Michael O’Brien’s Chicago-area Super 25 basketball rankings

Leo's Kendale Anderson (35) attempts a dunk. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.
Leo's Kendale Anderson (35) attempts a dunk. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

The toughest rankings of the season so far. A lot of good teams picked up losses and not many teams stepped up and proved they deserved a spot.

The new additions

St. Laurence: Junior Jeremiah Williams showed flashes of promise last season but is quickly developing into a consistent force. The Vikings won their way into the rankings with wins against Notre Dame, Providence-St. Mel and St. Rita this past week.

Lane: The Indians returned to the Red Division this season and it didn’t take long to make a rankings debut. Senior Jimmy Mulvaney helped lead them to wins against Uplift and North Lawndale.

Romeoville: The last six games between the Spartans and Joliet Central have gone to overtime. Romeoville has already beaten the Steelmen twice in overtime this season. Mike Salter, Destin Whitaker and big man Noah Ferrell have the team off to an undefeated start. They visit Bolingbrook on Wednesday in what will be a major test.

Dropping out

Brother Rice: Loyola recruit Marquise Kennedy was fantastic at the Team Rose Shootout on Saturday. He scored 36 points and impacted the game on both ends of the floor in a loss to Uplift. The Crusaders also lost to St. Rita and Providence-St. Mel this week.

Farragut: A mixed bag this week for the Admirals, who lost to Young and Orr but beat Riverside-Brookfield. Several freshmen and sophomores are playing well for coach William Nelson, so they could be back in the rankings soon.

Riverside-Brookfield: The Bulldogs were ice cold from three-point range in the loss to Farragut, their first of the season.

The week ahead

-Simeon picked up two losses at a high-profile shootout in Arizona this weekend. The Wolverines return to town and travel to Bogan on Tuesday.

-Curie invades Morgan Park’s tiny gym on Tuesday. The Mustangs had a passion-filled week with a tight win against Bogan and a close loss to Bloom. The winner of this game will make a strong claim to the No. 3 ranking.

-Waukegan seems to be living up to the hype this season. The Bulldogs have a chance to prove it on Saturday in Chicago Heights against Marian Catholic and Ahron Ulis.

With record and last week’s ranking

1. Young (6-1) 1
Grant Newell is coming

2. Bloom (9-0) 3
Beat Morgan Park

3. Curie (8-0) 6
Second seed at Pontiac

4. Morgan Park (4-2) 5
A work in progress

5. Bogan (6-1) 2
Lost to Morgan Park

6. Leo (7-1) 11
Beat Bloomington

7. Evanston (6-1) 7
Survived Maine South

8. St. Viator (7-1) 8
Beat Oswego East

9. Homewood-Flossmoor (5-1) 10
Faces Bloom on Friday

10. Simeon (1-3) 9
Unseeded at Pontiac

11. DePaul Prep (7-0) 15
Hosts Benet Saturday

12. Marian Catholic (5-1) 13
Hosts Waukegan Saturday

13. Oswego East (6-1) 12
Sam Schultze fills it up

14. Waukegan (6-1) 19
Everyone contributing

15. Glenbrook South (8-0) 21
Beat Glenbrook North

16. Bolingbrook (5-2) 4
Lost two in Iowa

17. Kenwood (7-2) 25
Beat Hillcrest

18. Hillcrest (6-3) 20
Dylan West is a force

19. Downers Grove North (7-0) 22
Trey Boston can score

20. Benet (7-1) 14
Lost to York

21. St. Laurence (8-1) NR
Beat St. Rita, St. Mel

22. Lane (6-2) NR
Knocked off Uplift

23. Uplift (4-2) 23
Beat Brother Rice

24. Geneva (6-0) 24
Teachers on strike

25. Romeoville (6-0) NR
At Bolingbrook Wednesday

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  • George

    Young ranked #1 lost; Morgan Park ranked #4 lost; Homewood Flossmoor ranked #9 lost; Simeon ranked #10 lost twice (how are they still in the Super 25?); Glenbrook South ranked #15 lost; Kenwood ranked # 17 lost; Downers Grove North ranked #19 lost; Lane ranked #22 lost; and Romeoville ranked #25 lost.
    I don’t know if Bloom or Curie should be the new #1, but I do know that there is a team that never should have been out of the rankings which ought to be back in come Sunday night. Who is that team? Here is a hint; first word Riverside; second word Brookfield.

  • jgm

    Wow! Great work Mike. Hey everybody, better idea in January, relax. Rankings are spot on. There will be new faces every week, and in the end, just win baby!

  • Leegs1

    St Frances ranked by maxprep at 267 ” is the most ridiculous, illogical thing I ever read.” How bout Maine South ranked 3924, Evanston 120, Young 25, Belleville West 24 by maxprep? Incidentally, St. Frances is ranked second in Maryland. Keep up your due diligence. You are greatly appreciated.

