Simeon: Not ready for national stage | Bleader

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Simeon: Not ready for national stage

Posted By on 01.18.12 at 01:00 PM

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Jabari Parker
  • Bryan Horowitz
  • Jabari Parker
Simeon went to Springfield, Massachusetts, on the Martin Luther King holiday as (considered by many) the top high school basketball team in the country. They came home hoping to maintain its top position in the relatively small pond of Chicago's Public League.

Simeon got flat-out whupped by Nevada's Findlay Prep, 75-50. Not to sound like a homer, but the referees clearly favored the bigger Findlay players and gave them the benefit of the calls from the get-go. Yet, once back on their heels, Simeon never really challenged. They struggled just to keep the Findlay lead to single digits, trailing 34-25 at the half. Jabari Parker single-handedly kept them in the game in the first half with 15 points. They rallied to close the third quarter within two possessions at 46-40; but that was all they had in the tank, and the deeper Findlay team ran away in the end. Like his teammates, Parker shot poorly from the three-point line, but otherwise didn't diminish his stature as the nation's top junior, finishing with 24 points and 12 rebounds. He legitimately looks like another LeBron, with a well-rounded inside-outside game, even if he's not quite the ball handler LeBron was. Otherwise, however, Simeon looked overmatched. It wasn't the sort of performance anyone wants to put on national television, even one of ESPN's more obscure sibling stations. Now they come home trying to regain their air of invincibility as the playoffs and March madness looms.

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