Midwest Team Camp Report

Devin Williams

The week was spent at the team camps of DePaul, Illinois, and Xavier. At the three camps a lot of impressive performances took place, and players stood out

Steve Taylor, PF, Chicago (IL) Simeon – Playing without Jabari Parker and Kendrick Nunn who were away at USA Basketball, Taylor was asked to do a lot. He was hitting shots, producing down low, and overall showing a lot of energy and ability. Taylor has had a good month, and the team camp was no different. Despite being undermanned, Taylor helped Simeon advance far and rack up wins.

Steven Hawkins, PF, Gary (IN) Bowman Academy – Hawkins didn't play too much during the high school year because of transfer issues, but now he running with a talented Bowman Academy squad full time. He scored the ball well on the block and used his length and athleticism to be active on the glass. Now he does need to add strength, but no question Hawkins is a kid who will make an impact at the mid-major level.

James Farr, PF, Evanston (IL) High School – A pick and pop power forward, Farr showed his ability to knock down shots out to the three point line. Also Farr is very long and has a good feel for how to block shots. He must get stronger, and learn how to post up, but there is some serious potential here with his length and ability to make shots.

Marlon Johnson, PF, Joliet (IL) West – Johnson is a late emerging kid who is starting to get a lot of buzz in Illinois. He is a legit 6-foot-8 and can make a perimeter shot, but Johnson doesn't do enough on the glass or on the interior. There is no question talent to work with here, but he must continue to get tougher and become more aggressive.

Devin Williams, PF, Cincinnati (OH) Withrow – A tough interior player, Williams proved to be a big time rebounder and someone with a good feel for how to play. He can score on the block with nice footwork, though he doesn't have a go-to move. Williams isn't a great athlete, but has a wide frame and is already very strong. He had several good games on his way to an impressive performance.

Alvin Ellis, SF, Chicago (IL) De La Salle – Ellis was one of the top overall performers from the week. He used his athleticism and energy to make plays, and also was knocking down shots out to the three point line. When Ellis is making shots he is tough to contain, and he showed an ability to do so with some consistency.

Alex Foster, PF, Chicago (IL) De La Salle – For Foster this was a step in the right direction. At times he has lacked aggressiveness and fire, but Foster was showing all of that, and more athleticism. He has a good frame and has the skill to be a high level player. Still there were times where he disappeared, and he did struggle some to score, but his energy was good to see because the talent is there.

Gavin Schilling, PF, Chicago (IL) De La Salle – Schilling is an interesting case. He played one in year in Chicago, moved to Germany for a year, and is now back in the Windy City. A good athlete, Schilling plays hard and can score with either hand around the rim. Unfortunately he broke his wrist on the final day of camp, and probably will have to miss significant time. When on the floor healthy, Schilling had the look of someone who could potentially be a high-major player.

Jalen James, PG, Chicago (IL) Hope Academy – A true pass first point guard, James was showing the ability to knock down open shots while also getting his team buckets. A tall floor general, James has good size for the position and is very long. Right now James lacks the athleticism to be a true break down guy, and is an average defender, but he parlayed his solid performances into an offer from Illinois and a subsequent commitment to the school.

Billy Garrett, PG/SG, Chicago (IL) Morgan Park – A heady guard who keeps improving, Garrett showed why some in the Windy City are getting real excited about his game. He can make shots, but is at his best going to the rim and creating. While not a super athlete, Garrett just knows how to play and put on a show scoring around the rim.

Xzavier Taylor, C/PF, Chicago (IL) Morgan Park – Taylor has only been playing basketball for three years, but the growth has been huge. Now his hands are a bit unreliable, but outside of that he was excellent. Taylor rebounded well, blocked shots, and showed footwork around the rim. He is still raw, but the growth he has made in the last few months is remarkable, and Taylor is really beginning to emerge.

Nate Taphorn, SF, Pekin (IL) High School – Taphorn makes his presence felt with his ability to shoot the ball from deep. For a wing he has good size, and can really make shots, though his release needs to get a bit quicker. Not a great athlete or super tough, Taphorn does float around the perimeter. He fits the role of being a shooter, but now he needs to continue to expand his game.

Marquise Pryor, PF, Chicago (IL) Orr – Pryor is strong, athletic, and tough down low. Now he is a bit undersized for the position, but he can really rebound and has a feel for how to score on the block. Pryor ran the floor well, and showed that mid-major programs at minimum should be very interested in his game.

Cliff Alexander, C, Chicago (IL) Curie – Probably the best prospect seen all weekend, Alexander has the size, hands, and skill to be an elite prospect down the road. Already 6-foot-9 with a sturdy frame, Alexander runs the floor, and scores around the rim off of rebounds and dump offs. He does need to develop a go to post move, but he has vice grips for hands, is a solid athlete, and has the length to make a big time impact as he continues to mature.

Sean O'Mara, C, Chicago (IL) Benet Academy – Not an elite physical talent, O'Mara is very effective when he gets the ball on the low block. He score over either shoulder, and has a great touch out to the mid-range. Despite not being super athletic, O'Mara gives effort running the floor and has nice hands. With maturity he should continue to improve, but already has that unique ability to put the ball in the hoop even when going against taller defenders.

Johnnie Vassar, PG, Chicago (IL) Morgan Park – A jet quick guard, Vassar really got into the lane and showed that he is tough to contain off the bounce. He didn't do much in terms of shooting from deep, but his athleticism was at a high level, and Vassar also showed a nice ability to pass. He can get a little out of control, but for a young point guard he was very impressive.

Tyquone Greer, SF/PF, Chicago (IL) Orr – This is a bit of a sleeper emerging in the Windy City. Greer showed the ability to knock down an outside jump shot, but it was his athleticism, length, and rebounding that stood out. He has to get better putting the ball on the floor, but a live body with long arms and some skill, he could really explode as he learns how to play the game more.

Tyonte Robertson, PG, Cincinnati (OH) Withrow – He is limited some in terms of athleticism and growth, but Robertson knows how to play and was very effective. He scores going to the rim and also hits jumpers. Beyond that Robertson shows a desire to defend. Now he isn't going to wow anyone with athleticism, but Robertson does know how to be effective.

Sean O'Mara said he is getting interest from Michigan, UCF, Iowa, Purdue, and Marquette.

Marquise Pryor is hearing from Southern Illinois, Northern Illinois, Central Michigan, DePaul, and Loyola.

Tyquone Greer has heard from Illinois, Baylor, DePaul, Illinois-Chicago, Indiana, and Ball State.

Nate Taphorn picked up a recent offer from Drake.

Steven Hawkins has interest from DePaul, Bowling Green, IPFW, and San Diego State.

DeJuan Marrero had to sit out with an injury, but lately he has fielded interest from Tennessee, Wake Forest, Illinois, Ball State, and West Virginia.

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