When it comes to individual talent, one of high school basketball’s most endearing quality is constant player development. The players are young, improving and new ones emerge every year.
The junior class has a big name at the top in Morgan Park’s Ayo Dosunmu and others in the class at high-profile programs with growing reputations –– from Kezo Brown and Talen Horton-Tucker at Simeon to Javon Freeman and Xavier Castaneda at Young.
But each one of those players, who are all among the City/Suburban Hoops Report’s top 10 prospects in the Class of 2018, are perimeter players. The guards and wings typically come fast, with big men slowly nurtured and developing at a different pace and so difficult for college coaches to find.
The Class of 2018 has a group of big men who are enticing. There will be eyes on all of them to see which ones progress over the next two years. Here are a few who are ready to emerge this winter and elevate their stock as college prospects.
• Treavon Martin, Curie
Although he broke out a bit last year –– Remember his double-double (10 points, 14 rebounds) in last year’s 4A title game? –– look for the lively 6-8 Martin to be an even bigger factor this year.
Martin is long, active, runs the floor, plays with a motor and is a rim protector. As a result, he’s among the City/Suburban Hoops Report’s top 10 prospects in the junior class.
• Ryan Davis, Conant
The Hoops Report became extremely intrigued with Davis last winter and touted him as a sleeper in the Class of 2018.
A big body with skill and terrific hands, the 6-8 Davis is capable of shooting it out to the three-point line and makes others around him better with his passing ability. The over-sized passer is a rare commodity these days.
The still under-the-radar Davis just received his first Division I offer last week from Wright State and added one from Kent State a few days later.
• Tamell Pearson, Morgan Park
While still very raw, Pearson is blessed with exciting physical talents and measurements. The 6-8 junior is chock-full of potential and possesses as much true upside as any player on this list after showing flashes this past summer.
• Orlando Allen, Thornton
He isn’t an other-worldly athlete and he’s not a pure stretch 4-man, yet the 6-7 Allen can make plays with his athleticism and step out and knock down a face-up jumper. Expect a breakout year from Allen this winter after gaining confidence and progressing very nicely this offseason.
• Isa Maguire, Lindblom
Throughout the spring and summer the 6-9 Maguire showed signs of what he could become this season for little-known Lindblom. Physically, he’s not there yet. When his slim body and lack of strength catches up to his skill level and potential, Maguire’s status will skyrocket among college coaches.
• Ben Wolf, Naperville Central
After playing a role off the bench last season as a sophomore, the 6-8 Wolf put together an impressive summer and is poised to make an impact this winter. He will surprise you with his lift and athleticism off the floor, even as more of a throwback big with a developing post game.
The improving Wolf will dunk in traffic, shows a soft touch around the basket and is a shot-blocking presence on the defensive end.
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