After pulling in the greatest recruiting class in school history, the Zags turned around and landed their first commit of the 2022 class in Illinois-based big man Braden Huff.
Huff hails from Carol Stream, Illinois, and checks out as a four-star prospect according to 247 Sports. He was in Spokane this past weekend on his official visit, and seeing the coaching staff and the players in action was clearly enough to make the official push.
Zag Up!! #Committed pic.twitter.com/7An9lcEUqW— Braden Huff (@BradenHuff7) September 27, 2021
Huff averaged a rather productive 17.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists in just 22 minutes per game last season, and according to the Chicago Sun Times, is considered one of the better unknown prospects out of Illinois.
“Coach Powell did a great job making me feel a part of it, even from a distance,” said Huff, who is the City/Suburban Hoops Report’s No. 2 ranked player in the state in the Class of 2022. “It felt like family pretty quickly, and they made me feel wanted and welcomed. Then I fell in love with it on my visit.”
Huff ultimately chose Gonzaga over Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Virginia Tech. He also received offers from Michigan State, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, and Creighton, among others.
He projects as a multi-year project at Gonzaga, and largely, that is why he committed to Gonzaga, in his own words.
“I picked Gonzaga because I felt like it was the best fit for me in terms of playstyle and could really develop me as a player during my time there,” Huff said. “Also on top of that I felt like the staff made it really apparent they wanted me at their school so that definitely added to it, but honestly just looking at guys like (Kelly) Olynyk and (Domantas) Sabonis who are similar to me really made the school intriguing, and although I really liked and appreciated all the other schools recruiting me I felt like this was the place I wanted to be at just because of the history and development that goes on through this program.”
The Zags talented frontcourt of this year will be completely different next season. Barring catastrophe, Drew Timme and Chet Holmgren will most likely depart early for the NBA Draft. That will leave Anton Watson, Kaden Perry, and Ben Gregg to pick up the pieces and should let Huff ease his way into the college game.