2013 Big Man Gaining Momentum As Player

The Mac Irvin Fire program has several intriguing big man prospects at all levels. One not to be overlooked is Xzavier Taylor from Morgan Park. He has big-time upside and is starting to show why many regard him as a high major prospect.

Xzavier Taylor is a 6'-9" power forward from Morgan Park High School in the Chicago Public League. Illinois coaches have followed his progress, and he like's the Illini's toughness.

"I like how Bruce Weber coaches them. I like how his big men rebound and block shots. Overall, I like how they play."

Illinois has been in contact with Taylor through his high school and AAU coach Nick Irvin. He says the Illini are his dream school and a place he would love to play. Although he does not have any offers at this point, there are a few schools showing interest in him.

"Illinois, SIU, and Dayton."

This past season, Taylor played for a talented Morgan Park team that featured several other high major prospects.

"It was really good playing with Wayne Blackshear and my point guards Billy Garrett and Markee Williams. I think I played real good in the high school season. Any time Nick needed me, I came in and did what I was supposed to do."

The first aspect Taylor brings to a team is his defensive abilities. He rebounds at a high rate and is a good shot blocker. Taylor has nice timing and anticipation when blocking shots.

He is quick off the floor for rebounds and has a good feel for where the ball is coming off the rim. He is particularly effective on the offensive glass, where he gets many of his points.

Taylor also brings energy and athleticism to a team. And he is a nice passer when doubled in the post. He discussed what he believes are his strengths as a player.

"I am a rebounder that blocks shots and steps up when I am needed."

He has been playing well this spring on an extremely talented Mac Irvin Fire 16 and Under team that has Division I recruits up and down its lineup.

"It has been going good for us. It is mostly the same team as last year, so it has been good."

Look for Taylor to continue his solid play and develop as an offensive threat over the next year. His potential is apparent, and he will be a name college coaches become more aware of during July. He will be receiving significant interest during his junior season.

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