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

Curie's Trevon Hamilton (5) makes his way to the basket against Belleville West, Friday 03-15-19. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times
Curie's Trevon Hamilton (5) makes his way to the basket against Belleville West, Friday 03-15-19. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times

With record and preseason ranking

1. Curie (35-2) 8
2. Evanston (32-5) 2
3. Bogan (30-4) 4
4. Morgan Park (29-5) 3
5. Orr (26-11) NR
6. Simeon (20-15) 7
7. Young (25-8) 1
8. Bolingbrook (23-8) 6
9. Bloom (26-4) 5
10. Stevenson (27-6) NR
11. Geneva (32-2) NR
12. Marian Catholic (27-5) 17
13. York (29-5) NR
14. Homewood-Flossmoor (23-8) 13
15. DePaul Prep (25-10) 21
16. Providence-St. Mel (30-6) NR
17. Farragut (20-7) 20
18. St. Laurence (27-6) NR
19. St. Viator (26-7) 9
20. Waukegan (28-6) 14
21. Oswego East (24-8) 15
22. Fremd (22-5) NR
23. Lincoln Park (23-8) NR
24. Riverside-Brookfield (28-5) NR
25. Loyola (22-13) 18

46 comments

  • Joey G

    Brother Rice should be on here. Lost to Simeon at the buzzer in a hard fought game, beat depaul prep by 10+ (Kennedy had 44), lost a couple close ones to St. Mel, Marian, and Laurence. Had great coaching and 3pt shooting all year. Marquise Kennedy is the best player in Illinois and it’s not even close. 23 ppg, 6 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, and a field goal percentage of 60. I don’t even live near them, but watched them a couple times. They could compete with anyone in the state without any height.

  • SR

    Have there ever been a team from Chicago area that went downstate and was not ranked in the final area top 25 ? The answer is no until this year with Corliss. Loyola are you kidding me . Who did they beat ? Corliss got a raw deal what a joke.

  • Leegs1

    Should have named Orr #1, like last year. That would have busted the bank!

  • Lickity Split

    If the Farragher brothers we’re still playing at Evanston, they would have crushed Bellevue. Especially if Murph was ref’ing.

  • Norm

    Leegs…we will never know what would happen if Evanston and Bolingbrook played last week. But while I understand your point there is something to be said for the idea that Evanston might be better now than they were then. To me, what happened in January is meaningless as far as end of the season rankings. Teams can and should improve as the season goes along. If a team is better now than 3 months ago, and advanced in March because of it, they should get credit for that, not penalized by living in the past. Curie was a target and did a good job getting to Peoria. Also no doubt Evanston was aided by easier brackets. But fact still is they got second in state and looked better in the final weekend

    • Leegs1

      Was Curie better than they were three months ago? Did Evanston have a tougher schedule? A tougher road to the state? Beaten Belleville in the semis? Beaten Curie? Here’s the present: curie #1, Evanston #2 in the opinion of the Suntimes. I would have put Bogan #1 if they had won state. Also, change up those brackets each year.

      • Norm

        If Bogan, Curie or Evanston won that would have made it easier. Although Curie fans could say we beat Bogan head to head. The philosophical argument is how much weight do you give to how the tournament plays out compared to other factors? Some might say that order of finish in state tournament regardless of how easy or tough any bracket is is what matters. Others, including you and Mike feel other factors like overall season play and schedule matters. Just going by order of finish takes out all the guesswork. And gives more importance to the tournament. Even if the brackets aren’t even

  • Curtis D. Levy

    Orr wasn’t rank in preseason can you say 3Peat Go Orr

  • Will Bradford

    Not sure if I understand why New Trier isn’t a top 25 team. They had a devastating injury and crashed out of the playoffs but went 23-7 against a tough CSL that dominated non-conference competition.

    Gotta agree that St. Rita should be ranked as well. Had nice wins over Lincoln park and St. Charles East in a tournament in which Stevenson went right into the consolation bracket. Stevenson really didn’t prove itself against the big boys as Geneva did. St. Rita also beat Providence.

    A lot of people said preseason that Orr should have been ranked. They were right, although maybe we didn’t know that kid from Cali would come in and dominate the area.

