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2012 NIKE SKILLS U – JAYLON TATE & GAVIN SCHILLING UPDATE
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DePaul in hot pursuit of Skills U Chitown pair
By Ron Bailey
When Nike’s Skills U commenced two days ago, it was assumed many college coaches would descend upon Alexandria, VA’s T.C. Williams HS to scout players. That belief has proven true, as bench leaders from programs around the country have done just that.
Of course Big East coaches have been solidly represented. One guy stood out in attendance – DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell. He was one of only two B-EAST head coaches to show up Wednesday or Thursday (Stan Heath of South Florida attended Wednesday evening’s skills session). To his credit, Purnell, going into his third season at DePaul (23rd overall as a head coach), stayed pretty much the whole day Thursday.
Why? Two names: Jaylon Tate and Gavin Schilling, a pair of Windy City products.
Tate, a rising senior point guard from Chicago’s South Side and Simeon High School boasts offers from the BIG EAST’s DePaul and Providence, while Marquette is interested. After a night time Skills U matchup, he also cited “Maryland, Butler, UCLA, Baylor, Northwestern” as being in the mix for his services.
Standing 6-foot-2 and weighing 161 pounds, Tate desires “A team that fits my style, good academics and a good relationship with the coaches.”
DePaul meets those criteria, as he likes a faster paced tempo and noted a good relationship with the staff. Further helping the Blue Devils’ chances are his friendship with fellow Class of 2013, Chicago guard Billy Garrett, as well as the school “being at home”.
In terms of the B-EAST, Tate likes the conference’s style of play. Jaylon’s decision timetable is uncertain, saying “When the time is right”, when asked if he had an idea when his choice will be made.
Immediately after Tate’s interview – they play on the same Nike U team – Schilling, hailing from Chicago’s North Side, also indicated he’s warm to staying in the Windy City, noting “I don’t mind staying at home” and DePaul is “10 minutes from my house”. Purnell apparently is all over the 6-foot-9, 227-pound center/forward.
He also interestingly revealed “A lot of people talk about” Chicagoland area products staying home to make DePaul a force on college hoops again. This chatter has occurred amongst the prospects themselves.
But make no bones about it, Schilling has other offers outside of DePaul and likely will have many more – Gavin officially announced yesterday he’s leaving De La Salle Institute for Las Vegas’ Findlay Prep. Findlay is one of the top five high school programs in the country.
Penn State, USC, Oregon State, Washington State and Minnesota join DePaul on his list. Schilling shared a decision will be made “After my senior season”.
If Purnell and staff can keep these Windy City guys home, their return to national level success would be expedited.
Tate, formerly a combo guard, has fully committed to being a point guard (a “goal” of his) and it shows; he loves to find people on drop offs or hit-aheads, in whatever situation. Can also shoot off spot ups and stop and pops. Will change of pace you also.
He must get stronger to take offensive and defensive bumps better.
Schilling is a raw, athletic big that runs like a deer and finishes very well in full court situations. Gavin seems to always be involved, and displays fairly good back to the basket footwork, though he wants to improve it.
Also on Schilling’ development list is “Improving my jump shot” and increased defensive focus.