstate are over.

    • Terrance

      They need to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and work harder…

    • Red South Alumni

      Stop whining. When I played we had 6 rounds of the Public League playoffs and only the champion got to go downstate. And during my 4 years of high school Thornton went on their run but couldn’t get past the 4 time Peoria Manual squad. Since IHSA went from AA to 4A the Public League champion has only won state once which tells you other Public League teams would’ve had a chance if we didn’t get one automatic qualifier. Nobody complains when CPS doesn’t win or dominate football and girls basketball.

    • Craig S. Siller

      Hey Paul, this is such a crazy discussion. But check this out, Thornton had a team that featured three future NFL players including one who not only won a Superbowl but threw a touchdown pass in that game. One future NBA player and they beat the CPL champs with two All-Americans and one future HOF and they couldn’t get past Peoria Manual. Bottom line is the problem isn’t with CPS, they should move the tournament to the city. You guys are going to really have a hard time when we start dominating in football and baseball. Just my opinion.

  • RealityCheck

    I’m confused. Why does the IHSA have a multiplier AND a success factor? Why punish success? Shouldn’t the multiplier be enough? Can someone please explain?

    • lefty

      The multiplier was an attempt developed 15(?) years ago to even out the fact the private schools draw from a wider range than the area public school. Go back to the south side Catholic schools, Driscoll, Providence. Why should an Oak Lawn or Evergreen Park have to compete against Br. Rice in the playoffs–public schools argued it wasn’t a apples-apples matchup with enrollment? That said, most private schools don’t excel athletically v. public schools-especially at the 1A and 2A levels. Throw in the charter schools and multiplying everyone wasn’t fair either. If you remember in the 2-class system, the dividing line was generally around 900, was it not? So the success factor was I believe a way out of the multiplier for schools that did not get a combination of either 4 regionals in 4 years or maybe 2 regionals and a sectional in 4-years. Of course you can elect up a class (ESL does this for football) no matter your enrollment. Still not perfect, as schools can rely on that waiver to play down despite being multiplied. Some might call that chickening out, but in 5 years no one will know that.

  • Mel Livatino

    Evanston belongs in the top four. You’ve been fooled again.

    • Pirate Sleeved Jersey

      ETHS was the most over-hyped team of the season (think RB last year). Had their chance to prove they were legit and couldn’t beat Naperville North on a neutral court, and although they won, we all know they didn’t really beat Simeon.

      • Norm

        They led at half and were tied with the eventual state champ until the final moments. They weren’t over-hyped. They were never considered the favorite to win it all. Don’t blame them for beating Simeon by 18. They did their job that game. WY was too tough at the end as everyone they played found out. Over-hyped was Curie at pre-season #1.

        • CP3

          Norm….WY wasn’t too tough. The problem was they didn’t go to Nojel enough when it mattered. The 3 other seniors didn’t step up when it mattered most. The defensive strategy of putting the smallest guard on Casteneda was a very bad decision. Lastly, snd most importantly, Lance Jones was not 100%. In hindsight, had he been, the outcome more than likely would have been different. But give WY credit they forced all 5 Evanston players to guard them in space and offensive be able to dribble/attack.
          Nojel spent alot of energy all game trying to keep Evanston in the game. He needed help.
          The bigger question for a program like Evanston is can you ever gather this much talent and get this close again? This was one of Evanston’s most talented teams in the last 15 years. Also, is this the right coach to get you there? A fair question if you know Evanston’s previous history with their previous coaches and number of years it took to get downstate. Nojel represented the beginning of AAU in Evanston as he was part of the crew that started playing in 2/3rd grade. The soph’s on the team followed that tradition. Hence, the lack of fear and the familiarity of the city kids. Now…you have an awful lot of kids from Evanston playing elsewhere in high school.

          • Norm

            I hate to say it but he’s not the right coach. We had 3 guys transfer from the team this year that had more experience and at this point were better than the 3 sophomores who had a lot of responsibility put on them. If Bynum and Malik were brought along correctly having them there would have made a huge difference. Remember, these guys had 15 and 20 point games early in their junior years and were considered good prospects before everything fell apart for them at Evanston. Bynum made honorable mention all-area at Bogan. He would have helped against WY. The sophomores are talented but still too immature to lead us to State. They could have come off the bench and still helped more. You are correct when you say if not now, then when? Disappointing

          • Certified

            Ok CP3, bring the cheese… cause you definitely got all he whine! Nojel is great high level player, but one man can do it alone. And that’s all it was, a one man show. Whitney put Evanston to bed. Point blank, Whitney Young had 5 well rounded starters who came to play. They took it all the way down state. I can’t say the same for the Wildkits. #Dolphins2017StateChamps #GetYouARing

          • CP3

            Norm…..slow down!! The 3 transfers were better than the 3 soph’s…..???? Uh no, we upgraded. Plus, they have 2 additional years. Bynum might have been the only exception. He is extremely athletic. But those soph’s did everything expected of them and more this season. They are 3 different type of players.

        • Pirate Sleeved Jersey

          No blame assigned, and it was a win in the book, it’s just that we all wish the game had been taken seriously by Simeon. Can’t argue that Curie was overrated, but they did not get all the hype that ETHS rec’d as the season developed. As the season was winding down, between Bolingbrook and ETHS the hype was deafening, but at least Bolingbrook made it to Peoria.

    • CP3

      Can’t be top #4….when you don’t make it to state. Had a vefy good year. But the nearly 50 year old banner in the gym had a real shot at being replaced this year to make it a season for the ages. It was STATE or BUST this year.

    • Jb

      Mel your nuts..Evanston #4 why…… they lost to Naperville North and the Brook beat NN by 26

  • James

    Great state finals. The 3a freshmen were impressive. Interesting to see ten teams not ranked move into top 25.

  • Norm

    The quality of these top Public League teams is amazing. Even when normally good teams like Bolingbrook and Evanston have a special team with more talent than usual it still isn’t enough. And these PL teams are like this every year. One day maybe a miracle will happen and Illinois can get some of these great players. Congrats to WY, MP and Orr!

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