  • ShawnJ

    It would be interesting to see your Top 25 for the entire state. It would probably be really hard to do with all 4 classes, but maybe just for 3A and 4A. Some really good teams down in southern Illinois flew under the raydar a bit this year.

  • H.S Fan upset

    I’m hearing that the IHSA is about to propose the multiplier or success factor is be used in Illinois similar to how they use it for Indiana. 4 classes were created to give smaller schools a chance to win state championships. Orr H.S has won 3 class 2A championships against downstate teams that would have trouble competing in the public league Blue and White divisions. Next year by enrollment Orr will be a 1A school which is rediculous. The population shift has happened and Charter schools are taking a ton of kids from CPS. When a school graduates the majority of the last two groups of state championship talent and replace it with between 5-7 transferes that is like NBA free- agency. The IHSA needs to really look at other states transfer rules. Michigan has some good ones that are almost similar to the NCAA’s.

  • Mike

    Congrats to all these teams for a great season. I am from Evanston and was rooting for them the whole way. I don’t know that they would have beaten Curie or Simeon but they had a great run for the last three years and finishing second to Belleville is nothing to be ashamed about.

  • Truth

    Title game or not….Both beat Rockford East…Both lost to Belleville West…I think Mike did right by going to overall record as the tiebreaker in which Currie comes out on top in the rankings…Don’t matter Evanston ring is 2nd and Currie says 3rd!!

  • jgm

    Great year, fun stuff. Loyola? BR. Thanks for the great coverage. Awesome

  • CP3

    Interesting take to admit that if they played you believe Evanston would win, yet rank them #2?
    They are who we thought they were….the best team in our Chicagoland Area.
    Great season in the books.
    Wish I could see the attendance numbers for this weekend?
    Are we staying in Peoria or headed to Champagne?, N.U?

  • Breed

    I don’t understand how Corliss ain’t ranked they finish fourth in the state in 2A and you have teams on here who ain’t win Sectional or super sectional and was at home watching other teams down state going down state should account for something 💯

    • Deerb

      They ain’t rank Corliss because they ain’t played nobody good in the playoffs until they played Corliss and they ain’t no good against them who beat them by 30.
      Then they ain’t no good against some farmboys from Gibson City in the third place game and they ain’t win that game either.
      They ain’t no good.

  • Scott Hess

    Have appreciated and relied on your coverage all season long. Big thanks!

  • Leegs1

    Would Evanston had been in the finals if they were in the lower bracket? Did Evanston play a tougher overall schedule than Curie? Curie lost to Salesian by six. Salesian has one loss and is rated number two in California. Evanston loss by a lesser margin to Belleville West than Curie did. They lived against Rockford on the three. They lost against Belleville on the three. Ratings are one man’s opinion and thanks to that man for letting us bitch and moan through another great year of basketball

    • Norm

      If regular season is what matters for end of season rankings then no point in having a post season. And I do appreciate Mike!

      • Leegs1

        “Tougher overall schedule” means entire year. Sure wish Bolingbrook had been in the upper bracket! Also wish they had the Evanston coach.

        • Norm

          I understand what tougher overall schedule means. Question is, is that important if the other team is better on the final day? No question Curie was better all year but what happened to the idea of improving all season so that you are peaking in March? Curie peaked before March. No question Bolingbrook would have had a better chance in a different bracket setup. If you look at the road BW had, with everyone gunning for them, makes what they did even more impressive

          • Leegs1

            So, Curie looked ragged on the final day against Rockford, and Evanston lost to Belleville on the final day makes Evanston number one? Curie peaked before they played Fenwick, Riverside, Young, and Simeon in March? Everyone was gunning for Belleville and not for Curie who was ranked one in Illinois and third in the nation? How bout this: both Evanston and Bolingbrook lost to Belleville, but Bolingbrook beat Evanston head on head and, thus, should be ranked first. Again, the rankings are one man’s opinion. Notice, I didn’t say who I would rank first.

  • Bones

    Using whatever rationality that puts the CPL teams higher. In the case of Curie the whole season matters, in the case of Simeon only the recent past.

  • Norm

    I thought I was done posting but I was shocked at your reasoning for Curie being number one while admitting Evanston is probably better them. Because they were better in December and February? So much for all those who say March is what matters

    • SSH

      Agreed. York bloom Marian didn’t even make a sectional final and are ahead of teams that did. Mike can never again say that what you do in March matters most. But he will when he needs to, and then he will defend it with some flimsy excuse or rationale.

