It’s time to give Cameron Krutwig of Jacobs his due.
Sure, he’s among the City/Suburban Hoops Report’s top dozen prospects in the senior class. And yes, he was a coveted Division I prospect over the past year who ultimately signed with Loyola. But the 6-8 Krutwig is still arguably the most unheralded star in the state right now.
But Krutwig doesn’t have the luck of basketball geography that can help fuel a player’s reputation and notoriety.
He plays in the for northwest suburb of Algonquin and in the often forgotten Fox Valley Conference. There aren’t a lot of chances for high-profile games or for fans and media across the Chicago area to see him play.
But Krutwig put it all on full display Saturday in a showcase game against Hillcrest in the When Sides Collide Shootout at Glenbard East. Krutwig scored 16 points, pulled down 23 rebounds and dished out seven assists in a convincing 67-55 win.
Krutwig, who is averaging 16.1 points, 14.4 rebounds and nearly 3 assists per game, is the best passing big man in my 20-plus years of covering high school basketball in this state.
Junior Ryan Phillips (11.4 ppg) and senior Cooper Schwartz (9.4 ppg) are capable scorers and shooters who can spread the floor, but it’s Krutwig’s presence that makes this team go. With Krutwig so valuable as a post threat and an uncanny ability to pass and make those around him better, Jacobs has an opportunity to win the program’s first-ever sectional championship.
It was under the radar, but a significant result of the weekend was Hinsdale Central’s big win over Oak Park.
The Red Devils (10-7) are now all alone atop the West Suburban Silver Conference, a place no one expected them to be when the season began.
With the 67-60 win over Oak Park, which was playing without Jared Scott, Hinsdale Central improved to 6-0 and has swept the first round of conference games, including preseason favorites Oak Park, Downers Grove North and Lyons Twp. The Red Devils also own a non-conference win over ranked Stevenson.
The team has no size, very little athleticism and is void of stars, but coach Nick Latorre has done a masterful job maximizing this team’s abilities and potential.
With a senior trio of 5-10 Jack Hoiberg (14 ppg), the son of Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg, 6-2 veteran guard Chris Eck (12 ppg) and 6-2 Tomas Misiunas (9 ppg) leading the way, Hinsdale Central has suddenly become a team no one wants to face in the Hinsdale Central Sectional in March.
There is the potential for some major and intriguing changes in both the Chicago Public League and Chicago Catholic League next year.
It was discovered last week there would be a full realignment of the Chicago Public League and its conferences for the 2017-2018 season. There is growing talk there will be a 10-team “super conference” where all the Public League’s heavyweights will be placed together.
With a potential 10-team league featuring Simeon, Young, Morgan Park, Curie, Kenwood, North Lawndale, Bogan, Uplift, Orr and Farragut, there would be no debate over the state’s best conference ever again.
Also, according to sources, the Chicago Catholic League has several changes on the horizon.
For starters, after a brief run the Chicago Catholic League will no longer have a Catholic League Tournament going forward. The 2017 tournament next month will be the last.
Like the Public League, the plan is also for the Catholic League to form a “super conference.” Under this new look there will be a parity formula used, along with the records from the past three seasons to group the top nine basketball schools in one conference.
Follow Joe Henricksen and the City/Suburban Hoops Report on Twitter @joehoopsreport