Michael O’Brien’s notebook: Nov. 27, 2015

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Excuse the football picture please, it is all I have from today. Spent the day at the Prep Bowl and then came to watch Phillips beat Belleville Althoff in the Class 4A state title game. I’m currently sitting in the DeKalb Hampton Inn. The prep beat is glamorous and wonderful.

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Evanston’s 71-64 win over Notre Dame feels like the first really big victory of the season. Was following along on Twitter during the Phillips’ game. Nojel Eastern had 19 points, sounds like a bunch of college coaches were on hand to see him.

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Uplift beat Lake Forest Academy 62-60 Friday night. The Titans have a star player, junior guard Demarius Jacobs, and now have wins over Elk Grove, Fremd, Mundelein. Not exactly Murder’s Row there, but 4-0 just the same. Looks like they will be a major factor in the Public League Red North.

In fact, the Red North could be a lot of fun this season. This should be Von Steuben’s best team in a few years (I’ll get a look at them on Sunday at Moraine Valley). Lincoln Park is looking like a team to watch this season. Former Loyola assistant coach Pat Gordon is the Lions’ new head coach. I thought Lincoln Park had some really promising talent last season. Especially 6-6 Ibrahim Dosunmu (Ayo’s cousin). Lincoln Park beat Loyola on Monday, New Trier on Tuesday and then Mather on Wednesday, they will face Benet in the title game of the Loyola/New Trier Tournament Saturday night. Gordon says it is a “statement game” for his team.

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Oswego is 4-0 with wins over Naperville Central, Foreman, DeKalb and Naperville North. Those are all decent teams. I think CSN Chicago’s Scott Phillips had the Panthers in his preseason rankings. Looks like that may have been a good call. Oswego doesn’t have any big-time star players, but they do have a group of seniors that has been on varsity for three years now.

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Nothing about Jacobs’ scores or wins really screams Super 25, but solid basketball mind Brian Chimino is on board. He watched the Golden Eagles knock of Palatine yesterday and texted: “They’re really good. Balanced. Krutwig does everything.” Cameron Krutwig out rebounded the entire Palatine team Saturday.

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There wasn’t much doubt that Proviso East had the talent to be in the preseason Super 25, but with the whole coaching situation it was hard to trust the Pirates. Well, they are proving things on the court. They are 2-1 down in Washington, IL this week, with wins over highly-regarded teams from California and St. Louis.

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Nick Rakocevic had 29 points, 21 rebounds (or 22 depending on which reporter you want to go with) and five blocks in a win over St. Charles East Saturday. The Saints don’t have any size to combat Rakocevic, but that is still a monster night against a good team.

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The Steelmen and Joliet West both won today. Doesn’t get better than that. Big bounce-back win for Joliet Central. Teyvion Kirk led the Tigers in scoring, really looking forward to seeing Joliet West on Sunday.

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Sorry, but that is all I have in me for tonight. Was a long day of football. I’ll be covering the 5A-8A games tomorrow, so there won’t be any time for a notebook. I plan on watching every game possible at the Team Rose Shootout at Moraine Valley on Sunday. Should have an awful lot for that notebook late Sunday night….

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