There are a number of frontcourt players in the 2022 class that pique the interest of coaches. But here are five prospects that stood out with their size, skill, and/or athleticism this summer.
Jackson Munro (6’9 PF, New Trier)
2022 Class Ranking: 15 (#4 PF)
Projection: Skilled Inside-Out Big
Most College-Ready Trait: Patience
Biggest Question Mark For The Next Level: Defending in space
Munro has shown flashes of having an old-school interior game and a developed perimeter shot. He displays a level-headedness with the ball that many college bigs take years to develop. Munro doesn’t rush his post moves and has a high-arching turnaround shot that even Division 1 posts will struggle to contest. Early on in his college career, he will need to prove that he can consistently hold off wings or guards when put in ball screen actions. He’s not a bruiser physically and doesn’t have terrific explosion. But he moves well and is a solid shot blocker around the rim. Plus, Munro is one of the smartest (on and off the court) players in the state so I think he will figure it out. He projects as a versatile outlet in the P&R game that can step out, put it on the floor off short rolls, or rim run into finishes. Many low and mid-majors have offered him over the last few months.
Conrad Luczynski (7’2 C, Bartlett)
Overall 2022 Ranking: 83 (#2 C)
Projection: Short-Burst Interior Presence
Most College-Ready Trait: Size
Biggest Question Mark For The Next Level: Keeping up with the speed of the game
You don’t just find 7-foot-2 players on the street. Luczynski shows his hands well in the post and has continued to develop his ability to turn and score. But his passing may actually be a more college-ready skill. For Bartlett, he specializes in kicking out to their shooters when help comes. He can still get pushed off of his spot at times, but Luczynski grabs rebounds in his area and can be an effective paint protector when he goes vertical. At his size, mobility and conditioning is a concern. I think he’d be best suited in a situation where he comes in for a few minutes at a time looking to crash the glass and block everything that goes up. It can be tough to project where he fits, but he is still growing into his body and has his best basketball ahead of him.
Emondrek Ford (6’8 PF, Bloom)
Overall 2022 Ranking: 32 (#7)
Projection: Active Shot-Blocker
Most College-Ready Trait: Shot-Blocking
Biggest Question Mark For The Next Level: Strength
Ford is one of the elite shot blockers in the state. He has a 7-foot plus wingspan and has excellent timing. Even though he is thin right now, Ford has that wiry, athletic frame that can benefit from a college strength program. His defensive impact is a safe bet. He may be a candidate for prep schools or JUCOs looking to put some weight on him before elevating to a higher level. Offensively, he is still raw but shows good rim-running and bounce as an offensive rebounder. Ford is definitely an interior player with a ton of upside.
Ryan Renfro (6’8 PF, Glenbard West)
Overall 2022 Ranking: 45 (#10 PF)
Projection: High-Motor Rim Runner
Most College-Ready Trait: Energy
Biggest Question Mark For The Next Level: Reigning in his energy
Renfro was one of the post players that opened some eyes with his AAU play. Once a football player, he brings that tenacity to the court. There aren’t a lot of bigs that outwork and outrun Renfro. His motor is constant and will be infectious to any school he attends. Now at times, that energy can be too excitable and lead to rushed shots or happy feet, but I’ll take my chances with a player that has an internal drive. He finishes above the rim with force, rolls and cuts hard, and is agile enough to deter initial drives from the perimeter. There is still room for refining offensively, but Renfro has some handle and is going to become a more consistent three-point shooter with the practice reps he should get in college. D2 Wayne State and NAIA Governor’s State have offered so far, but Renfro has the potential to be a Division 1 four.
Ethan Ivan (6’7 PF, Batavia)
Overall 2022 Ranking: 36 (#8 PF)
Projection: Faceup Combo Forward
Most College-Ready Trait: Inside-Out Flexibility
Biggest Question Mark For The Next Level: Speed
One of the most consistent players during the AAU season, Ivan is a great D2/LM prospect with his combination of size, slashing ability, and shooting. He is a tough forward that has skills that should flourish with time at the college level. Ivan makes aggressive moves to the rim and never hesitates to take open threes. Heights can be deceiving, but he is a legit 6-foot-7 with strength and good elevation that he uses well to rebound and defend. He can play either forward spot, though the stretch four spot may give him more of an advantage. If he plays the three, he may not have the ideal speed and quickness needed to keep up with some of the wings that are at the Division 2 or low-major level. Overall, he looks like a safe D2 prospect (offers from Northern Michigan and UW Parkside) that should attract some low majors who saw his production and versatility this summer.