BB Game Preview: Rantoul vs. Chicago Corliss

Rantoul Eagles (3-3) vs. Chicago Corliss Trojans (3-2)

Saturday, 7 p.m.

Rantoul

Storyline

Eagles


A year of growing pains started out much better than expected for Brett Frerichs’ crew with a 3-2 mark at the Galesburg Tournament. The Eagles had a few rough spots, but overall it was a great way for an inexperienced team to begin the season.

But Saturday’s home opener went the exact opposite way, as Rantoul committed 30 turnovers on the way to a 61-53 loss to Chicago Longwood.

Despite playing so poorly, Rantoul still managed to put itself in position to win the game late, trailing by five with two minutes left.  

Trojans

A second consecutive Saturday nonconference game in Rantoul featuring a Chicago school, but this one is a much more talented group than the Panthers who just visited.

The two teams met last season at the Taylorville Holiday Tournament, with Corliss winning 55-48. The Trojans forced 14 turnovers in that game, and 6-10 Iowa State signee George Conditt (Class of 2018) posted 19 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and two steals on 7-of-13 shooting from the field.

Should be another good early-season challenge for the young Eagles in a fun atmosphere.

Keys to win

Eagles

Perimeter shooting


Frerichs cited knocking down threes as the “without a doubt” key to Saturday’s contest. The loss to Longwood was unexpected, but it wasn’t just the turnovers that hurt. Rantoul also shot very poorly from downtown. The Eagles will have an even bigger need for those shots to fall against Corliss.

Trojans

Pressure defense


Being as careless with the ball like Rantoul was in the home opener is a recipe for disaster against any team, but against Corliss it could get out of hand in a hurry if the Eagles have a repeat performance. Expect Corliss to turn up the heat.

Players to Watch

Eagles

Latavius Winston


The 6-5 junior forward, who looks like he’s got some pretty slick handles, needs to get his scoring averages up, but that will come in time. Right now he’s still a fantastic rebounder and has a shot at being the area’s leader in the category (he had 21 on Saturday and is averaging 14.2 through six games).

Trojans

George Conditt


According to 247Sports, Conditt is the No. 6-ranked senior in Illinois, trailing future teammates Zion Griffin and Talen Horton-Tucker (second and third, respectively). Pretty nice haul for Cyclones coach Steve Prohm in grabbing three top-10 Illinois players. Conditt is the 40th-ranked PF in America.

Contact Zack Carpenter at zcarpenter@rantoulpress.com and on Twitter @ZackCarpenter11.

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