I am taking a look at some 2022 basketball prospects throughout the state who might burst onto the scene in their final season.
AaReyon Munir-Jones (6’2 PG/SG, Hillcrest)
After transferring from Tinley Park, Munir-Jones gave Hillcrest another shutdown defender that can get to the rim. His athleticism and energy will be a huge asset this season.
Adidas Davis (6’4 SG, Buffalo Grove)
The transfer of Xavier commit Kam Craft opened up a gaping hole in production. Davis, a lanky scorer with creativity off the bounce, is up next to carry the load. He has taken big strides since last season and looks ready to up his scoring by 10-plus points a game.
Austin Ambrose (6’9 PF/C, Batavia)
A face-up big that is starting to put it together, the 6-foot-9 Ambrose will be an important interior presence next to Trent Tousana and Ethan Ivan. He moves well and has a solid three-point stroke. Ambrose committed to D2 Wisconsin-Parkside this summer.
Ben Ahmer (6’1 PG, Huntley)
Ahmer had a solid junior year but was still underappreciated in the area. He has bulked up, improved his explosiveness, and shot the lights out for Fundamental U this summer. Ahmer is an efficient pull-up shooter that should take another step as a leader and playmaker for Huntley.
Brady Heckman (6’1 PG, Benet)
Benet is going to be good once again with Heckman stepping into a floor general role. Even if his numbers don’t jump off of the page, his passing, shooting range, and hustle will make things flow.
Caleb Hannah (6’5 SF, Orr)
Hannah shined for EBA Ice over the summer and has all of the tools you look for in a wing prospect. With a few departures at Orr, Hannah should have a stage to be a two-way impact player that is good for a few highlight plays a night. He’s got Division 2/Low Major upside.
Charlie Nosek (6’4 SF, Metea Valley)
A relatively young Metea team could lean on Nosek to give energy on both ends. Nosek is an athletic wing that can slash to the paint and block shots at the rim. If he can stay aggressive, he will have a big senior season.
Christian Jones (6’5 PG, East St. Louis)
The Mizzou commit is still one of the best kept secrets in the state. He’s got a tremendous nose for the ball defensively that leads to deflections and steals. But the big development this season will be his scoring punch. Jones is an underrated shooter that is able to get to the rim at will to create. He’s a walking triple-double threat.
Colin Schuler (6’8 PF, Peoria Notre Dame)
Schuler has been a solid piece for PND the last few years, but he looks primed for a larger role. At 6-foot-8, he’s a versatile forward that is comfortable putting the ball on the floor and taking outside shots. The upside is evident for Schuler
Den Juette (6’3 PG, Fenwick)
A Division-1 caliber cornerback in football, Juette is going to be the lead guard for the Fenwick basketball team. He showed flashes last year and has the burst and size to break down the best of defenders.
Devon Oregon (5’11 PG, Oswego East)
After a number of players graduated from a deep 2021 class at Oswego East, the keys to the offense will be with Oregon. He’s steady and tough, showing a lot of playmaking ability this summer for M14. Oregon will score when needed and set up players like Patrick Robinson and Mekhi Lowery this season.
Dylan Arnett (6’9 PF, DePaul Prep)
Arnett was dominant for DePaul Prep in the summer league and is going to be the featured offensive piece. After committing to Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Arnett should be playing free and showcasing his inside-out skill. Expect plenty of rim runs, blocked shots, and high-post scoring from Arnett.
Ethan Gallagher (6’4 SF, Lockport)
It was a productive junior season from Gallagher, but I expect an even bigger jump this year. He is a bruising driver that welcomes contact and has improved as a three-point shooter. During the summer, Gallagher filled it up, owned the boards, and defended all over the floor.
Evan Porto (6’2 PG/SG, Stevenson)
Shooting has been Porto’s ticket the last few years, but the 6-foot-2 guard has craftiness off the dribble that will be on display this year. Porto can heat up in a hurry and has enough varsity experience to handle the opposing team’s top defenders.
Gabe Madej (6’6 SF, Fenwick)
Madej is entering his third-year with a reputation as a knockdown shooter that can hit big shots and rebound the ball. But his improved quickness and ball-handling will take his game to another level. Madej should be the leading scorer for the Friars this year.
