Posted On: 11/9/17 3:02 PM
There was plenty of shakeup at the top of the most recent 2019 rankings; and as strong as this class is, to even be near the top-10 is a great accomplishment, let alone be in it. Below we’ll highlight the current top-10, why the guys are where they’re at, and hopefully answer any questions that need answered.
Like his brother before him, McCaffery has been the No.1 player in his class since its very first installment was released; and unless something dramatic happens in the next 18 months, that looks like it’ll continue. He’s very tall and greatly skilled and most impressive, maybe, is he’s got a basketball IQ that’s through the roof. He’ll throw down a ton of slams for the Trojans over the next two years, and his turnover rate will be minuscule.
Like a slow boil, we could see the beginning of Carton’s rise during the state tourney last season. I distinctly remember looking over at my colleague, Tony Roe, and raising my eyebrow in the first quarter Bettendorf’s quarterfinal match with Sioux City East. Am I going to say that I envisioned Carton nabbing double-digit high-major offers just months later, no. But Carton made it clear in my first viewing that he could be a special talent. Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Creighton, Missouri, Minnesota, Marquette and others have offered.
A lot like Carton, I distinctly remember the first time I saw Locure. He was an eighth-grader playing with the North varsity at a summer camp in Norwalk. He was showstopping-ly good. The preternatural guard promptly went on to dominate guys three and four years older than him as a freshman with then Polar Bears, and has posted ridiculous numbers in his first two seasons of high school ball. A smaller guard, Locure has an uncanny ability to get shots off and find open teammates, and his defensive instincts are off the charts. He’s a treat to watch. North Dakota and Drake have offered, many more should by this time next year.
Here’s a guy who just keeps betting better and better, and the sky’s the limit for how good he might get. When we first saw Hutcheson, he was playing more of a post role, presumably because of his height. And like many others have attempted to do with moderate success, he transitioned into a wing. The difference with Hutcheson, is that his transformation has gone as good as we’ve ever seen. He’s not only a capable wing, but a dominant wing, with one of the best jumpers in Iowa. And because of his power forward past, he’s not afraid to get in the paint and do some dirty work when needed. North Dakota has offered, we think he’ll blow up next summer with the Barnstormers.
This big and bouncy combo-forward has already committed to Northern Iowa, and kudos to them for having the awareness to offer and nab him early. He didn’t post big-time numbers last season like some of the others on this list, but it’s pretty clear to us, and UNI, that his potential is through the roof. His length, paired with his frame are reasons alone to be excited, and his ability to get off the floor is what makes him special. An ace up his sleeve is that he’ll step out and hit a 3-ball when grated the opportunity. Betz is a beast.
Let’s start by saying this, the fact that Coburn is not in the top-5 is an absolute testament to how strong of a class this is. Any other year, a skilled, lengthy 6’10 post with a South Dakota State commitment would have easily been top-5, probably top-3. Coburn committed to TJ Otzleberger and the Jackrabbits last spring, and they are getting a dynamic, true post, with great footwork and an ability to get the ball in the hoop at a high clip. And watch out for Coburn, he might string together a couple state title runs with the Indians.
At 6’6 but with a 7-foot wingspan, it’s no wonder that this lefty post is able to dominate. And that’s just what he did all spring and summer with one of the nation’s best grassroots programs, Iowa Barnstormers 16U. North Dakota has offered the crafty big, and as he continues take his game outwards, he should continue to generate Division I attention.
It’s been an exponential rise in the rankings for this Valley Tigers junior; and the scary part is, he’s just scratching the surface. Williams started to harness his elite athletic ability this spring and summer, and we can’t understate how dynamic he was at the Urbandale Team Camp in June. He carried that momentum of June into July, where he dominated with Kingdom Hoops on the 16U circuit. Williams could get his chance to breakout this season with a Valley team that has as much depth and talent as any in Iowa. South Dakota State offered him in July, they are ahead of the curve; bravo, Jackrabbits, bravo.
Lightning quick and able to do what he pleases on the court, Hilmer is a guy who could post record-breaking numbers at 1A North Linn the next two seasons. He’s a catalyst on the floor, and his speed paired with a tight, tight handle render him virtually unstoppable. At our Top 250 Expo in September he walked away with MVP honors of the 2018-19 session, and it was a loaded field: that speaks volumes about this kid’s game.
Rounding out the top-10 is yet another Iowa Barnstormer representative. A lot of casual high school sports fans in Iowa may not know his name yet, but just wait, he’s coming. Waukee was fortunate enough to have Cade Longnecker and Drew Johnson manning the backcourt last season, and now, it’s Hart’s turn take the reins. He’ll be unleashed this season, and will be running the show for what is certainly one of the more talented teams in 4A. With Hart’s ball-handling and shooting ability, and especially with his passing prowess, he’s in-line for a breakout junior campaign.