By Colleen Kane, Chicago Tribune reporter
8:06 PM CST, February 3, 2013
HENDERSON, Nev. — Simeon coach Robert Smith and senior Jabari Parker each reacted to the Wolverines' No. 2 seeding in the Chicago Public League tournament with a shrug Saturday.
Simeon was playing at the Penny Hardaway Las Vegas Hoopfest when the city pairings came out and Orr was given the top seed over the Wolverines. Orr won the Public League Red-West with a 50-47 victory over Young on Friday.
"Being No. 1 or 32 is not a big deal," Smith said. "We have to go out and play. Starting today, everybody's 0-0. … We have to be prepared to play Game 1. We don't care what seed it is."
The Wolverines (19-2), who won the Red-South with a 9-0 record, were followed in seeding by Curie and Foreman, winners of the other two division titles. Young and Morgan Park, second in the Red-West and Red-South, respectively, followed.
Simeon and Young, ranked 1-2 by the Tribune last week, are on opposite sides of the bracket and could meet in the final in a rematch of the Wolverines' 44-41 victory on Jan. 26. Simeon takes on Urban Prep West at home at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the first round.
"It doesn't matter," Parker said of the seed. "One and two, it's still the top seeds. We have an easy way through, so it's nothing to stress about."
Taking the blame: After Simeon's 80-33 victory over Coronado (Nev.) on Saturday, Smith was free to resume the duties of head coach during games. After the win, he spoke for the first time about the four-game suspension he served for his involvement in a postgame altercation between Morgan Park and Simeon.
"I'm ready to get back out there with them," Smith said. "It's solely my fault. I have to take all of the blame for it, just as the players when they do something that's out of character, they get penalized for it.
"We move on from it. We all make mistakes. We're human beings. I have to get back and make sure I'm a role model to those guys, so they can understand what life is about."
Smith praised assistant Leonard Thomas, who coached Simeon to four victories.
"He has the opportunity, somewhere if not here, sometime soon to be a head varsity coach," Smith said. "You never know how many more days I have here. It would be a great opportunity for him to get his chance to put his name out there somewhere to be a head coach."
Back in the mix: Simeon welcomed back center Quron Davis on the Nevada trip after the 6-foot-9 senior reserve missed three games with to a mouth injury suffered during practice.
He had two points and four rebounds Saturday.
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