Scouting report for Chicago Public League Quarterfinals!!!!!
The City Playoffs are in the deep end now, the winners in this round will advance to the Semifinals which will be in one of the college arenas in the area(probably Chicago State University). All four quarterfinal games are intriguing. Here we go(rankings are Big Tim's rankings):
#15 MORGAN PARK(17-8) AT #10 WHITNEY YOUNG(17-8): This is round 2 for these teams. There was a highly anticipated season opener at Chicago State to begin the basketball season. Morgan Park won on a last second steal that clinched the game. Score was 61-59. I expect a similar result here, a tight highly contested game, a lot of trash talk, and maybe a small scuffle. A lot on the line here, a semifinal berth and bragging rights. Duke commit DJ Steward of Young made McDonald's All-American, Illinois commit Adam Miller of Morgan Park did not. He did make the Nike Hoop Summit game but McDonald's is more prestigious. DJ Steward played a little bit better the first time around but Miller and Morgan Park got the win.
KEY PLAYERS: Tyler Beard(Whitney Young), Marcus Watson Jr(Morgan Park). The point guards of these teams will be key. Beard, a Georgetown commit has been on a tear lately with his play, Watson Jr, a Wake Forest commit has been steady all season. I think whichever point guard plays better will give his team the win. Both teams have played tough national schedules to get them ready for this type of game. I think home court will give the Dolphins the edge in the POOL!!!!! I'll take Young.
CRANE(21-4) AT #2 BOGAN(22-2): Both of these teams have had exceptional seasons to this point. Crane is the only White Division team left but can they give Bogan a game? Crane has senior guard Robert Hobbs and senior wing Jimarius Sneed are the bell cows for this team. They will have to play out of their minds to beat the Bengals on their band box home court. Crane is also a deadly three point shooting team from all spots on the court. If they have a great shooting day out there this could be tight. Senior guard Antoine Bloxton and Darrion Jones may be the best backcourt in the Chicago Public League. Bogan is a big time contender for the Class 3A title after a runner-up finish last season.
KEY PLAYERS: Bloxton(Bogan) and Sneed(Crane). Bloxton is a monster scoring talent who can get steals in the press and is deadly in transition. Sneed plays all over the court for Crane and is their top rebounder. He will have to get at least 15 rebounds for Crane to have a shot. I predict Bogan moves on by double digits.
ORR(16-6) AT #1 CURIE(22-1): Orr has been hitting their stride since senior guard Reggie Strong became eligible. Senior guard Shaun Harris a 4 year varsity performer for Orr has shown his athleticism all year. Orr has scoring from all over the court with junior guard Norvell Meadows, and senior forward Demarius Splunge who's their top rebounder. Curie has senior wing Ramean Hinton, a Southeast Missouri State commit, along with junior point guard Nick Owens and senior forward Savion Williams. Curie has not lost to an in-state team, is the defending city champ and a top contender for the Class 4A title. Will not having their coach Mike Oliver be a distraction? It has not so far as they have rolled during the 4 games he's been out. Orr is a three time defending Class 2A champ and getting ready for a run at four.
KEY PLAYERS: Hinton(Curie) and Bryce Hall(Orr). Hinton will have to have one of his big time games that has been his staple all year. Hall will have to run Orr's offense and have minimal turnovers to keep Curie from having fast break runout layups and dunks. I'm tempted to pick Orr in the upset, but this Curie team is solid with it's leadership in their players and they are playing at home. Curie by about 8.
KENWOOD ACADEMY(9-14) VS #24 SIMEON(18-8): It has been a tough season for Kenwood and Simeon, but a little rougher for the Broncos. They come in with an under .500 record and are a cinderella getting to this point. Senior forward Daniel King has been a solid performer for Kenwood. Simeon has had a rough season with a tough national schedule, but as usual has come on lately behind senior wing Jeremiah Williams and DePaul commit junior guard Ahamad "Black Cat" Bynum. Simeon is a dangerous team in these playoffs and Williams has started playing like he did at St Laurence(Burbank).
KEY PLAYERS: Junior point guard Kendall Martin(Kenwood Academy) and sophomore point guard Jaylen Drane. These two young men have to keep turnovers to a minimum and not get ahead of themselves trying to force the action too much. Martin is a quick jet of a point guard and Drane will have to work to keep him in front of him. Drane is good at getting into the lane and shooting the mid range pull-up jumper. He has the size to do that to Martin, but will have to protect the ball as Martin has quick hands. If Drane plays within himself this will be a comfortable victory, if he does not then this could be a tough one. I predict that he will and Simeon will move on by double digits.
I plan on being at Morgan Park vs Whitney Young matchup but will be looking at my phone for scores from the other sites. Should be fun.