Michael O’Brien’s Super 25 high school basketball rankings for Feb. 27, 2022

Bloom and St. Rita return and a look at the Player of the Year race.

SHARE Michael O’Brien’s Super 25 high school basketball rankings for Feb. 27, 2022
Yorkville Christian’s Jaden Schutt (2) floats toward the basket as the Mustangs host Glenbard West.

Yorkville Christian’s Jaden Schutt (2) floats toward the basket as the Mustangs host Glenbard West.

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

The Player of the Year race began in November with four main contenders: Yorkville Christian’s Jaden Schutt, Glenbard West’s Braden Huff, Thornton’s Ty Rodgers and Glenbrook South’s Nick Martinelli.

Nearly four months later, things are the same. All four players have lived up to the preseason hype and delivered seasons worthy of Player of the Year. They’ve done it in different ways, but any of the four would be a deserving winner.

Here’s a look at each contender a few days before the winner is revealed:

Braden Huff

Glenbard West, 6-11, senior

Season averages: 16.8 points, six rebounds, three assists, 1.5 steals, 1.5 blocks.

The Gonzaga recruit is the best player on the top-ranked team in the state. The Hilltoppers haven’t lost to a team in Illinois this season and are heavy favorites to win the Class 4A state title.

Huff’s numbers are below the usual Player of the Year standards, but there are multiple reasons for that.

Glenbard West has dominated most teams this season, so Huff hasn’t played many full games. The Hilltoppers are also incredibly balanced, which is why they have been so difficult to defeat.

Huff is shooting 61% from the field and 40% from three-point range. He also has stepped up and delivered in crunch time in Glenbard West’s toughest games.

Nick Martinelli

Glenbrook South, 6-7, senior

Season averages: 22.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists.

Martinelli’s fantastic season was expected, but his team has outperformed even the boldest preseason predictions. The Titans beat Niles North 67-64 to win a Class 4A regional Friday. They defeated Simeon and New Trier during the regular season and gave Glenbard West its toughest in-state test.

The Elon recruit is shooting 67% from the field and 35% from three-point range.

Ty Rodgers

Thornton, 6-6, senior

Season averages: 17.3 points, 15.4 rebounds, eight assists, 3.3 steals, three blocks.

It’s difficult to explain how physically dominant Rodgers is on a high school basketball court. He’s simply bigger, stronger, faster and more athletic than anyone in the state.

The Illinois recruit’s numbers are outstanding, and that’s with him not looking to score very much early in the season. The transfer from Michigan wisely deferred to his new teammates in the early going, showing his maturity and smarts. That’s how you build chemistry on a team that will need to be more than the sum of its parts to succeed.

That’s exactly what happened. Thornton has improved tremendously through the season. The Wildcats went to Kenwood and won on the final day of the regular season, firmly establishing themselves as a title contender in Class 3A.

Rodgers missed a few games over the holidays, and Thornton failed to win the Big Dipper. The Wildcats didn’t win their conference, either, finishing second to Bloom in the Southland.

Jaden Schutt

Yorkville Christian, 6-6, senior

Season averages: 27 points, seven rebounds, three assists.

The Duke recruit has lived up to every expectation this season. He’s the most dominant scorer in the area and an excellent shooter(65% from the field and 40% from three-point range).

Schutt also has led his Class 1A team to victories against Kenwood, Hyde Park, Orr and St. Ignatius.

Super 25 for Feb. 27, 2022
With record and last week’s ranking

1. Glenbard West (32-1) 1
4A: Tue. vs. Naperville North

2. Glenbrook South (31-2) 2
4A: Wed. vs. Evanston

3. Young (22-9) 3
4A: Tue. vs. Riverside-Brookfield

4. Simeon (23-5) 4
3A: Tue. vs. Nazareth

5. Thornton (20-5) 5
3A: Wed. vs. Kankakee

6. Curie (26-6) 6
4A: Wed. vs. No. 21 Lyons

7. Kenwood (24-8) 7
4A: Tue. vs. No. 20 Bloom

8. Hillcrest (26-4) 8
3A: Tue. vs. Lemont

9. New Trier (29-3) 9
4A: Wed. vs. No. 14 Rolling Meadows

10. Wheaton Warrenville South (31-2) 10
4A: Wed. vs. Benet

11. Oswego East (32-1) 11
4A: Tue. vs. Neuqua Valley

12. Hyde Park (22-7) 12
3A: Wed. vs. 19 Mount Carmel

13. Leo (23-4) 13
2A: Wed. vs. U-High

14. Rolling Meadows (28-5) 14
4A: Wed. vs. No. 9 New Trier

15. Bolingbrook (27-6) 15
4A: Wed. vs. Andrew

16. Homewood-Flossmoor (21-7) 16
4A: Wed. vs. No. 25 St. Rita

17. Larkin (29-3) 17
4A: Tue. vs. Rockford East

18. Clark (22-4) 18
2A: Wednesday vs. Wells

19. Mount Carmel (28-4) 19
3A: Wed. vs. No. 12 Hyde Park

20. Bloom (22-5) NR
4A: Tue vs. No. 7 Kenwood

21. Lyons (25-5) 21
4A: Wed. vs. No. 6 Curie

22. DePaul Prep (23-5) 22
2A: Tue. vs. Orr

23. Burlington Central (30-3) 23
3A: Tues vs. Boylan

24. Yorkville Christian (20-13) 24
1A: Tue vs. Ellison

25. St. Rita (22-11) NR
4A: Wed. vs. No. 16 H-F

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