A pair of Iowa State signees will go head-to-head Thursday night in the Chicago Public School playoffs when George Conditt‘s Corliss visits Talen Horton-Tucker and Simeon for a second-round matchup.
Conditt was dominant, scoring 19 points, grabbing 19 rebounds and blocking seven shots, for Corliss (19-3) in the team’s first-round win over North Lawndale. Meanwhile, Horton-Tucker stuffed the stat sheet with 19 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and seven blocks to lead Simeon (20-3) to a blowout win over Longwood.
Simeon has emerged as not only the best team in Chicago but one of the best teams in the country this season behind Horton-Tucker, who has skyrocketed up the national rankings and is currently considered the No. 31 player in the nation by Rivals. The Chicago basketball powerhouse is considered the No. 7 team in the country, and the top team in Illinois, by the computers that put together USA Today’s Super 25 rankings.
As a comparison, Corliss, which plays in the smaller Class 2A, is considered the No. 58 team in Illinois despite winning 16 of its last 17 games and Conditt’s dominant play throughout the season.
“We see ourselves being Class 2A champions, regardless of what anyone says we see ourselves competing and winning,” Conditt told the Chicago Sun-Times after Corliss’ first-round win. “I’m ready for Simeon, we are all ready. Simeon loses too. They put their pants on the same way I do.”
Simeon has won eight CPS titles in its history, including the last two seasons. The program won back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007 behind eventual NBA MVP Derrick Rose, but the program has never won three straight titles in its illustrious basketball history that also includes stars such as Jabari Parker and Benji Wilson.
Corliss has not won a CPS title since the school opened in 1974. Based on history and current rankings, it is safe to say Thursday night’s game could be considered a basketball equivalent of David and Goliath.