Good morning all. Welcome, once again, to the recruitment mail.
We are focusing on basketball this week. And in particular the Iowa Boys Basketball State Tournament, which will take place at Wells Fargo Arena next Monday through Friday.
South Dakota State has had one hell of a regular season, going 27-4 and 18-0 in the Summit League. The Jackrabbits (obviously) are the No. 1 seed in their conference tournament this weekend, and they might even have an outside shot at an NCAA Tournament berth if they don’t win the title.
They do all of this with a roster full of Iowans.
Des Moines Hoover produces Doug Wilsonthe reigning Summit League Player of the Year, is having another strong season with 16 points per game.
Cedar Rapids Xavier product Matt Mims is averaging 4.6 points per game.
Marshalltown product Luke Appel is averaging 9.5 points per game.
Kuemper’s Catholic product Matt Dentlinger is averaging 5.7 points per game.
They are four of South Dakota State’s nine leading scorers hailing from Iowa. The Jackrabbits have always done a good job recruiting Iowa. And with Iowan and Iowa State alum Bryan Petersen, that trend is only set to continue. He led the recruiting of Boyden-Hull point guard and SDSU signee Tanner Te Slaa, and he’s the face of the Jackrabbits on the recruiting trail in that state.
So, kudos to SDSU. (It’s still weird for me to type because as a former San Diego State, SDSU will always be San Diego State for me. But I digress.)
Continued:16 top college basketball rookies playing in the 2022 Iowa Boys State Tournament
Let’s move on to this week’s questions. Alyssa Hertel is on her way to St. Louis today for Arch Madness, so I’ll take care of the answers this week.
Who are the top contenders for the Iowa Men’s Basketball State Tournament?
Earlier today, I posted a list of the top 16 college basketball prospects who will show off their skills at next week’s Iowa Boys’ Basketball State Tournament.
Some of them, like Ames point guard Tamin Lipsey, Cedar Falls point guard Trey Campbell and Johnston winger Steven Kramer, are already known in Iowa. (Or, if not, they should be. Go ahead and read this story if you don’t know who I’m talking about.)
But there are also a handful that are more under the radar. These prospects could increase their recruiting stocks with quality performances on Iowa high school basketball’s biggest stage.
Continued:22 of Iowa’s top women’s basketball rookies competing in 2022 state tournament
In terms of the biggest potential stockrises, these names stand out:
Ivan Prug, PF, Assumption of Davenport
Never heard of him, have you? (If you have any, good for you.)
Prug, a 6-foot-9 power forward, left Croatia for Iowa this year to play this season at Davenport Assumption. He’s really gifted and can shoot 50.8 percent (30 for 59) from 3-point range, and he’s averaging 13.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.
If this was a prospect who had been in Iowa since his freshman year, there’s no way he was under the radar. But he wasn’t, and he is.
Some college coaches know him, or they’ve heard good things about him, or maybe they’ve even just heard his name. When a foreign child is transferred to play basketball, it will always delight the ears.
At this point, it’s hard to see Prug landing a late Division I offer, especially with DI programs’ growing reliance on the transfer portal in recent years. A Division II offer? It seems more likely. Junior college or a post-graduate year at a prep school? It seems even more likely.
Either way, Prug is a talent to watch. Davenport Assumption is the No. 3 seed in the Class 3A field, and the Knights have a shot at winning the title. The more games they play, the better it is for Prug and his recruiting stock.
Continued:Here are the brackets for the 2022 Iowa High School Basketball State Tournament
Kenzie Reed, PG, Cedar Rapids Kennedy
I’ve been a huge fan of Reed’s game for the past two years, but I still feel like not many people in Iowa know about him — coaches or just basketball fans in general.
Here are his jaw-dropping numbers this winter: A best of class 4A Seven assists per game (recall that high school games last 32 minutes without a shot clock) against just 1.8 turnovers, plus 12.4 points per game while shooting 38.2% from long range.
Sign me up for these numbers from my leader any day of the week.
He’s 5-10, which isn’t going to help his stock. But there have also been successful college point guards under 6 feet (hello, Bowen Born), so while his height isn’t a check in the “pro” column for him, I’m not buying the under 6 feet fear is a huge deterrent so much these days, especially in low to middle major basketball.
Either way, schools like Omaha, Northern Iowa, and South Dakota State have been implicated. These three, and more, will get to see Reed right away, as Kennedy takes on Pryce Sandfort and Waukee Northwest in Game #4 vs. #5 in next Wednesday’s 4A Quarterfinals.
More basketball recruiting:4-star rookie Jalynn Bristow ‘couldn’t stop smiling’ after Iowa State commitment
Trey McCain, PG, Decorah
McCain is a sophomore who could at least be on other radars with a quality performance in the men’s basketball state tournament.
He’s the starting point guard for the Iowa Barnstormers’ 16U AAU squad, alongside some top talent in Caden Wilkins of Bettendorf and Kareem Earl of Iowa City West. McCain is a real playmaker who is very selfless, but he can also score well. He is averaging 11.6 points, 4.7 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game.
It’s hard to say what level he’ll be right now, but I really like his game. And I think the college coaches watching him will too.
Decorah is the No. 2 seed in the Class 2A field and will face No. 7 Central DeWitt in the quarterfinals next Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Some other intriguing under-the-radar prospects in the state
Waukee Northwest 2023 point guard Cade Kelderman averaged 16.1 points, 5.5 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game while shooting 43.3% from long range.
Ames 2023 winger Lucas Lueth is 6-7 and is scoring 6.9 ppg while shooting 33.8 percent on 3s.
Will many colleges be able to attend the Iowa Boys Basketball Tournament in person?
The only problem with the state tournament at this time in March is that it coincides with many college basketball tournaments, which means the coaches of those college teams may not have time to see as many matches and/or prospects as they want.
But the Wells Fargo Arena will still have plenty of college coaches, as always.
Drake, Northern Iowa and the entire Missouri Valley Conference will have no scheduling conflicts as Arch Madness ends this weekend. South Dakota State, South Dakota, Omaha, North Dakota State, St. Thomas and the rest of the Summit League will have plenty of time as their conference tournament wraps up Tuesday. I would expect coaches from all of the schools I just mentioned to be at Wells Fargo Arena at some point.
Iowa and Iowa State will be present for at least one day. The Hawkeyes might not play until next Friday, so they would have options. It looks like Iowa State may not be playing until Thursday in the Big 12 tournament, so the state’s main scout, Kyle Green, would likely come on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.
More recruiting:Recruitment Mailbag: Which School Did JJ Kohl Eliminate? Who is Iowa State’s most realistic basketball goal in 2023?
I would also expect Nebraska assistant coach and Iowa native Nate Loenser to be available at some point, especially if the Huskers lose their game on Wednesday. A few other out-of-state programs we might see at Wells Fargo Arena: Clemson, which has a long-term interest in Pryce Sandfort, and Wake Forest, which has two Iowans on staff, head coach Steve Forbes and Matt Woodley.
Also expect a strong presence from Division II programs including Truman State, Northwest Missouri State, Augustana and Drury. And junior colleges, including DMACC and Kirkwood, will also be there.