Parker, Nunn, Brown rank 1-2-3

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Parker, Nunn, Brown rank 1-2-3

In the wake of the 2012 Class AA finals, Proviso East's Sterling Brown has made a significant leap up the ladder in pursuit of top-rated Jabari Parker of Simeon. According to veteran recruiting analysts Roy and Harv Schmidt of Illinois Prep Bulls-Eye, Brown ranks No. 3, behind Parker and Simeon teammate Kendrick Nunn.

"While others will disagree, we still believe that Nunn is No. 2 in the class of 2013 in Illinois," the Schmidts argued. "We still love Nunn's all-around game. He just needs to show more intensity during certain stretches.

"Brown was the best player on the floor in the state championship game. He took it right to Jabari Parker and the argument can be made that he outplayed him. Brown has tremendous versatility as well as toughness and plays with confidence. He has also made significant improvement with respect to his perimeter shooting. As a result, we now have absolutely no doubt that he will be a high major wing."

Illinois-bound Malcolm Hill of Belleville East and DePaul-bound Billy Garrett Jr. of Morgan Park still rank among the top five in the class. Other than Brown, the player whose stock has risen the most is De La Salle's Alvin Ellis, who until late in the season played in the shadow of more highly celebrated teammates Gavin Schilling and Alex Foster. Despite being injured, Ellis scored 42 points against Bogan in a regional championship game.

Recruiting analyst Van Coleman of Hot100Hoops.com ranked Brown as the No. 122 player in the nation in his most recent evaluation. But Coleman, aware of Brown's state tournament performance and anxious to see him in upcoming AAU competition, assures that he will make a significant move up the chart in the next top 100 rankings.

According to longtime recruiting analysts Roy and Harv Schmidt, these are the top 20 players in the class of 2013 in Illinois:

1. Jabari Parker, Simeon, 6-8, SF
2. Kendrick Nunn, Simeon, 6-2, 2G
3. Sterling Brown, Proviso East, 6-4, 2GSF
4. Malcolm Hill, Belleville East, 6-5, 2G, committed to Illinois
5. Billy Garrett Jr., Morgan Park, 6-4, PG, committed to DePaul
6. Alvin Ellis, De La Salle, 6-4, 2GSF
7. Gavin Schilling, De La Salle, 6-9, PF
8. Alex Foster, De La Salle, 6-8, WFPF
9. Tommy Hamilton, Whitney Young, 6-9, PF
10. Kendall Stephens, St. Charles East, 6-5, 2G, committed to Purdue
11. Jaylon Tate, Simeon, 6-2, PG
12. Kyle Davis, Morgan Park, 6-1, 2GPG
13. Jubril Adekoya, Andrew, 6-6, PF
14. Nathan Taphorn, Pekin, 6-6, SF
15. A.J. Riley, Peoria Manual, 6-3, 2GPG
16. Deshawn Munson, East St. Louis, 6-4, SF
17. David Cohn, York, 6-2, 2G
18. Quenten Payne, St. Charles North, 6-4, PG, committed to Loyola
19. Robert Knar, Mundelein, 6-1, PG
20. Russell Woods, Leo, 6-7, PF

White Sox rookie Charlie Tilson out at least 10 days with foot injury

White Sox rookie Charlie Tilson out at least 10 days with foot injury

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The leading candidate to be the team’s starting center fielder, Charlie Tilson has been temporarily shut down after he suffered a stress reaction in his right foot.

Tilson suffered the injury while running in a workout on Friday and had an MRI performed on Saturday. A team official said Tilson’s injury isn’t as severe as a fracture but he’d be sidelined for 10 days, at which point he’d be re-evaluated. Acquired last July, the White Sox rookie was already rehabbing from a torn left hamstring that ended his 2016 season early.

The White Sox acquired the New Trier High School product from the St. Louis Cardinals last July in exchange for left-hander Zach Duke. Tilson was immediately called up as the White Sox intended to try him out in center field the rest of the season. But Tilson suffered a season-ending injury in his major league debut while tracking down a fly ball and had surgery several days later.

Tilson had made good progress in his rehab and was a full participant in a hitter’s camp at Camelback Ranch last month. Earlier this week, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Tilson was a top candidate to take over as the club’s starting center fielder if he was healthy.

Connor McDavid believes Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat will succeed in NHL: 'He's a special player'

Connor McDavid believes Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat will succeed in NHL: 'He's a special player'

Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat is putting up video-game numbers in the Ontario Hockey League.

He ranks first among all players with 49 goals and 104 points, and has done so in only 50 games. That's an average of more than two points per game.

DeBrincat, the Blackhawks' second-round draft pick (No. 39 overall) in 2015 thanks to the Andrew Shaw trade, became the Erie Otters' all-time leading goal scorer earlier this year and on Saturday, he tied Brad Boyes for second on the team's all-time points list with 309. The only player he's chasing now is teammate Dylan Strome, who has 329 and counting.

Connor McDavid, who ranks fourth in Otters history with 285 points, was there for DeBrincat's rookie season when he scored 51 goals and 50 assists. The 20-year-old Oilers captain very much still pays attention to the Otters, and isn't surprised by the heightened success of his former teammate.

"He’s having another amazing season," McDavid said. "No surprise there."

It was easy to suggest DeBrincat's numbers were inflated because he benefited from having a player like McDavid centering his line. But McDavid insists that wasn't the case.

"Honestly, we helped each other," McDavid said. "It was not a one-way street by any means. He finds a way to score goals. My year they were saying, 'Oh, he was just playing with me.' Then the other year, he’s playing with (Strome). He’s playing with Stromer again. To score 50 three seasons in a row is absolutely incredible no matter who you’re playing with or what you’re doing. Absolute credit to him."

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

The numbers back it up, too.

DeBrincat's points per game average has increased in each of the last three seasons: 1.53, 1.68 and 2.08, a significant jump from his second to third season. It's especially impressive when you factor in that he's scored only eight of his 49 goals on the power play this year after combining for 34 goals on the man advantage in his first two. 

Initially, McDavid was a little skeptical when informed that newly-signed winger DeBrincat, who's now listed as 5-7, 170 pounds, would be his new linemate. It didn't take long for that to change.

"He kind of just came out of nowhere," McDavid said. "I remember us signing (him) and looking, and it said he was 5-2, 140 pounds, whatever. The GM at the time, Sherry Bassin, said 'I found you a new winger.' I’m like, ‘That guy is going to play with me?’ Sure enough, he comes in and we kind of have that chemistry right away.

"He knows where the net is. He finds a way to score basically every night. He’s got a great shot. He’s one of the feistiest guys I’ve ever played with. It’s really remarkable about what he’s been able to do."

Size is surely to be the biggest concern for DeBrincat at the NHL level, but players such as Cam Atkinson (5-7), Johnny Gaudreau (5-8) and Mats Zuccarello (5-7) are proving that you can be among the league's best despite being undersized. And the game is evolving into more of an up-tempo style where teams built on speed is becoming the new norm.

DeBrincat's willingness to stick his nose into dirty areas combined with his offensively-gifted ability is a big reason why McDavid believes his former linemate will succeed at the highest level.

"I think well," McDavid said when asked how DeBrincat's game will translate into the NHL. "He’s just got such a drive and such a nose for the net that I don’t think he’s going to be stopped. He takes on guys much bigger. I don’t really know how he does it.

"Especially when he was a rookie and I was playing with him, he’s going into scrums against guys that are 6-5, and you’re on the ice thinking, ‘How the hell am I going to help you?’ He definitely picks his fights. He’s a special person and special player."