      • WSC FAN

        york and marian were in the 2 hardest sectionals in the state and put up amazing fights against 2 public league powerhouses. would guarantee that in every other sectional they would win or be in a sectional championship

  • Lorenzo1

    Evanston should be #1 because they played for the championship, Curie took consolation. I would love to see them both play each other. Evanston would beat them easily.

  • Lorezo1

    Come on Mike!
    One team plays for the championship the other consolation. Evanston by far should be #1.

    • DW

      Come on now you crying cause they played in the title game come on now. Curie Had 1 Lost in Illinois and could’ve beaten Belleville if they ref let them play and called the game fair. Everybody know the ref took that game from Curie. Curie played better teams then Belleville . They finished 35-2

  • gk1

    the selections are an insult to the Evanston program and to the IHSA

    thanks to the IHSA for the excellent coverage of the the tournament

  • Mike Hightower

    Let’s be real Curie was off against Belleville but if Curie would’ve stayed in that zone and the referees wouldn’t have helped BW it would’ve been a whole difference ball game and if they shots was falling. Curie was down 2 at half time and then that’s when the referees just went nuts with the whistle, Curie and BW should’ve met in the championship just like how BW and WY met in the championship last year. It was all political that’s but Curie still finished with the best record in Illinois
    1 lost in state and 1 lost put of state is pretty Impressive. I’m proud of them and Bogan congrats to BW & East St Louis and congrats to Evanston on second place. It was a great weekend overall .

    • SSH

      What game were you watching? Curie should’ve had 20 team fouls in the first half and 30 in the second half. They mugged Liddell every time down the floor and constantly fouled the ball handler. Refs kept them in the game as long as they could. And that’s the whole point- they were “off” against Belleville bc they’re not even in the same class as them.

      • Steve

        They were not in the same class as belleville. All of this is true. Especially about the refs burying their whistles on them and not calling them for more fouls than they deserved.

        Evanston was a faster, much stronger, better shooting, better defending, better passing team. Curie was longer and a better rebounding team. Their flopping skills had to be tops in the nation.

        • LH

          Let’s be real if everything was set up how it was last year
          It would’ve been Curie and Belleville west in the championship game, just like how Belleville west met Whitney young in the championship , IHSA did they flucky shit on purpose and then after the game you see the referees joking and laughing with Belleville west fans at the hotel. Come on now how TF is Curie down 2 at half 12-14 because the first half was a low schooling game and Curie was taking the ball from Belleville west, the referees saw Curie was keeping up and they started going banana with the whistle. Everybody came to see Curie play and said the same thing and wanted to see a good game, a group of people came to me and told me that that’s not the game they wanted to see and would’ve perfered to see Curie and BW in the championship , Curie brought all them people, and since when haven’t it been a city team vs a suburban team in the championship 🤔 and I’m gone tell you how Evanston not better because Curie not gone lose no lead that big

  • Kreaky Knee

    Michael
    Thanks for all the great coverage of high school basketball this season!

  • Tj

    ! Curie finished with the BEST overall record!! A win is a win and a loss is a loss.. get over it.

  • Steve

    If the rankings are based on overall season, simeon is way too high. If its based on the end of the year and where teams are at there isnt much question who the best chicagoland team was this weekend. It wasnt curie. They were played even for a quarter by rockford east using their entire bench with two starters during the duration of the second quarter when roy sackmaster used the 3rd place game as an opportunity to get his whole team involved. Curie seemed to be trying to win the 3rd place game as well as things got somewhat chippy. Evanston was much better against the two same opponents and was in a seesaw game for the championship with under five minutes left, not even playing their best game. I love the podcast and the thoughts but this was not close imo.

    • Lefty

      War’s over, MOB dropped the big one.

    • SSH

      I agree- Evanston was there in the title game and curie wasn’t. Point blank. But Mike has to rank curie #1 bc they’re a Chicago team and he had them preseason #1 looks better for him. Guessing Stevenson at #10 is bc they played Evanston close and were good at end of year. Apparently those rules don’t apply across the board he picks and chooses when he wants to use it for justification.

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