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

Orr's Tae Williams (22) takes off for a dunk against Orr, Friday 01-25-19. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.
Orr's Tae Williams (22) takes off for a dunk against Orr, Friday 01-25-19. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.
Jan. 27 3:45 p.m.

Super 25 additions

Simeon: Robert Smith is expecting to make his return against Belleville West in O’Fallon on Saturday. The Wolverines were 6-3 without him. They fell out of the rankings after losing to Corliss but are back just a week later after knocking off Bolingbrook. This is a talented but wildly inconsistent young team.

Kankakee: The Kays have been looming just outside the Super 25 for almost two months. They took down Bloom on Friday and are more than deserving of a spot now. Talented big man TJ Wicks can be a force and the Binion brothers, Jacquan and Darion, are consistent and rock solid. Darion has improved significantly since last season.

Farragut: Aaron Strong doesn’t have to do so much anymore. The Admirals were relying on him for a ton early in the season but William Nelson’s talented young players have grown up a bit and 6-5 senior Demetrius Schaffer is back from injury. Their only losses in 2019 are to Lincoln Park by four points and Bogan by three points.

Dropping out

Leo: It’s been a tumultuous season on 79th street. Expect Fred Cleveland to get the Lions back into the rankings eventually, but recent losses to Maine South and Brother Rice have knocked them out for now.

Benet: It was easy to overlook the consolation loss to Wheaton-Warrenville South on Monday. It was the second game the Redwings played that day and losers bracket results are not a solid indication of a team’s quality. But the loss to Carmel on Friday knocks Benet out.

West Aurora: The Blackhawks’ stay was brief. They lost to St. Charles East, a talented but enigmatic team, on Saturday.

The week ahead

-Most of the Public League will take the week off before the city playoffs start up in February, so the attention will turn to the suburbs. East Aurora is hosting an excellent shootout on Saturday with four good games: Naperville North vs. Lincoln Park, East Aurora vs. Lyons, Geneva vs. Aurora Christian and York vs. Oswego East.

-Evanston has two tricky road games this week. The Wildkits play at Loyola on Tuesday and at Oak Park on Saturday.

Michael O’Brien’s Super 25 basketball rankings
With record and last week’s ranking

1. Curie (24-1) 1
Handled Corliss

2. Bogan (21-2) 2
Beat Hyde Park

3. Morgan Park (22-3) 4
18 consecutive wins

4. Bloom (19-2) 3
Stumbled in Kankakee

5. Young (19-6) 5
Beat Orr

6. Evanston (20-4) 7
At Loyola Tuesday

7. Marian Catholic (21-3) 8
Three-win week

8. Lincoln Park (16-6) 12
Underrated seniors

9. Bolingbrook (14-6) 6
Lost to Lincoln-Way East

10. Homewood-Flossmoor (15-5) 9
Took down Hillcrest

11. New Trier (19-3) 10
Hosts Glenbrook South Friday

12. St. Laurence (19-3) 13
Hosts Loyola Friday

13. Geneva (20-1) 16
Handled WW South

14. Orr (16-10) 14
Lost at Young

15. York (21-3) 17
Faces Oswego East Saturday

16. Simeon (13-12) NR
Beat Bolingbrook

17. DePaul Prep (14-7) 15
Lost in OT at Quincy

18. Stevenson (17-3) 19
Beat Zion-Benton

19. Waukegan (20-4) 20
Ron Ashlaw has won 300

20. Providence-St. Mel (18-5) 21
Beat North Chicago

21. Farragut (14-6) NR
Getting healthy

22. Notre Dame (14-8) 22
Lost to Waukegan

23. Oak Park (13-7) 23
Hosts Evanston Saturday

24. Lindblom (21-2) 25
Win streak up to 18

25. Kankakee (14-5) NR
TJ Wicks can be a force

59 comments

  • Greg

    Got a idea y not just rank all 500 teams regardless of their schedule rankings r too biased and really uncalled for Mike. But it’s your job. You Mike guys hang on in there u guys r sad too real talk.

