By Joe Henricksen
Lewis University landed a couple of key pieces to its future on Thursday with a pair of commitments, including a local product in Lincoln-Way Central's Brad Foster. The 6-8 senior, who was a no-namer just a year ago and jumped on the scene with a solid junior year, is among the top 35 prospects in the Class of 2012 in Illinois.
In addition, head coach Scott Trost secured a commitment from 6-7 Paul Baumgart of Canton, Mich., which is just outside Ann Arbor. Baumgart is a skilled 4-man who averaged 14 points a game as a junior and was receiving interest from several low-Division I programs.
Like all coaches and college programs, Trost's Flyers have been in search of quality big men. And both Foster and Baumgart fill a critical need for Lewis as current Flyer big men Marty Strus (Stagg), Matt Toth (Sandburg), Lonnie Lawrence (Bloomington) and Justin Jarosz (Lockport) are all seniors.
At 6-8 and with some athleticism, Foster offers a world of potential at the Division II level. While he's not a knockdown shooter, Foster is more than capable of facing up and knocking down a shot. As his strength improves and he becomes more comfortable around the basket and taking contact, Foster has the size, length and bounce to be a factor around the basket on both ends of the floor.
Lewis remains in the hunt for another big man to join Foster and Baumgart in this 2012 recruiting class.
Trost is fresh off landing a stellar recruiting class in 2011, highlighted by Riverside-Brookfield guard Ryan Jackson and Homewood-Flossmoor's versatile Julian Lewis. The current freshmen class also includes a trio of unheralded players in Morton's Jeff Jarosz, Naperville Central's David Niggins and Farragut's Gabe Williams.