We are focusing on 2022 small forwards who are going to open a lot of eyes as juniors.
Zach Cleveland (6-6 SF, Normal)
Cleveland is a high-energy combo forward with a lot of bounce. He gets to the basket off of strong rip throughs on the perimeter and has the finishing ability to convert against size. Cleveland is a highly-efficient scorer from 15-feet and in with a nice mid-post game and the explosiveness to elevate in traffic. On the other end, Cleveland is a good defender on the interior and perimeter, blocking a lot of shots from the help side. Keep an eye on Cleveland going forward.
Lane McVicar (6-4 SF, DeKalb)
After earning all-conference honors as a sophomore at South Elgin, McVicar is transferring to DeKalb. He should make an immediate impact as a versatile scorer. McVicar has a compact, consistent outside stroke that produces results from behind the arc or in the mid-range. With good size at 6-foot-4, he can invert into the post when necessary or score over smaller guards. Look for a big junior season in a new home for McVicar.
Kanye Smith (6-5 SF, Whitney Young)
The active, athletic wing out of Whitney Young is a force in transition. He is a graceful athlete that can play above the rim with ease. Slashing and cutting allow for Smith to create easy offense. Defensively, his upside is immense with his long arms and anticipation. Heading into his junior season, you will hear his name a lot more. College coaches have already started to take notice, with schools like Iowa, Loyola, and Miami (OH) reaching out.
Kamryn Thomas (6-7 SF, Hillcrest)
Thomas has a very bright future ahead of him if he stays on this trajectory. A legitimate wing at 6-foot-7 (and still growing), Thomas has the ball skills and shot-making ability to be an immediate mismatch. He can really attack off the dribble, but his pull-up is what seems the most projectable. His release is too high to be contested and he has a number of ways to get to it. Chicago State has offered Thomas so far, but expect a number of other D1 programs to be in touch.