  • D. Rob

    Much respect to that Lindblom program.. as a former rival in the white I hate it but as a fan I love the coaches over there and how well coached there kids are….

  • Clyde the Glide

    Hinsdale Tournament wasn’t that tough. No real top CPS teams were there. If they were, they would’ve won it. LP is mid level and W’House is lower as is Urban Prep.

  • Sammy

    CPS has 9 teams ranked in the top 25, including 4 of the top 5. You gotta give it up! They have the best teams in the Chicagoland area.
    I saw this in the results of the holiday tournaments. They were 1 & 3 at Pontiac, 1& 2 at Proviso West, 1 at the Dipper (York had 0; Hinsdale had 3 cps teams). Let’s see what happens in state: They may take 2A 3A and 4A. Gotta give credit even if you don’t like CPS.

  • Wscfantoo

    To paraphrase Jimmy Serrano: “If I hear another comment about consolation brackets, I’m gonna bury a telephone in your head…”

    • Leegs1

      To paraphrase leegs: why shouldn’t consolation results count? Just kidding. Don’t wanna telephone buried in my head!

  • 50 year alum

    Hey guys where is this weeks schedule at?

  • illininutt

    I love how you guys go at it!! Truth is….attendence all across the state is down!! Been going down for years now…up to and including the State Tourney. Great games and the price is good….the places the games are played are many times an area that is not desireable to go in.

    • 50 year alum

      You make a good point why doesn’t the IHSA wake up and notice? The state tourney should be rotated we have a lot of different venues it could be held at. Why not Chicago many arenas to hold tournament across the state to tell the truth Peoria is kind of stale now.Rotating the tourney might give fans all over the state a chance to attend also lets go back to high school gyms for super sectionals. I guarantee there are many gyms that are cool rather than these sterile arenas that some are held at. With attendance at Peoria never at full capacity if you are gonna have only half full stands of 5000 fans there are places that 5000 is actually a full house. When you watch tourney in TV it’s sad to see so many empty seats. Wake up change is not bad it actually might be a boost to lousy attendance.

  • Marshall flex

    Simeon plays the #2 team in Illinois which they are #20 in nation
    Belleville west

    Now if they beat Belleville west then I say they deserved to be ranked higher

  • Casey

    U guys are talking about tough schedule and great wins let’s talk about Marian cathlioc. 21-3
    5-0 in conference. Losses to hf by 3 without Ahron Ulis top 3 point guard in state. Lost to culver #1 team in Indiana great player with big 10 offers and lost to Loyola a solid team. Marian cathlioc should be in the top 5 possibly top 3. Look what mike taylor has done to this team to loose a player like Malik Tidwell and still go 21-3 and 5-0 in conference m. MARIAN Cathlioc is underrated talk about them more please.

    • ESCC fan

      Casey, we’ll see how they do in their next three games. Richards has them at home, and they have been playing well. Plus Benet and St. Viator are up on the road and both those teams OWN Marian year after year. We’ll see how good they are in the next few weeks.

  • Will I am

    These comments and rankings just sheds light on how bad these teams really are. Truth be told there are maybe 7 or 8 really good teams in the CPS. Mike does his best to keep us informed on his reasoning behind these rankings. I may not always agree with him but for the most part he does a pretty good job.

  • Phoenix fan

    Farragut also lost to NLCP at home this year!

  • ketoe

    Maxpreps Curie 1 in state 19 National,
    Bellville 2/23,
    Bogan 3/69,
    Bloom 4/77,
    WY 5/125;
    MP 6/137

  • Greg

    Well fellas We all no Simeon and Morgan Park are the gold standard for the public league in Basketball. No mater their records because of their scheduling it’s teams in the rankings and outside the rankings that can beat either one. It’s always been that way Curie owns them Corliss beat them Morgan Park too 13-12 and ranked .One big joke Let’s wait on the playoffs Whitney Young is still lurking right Simeon. Just crazy rankings doesn’t really mean nothing at all. Playoffs fellas will expose all the teams only the strong ones will survive

  • juswatchin

    Beating a bunch of bad teams don’t mean your really that Good… and…. stacking your schedule with a bunch of Good teams BUT Losing all the games Don’t mean your GOOD NEITHER!!