  • Leegs1

    Pirate: Madison East dropped to fourth in Wisconsin this week maybe due to the fact that they only beat short handed Bolingbrook by seven. They are ranked 190th in the nation according to Max prep. Cedar Falls has played three games this season. Probably too few games to judge them. Incidentally, Maine South, who Evanston beat by two, is 3-3 and ranked 3924th in the nation by maxprep. Evanston stayed ranked at number seven. A guess a win is a win. Can wait until Xmas tourney results where consolation game results will not count toward the rankings.

    • Leegs1

      Oh, and Young, playing at full strength in Chicago, lost to St. Frances of Baltimore by nine. St Frances currently ranked 267 in the nation by maxprep. Good thing they didn’t lose two last week. Probably would have dropped to thirteenth!

      • Michael O'Brien

        Probably would have dropped more if they lost two. Now you are getting the hang of it!

        • Leegs1

          But Young didn’t drop at all after losing to a team ranked 267th by maxprep. Oh, I forget, Max prep means nothing. Hopefully, Simeon doesn’t lose another game this week so they can hold their ranking. Hope I continue to get the hang of it. Very logical!

          • Michael O'Brien

            Ranked 267th is the most ridiculous, illogical thing I’ve ever read.

          • Leegs1

            Ditto, Morgan Park at full strength. Don’t lose two this week. As they said in Nam: “don’t mean nothin!”

    • Norm

      The only thing keeping Evanston up in the rankings is the St Viator win. They definitely aren’t playing like a top 10 team. If they don’t blow it they will get a shot at Belleville West in the Centralia final. That will tell a lot. And then they play Bolingbrook next month. In the end these rankings don’t mean anything. It’s all for fun

    • Just the facts

      Leggs relax. This team is not like the ’16 team that was an actual top 5 team. I told you about using Maxpreps before, it doesn’t work. This is a good team, but top 10 they are not. We’ll see what they look like with Cochran soon, but I expect some ugly losses in Florida. Yes, Morgan Park and Simeon should drop substantially too. Probably all the way out.

      • Leegs1

        When a local team plays an out of state team, how do you evaluate them? I was questioning how you drop a team twelve spots for two close losses without an all stater, one loss of which was to the number one team in Wisconsin. So they were rated too high to begin with. I can buy that. I’m glad to see their schedule toughen up and would love to see them at Pontiac. Don’t hold your breath about Morgan Park falling out of the top twenty five. Always good to hear from you. Did Bolingbrook get any transfers this year? Just kidding.

  • Pirate Sleeved Jersey

    Wow, easy fellas, it’s only the 2nd week of December and as always, everybody makes the dance in IHSA March Madness. You’d think Mike O’B was on the selection committee and your school was one of the “last four out”.

    I get bouncing RB, they looked absolutely terrible (almost West Aurora v Oswego East terrible) and Bolingbrook will have plenty of opportunity to climb back up into the Top 10 (start by winning on Wed). As for York, if they don’t have the loss to Stevenson they have to be in, but that loss looks really bad w/ Stevenson losing to a 5 loss Libertyville. York will be fun to watch in the Tosh and a rematch w/ Benet in the sectional would be great (Go WSC!), but if Gene can get Benet to start playing Benet defense, look out, they’ve got Final Four potential.

    • Leegs1

      Pirate: Maybe you can explain to me how Bolingbrook went from four to sixteen when one of their losses was to the top ranked team in Wisconsin by five without one of their all staters. “Mike O’B” hasn’t. Guess who you lose to doesn’t figure in. Based on past posts, I’m not exactly a big Bolingbrook basketball fan. As with Norm, I’m just curious about the big drop. Enlighten me.

      • Pirate Sleeved Jersey

        Leegs – Stop, I agree w/ MO’B, “They lost two games in a week”, plus how good is “the #1 team in WI”? I don’t know, but “THEY LOST TWO GAMES IN A WEEK”, and one was to the 72nd best team in Iowa, at least that is what Maxpreps has Cedar Falls ranked.

    • George

      If you were at Mount Carmel, you know that RB warmed up for 45 minutes while waiting for Farragut. That had to have affected their legs especially in the second half. Zach Vaia is a 43% three point shooter and Patrick Hanley is about the same. They made one three pointer between them on Saturday. I don’t know exactly how many threes they took, but it was between 15 and 18. I think that was due to tired legs.

      You were at the Team Rose Shootout-I assume. Were you there when RB dominated by Oak Park by twenty at RB’s Thanksgiving Tournament. Were you there when RB had still number 17 rated Kenwood in a running clock through most of the fourth quarter.

      In case you missed my earlier post, despite what M. O’Brien claimed, Artese Stapleton did play in that game. He played the entire game and RB held him to five points. But apparently those two games count for nothing. Apparently eight consecutive victories by an average of 20 points counts for nothing. Lose one game by ten points and everything else is meaningless.

      • ReggieT


        Would you like some cheese with all of that whine?

      • FPC

        George, RB played their first 7 games at home and lost their only worthy road test to Farragut on a neutral Mt. Carmel court.

