Posted On: 11/30/17 4:18 PM
With the 2017-18 season now upon us, we’ve decided to roll out a ten part series counting down the 50 best players in Iowa, regardless of class. There are no frosh on the list, and some sophomores are sprinkled in. Look for Iowa’s 2019 class to make a very strong showing in the rankings; man is that the junior class stacked. And, of course, there will be plenty of seniors to highlight. We might be biased, but we feel like the state of Iowa is egregiously underrated, and as a result, under-recruited year-in and year-out; this top 50 list is a strong group of players, and plainly showcases just how much talent we have here in the Hawkeye State.
5’10 PG, Des Moines North
Holding it down for the Des Moines area is Polar Bears point guard Tyreke Locure. We like to use the word uncanny to define his game, because of the supernatural and inexplicable manner in which he dominates each night out. At 5’10, Locure oftentimes is going up against guys bigger than him; and that’s a big deal in hoops right? Nah. He routinely torches opponents with his elite quickness — it’s catlike — and pounces passing lanes better than anyone in Iowa. He’ll pick your pocket, too, if you’re not careful. Lately, Locure’s explosiveness has been improving, he can now get up and jam with ease — no other 5’10 guy in the state can do that. Soon, he’ll surpass 1,000 points for his career, which is especially noteworthy because he’s barely halfway through it. When it’s all said and done, look for him to be near the top of the all-time steals and assists lists, too. North Dakota and Drake have offered, and plenty more of those offers could be rolling in over the next 12 months.
6’1 PG, Bettendorf
As recently as nine months ago, we knew very little about DJ Carton, and, really, nobody outside of the Quad Cities knew much. Then, he put up some pretty decent numbers during his sophomore season; as a result, he landed softly on our radar, and we put him into the 2019 rankings just before the state tournament last March. We were eager to see him at the state tournament, thinking we’d be getting a chance to see a pretty good player from Iowa’s eastern coast, what we saw was a dynamic player that was instantly considered a top-10 guy in 2019. What occurred over the next six months was substantial; Carton blew up while playing with Quad City Elite 16U, and nabbed offers from (takes a deep breath)…Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, IUPUI, Kansas State, Marquette, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and North Dakota. Now, were here, and Carton is no longer a secret. The only undisclosed info now, is which school he might pick.
6’8 SF, Iowa City West
It’s finally Patrick McCaffery’s turn to be the main man at Iowa City West, and for those who saw him play at West the past couple of seasons and thought, what’s the big deal? Get ready to see the big deal. McCaffery is not just one of the best players in Iowa, but one of the best in the country, he proved that this summer while breezing through some of the nation’s best competition as the leader of adidas Gauntlet squad, Iowa Barnstormers 16U. At 6’8 and with and incredibly high basketball IQ, he’ll hurt you in a number of ways; he’ll shoot over you, but only take necessary shots, he might get up and jam more than anyone in the state this year, and he’ll pass over and through defenses. As if it wasn’t already a foregone conclusion, he did make it official that he’ll play for father, Fran, at Iowa starting in 2020. Just another in-state feather in the cap for the Iowa Hawkeyes hoops program.
6’3 PG, Cedar Falls
Many of the most jaw-dropping moments we’ve seen during the past three years have come from this future Northern Iowa Panthers point guard, and those who live in the Cedar Falls area should consider paying the eight dollars this season to get into a game, as he alone will be worth the price of admission. Maybe our favorite memory since we started this Prep Hoops Iowa endeavor four years ago is seeing the then sophomore AJ Green torch Iowa City West in the fourth quarter of a quarterfinal state game at Wells Fargo Arena….to the tune of 14 points in the final four minutes. Cedar Falls, which was facing a substantial deficit late in that game, nearly came back and won. It was astonishing. And to think, he was just a sophomore. Green chose the Panthers over offers from Clemson, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa State and Virginia. He’ll be a superstar at UNI.
6’6 G/F, Muscatine
We started this Prep Hoops Iowa thing in 2o14, and Joe Wieskamp is the best prospect we’ve covered; it’s not even close. It was clear from the very beginning, when he was an incoming frosh at our first Prep Hoops Combine in 2015, that he was a special talent, we pegged him as the No. 2 prospect in the 2018 class right away. Wieskamp continued to flourish, and it didn’t take long before he took over that No. 1 spot, and with each passing installment of rankings, continued to separate himself from the pack. A big wing with a diverse set of skills, Wieskamp will bring a polished set of skills with him into the University of Iowa next fall, including a lights out jumper and a knack for blowing by defenders and wrecking rims. He’ll make an immediate impact with the Hawkeyes, but first he’s got his sights set on carrying Muscatine to its first state tourney berth since 2002. OH, and expect him to become just the 36th player in the history of Iowa high school hoops to eclipse 2,ooo points in a career.