Simeon’s Horton-Tucker impresses at start of AAU season
MEQUON, Wis. – Talen Horton-Tucker is not a top 50 recruit in the class of 2018. At the moment, he’s not even top 100.
Here’s what he is: a winner, a tough-nosed kid who can rebound, pass, shoot and defend. He’s also a player you want on your side.
On the opening night of the 2017 spring AAU season at NY2LA Swish ‘N Dish, Horton-Tucker showed his full arsenal against a Ramey Jets team led by top 30 recruit Courtney Ramey (committed to Louisville) and top 100 player Torrence Watson. A very small sample size to be sure, but on this night the 6-foot-5, 200-pound Horton-Tucker was the best player on the court.
Horton-Tucker, who just led Simeon to a second place finish in the IHSA state tournament, has excellent strength which allows him to grab rebounds in traffic and get buckets through contact. Against the Jets, he made baskets with nifty creativity and also had an impressive sequence where he grabbed a defensive rebound on one end and drove the length of the court for a layup.
Although he is two inches shorter, Horton-Tucker has some similarities to Draymond Green as a high school prospect. No one is saying he will end up becoming an NBA star, but Green was ranked 122nd as a senior while Horton-Tucker is 146th. Both care more about winning than being flashy.
Horton-Tucker currently has 10 scholarship offers, with Texas A&M as the most recent school to offer. The Aggies join Arizona State, Iowa State, Missouri, Northwestern and others. He visited Notre Dame and Northwestern this past season and claims no leaders at the moment.
With new head coach Brad Underwood just recently taking over, the Illini’s interest in Horton-Tucker is unknown for now. The rising senior said Simeon coach Robert Smith met with Underwood and was told an offer might be coming his way.
“I’m open to everything,” Horton-Tucker said. “Watching the Simeon players that went (to Illinois) and that pipeline from Chicago is really good. They’re just trying to get back to the top.”
Horton-Tucker said he’s known Northwestern assistant coach Pat Baldwin since he was 4 years old. “He treats me like family and that’s what I’m looking for,” Horton-Tucker said of Baldwin.
With 2018 being a down year for basketball talent in Chicago, it’s possible Horton-Tucker and Morgan Park point guard Ayo Dosunmu will be the only high major recruits in the city. The spotlight is likely to get brighter for Horton-Tucker as coaches see his game on the AAU circuit.