Posted On: 01/24/18 10:19 AM
The second session of the Wells Fargo Advisors Shootout took place this past Saturday, with 14 teams descending upon the US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids for a day filled with quality basketball. We take a look at 14 of the standouts from the event in two parts. Below are the first seven, with the next seven to come in another article later this week.
Matt Mims (Cedar Rapids Xavier) – 23 points (7-16 FG, 4-8 3P, 5-8 FT), eight rebounds, three assists, two steals
The South Dakota State signee was his usual dominant self in the Saints win over Solon. He’s still at his best when he’s playing downhill and getting to the rim, but his perimeter stroke has steadily improved and is a real weapon now. After going 4-8 from behind the arc in this game, he’s now shooting just under 44% from deep this season, which when combined with his ability to play in the pick-and-roll and get to the rim, makes him one of the most difficult players in the state to defend.
Jackson Joens (Cedar Rapids Xavier) – 26 points (11-18 FG, 2-6 3P, 2-3 FT), seven rebounds, three steals, two assists
Joens has earned his reputation around the state as a sharpshooter, and for good reason. He’s a 47% shooter from behind the arc. But what stood out during this game was that he was more involved in the paint on both ends of the floor. A 6-6 wing, he generally has a size advantage over whoever is guarding him, but he’d stay out on the perimeter no matter what. In this game, he took his defender down to the block, where he showed the ability to score with either hand. It’s not something that he needs to do all the time, because his shooting is most definitely a major weapon, but adding that post-up dimension to his game just makes him more dangerous.
Derek Koppes (Cascade) – 18 points (6-9 3P)
Some players struggle adjusting to the different backdrop at a place like the US Cellular Center, but Koppes most definitely did not. He was 6-9 from behind the arc, moving well off the ball and showcasing a quick release. He was the beneficiary of a Cascade offense that moved the ball really well, and he got plenty of clean looks, but that shouldn’t overlook the fact that he took advantage of those looks in a big way.
Drew Olson (Osage) – 18 points, six rebounds, five blocks
The lone bright spot in Osage’s loss to Cascade, the 6-2 point guard was his usual solid self, stuffing the stat sheet. He’s a big, physical guard who thrives on getting into the paint and finishing around or through bigger defenders. He’s a smart player who takes relatively good care of the basketball, competes on the glass and can defend either guard spot.
Brock Simon (Cascade) – 15 points (7-10 FG), four assists, four steals, five blocks
I tweeted it, but I’ll say it again, this was as good as I’ve ever seen Brock Simon play in the high school setting. A 6-2 off-guard with great length and athleticism, he was incredibly active at the top of Cascade’s 2-3 zone, routinely getting his hands on passes or shots that led to fastbreak points the other way. He’s a gifted athlete who has really developed his skills over the last year, and is a threat to knock down 3s, slash to the rim or facilitate. He was really strong on the defensive end and let that feed his offense.
Derek Krogmann (West Delaware) – 14 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, two blocks
Krogmann is always going to be the focal point of the opposition’s game plan, but he’s still incredibly productive. Few players in the state have better footwork and touch around the rim than he does, and he’s worked to develop a mid-range jumper to add to his arsenal. He stepped out and hit a 15-footer, and he’s dominant on the glass with his nearly seven-foot wingspan helping out there.
Caleb Schlaak (Cedar Rapids Kennedy) – eight points (3-5 FG, 2-3 3P), five rebounds, two assists
You look at his numbers and think, why is he on this list? Well, the 6-5 freshman made some huge shots in Kennedy’s narrow loss to Sioux City East, keeping the Cougars afloat. Oh, and it was just his third varsity game. He was moved up from the sophomore team a week or so ago, and made some huge plays in a big game. He’s long, lanky and athletic, and showed that he can knock down shots from the arc. He’ll need to add weight, but he’s just a freshman and is going to be a name to monitor for the next three-and-a-half years.