Posted On: 04/16/22 11:11 PM

The Chi-Town Tip Off welcomed some the best regional talent in a highly competitive field. As you will see below. Sprinkled in were some blue chip national recruits as well. I’ve broken them by completely arbitrary superlative skill sets. 

Best Player- Javonte Taylor Javonte Taylor 6'7" | PF Donda Academy | 2023 #3 Nation 6-8 2023 Donda Academy (CA) Is there anywhere else to go? A top five national recruit and played up to that lofty billing. Arrived late for the opening game against M 14 Adidas Gold. After his squad spotted M 14 a double digit lead. Taylor began to calmly chip away quickly at the early deficit. Has an immense amount of variety in his offensive repertoire. But I was struck by his defensive intensity. Played at the top of diamond press that changed the momentum of the game. Used quick hands and length to get into passing lanes for steals. Capped off the long simmering comeback with mid range jumper to win it as time expired. A eye opening performance to start Saturday’s action. 

Best Post Prospect- Morez Johnson Morez Johnson 6'9" | PF St. Rita | 2024 State IL 6-9 St Rita (IL) Similar to the Taylor selection is there really anywhere else to go? I guess you could go with teammate Javonte Taylor Javonte Taylor 6'7" | PF Donda Academy | 2023 #3 Nation 6-8 2023 Donda Academy (CA) Is there anywhere else to go? A top five national recruit and played up to that lofty billing. Arrived late for the opening game against M 14 Adidas Gold. After his squad spotted M 14 a double digit lead. Taylor began to calmly chip away quickly at the early deficit. Has an immense amount of variety in his offensive repertoire. But I was struck by his defensive intensity. Played at the top of diamond press that changed the momentum of the game. Used quick hands and length to get into passing lanes for steals. Capped off the long simmering comeback with mid range jumper to win it as time expired. A eye opening performance to start Saturday’s action.  Best Post Prospect- Morez Johnson Morez Johnson 6'9" | PF St. Rita | 2024 State IL 6-9 St Rita (IL) Similar to the Taylor selection is there really anywhere else to go? I guess you could go with teammate James Brown James Brown 6'9" | C St. Rita | 2024 State IL . But you can’t really go wrong. I like the athletic upside of the Illinois commit just a tad more. Length helps him play with such ease around the basket. Helps that he is a powerful leaper who doesn’t need much runway to put it up on the rim. Uses these same physical attributes to be a major factor on the defensive end. Able to turn blocked shots into fast breaks quickly. Runs the court like a gazelle. Like Taylor a blue chip national prospect who established his bonafides in limited action on the weekend.  Best Scorer- Copper Farrall 6-6 2023 Culver Academy (IN) I’m giving him the scoring moniker do to his all around skill set. He might not be the best shooter. Or the best all around athlete. But what he does know how to do is put the ball in the basket in a wide variety of ways. Did it from deep. Put it in from the mid range. Even had a dunk in the open court. Well coached footwork allows him to get to his spots easily. Finished with 27 points in a tough loss to Team Rose.  Best Ball Handler- Xavier Harris 6-1 Hillcrest Prep (AZ) This Colorado point guard has had an excellent weekend playing for Illinois Elite. Not an overly flashy ball handler. But I’m going to give him the nod due to his efficiency. Stocky guard who plays with a low center of gravity. This makes him difficult to turnover. Doesn’t necessarily dribble. But pounds the ball into the court. Plays a national schedule with Hillcrest Prep and it shows. Did not back down from the moment in a tight loss to Team Rose. A squad that featured top 150 national recruit Malik Olafioye and Chicago jet Jalen Griffith Jalen Griffith 5'10" | PG Simeon | 2023 State IL .  Best Speed/Comeback- Cameron Thomas Cameron Thomas 6'2" | SG Mt. Carmel | 2025 IL 6-2 2025 Mount Carmel (IL) As crazy it sounds the best comeback of the day did not belong to the first player on this list. M 14 Adidas Gold  2025 dug themselves a 20 point deficit against Team Rose. No other way to say it. It was over. Until Thomas decided to find a fifth gear for the second half. He was everywhere offensively and defensively. Scored 16 second half points to finish with 22 and get the win. Despite this run. Did not fall into the trap of playing hero ball late. Played smart and deferred to his teammates at the end or regulation and the extra period. Impressive composure for such a young prospect. 

Illinois All Access Pass