Garrett Bolte (6’6 PF, Hinsdale South)
Even after making the all-conference team as a junior, Bolte has a chance to be a legitimate 20 and 10 threat for this Hinsdale South team. The high-motor rebounding and defense is still there, but so is a tighter handle and a cleaner outside shot. Bolte is a D2 prospect that is going to be a problem for Hinsdale South’s opponents.
Jack Vegter (6’4 SG, Lincoln-Way Central)
Vegter transferred to LWC and committed to Denison in the offseason. He’s an excellent catch-and-shoot player that is set up to be a volume scorer from the perimeter.
Jake Quast (6’3 SG, Hinsdale Central)
Quast is going to open a lot of eyes this season. During the June live period, he was a consistent offensive weapon for Hinsdale Central. Quast now has the strength to play bully ball off the dribble, deep shooting range, and an innate toughness about his game. He will become one of the top players in the highly-competitive West Suburban.
Jaydin Dunlap (6’2 PG, Bolingbrook)
Dunlap has been receiving a bunch of college interest over the last few months and for good reason. He’s a slithery ball-handler that can create space to score on the move. In isolation situations, Dunlap will be able to thrive in Bolingbrook’s dribble-drive action.
Joe Gilhooley (6’4 SF, Riverside Brookfield)
There comes a point for every team where they need a player like Gilhooley to make a deep run. He utilizing his athletic frame well to contribute in a number of areas and should have a significant impact guarding multiple positions for RB.
Jordan Streeter (6’6 SF, Whitney Young)
Whitney Young is stacked once again, but Streeter looks like the most likely breakout candidate based on his play over the last six months. He remains a projectable defender and is coming into his own on the offensive end. Streeter will be able to knock down open jumpers when his man helps and will be a tough slasher and transition finisher.
Julian Triffo (6’6 SF/PF, Maine South)
Triffo is next up for a Maine South program that is always a tough matchup. As efficient and active as any forward in the area, Triffo is in constant motion. He has precise footwork in the post with an array of scoop shots and fakes to score on the interior. Triffo is also a high-percentage shooter when he gets open looks.
Jullian Acosta (6’2 PG, East Aurora)
Acosta has been a mainstay in the East Aurora lineup since he was an underclassman. His ball pressure is elite and he rebounds like a big. Look for a bit more of an offensive tilt in his senior year after a few key graduations.
Justin Hughes (6’4 PG/SG, St. Charles North)
At 6-foot-4 with a feathery outside stroke, Hughes is one of the more underrated prospects in the senior class. He will play a lot of lead guard for the North Stars this year and showed a lot of poise over the summer. Hughes is a threat to make multiple threes every game playing on or off the ball.
Keon Richardson (5’10 PG, Tinley Park)
The stocky point guard will look to integrate a few big-time transfers for Tinley Park while still playing his game. He was making good progress as a junior and has the quickness, strength, and leadership to make the most of it.
Kolby Gilles (6’6 SF, St. Ignatius)
Gilles made a name for himself as a junior but he will be that much more effective as a senior. The game looks to be slowing down for the physical, versatile wing who is looking like a solid Division-2 prospect. His shooting has progressed nicely as well.
Marquel Saleek (6’2 PG, Willowbrook)
Saleek was on a mission for the Illinois Hoopstars during the AAU season. I would expect him to bring that energy to Willowbrook this year. He is quick off the bounce and makes big shots.
Nate Boldt (6’10 PF/C, Barrington)
Boldt is set to be the anchor this year alongside Will Grudzinski and Daniel Hong. He has grown a bit and is a high-skill big that can stretch the floor. During summer league, Boldt showed well as a rim protector as well. The arrow is pointing up.
Noah Shannon (6’5 SG, New Trier)
Yes, another big wing for New Trier. Shannon has shown huge growth over the last year both with his body and with his skill set. He is a physical two-guard that can go on scoring runs with his ability to shoot the ball and finish above the rim. He’s looking like a scholarship-level player.
Orlando Thomas (6’4 SG, Rolling Meadows)
One person can’t replace Max Christie, but Thomas will be the new one-two punch with Cam Christie. Thomas has a smooth lefty shot and is a tireless scorer that creates well. His defense was noteworthy as a junior as well.
Rashawn Bost (5’10 PG, Evanston)
Bost is lightning with the ball in his hands. He has that tenacity that you can’t teach and has a wide range of floaters and acrobatic finishes to score amongst the trees. An experienced guard, Bost should be an all-conference player for Evanston.