Michael O’Brien’s notebook: Jan. 7, 2018

Morgan Park's Nick Irvin tries to tell his side to the official. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

Morgan Park senior Ayo Dosunmu knew that Illinois fans from all over southern Illinois had traveled to Highland to see him play on Saturday. Despite his left ankle injury, he didn’t want to let them down.

“He begged me to play,” Mustangs coach Nick Irvin said. “I told him he shouldn’t, that he was only 50 percent, but he wanted to. That’s just how Ayo is. I told him not to do anything crazy, he played about a quarter.”

Morgan Park lost to St. Louis Chaminade 107-94.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch some Morgan Park and Chaminade parents got into a verbal confrontation during the game and “the argument was so intense several police officers were brought to the bleachers to quell things.” Read the full story here.

Dosunmu received a technical for shoving a Chaminade player. Irvin and a Chaminade player also picked up technical fouls. The Mustangs are just 10-6 this season. Big man Tamell Pearson has missed most of the season with an eye injury and now Dosunmu has missed most of the last five games.

“I do have some frustration with the way things are right now, sure,” Irvin said. “I’m used to being 16-0 right now. It’s just something I have to deal with and handle better. But the players have been good, they have stayed positive.”

Sophomores Adam Miller and Marcus Watson have stepped up and played well and senior Cam Burrell has been tremendous, one of the season’s breakout players.

“[Burrell] finally turned the corner,” Irvin said. “A lot of people can’t match his intensity. I always thought he could be this type of guy and now he’s showing it.”

Irvin says that no team in the state will be able to handle his group when everyone is back healthy. He’s willing to guarantee another Class 3A state title.

“Quote me on that,” Irvin said. “I’m going to hold the trophy up at the end of the year.”

Irvin says Dosunmu may be out another week.

“We are going to take it slow,” Irvin said. “I shouldn’t have played him yesterday, but that is just the kind of guy he is, it meant a lot to him to get on the court for those fans.”

The Illinois recruit has an excellent chance to be a McDonald’s All-American. He would be the first since Jalen Brunson in 2015. The announcement comes on Jan. 18 but word may filter out before then.

“The whole state needs that to happen,” Irvin said. “We’ve been down for too long. Everyone needs to get behind Ayo.”

THE WEEK AHEAD

St. Viator at Loyola, Monday: The Lions are talented but inconsistent. The Ramblers won a holiday tournament in Florida and could join the Super 25 with a win in this one.

Niles North at New Trier, Tuesday: Several readers don’t think the undefeated Vikings have played a schedule worthy of a top five team. This will be a much-needed test.

Lincoln Park at North Lawndale, Wednesday: Can Lincoln Park’s roll continue? Terrance Shannon and Chris Roberts will turn even more heads if they can win this game on the west side.

Marist at Marian Catholic, Thursday: Both teams were supposed to be decimated when their star guards transferred away. Instead both are ranked and heading towards this major conference showdown.

Young at Orr, Friday: The Spartans beat Young handily just days ago in the Proviso West title game. This is a really quick turnaround, it could be tough for Orr to muster the intensity to do it again.

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3 comments

  • BBall fan

    Anyone who doesn’t think Niles North should be in top 5 hasn’t seen them play. New Trier may have decent big men, but their guards are no match for NN.

  • Chet

    I believe the Marian/Marist game is Thursday… at least according to Marian’s website.

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