2022 post players are the focus of today’s spotlight. This is a talented group of frontcourt players that have very bright futures.
Xavier Amos (6-7 PF, Whitney Young)
Amos continues to show that he is capable of playing on the perimeter or in the paint without sacrificing production. Long and lean in build, the 6-foot-7 forward has a very projectable frame that will allow him to play the four at the college level. He is able to shake defenders from the wings and finish over or around the help. Amos is an effortless sprinter capable of chasing down shots in transition and easily recovering in the half court. As his jump shot becomes more refined, he should be able to produce as a spot-up shooter. College interest will already be rolling in by the time Amos becomes a featured piece for Whitney Young as a junior.
Robbie Avila (6-7 PF, Oak Forest)
For a four man, Avila is one already of the most skilled post players in the state. A gifted passer with plus vision, he can be used in a number of ways to fuel an offense. His feel for the game shows in the high post where he can knock down jumpers, attack the rim, or deliver pinpoint passes to cutters. Some coaches cringe when their bigs handle the ball in transition, but Avila is capable of creating in space or pushing off of defensive rebounds. He is too good of an outside shooter to leave open, so defenders have to pick their poison. On top of being a solid all-around player that can protect the rim, Avila plays with a team-first mentality that leads to winning. Cleveland State is the first of many offers for Avila.
Braden Huff (6-9 PF, Glenbard West)
Huff has a lot of the tools that coaches look for in forwards today. The lanky lefty is a big-time rim protector that has good mobility and shooting touch from the perimeter. Huff can change ends quickly with his long strides and has the skill to lead the break when needed. He can be used to break a press as an adept passer that can see over traps. Currently listed at 6-foot-9, Huff has the defensive impact of a 7-footer with his length and quickness covering ground. As he adds strength, Huff’s comfort driving hard to his left hand will complement his three-point shooting prowess that much more. College coaches will love his versatility at that size. Huff is a clear Division 1 prospect with an upward trajectory.
Ethan Marlowe (6-7 PF, St. Charles North)
Marlowe is a stretch four that is at his best in trail situations or pick-and-pops where he can space out to the three-point line. He is always a threat to slip screens where he can regularly connect on long-range shots. Marlowe has not filled out yet physically, but he already shows solid athleticism around the rim as a rebounder, shot blocker, and finisher. The next step for his development will be becoming more consistent as a back-to-the-basket scorer. There is going to be an added level of scoring responsibility on his shoulders as a junior, so the opportunity to catch the eye of college coaches will be there.
Kyle Thomas (6-9 C, St. Joseph)
The St. Joseph big man is a load on either block with his strength and touch. When Thomas seals early, he holds his defenders on his back until he gets a post feed. He has very good feet once he gets the ball down low, using drop steps and hooks to finish. Thomas brings a level of power that you won’t see from many sophomores. Blessed with a big wingspan and soft hands, he is an out-of-area rebounder that flushes home missed shots on the offensive end. Thomas is a top tier center in the state who should attract a long list of potential suitors.