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Basketball Thu Mar 21 2013

What's Next for Simeon?

phpF2qCbBAM.jpgIt wasn't as easy as the first three. Still, Simeon pulled out their fourth straight Class 4A title with a 58-40 victory over Stevenson. After a tumultuous season that featured off-the-court issues, injuries, and suspensions, it was the proper send-off.

But what's next for the four-time state champions? The seniors are off to do big things. Jabari Parker is headed to Duke. Kendall Pollard to Dayton. Jaylon Tate and Kendrick Nunn to Illinois. Quron Davis to Chicago State. And there's plenty left in the cupboard -- Ben Coupet, D.J. Williams -- for Simeon to make a deep run in any of the next three years. And unless the IHSA or CPS make some actual changes to a sloppy transfer system, expect some of the city's stars to end up at Simeon.

Who will coach? No one knows. Robert Smith's been positioning himself for a college job for some time and, like any good coach, wants to prove himself at the next level. Whether or not a high-major staff would bring on Smith is another issue. For one, it isn't common for high school coaches to make that leap -- excepting special circumstances, of course -- because college basketball coaches are exceedingly loyal. When a job opens up on a staff, chances are the head coach has a dozen friends and former colleagues (at least) blowing up his phone.

Smith hasn't proven himself at the things high-major assistants must excel at -- game prep and recruiting -- so it may be a very disorganized, very desperate coaching staff that gives Smith a look. And looking out at the barren landscape of college basketball in Chicago, one school comes to mind: DePaul. Oliver Purnell is one or two subpar seasons away from getting fired, the staff still doesn't have major credibility in the Chicago Public League, and they could use a little good publicity.

Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune

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