Simeon versus Morgan Park has been a long standing rivalry in the CPL. This game featured five prospects Illinois is looking at for its future classes.
Class of 2011
Wayne Blackshear, 6'-5", small forward (Morgan Park High School, Illinois – Louisville)
The Louisville commitment started off the game on fire. The most impressive aspect of Blackshear's game is he can score in a variety of ways at all three levels. He is strong taking his man to the post, using fakes and hesitation moves to score or get to the line. His mid-range game is where he excels either shooting a face up jumper or attacking his man off the bounce.
The forward has continued to improve his three point shooting ability throughout his career, and it has now become a major weapon for him as he showed early in the game against the Wolverines. He tends to score in bunches. When he is on, there is nobody in the country that can stop him in stretches.
He uses his strength to his advantage by getting in the lane and finishing or getting fouled. At the line was one area of his game the senior struggled at in this contest. He scored the majority of his points in the first half, as he was hampered by foul trouble later.
Blackshear should be a McDonald's All-American and is the favorite to win Mr. Basketball in the state of Illinois. He finished the game with 16 points.
Class of 2012
Steve Taylor, 6'-7", power forward (Simeon Career Academy, Illinois)
Taylor is considered by many including myself as the best prospect in the state of Illinois in 2012. Although the class overall is down, Taylor has a big time game that warrants high major attention.
It was Taylor's perimeter shooting that jump-started Simeon in this game. He hit four big catch-and-shoot three point baskets including a couple of huge momentum-swinging buckets. His perimeter shooting ability is an aspect that makes him appealing to Illinois because of how it likes to use pick and pop shots with its big men.
In the post, Taylor opens wide and makes strong, aggressive moves with quick footwork. He snatches rebounds and is a plus passer for a post player. Taylor had 14 points and 6 boards.
Class of 2013
Jabari Parker, 6'-7", small forward (Simeon Career Academy, Illinois)
Parker is one of the top prospects in the nation and checks in at #4 in our rankings. The young prospect is truly special because he has such a high skill set and the ability to play multiple positions. The player I compare Parker to is a young Paul Pierce.
Parker is a crafty scorer who knows how to get to the hoop and score. He also gets to the line at a high rate. The sophomore rebounds well and can see the floor at an exceptional level for a forward. He will make passes that leave you amazed. The biggest aspect Parker has is intangibles. He has the "it" factor that winners have.
This was not Parker's best game, finishing with 8 points and 5 boards, but he contributed to his team's win. There is no doubt the Simeon sophomore is a top 5 player nationally in 2013.
Kendrick Nunn, 6'-1", combo guard (Simeon Career Academy, Illinois)
Kendrick Nunn is a name that has been on the rise throughout the high school season, and he continued his ascent in this game.
The first area that stands out for the sophomore is his perimeter shooting ability. He is a deadeye sharp shooter. When he has time to catch, set his feet, and let it fly the ball is going in. This is the skill that will get him a high major scholarship, but there is much more to his game.
Nunn attacks the hoop strong. When he turns the corner, he explodes with great acceleration to the basket. At the rim he finishes strong through contact, drawing the foul while still getting the shot in the hoop. His floater in the lane is another weapon he brings to the table. He gets to the charity stripe, where he shoots an excellent percentage."
In transition, Nunn fills the lane and is a great finisher on the wing. He rebounds well for a smaller guard and shows good passing ability. I see him more of a combo guard that leans toward shooting guard, but he can pass the ball. Nunn had a game high 19 points. I wouldn't be surprised if Illinois came calling really soon on Nunn's recruitment.
Markee Williams, 5'-10", point guard (Morgan Park High School, Illinois)
Williams was a prospect that really stood out in this game. He is extremely quick with the ball in his hands. He gets in the lane at will and finishes great by shielding his body from bigger defenders and laying the ball in. The lefty can shoot the ball from the perimeter well.
His handle is excellent and is a true floor general who also has the ability to score. He understands the game and makes good decisions by making the right passes. I was impressed with how he worked around screens at the top of the key. He uses space well and understands how to make the right play.
In transition, Williams pushes the ball hard and finds open teammates, while also having the capability to finish for himself. He showed quick hands on the defensive end of the floor. I had him for 8 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds.
Billy Garrett, 6'-2", combo guard (Morgan Park High School, Illinois)
Garrett is a good spot up perimeter shooter. His combination of good ball handling skills and acceleration make him a tough cover. He continues to grow each time I see him. The sophomore will be a high major combo guard down the road. Garrett finished the contest with 11 points.