Posted On: 01/21/18 3:56 PM
Prep Hoops takes a closer look at the top 10 players in Wisconsin’s 2018 class…
1. Tyler Herro (Whitnall)
Why No. 1?
I’ve struggled between Herro and Joey Hauser for this spot. Each brings some unique elements to the table. In the end, nothing is more important in the game of basketball than putting the ball in the hoop. The Kentucky commit is one of the best pure shot makers in the country and when it comes to the variety of ways that Herro can score the basketball, arguably nobody does it like him.
2. Joey Hauser (Stevens Point)
Why No. 2?
Hauser will miss his entire senior season due to injury, but we’ve seen enough to know what he’s capable of. One of the most versatile players in the country, Hauser is a mismatch nightmare for opposing bigs. The Marquette commit can do it all — stretch the floor, handle the ball, create with the pass, rebound, defend the rim, etc. Most years, this is a clear cut No. 1 prospect in the state of Wisconsin.
3. Jordan McCabe (Kaukauna)
Why No. 3?
Ignore the flashy highlights on the mixtapes — this is a bonafide leader and winner. If he was 6-foot-1, everyone in the country would be lining up for this kid. But it’s West Virginia where McCabe will take his talents next season. After winning a state title as a sophomore, McCabe and Kaukauna may repeat this season. Perhaps the best ball handler and passer in the country, McCabe’s bag of tricks is as deep as it gets. Yes, he’s a human highlight reel, but what really gets us excited is his ability to make winning plays in big games and run his team like a pro.
4. Tyrese Haliburton (Oshkosh North)
Why No. 4?
Upside plays a role in Haliburton sliding up to No. 4. At 6-foot-6, Haliburton is a unique point guard. I think he’ll be terrific for a team like Iowa State, who will surround this unselfish floor general with tons of athleticism. Haliburton is a deadly 3-point shooter that kills zone defenses from the top of the key. Capable of putting together double-digit assist games, Haliburton is the type of player who elevates those around him and his teammates love to suit up with.
5. Keshawn Justice (Madison East)
Why No. 5?
A knock down shooter, the Santa Clara commit is a stretch wing/forward that will space the floor at a high level. Defenders have to stick to Justice and sometimes that’s not even enough to slow down the 6-foot-6 prospect. Justice can play three positions on offense, including some point forward. Improving as an on-the-ball shooter, Justice is showing the ability to knock down tough, contested shots off the bounce.
6. Carlos Curtis (Milwaukee Riverside)
Why No. 6?
Curtis could be as high as four. The East Tennessee State commit is a high scoring combo guard that will be a perfect fit in their uptempo system. He’s not a pure point guard, but not really a two-guard either — something that likely slowed down his recruitment, despite Curtis putting up solid numbers on the Nike EYBL circuit. A darkhorse Mr. Basketball candidate, Curtis often flirts with triple-doubles. A bulldog on the floor, Curtis bullies people at the rim and is becoming increasingly difficult to stop now that he’s added a reliable jumper.
7. Mitch Listau (Waunakee)
Why No. 7?
I don’t know if Listau will be able to replicate his scoring output at the next level, but I do know that Belmont got better with this addition. The best on-ball defender in this class, Listau has shut down some of the best guards in the country. The lefty can play either guard position and has developed into a three-level scorer. Listau may not have ideal athleticism, but displays outstanding body control around the rim, able to absorb contact and finish inside. Also a smooth perimeter shooter, Listau is comfortable on and off the ball.
8. John Diener (Cedarburg)
Why No. 8?
A 2,000 point scorer, Diener has had one of the most illustrious careers in WIAA history. Diener carries Cedarburg on his back. If he has to take 30 shots for the Bulldogs to win, that’s what he’ll do. A very patient scorer, Diener finds different ways to beat his opponent. He’s mostly known as a 3-point marksman, but has the ability to play with his back to the basket and take advantage of mismatches on the block. The DePaul commit lacks ideal athleticism for the high major level, but you can’t argue with the results at this point in his career.
9. Grant Basile (Pewaukee)
Why No. 9?
If/when Basile puts everything together, this could be a big steal for Wright State. He had some dominant stretches of basketball last July, playing a high level against some of the best talent in the country. A 6-foot-8, 200-pound forward, Basile is a potential mismatch problem at the next level. He can handle and shoot the basketball from the perimeter. Basile will need to add strength in order to score and defend around the rim at the next level, but he’s got a frame that should support another 20 pounds or so without sacrificing his athleticism.
10. J.C. Butler (The Prairie School)
Why No. 10?
Watching Butler, you seen a lot of untapped potential. He’s got the strength and athleticism that Division 1 schools drool over. When this kid rises up to the rim, there are few more exciting moments in the state. If his skills ever catch up…watch out. The son of former NBA star Caron Butler, J.C. dominates in a small school, but has shown flashes during the travel season. A year of prep could do wonders for this high-upside shooting guard, but it’s likely someone will take a chance on Butler, given his upside and bloodlines.