High-SchoolIllinois: Steve Taylor

Hoophall preview: Spotlight on Nunn

January, 13, 2012
ESPNHS writer Ronnie Flores previews this weekend's Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass., with Five Burning Questions. Flores' top question concerns the No. 1 team in the country, Simeon.

From Flores' story:
Which team has the most to prove at Hoophall?
That would be POWERADE FAB 50 No. 1 Simeon (Chicago). The Wolverines do have some quality victories so far this season, but they haven't faced a team with the talent level and big-game experience of No. 6 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.). Simeon beat local rival Whitney Young (Chicago), 62-55, on Dec. 22 and No. 34 Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.), 59-56, at the Cancer Research Classic, but it was expected to beat those teams. With Dominic Artis, Nigel Williams-Goss and Amedeo Della Valle, Findlay Prep will put tremendous pressure on Simeon's backcourt when the teams meet on Monday (ESPNU, 3 p.m. ET). Simeon junior guard Kendrick Nunn had 19 points against Miller Grove and we'll put Nunn's magic number at 24 in order for the Wolverines to win this game.

Now I don't know if I agree that Nunn has to score 24 points for Simeon to win — and don't get me wrong, he's definitely capable — but I think Simeon is balanced enough to win this game without any single player going off. Sure, it would be great if junior forward Jabari Parker had a great game, but Simeon isn't a one-man team... or even a two-man team.

My prediction: Simeon gets 16-20 points from both Nunn and Parker, with senior forward Steve Taylor chipping in his usual 12 or so, and the Wolverines win their biggest game so far this season.

To read Flores' complete story, click here.

Follow Mike Grimala on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala).

All-State Hoops: Illinois

November, 8, 2011
See all 51 All-State teams.

With the 2011-12 hoops season set to tip off, ESPNHS has all the info you need on the top players in Illinois.

We’ve broken down the state’s top 20 players into four teams based on their talent, and included a whole lot of other players who just missed the cut. Keep in mind, these selections are based on past accomplishments and projected on-court performance in addition to recruit rankings.

For a list of the top senior basketball recruits in Illinois, click here.

Illinois All-State Basketball

First Team

G: Billy Garrett, Morgan Park, 6-3/165, Junior
Committed to DePaul in the spring.

F: Thomas Hamilton, Whitney Young, 6-8/230, Junior
Big man is on the cusp of dominant breakthrough season.

F: Jabari Parker, Simeon, 6-8/230, Junior
No. 1 recruit in Class of 2013 is arguably the nation's best overall player.

F: Steve Taylor, Simeon, 6-7/175, Senior
Marquette recruit is ranked No. 1 senior in state by ESPNU.

C: Jahlil Okafor, Whitney Young, 6-8/260, Sophomore
Teams with Hamilton to give Whitney Young twin shot blockers.

Second Team

G: Malcolm Hill, Belleville East, 6-5/200, Junior
Posted 16.7 points, 4.1 rebounds per game as a soph.

G: Kendrick Nunn, Simeon, 6-1/175, Junior
De-committed from Texas A&M earlier this fall.

G: Michael Orris, Crete-Monee, 6-3/185, Senior
Smooth guard dished out more than six assists per game last year.

F: Alex Foster, De La Salle, 6-8/205, Junior
Long, rangy southpaw is a premier shot blocker.

F: Paul White, Whitney Young, 6-8/185, Sophomore
Expected to play major role after promising freshman season.

Third Team

G: Kendall Stephens, St. Charles East, 6-5/165, Junior
Shooting guard has a deadly 3-point shot.

G: Jaylon Tate, Simeon, 6-1/170, Junior
Electric guard transferred from De La Salle over the summer.

G: Fred Van Vleet, Auburn, 5-11/175, Senior
Wichita State commit scored more than 17 points per game last year.

F: Jermaine Morgan, Whitney Young, 6-8/220, Senior
Colorado State recruit is versatile offensive player.

F: Willie Wiley, Springfield, 6-7/200, Senior
Posted 11.4 points, 8.2 rebounds per game a year ago.

Fourth Team

G: Kory Brown, Elgin, 6-4/180, Senior
Expect a huge season — he put up 16.1 points and 6.1 boards last year.

G: Keith Carter, Proviso East, 6-1/170, Senior
Combo guard has committed to Loyola.

G: Aaron Simpson, North Chicago, 6-0/175, Senior
Averaged more than 22 points per game last year.

F: Connor Boehm, New Trier, 6-7/190, Senior
Tough big man should average around 20 points per game this year.

F: Darius Paul, Warren, 6-8/210, Senior
Leads the No. 2 team in the state.

Other Top Players
Cliff Alexander, Curie, C, So.
Austin Angel, New Trier, F, Sr.
Larry Austin, Lamphier, G, So.
A.J. Avery, St. Rita, F, Sr.
Ka’Darryl Bell, Oak Park-River Forest, G, Sr.
T.J. Bell, Charleston, G, Sr.
Nathan Boothe, Warren, C, Sr.
Sterling Brown, Proviso East, G, Jr.
Paris Burns, Proviso East, G, Sr.
Mike Fleming, Stevenson, G, sr.
JoVaughn Gaines, Warren, G, Sr.
Cameron Harvey, St. Joseph, G, Sr.
Tony Hicks, St. Rita, G, Sr.
Jalen James, Hope Academy, G, Jr.
C.J. Jones, Orr, G, Sr.
Robert Knar, Mundelein, G, Jr.
Eric Locke, Oak Park-River Forest, G, So.
Alex Majewski, Brother Rice, F, Jr.
Andrew McAuliffe, Glenbrook North F, Jr.
Jamall Millison, Downers Grove South, G, Sr.
Donald Moore, Bloom, G, Sr.
Jelani Neely, Simeon, G, Sr.
Kyle Nelson, St. Charles North, F, Sr.
Derrick Randolph, Whitney Young, G, Sr.
Jameris Smith, Warren, G, Sr.
Gabriel Snider, Whitney Young, G, Sr.
Akeem Springs, Waukegan, F, Sr.
Xavier Taylor, Morgan Park, C, Jr.
Jerron Wilbut, Donwers Grove South, G, Sr.
Tim Williams, Homewood-Flossmoor, C, Sr.
There was little doubt who would open the season at No. 1 in the POWERADE state rankings. Simeon also holds the top spot in the preseason FAB 50, thanks largely to junior forward Jabari Parker, who has led Simeon to back-to-back state championships. Parker isn't a one-man show, however, as forward Steve Taylor is rated as the top senior in Illinois by ESPNU.

No. 2 Warren and No. 3 Whitney Young also boast deep, talented squads, but catching Simeon will be an uphill climb this season.

Illinois POWERADE preseason rankings
  1. Simeon
  2. Warren
  3. Whitney Young
  4. Proviso East
  5. Curie
Click here for complete POWERADE state rankings.