Posted On: 03/29/18 5:00 PM
The first class of players Prep Hoops Iowa has seen over the course of their careers, the 2018 group is one that we’ve seen more than any other. After several tweaks and adjustments, the final prospect rankings have been released — you can view them here. This is the first in a five part series highlighting the best 25 players in the class.
It’s been a meteoric rise through the prospect rankings for this Kuemper Knight; we consider him 2018’s version of Tajen Ross from ADM. They’re similar players, too. Badding is an athletic and highly skilled combo-guard, who can beat you with speed off the bounce, basketball IQ, or with a lethal jumper. He went from averaging 10.7 points per game as a junior to 22.8 points per game this season. And it’s not like we didn’t see it coming; he was super impressive last summer with Tryon Gym 17U. It’s clear that Badding worked hard to master his skill-set, and he earned himself a D2 scholarship from Nebraska-Kearney as a result.
Recently, this bouncy 6’5 combo-forward committed to NAIA Clarke University in his hometown of Dubuque. We feel safe saying that that he’ll make an immediate impact with the team, and will thrive over a four-year career. Johnson is a guy that can do a little bit of everything on the floor, and we’ve seen it several times over the the past few years. A Tri-State Steam product, we remember the first time we saw Johnson’s combo of athleticism and skill during a grassroots tourney at Kingdom Courts. We wrote about him glowingly then, and haven’t stopped since.
This Wahawk senior capped a nice career with by far his best season, and it was the efficiency from the floor (50 FG%) that we liked best. Harris-Anderson has steadily improved and matured as a player over the course of his career. And his mixture of size, strength and athleticism have proven to be a tough combo for opponents to handle. One of the few top-25 prospects left who who have not committed to play college ball, we expect to hear something soon from the Waterloo West legend.
What a senior season this 6’1 guard pieced together. He would have a been a considered a dark-horse to be a First-Team All-Senior selection, but averaging 30.4 points, 5.2 assists and 4.2 steals at the 3A level is well good enough to be considered the elite of the elite. We saw Lester’s success bubbling last summer, he was tremendous in all of our viewings of him, and rose considerably in the 2018 rankings then. But we couldn’t of dreamed he’d put together a season like he did. Lester has been nabbed by JuCo DMACC. He’s looking to go D1 after that.
Without a doubt one of the more skilled players, not only in his class, but in the entire state. Stevens may not have a lot of size, but the 5’9 point guard is easily one of the best floor generals in Iowa. Heck, pound-for-pound, he’s probably be a top-5 player in the state. He had a fantastic senior season with the Rams, going for 16.3 points and 5.9 assists per game. And his 91 percent free-throw percentage is a true testament to just how skilled he is. One of Iowa’s best available seniors, it’ll be interesting to see where Stevens lands next season.