  • Truth

    Stop crying on Mike behalf…real fans of bball travel, pay, watch and comment on what they think! Mike is paid for this and used to the criticism! Truthfully he actually knows 70% of the people that comment on this forum. Mike keep doing what you do while we continue to talk s**t. It’s all love and your opinion ALWAYS matter… good or bad!

  • Proud Condor

    My guess is Mike gets out and sees 10X the games as anyone criticizing the rankings…. Please relax, it’ll sorry itself out in the playoffs.

  • Leegs1

    ” loser bracket results are not a solid indication of a team’s quality” : Even between two excellent teams? WHY? Again, appreciate your efforts!

  • christopher johnson

    How abt rich central they completely took the Kays apart and you got them ranked at 25 and they have won 7 in a row where is the love

  • Bjeske

    Hey truth. Depaul plays people. Besides top 3 teams tell me who plays tougher schedule. They can be 20-1 if they want but played 13 ranked or teams that were ranked. Please. Do you homework or stop replying.

    • Truth

      Homework not necessary! My point is they have lost 3 or 4 times to in state teams since December and have dropped a total of 7 spots without beating anyone of significant value… I’m sorry if you disagree but it seems like ALOT of extra love!!!!!!

    • Truth

      Since you want to see my homework…. they lost 6 outta 9 since Christmas!!!

  • West sub fan

    Simeon is absolutely the only 12 loss team to be ranked this high in a long time !!
    Who are their quality wins ??

    • Spike MacGregor

      Simeon has the highest strength of schedule of ALL Illinois Boys HS basketball teams according to Max Preps. Quality wins over H-F, Bolingbrook, Hillcrest, Bloomington, and Kenwood. In state, they have lost 4 times total to #1 Curie, #2 Bogan, and #3 Morgan Park. Out of state, they have lost to 5 teams ranked in the top 15 in their respective states. Four of their losses are to teams in the Max Preps TOP 25 in the country (Curie twice, Shadow Mountain, AZ, and Rancho Christian, CA). They are a 12 loss team, that if they played Geneva’s schedule, or a few other teams in the current Super 25, would possibly be undefeated.

      • JGM

        The five teams you mentioned are all second,third tier teams. However, always scaring when drawing Simeon, just on the brand. Take care

        • Spike MacGregor

          OK, JGM, so since January 27, those prior 5 quality in state wins Simeon had against “second tier teams” (only H-F and Bolingbrook remains), have since produced a 1 point loss to Belleville West, a convincing win against Whitney Young, a 3 point loss against Morgan Park, and now wins against (you will probably say “second tier competition”) Brother Rice and Marian Catholic. Do you still think they are not deserving of a top ten ranking??? We will continue this discussion soon…

  • chris

    Additional Super Teams on the Radar……

    Niles North has quietly won 7 in a row 16-6 , 4-3
    Thornwood 14-6, 6-0 or will it be Thornton 15-6, 5-1

    Benet 17-6 , 4-1 will be back

    Have to include and respect Corliss 12-7, 4-5 in the toughest conference in state.

    Fremd 15-4 , 6-1 has become one of the top programs in the state – dangerous , sleeper team!

  • ViktoriousVik

    All these couch potato experts.. Y’all need to take several seats….I bet the majority of you so-called-experts haven’t touched a ball in decades. And likely not even paying members of the SunTimes paper. SAD.

    You don’t like it? Don’t come on here and/or simply start your own HS Hoops endeavor.

  • SimeonAlum97

    So much criticism, so little appreciation. If you don’t like the rankings, go follow Al’s High School Emporium or something. Mr. O’Brien, I appreciate you and the time you put in weekly to come up with YOUR rankings. These sourpusses all got cut from the intramural team!

