Taylor Shines In Simeon vs. Whitney Young

Steve Taylor (Scout)

They are the top two powerhouse programs, not only in the city of Chicago but the entire state of Illinois. Simeon and Whitney Young produce elite talent each year, and the two titans faced off at Chicago St. University in the battle for supremacy in the city of Chicago. Steve Taylor distinguished himself among numerous future college players.

The Whitney Young vs. Simeon game was sloppily played by both teams in stretches. Neither team executed great, but it was Simeon's depth, athleticism, and stamina that prevailed in their 60-39 victory. Each program currently has players Illinois is actively recruiting. Let's take a look at the prospects from an Illinois perspective.

Class of 2012

Steve Taylor, 6'-7", power forward (Simeon Career Academy, Illinois)

Taylor is a power forward with great length, broad shoulders, and a frame that can continue to add strength. His combination of length, quickness and athleticism allow him to rebound the ball at a high rate for the Wolverines. In the post, he has solid footwork and a nice back-to-the basket game. This part of his offensive repertoire is still improving.

The area Taylor where stands out is his perimeter shooting ability. Just like in the Morgan Park game, Taylor knocked down several big three point field goals to help lead Simeon to the victory. This attribute is very intriguing for colleges recruiting the big man. He finished the game with 14 points and 9 rebounds.

Derrick Randolph, 5'-7", point guard (Whitney Young High School, Illinois)

Randolph is a member of the undersized point guard group of the class of 2012 in the state of Illinois. In his first game of the year, Randolph looked quick and explosive with the ball in his hands. He pushes the ball strong in transition and is willing to take it in himself when needed.

The diminutive guard is an ace ball handler who can get into and out of defenders with the best of them. Defensively he is very quick, moves his feet and is not afraid to scrap for a loose ball.

Randolph will be a player to watch over the remainder of his high school season and spring. Illinois is in need of a point guard and would prefer to stay in state if possible. If Randolph grows in stature and game he could be an option.

Class of 2013

Jabari Parker, 6'-7", small forward (Simeon Career Academy, Illinois)

Parker showed off his athleticism in this game with several athletic finishes at the cup. He would catch passes on the baseline and then glide in for the dunk. He played strong and smart against Whitney Young. His post game is developing, although I still see him as a small forward more than a power forward at the next level.

Parker ran the floor well and used his length to cause problems for opponents on the defensive end of the floor. The man does it all for Simeon and will make one college program very happy with his choice down the line. He is the player that Illinois wants the most in 2013 and would be the highest rated player to sign with the Illini in a long time.

Tommy Hamilton, 6'-9", center (Whitney Young High School, Illinois)

Hamilton is a space eater on the interior. He has soft hands and good footwork, although at times he will get ahead of himself and travel with the basketball. The big fella is continuing to work on his post game. He is sealing his man off better and working hard to repost across both sides of the court.

Hamilton finished the contest with only 6 points. His teammates did not get him the ball enough for him to be effective in this game. Hamilton has been looked at as a must get for the Illini in 2013. The big man is hearing from a variety of schools but prefers to keep recruiting on the down low.

Kendrick Nunn, 6'-1", combo guard (Simeon Career Academy, Illinois)

Nunn is a left handed scorer who can do a variety of things on the floor. He has a sweet-looking stroke from the perimeter, but against Young he preferred to attack. The guard does this by beating his man off the dribble or coming around a screen with explosion and speed.

This is a prospect that has come onto Illinois radar over the last few months. He has not received an offer yet, but there is major interest in his game. With the way he has been playing, I would not be surprised to see an offer come soon.

Class of 2014

Jahlil Okafor, 6'-9", power forward (Whitney Young High School, Illinois)

Okafor played limited minutes in this contest, but his talent is obvious. The 6'-9" big man has great size and a skill set to match it. He moves well and is strong on the glass. Down the road he is going to be a load to deal with.

He could be the top prospect nationally in 2014 before it is all said and done. Illinois has offered Okafor a scholarship and along with many other high major programs are in full pursuit of the 9th grader.

Paul White, 6'-7", small forward (Whitney Young High School, Illinois)

White played only in the closing minutes of Simeon's blowout victory. He certainly looks the part at 6'-7" with an insane wingspan. Next year will be White's breakout year as senior Sam Thompson's graduation will make room for the next star wing at Whitney Young.

When it comes to recruiting, this one has a long way to play out. White stated early in the season that he is not even going to concern himself with recruiting this year. Illinois was the first to offer him before he even played a high school game.

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