        If an extended warm up period is to blame for RB’s road loss, then perhaps the advantages of home cooking had something to do with the 7 home wins to start the season.

    • Rick Cademartori

      How can Benet be #20 with a loss to York and York with one loss (Stevenson) is not ranked…. games don’t matter— A$$ kissing does

      • Fan

        That Stevenson loss was without one of their starters and best players tho and they bounced back by winning that tournament

  • Norm

    Besides the big drops for Bolingbrook and RB I’m surprised you still like Uplift. They looked terrible in losing to Evanston. They lost to Lane as well. And they barely beat unranked LP and had a close game with Mather. Maine South looked way better than they did.

    • Michael O'Brien

      The Lane loss was without Vortes, which is a factor. But Uplift is going to continue to get the benefit of the doubt for awhile because of Markese Jacobs. I’d guess eventually some other teams will play their way in and replace the Titans if they lose more games, but that didn’t happen this week.

      • Leegs1

        Lane without Vortes, Kenwood without Stapleton, Bolingbrook, without their all stater, falls from four to sixteen. Go figure.

        • Michael O'Brien

          They lost two games in a week. They are lucky to remain in the rankings. Pretty much only Bolingbrook and Simeon can say that…not shabby company.

          • Leegs1

            So, no consideration who they lost to, by how much, and without an all stater. But keep Evanston at seven after spanking a 3-3 team by two points. Simeon drops from nine to ten after losing twice while Bolingbrook drops from four to sixteen. Remarkable logic!

          • Michael O'Brien

            The consideration of not having Cochran is why they are still ranked.

  • George

    RB fan here happy to explain why dropping the Bulldogs out of your Super 25 was your worst decision ever. RB started the season 8-0. The 8 wins included a win against OPRF, which has lost only one other game; that a 56-55 overtime loss to Fenwick. (Fenwick, by the way, is 5-1 having only lost to Benet which I believe is #20 in your rankings) RB has also beaten Kenwood, still ranked 17th. Kenwood’s only other loss was to Waukegan currently ranked 14th. That loss was also by one point-might have been in overtime, not sure. Then, RB losses to Farragut and you drop them at least ten places and right out of your Super 25.

    The problem is that you have seen RB one time in person and that game was an unusually bad game for them. Had you taken the time to come to the second best Thanksgiving tournament in the Chicago area, you would have seen how they dominated either OPRF or Kenwood or both.

    • Michael O'Brien

      I did go to that tournament, I just didn’t see R-B play. Kenwood was without Artese Stapleton, its best player, when R-B beat them. The Bulldogs lost to Farragut and didn’t look good doing it. So they are gone for now.

      • George

        I doubt that Artese Stapleton’s absence made a 23 point difference in the RB game. Lamond Johnson and Seyree Lewis were getting a lot of hype from you and they looked very ordinary against RB. Lewis had an air ball on a dunk.
        As for the game against Farragut, I think the fifty minute delay in the start had a deleterious effect on RB. It seems to me if you are running a major program (Farragut) you should know what time your games start. Or you should be punished for it.

        Regardless, one loss, by ten points to a better than average Farragut team, should not have knocked the Bulldogs out of your Super 25,

      • George

        I know you can’t be at every game every week, but your sources at RB let you down. Per a text exchange between myself and Mike Reingruber, RB head basketball coach.
        Coach Reingruber: Stapleton played the whole game.
        Coach Reingruber: He had five points.
        Played the entire game.

        Don’t get me wrong. I love your work. I learn a lot from what you write. I’m a big fan of the No Shot Clock podcast and listen every week. I just think you rely too much on your preseason predictions after the season starts. RB was a surprise to most people-not me. When they swept the Bill VandeMerkt tournament it was hard to give them the rating they deserved. Especially if you believed that Stapleton was not playing in the RB -Kenwood game.

        • Michael O'Brien

          Just heard the same about Stapleton George. I just heard that yesterday, so it wasn’t a factor until yesterday. I don’t tie myself to the preseason rankings at all, I agree that is dangerous. After I see a team for the first time everything is subject to change. And I saw R-B for the first time and they didn’t play well.

    • Michael O'Brien

      Oh, and Fenwick is 6-2. Mount Carmel beat them too.

      • George

        I missed the score of that Fenwick-Mt. Carmel game, but that changes only minimally the fact that OPRF has only lost to a very good RB team and a very good Fenwick team.

        In fact OPRF should be in your Super 25 as well. But then there wouldn’t be room for your beloved CPL teams

        • Michael O'Brien

          Yes, I love the Public League teams so much. Or wait, maybe they have just won all the state titles and major holiday tournaments for how long now?

  • Leegs1

    Jeez Mikey: Bolingbrook loses to Cedar falls by seven and by five to Madison East, the number one team in Wisconsin, without one of their best players and falls from four to sixteen. Brutal!

  • Lance Brown

    I think I’m gonna frame this one like #3 Love 22 Go Lane Go

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