    • SimeonAlum97

      Proofreading would be time better spent as opposed to arguing SOMEONE ELSE’S rankings. All your comments are incomprehensible. Need a translator. Keyboard tough guy. Lol

  • Will Bradford

    Nice to see Simeon back here where they belong. Destroyed hyped-up Fenwick and Bolingbrook and without Rob Smith.

    Scheduling is a big issue in the area since so many suburban teams afraid to face public league teams. Yeah I am looking at you Geneva. Surely you could have found some tough opponents to play in or a real Christmas tourney.

  • Jim

    As far as Benet “a loss to Carmel knocks them out”. Not sure that was a bad of loss as it sounds.

    • truth fan

      @ Jim, what are you going to say if ND beats Benet at ND? Top 25 teams should win a majority of their games wherever the venue. Not quite the caliber of your Benet teams of the past.

    • Kenny McRenyolds

      @Jim, a loss to a 16-9 team is not a bad loss? How is that not a bad loss? I’d love to hear your rationale.

  • chris

    very good rankings for the most part with the exception of ND 14-8, 4-1 and OPRF 13-7, 7-1

    St. Rita 17-7, 8-1 and Brother Rice 16-6 , 7-2 are super 25 ahead of both these two.

    Also like St. Viator 17-5, 4-1 which lost by 5 to #4 Bloom
    and Oswego East 17-5, 5-0

    Key Upcoming Games:

    DePaul at Brother Rice !!!!
    Evanston at OPRF on saturday
    Geneva vs. Aurora Christian at East Aurora on saturday
    York vs. Oswego East at East Aurora on sat.
    Loyola at St. Laurence
    Maine South at Notre Dame

  • CCL Fan

    So Rita is #1 in CCL but not ranked here smh. Ok, sure O’Brien.

    • SMOKEY JOE

      Why is not st Rita ranked there losses 6 and 17 wins look at St Rita losses tough tough Hinsdale tournament this team is overlooked next year better than pontinac

  • Truth

    DePaul Prep still in there no matter how many times they lose..no excuses…BIAS!

  • Basketball fan

    Orr lost 3 games this week but stays at 14?

  • Fan

    St. Laurence is NOT GOOD. They got destroyed by york who has the 2 more wins and the same amount of loses as they do yet they are ahead of them in the rankings

    • ?

      Calling a 19-3 team NOT GOOD? They must be really lucky then to beat PSM, Leo, St Rita, DePaul, Notre Dame, etc but sure keep telling yourself that.

      • Paul

        And they defeated all those teams on the road with the exception of Rita. By the way, the Rita game was never as close as the score indicated.

        • Brad

          That’s not at all true. Rita game vs Laurence was closer than the final score indicates the whole way. At end of Q1, Laurence led by three, 15-12. Halftime Laurence was up by two, score was 33-31. After Q3 score was 53-48. Final 75-65.

    • Casey

      St Lawrence is good genius u must not watch basketball

  • Bob

    These rankings are trash. So many teams that don’t deserve to be in there yet so many teams that are left out of these rankings. I guess you don’t like to report on anyone except Simeon and Morgan Park

    • GSME

      You already saw the comment he made about, just rank the whole Pulic League? Well his bias is not even hidden anymore! Too bad how things turn into a joke. The excuse will be all Teams are bad when there’s a challenge though, so be ready…

    • Illinois high school hoop fan

      Mike, you must love all of the “arm chair” analyzers the moment you put this poll out who are waiting to pick it apart. As has been stated before, this is one man’s opinion. bolls are polls. The truth comes out in March.

      @Bob I’d love to see you put out your 25 to see how much it really differs. Let time, teams and games play themselves out. Don’t get so wrapped up in this.

      • HS Sports Are The Best!

        Yes, Mike, it’s your educated opinion poll. Debate’s fine, but I give you the benefit of the doubt most of the time. As we all know, it’s March Madness time when we can see just which teams were reasonably ranked, and which ones were overlooked unfairly.

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