By Joe Henricksen

Big names getting better

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By Joe Henricksen

While Kendrick Nunn of Simeon has long been one of the top players in the Class of 2013 in Illinois, the 6-1 guard's stock -- as expected -- is soaring nationally.

Nunn, who was the No. 3 prospect in the Hoops Report's junior class rankings heading into July, is off to the Nike Peach Jam this week with his Meanstreets team with a surplus of high-major offers and interest. The highly athletic shooting guard, who is playing a lot more with the ball in his hands this spring and summer with Meanstreets on the club basketball circuit, was terrific at Baylor Basketball's D-1 Elite Event at York High School.

The combination of being a high-major athlete and a high-major shooter has been the obvious attraction over the past year, but Nunn continues to improve with the ball in his hands. While his off-hand still needs a lot of work, he is creating more and more for himself and others. Plus, he's tough, defends, competes and is an electric finisher at the rim for a player his size. Nunn is an exciting talent whose reputation will only grow nationally.

The interest is coming like an avalance, with Memphis, Illinois, Arizona, Syracuse, Texas A&M and Pitt all hot and heavy after Nunn.

Jabari Parker gets better and better
After a few days at the Lebron James Skills Academy and an appearance at the D-1 Elite Event at York High School while playing with the Mac Irvin Fire, Simeon's Jabari Parker is still opening eyes.

This has been quite a summer for the state's top player. He was MVP of the USA under-16 gold-medal-winning team in June. College coaches in attendance at Lebron last week raved about Parker's play, with some saying he was the best player in Akron regardless of class. And his overall play this summer has shown two things: his body is completely re-shaped and he's improved every area of his game since most fans last saw him leading Simeon to a state championship in March.

Remember, Parker is still very young, even for his class. But the natural maturity, along with the fact the baby fat has disappeared, has added explosiveness to his game. The jumper, including a ridiculous-for-his-age step-back three-pointer, is now a serious weapon. Throw in the fact he's 6-8 with an off-the-charts basketball I.Q, feel and character, and it's easy to see why Parker is a program-altering recruit.

What really is most impressive about Parker is the attention hasn't altered his workmanlike attitude and relentless pursuit of getting better. As has been stated numerous times over the past couple of years in this space and in the Hoops Report publication, the kid is just a different breed. He's special in so many ways, starting with the fact he shows and feels zero entitlement as the nation's top player. Parker will go down as one of the best prospects to ever come out of the state of Illinois. Yes, that's some lofty praise and expectations, but it's only a matter of where he falls among the top prep prospects the state has produced.

Hoops Report's Best in 2013
The City/Suburban Hoops Report's top 10 college prospects in the Class of 2013.
1. Jabari Parker, 6-8, WF, Chicago (Simeon)
2. Kendall Stephens, 6-4, 2G, St. Charles (East)
3. Kendrick Nunn, 6-1, 2G, Chicago (Simeon)
4. Jalen James, 6-3, PG, Chicago (Hope Academy)
5. Malcolm Hill, 6-4, WF, Belleville (East)
6. Tommy Hamilton, 6-9, PF, Chicago (Whitney Young)
7. Sterling Brown, 6-4, 2G/WF, Maywood (Proviso East)
8. Billy Garrett, Jr., 6-3, PG/2G, Chicago (Morgan Park)
9. Jaylon Tate, 6-2, PG, Chicago (Simeon)
10. Kyle Davis, 6-0, 2G, Chicago (Hyde Park)

Hoops Report's No. 2 in 2012
The Hoops Report has gushed over the pure upside and ceiling of Farragut's Rashaun Stimage throughout the spring and summer. And it will continue for the player the Hoops Report tabbed as a breakout player in July.

Stimage, the Hoops Report's No. 2 prospect in the Class of 2012, is a high-major prospect. He does things and offers attributes no one else in the class can. He plays hard, competes and is relentless on the glass with his high motor. He runs the floor and blocks shots with his length, athleticism and an extremely quick burst off the floor. Plus, on occasion, he has shown an ability to knock down a shot anywhere from 15-20 feet with a workable looking shot.

There is still plenty of room for improvement as the 6-7 Stimage is still a bit rough around the edges. His basic fundamentals and a few basic concepts are not yet automatic. But in a class where there isn't a ton to get extremely excited about when projecting to the highest level in college, Stimage is getting close to being that guy.

