STATE TOURNAMENT: 10 Who Impressed on Thursday

High School
Iowa

Posted On: 03/8/18 9:54 PM

Nate Mohr, Glenwood (2018)

A 91.8% shooter at the free throw line, Mohr is quite the weapon to have down the stretch, and he proved unflappable in the Rams’ semifinal win over two-time defending champion Xavier, going 8-8, including 6-6 in the closing seconds, as part of his co-game-high 21 points. He also made a few big-time 3s in the game, big buckets to help Glenwood hang around, and displayed some terrific ball handling. The future Wayne State Wildcat showcased a little bit of everything in his arsenal on Thursday, with 21 points, four assists, three steals and a block. The 6-3 lead guard has tremendous length and quick hands, which bothered Xavier’s backcourt all afternoon.

Andrew Blum, Glenwood (2018)

A big, physical 6-4 forward, Blum will play football at Northwest Missouri State in college, but he’s piecing together a really, really good week at the state tournament before he heads to the next level. He finished the Rams semifinal win with 21 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and three steals, showing his strength around the rim and the ability to finish through contact. He’s a high-level athlete who moves really well off the ball and is constantly active on both ends of the floor.

Christian Stanislav, Glenwood (2019)

The final piece of Glenwood’s “Big Three”, the junior wing started the game a perfect 6-6 from the floor. He finished with 16 points on 7-10 shooting (2-2 from 3), and showcased his all-around offensive skill set in the process. He’s a talented shooter who moves well off the ball and has the ability to shoot it both off the catch and the bounce, and he finishes fairly well around the rim. He could probably stand to add a little more strength, but he’s wiry, long and athletic, and just a really good all-around offensive player with the length and athletic ability to become a standout on the defensive end as well.

Jarad Kruse, Oskaloosa (2018)

Kruse often gets overlooked when people talk about Oskaloosa because the Indians have a pair of Division I prospects, one of them one of the best in the country, in Cole Henry and Xavier Foster. But it’s Kruse who led the Indians in scoring during the regular season, and it was Kruse who they relied on to deliver big buckets when they were needed in Oskaloosa’s semifinal win over Waverly-Sehll Rock. A 6-5 forward, he handles the ball really well, with the ability to pull down a defensive rebound and lead the break. He has really good footwork around the bucket and great touch. He struggles a bit from the free throw line, but everything else is really solid, and he just keeps producing at a high level. He finished with 16 points on 7-13 shooting to go with five rebounds, a block and a steal.

Luke Velky, Waverly-Shell Rock (2019)

The 6-1 junior guard led the Go-Hawks in scoring with 13 points, rebounding with six, and had three steals to boot in W-SR’s near upset of Oskaloosa. He’s one of the stronger guards you’ll find, as the standout football player is built like a truck and finishes well around the rim, not afraid of contact, as a result. He’s lightning quick in the open court, and was able to routinely beat a bigger Oskaloosa team down the floor for buckets. He competes on the glass and is a menace on the defensive end, with the versatility to defend players much bigger than him (he took shots at 6-11 Xavier Foster and 6-9 Cole Henry), or defend guards on the perimeter with his quickness. The junior is primed for a big summer with the Iowa Mavericks and has the looks of a solid NAIA-type player, should be choose basketball over football.

Hakeem Odunsi, Iowa City West (2018)

After Odunsi corralled the opening tip, the West student section sang “Happy Birthday” to him, then he gave himself quite the birthday present, playing his best game as a Trojan. The 6-6 senior wing scored a game (and career) high 18 points in West’s win, going 5-9 from the floor (4-4 3P), 4-6 from the line, and adding two rebounds, two assists and three steals. He’s had an up-and-down senior season, but when he’s playing like he did in the semifinals. West is really tough to beat. He’s a highly skilled, playmaking wing with size, and when he gets things rolling, he can really shoot it as well. He was especially dominant in the third quarter, scoring nine points on three 3s, and putting together a really pretty fast break after the Trojans had forced a turnover – behind the back move to get by the defender, then taking it as deep as he could without committing a charge before dishing to Seybian Sims for a big dunk. Happy Birthday, Hakeem.

Noah Hart, Waukee (2019)

The Warriors junior guard came into the tournament as the field’s leading assist man, and he’s shown why through a pair of games. His passing instincts are top notch. He does a great job finding the right angle on post feeds, something that seems to have become a lost art. And his court vision is exceptional. His dished out six assists in the Warriors loss to go with 11 points and a pair of rebounds.

Dylan Jones, Waukee (2019)

Mr. Consistent, the 6-7 junior forward posted another state tournament double-double. After going for 11 points and 13 rebounds in the quarterfinals, he had 12 points and 11 rebounds in the Warriors semifinal loss. He’s as steady as they come, a reliable finisher around the rim, a solid interior defender and a fantastic rebounder. During the grassroots season, he’ll float out to the perimeter and take some 3s, but that’s not what he’s asked to do with his high school team, so he doesn’t, rather just dominating the painted area on both ends of the floor and providing a consistent night-to-night effort.

Logan Wolf, Cedar Falls (2019)

Valley did a good job limiting Cedar Falls’ star guard AJ Green in the second half after he had exploded for 16 first half points. It was Wolf who stepped up for the Tigers, finishing the game with a 12 point, six rebound, six assist stat line, with eight points, four rebounds and three assists in the second half. And to go with those six assists? Just one turnover. The 6-4 junior had a fantastic summer playing with the Iowa Barnstormers, carried that into a really productive junior season, and has shined on the big stage this week. He made big plays with and without the ball in his hands, and his length causes all sorts of issues on the defensive end, where he’s turned into a stopper.

Derek Emelifeonwu, West Des Moines Valley (2019)

The Australian transfer was the primary defender on AJ Green in the second half after Trayvon Williams got into foul trouble, and he was really, really good. A 6-3 junior wing, he’s strong, athletic and quick, and he was able to contest Green’s shots like few in the state have been able to this year. On the offensive end he finished with 10 points on 4-7 shooting, showing the ability to step out and knock down 3s in addition to finish strong drives around the rim.