The spotlight today is on some of the dynamic scorers in the 2023 class.
Darrion Baker (6-6 SF, St. Rita)
At 6-foot-6, Baker is a big wing that has guard skills. He likes to play up-tempo where he can get downhill or flash his passing ability. Baker looks his best when he is slicing through the lane using his size to score over defenders. There is a lot to like about his potential to defend multiple positions as well. Once his shot becomes more of a weapon, there is no telling how difficult of a matchup Baker will be for teams.
Bryce Coleman (6-4 SG, St. Joseph’s)
Coleman has the whole scoring package. He has a nice catch-and-shoot jumper, attacks the rim in transition, and can dribble into pull-ups from 15-feet with comfort. With his projectable size and frame, Coleman should quickly gain strength. He already plays with toughness in the paint, both as a rebounder and as a finisher. But scoring is only part of his game. Coleman is a solid passer that can really create offense for others. His ceiling is incredibly high given the tools and feel for the game he possesses.
Ty Pence (6-4 SG, St. Joseph-Ogden)
Pence is a big two-guard that has deep shooting range. He doesn’t need much space to get shots off and has no issue maintaining his accuracy out to the volleyball line. Using his size to his advantage, Pence cuts and penetrates into the lane with regular success. He is a good athlete with very long arms so playing either wing spot should not be an issue. Pence projects as one of the top shooters in the class.
Macaleab Rich (6-4 SF, East Saint Louis)
With his athleticism and strength, Rich looks a lot more like an upperclassmen than a rising sophomore. He imposes his will on drives to the basket, able to go through or over defenders. When matched up against smaller opponents, Rich can post up or use a quick move to complete plays. He has range out to the three point line and will continue to develop his consistency from there. It would be no surprise to see Rich receiving offers before his sophomore season begins.
JJ Taylor (6-7 SF, Morgan Park)
Taylor has a chance to be one of the best players in the nation with his size and skillset. The wiry 6-foot-7 wing glides with the ball in his hands, able to slash or create space using his handle. He can shoot it from range off the dribble, displaying a fluid release that is hard to contest. Defensively, he will be able to guard at least three positions at the next level with his combination of length and foot speed. Illinois is the first of what should be many high-major schools to offer Taylor.