The Hoops Report will have more from what it took in from the D-1 Elite Event at York High School, as well as other July evaluations, later in the week.

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No doubt Jabari sits comfortably alone at the top of 2013, but I'm curious why the drop for Hamilton? Is it because he's been dinged up and off the circuit for the most part?

Aside from Jabari, I've always thought Hamilton was as skilled for his position then most kids, especially bigs, in recent memory.

If Hamilton is healthy and develops a good rapport with Okafor, could Young challenge Jabari and Nunn for the State title?

Illinois fans better forget about both Parker and Nunn, will not happen. By the time 2013 rolls around, Hamilton will be lucky to be in the top 10. 2013 is slipping away for the Illini!!

I know you have been a big fan of Kendall Stephens for a long time. In a nutshell could you tell again how you compare him to the rest of the players in the class? And why you do like him so much? Thanks Joe and great work as always.

Pretty crazy looking at the top 10 in the Class of 2012 and the top 10 in the Class of 2013. What a difference. And I really think this Class of 2013 is make or break for Bruce Weber. When his team struggles this year what may keep his job is if he has a couple more of these kids committed.

Well Joe I see your point with a lot of the boys in the class of 2013 ranking, but u have kendall Stephens that high because of the future size he could be. I mean his foot speed needs A LOT of work and yes he does have a great shot when he's open but I have yet to see him get his own shot off the dribble. Don't get me wrong he should be ranked in the top 20 but to put him up there with Nun I have to disagree. Kyle Davis will be a great talent in the future but he only has one hand the the class has so many guards out there that have both. The last thing what ever happened to that point guard from the wildcats last year everyone loved him because he was a true point guard, he gave teams fits including the fire but now see him on the wolves bench, someone needs to pick that kid up.

Kendall Stephens didn't have his best weekend due to being off for two months because of an injury. He, along with all the others, still needs to continue to improve, but to say that he can't get his shot off the dribble is just wrong. You obviously haven't been to many of his games the last year.

Don't get me wrong jack kendall is nice but I've never seen him dribble the ball and get his own shot. Now I've seen him shoot the ball off a screen, as well as catch and shoot it, but yet to see him make a serious move with the ball and pull up. PLease fan also remember kendall came from the Illinois WIldcats in which that coach ran screens and a bunch of plays just for him. I love watching kids grow but there are a lot of kids who can shoot off the dribble and get there own shot now who aren't even mentioned. Another thing who is on st Charles east besides Kendall who do they play are there any tough matchups for him in the suburbs. AAU is a different type of game then high school so when he starts doing those different types of moves in AAU then I will start talking about him on the top 5 but for now he should be in the top 20 fan.

Its only a matter of time when these list will have Marquis Todd at the top of them this 6'8 16 yr old young man is evolving,and is starting to see what kind of man he can become.He plays for the Indiana Dawgz and its time to start recognizing this young man as one the elite players in this city.
you know what these C.P.S coaches talk to each other to much they talk about these kids like they are their own children. we need to send all coaches into a training seminar on how to deal with adolecence in the inner city. its a reason you coach sooooooo many years at the high school level, no progression.
my bad, i may came off like i was upset......just a little.

Hey Malcolm I'm telling u the reason why that boy is not talked about as much as u think is because of the team he is on. Don't take it the wrong way but its not a name brand team u know.

thank you fan of basketball,thats exactly why i wrote it for people like you. He will make it a "Brand" name.

Hey Malcolm I hope he does make it a brand name. Trust me if that kid was that good Joe would of heard about him. Joe might not talk about every kid out there because there's so many but trust me if he's big and has talent Joe will find him, and if he doesn't find him Mac Irvin will. Also Malcolm if he lives in indy the indy guys should of noticed him. Chicago Suntimes is Chicago and the suburbs of Chicago. Sometimes kids just need to be at the right place at the right time, a lot of parents live there lives through there kids instead of seeing the big picture education. I'm not knocking the boy just never have seen him but ill be looking for him next tournament to see if he really has skills, but if he doesn't ill be back here again letting u know Malcolm.

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Henricksen published on July 11, 2011 11:30 AM.

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