High School Basketball: Michael O’Brien’s Super 25 Ranking for January 23, 2022

There are two suburban teams that top the rankings. Glenbard West and Glenbrook South are a combined 42-1 and the only loss was the Hilltoppers’ narrow win over the Titans.

Will the suburbs be able to bring home the state championships in March?

Glenbard West is clearly the class 4A favourite. The Hilltoppers have done a good job with their schedule this season. They have two games left. It is imperative that they find some tough teams to play as Kenwood will be healthier in March and probably much better after playing in the city tournament.

Simeon remains the firm favorite in Class 3A, although Hillcrest is steadily improving and should be a real challenge in a possible super sectional matchup.

National ranking

National high school team rankings are insane and not worth worrying about. I watch hundreds of games in the area every winter and it’s hard to rank those teams. Ranking the top 25 teams in the country is an impossible task that makes no sense.

Individual player rankings get a lot more attention. They are breathlessly discussed at the tournaments of the shoe companies all spring and summer. Fans subscribe to websites to read about recruits and colleges spend thousands of dollars a year on recruiting services.

So what’s going on with Braden Huff? Glenbard West’s 6-9 senior is now the clear leader in the Player of the Year race and arguably the area’s best prospect since Talen Horton-Tucker (who was also bizarrely low in the national rankings).

Huff is not in ESPN’s top 100. Yorkville Christian’s Jaden Schutt is number 47, Thornton’s Ty Rodgers is number 52, and Young’s AJ Casey checks in at 56.

247sports has Rodgers at 54, Schutt at 60 and Casey at 67. At the very bottom at number 95 is Huff. That’s laughable. I think we should also throw the national player rankings in the trash.

Huff doesn’t care. He’s signed to Gonzaga, one of the best programs in the country.

“I’m really excited about where I’m going and my future,” Huff said. “Ill see” [the rankings] and I use that like a chip on my shoulder, but at the end of the day the rankings don’t really matter.”

Concerned about Simeon?

Last week I touted Simeon as the equal or better of Glenbard West. My opinion has not changed after the loss to Glenbrook South on Saturday. The Wolverines were without Wes Rubin, their 6-8 center. The junior averages a double-double and would have been a major factor in the post against Glenbrook South’s Nick Martinelli. Rubin won the prestigious AC Williamson Prize in Pontiac, which is very rare for a junior.

At this point in the season, the top tier of Glenbard West, Simeon, Kenwood and Glenbrook South is clear. They have been the top four teams in the Super 25 in any order since December 12.

Curie, New Trier, Young and Hillcrest make up a really solid second tier and after that it’s a gamble. Although Wheaton Warrenville South seems almost unbeatable with its relentless defense.

Super 25 for January 23, 2022

With last week’s record and ranking

1. Glenbard West (22-0) 1

Repulsed Young

2. Glenbrook South (20-1) 4

Defeat Simeon

3. Simeon (16-2) 2

Miss Rubin

4. Kenwood (16-5) 3

Treated Hyde Park

5. Curie (19-2) 5

Friday at Simeon

6. Ridge (18-2) 7

Young and talented

7. New Trier (20-2) 8

Four big wins last week

8. Young (14-7) 6

Chemistry doesn’t look good

9. Wheaton Warrenville South (22-1) 11

Beat Orr, Benet

10. Mount Carmel (19-1) 10

Leo and St. Rita this week

11. Hyde Park (13-6) 9

Lost to Curie, Kenwood

12. Rolling Meadows (20-2) 12

Faces New Trier Saturday

13. Brother Rice (18-2) 13

Survived Marist

14. Larkin (20-2) 15

Tasks at Thornton Saturday

15. Oswego East (22-1) 16

Big win over Batavia

16. Lyon (18-3) 20

Beat Proviso East, Burlington Central

17. Leo (12-3) 14

Couldn’t hang out with Hillcrest

18. Bolingbrook (17-6) NR

Raiders set up the ship

19. Lemon (17-4) 25

Eight consecutive wins

20. Homewood-Flossmoor (13-5) NR

Difficult to master

21. Benet (17-5) NO

Defeat St. Ignatius

22. Burlington Central (19-3) 21

Lost to Lyon

23. St. Ignatius (12-8) 18

Lost to Benet

24. Bloom (14-4) 24

Hosts Thornton Tuesday

25. Kankakee (14-5) NR

Beat Thornton

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