Battle at the Lakes: Best Bigs


Posted On: 05/17/18 2:28 PM

The Battle’s field was loaded with big-man college hoops prospects, from high-major Division I prospects, to future NAIA and Division III guys. Post players from all over the Midwest were showing their shot-blocking ability, rebounding prowess and offensive versatility.  And while I couldn’t possibly have seen them all, these were the ones that happened to catch my eye last Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 


Darius Yohe, 6’8 PF (Great Northern Elite 17U)

Hailing from Northern Michigan’s Ishpeming High School, this long and athletic big-man has a lot of lift, and a butter stroke from deep, too. He scored a game-high 18 points in a win over Team Iowa Red on Sunday, and was dunking regularly in the process.



Dain Dainja, 6’7 PF (Team Sizzle 16U)

His dad played at Minnesota in the early 1990s, and Dainja will get the opportunity, too, to play high-major D1 hoops. The big-bodied post seems to athletic for his huge frame, and he can put the ball on the deck a little bit, too. Iowa State is the latest to offer, that happened while The Battle was taking place.



Chet Holmgren, 6’11 C (Team Sizzle 16U)

He was a freshman playing up a grade with the 16U Sizzle guys, and was still standing out as a exceedingly dominant prospect. It’s his immense length (he told me 7’4 wing-span) that makes him the most dangerous. He swatted double-digit shots in our viewing of him. He’s got a jumper, too.



Cooper Nally, 6’4 PF (Kingdom Hoops Elite 16U)

A Bedford product, Nally may not be the high-level prospect that other guys on this list are, but his high motor, decent length and willingness to do the dirty work make him a guy that small colleges will want to start monitoring, if they haven’t already.



Even Brauns, 6’8 PF (Wisconsin Playground Warriors 16U)

After leaving the Iowa Barnstormers and heading to another elite Midwest team, Brauns looks to be fitting in quite well with the Playground Warriors. He comes off the bench and adds an instant spark, especially when he was aggressively attacking the rim, and seeking out blocked shots at every opportunity.



Nick Wagner, 6’4 C (Iowa Barnstormers 15U)

Wagner makes the most of his slightly undersized frame, and even though he was out-sized by some of his counterparts last weekend, he was seldom outmatched. He’s got some length, which helps neutralize his lack of height, and his willingness to stick to the fundamental, and do the little things, goes a long way.



Angelo Winkel, 6’7 PF (All Iowa Attack Red 15U)

His rebounding is certainly a strength, Winkel has a knack for going up and snaring it right as it comes off the rebound, giving nobody else and opportunity. His offensives game is versatile and ranges from big-jams, to fluid 3-balls. He’s got three big seasons ahead at Bishop Garrigan.



Noah Carter, 6’5 PF (Iowa Barnstormers 17U)

The Dubuque, Senior combo-forward has already started to blow-up, he’s picked up D1 offers from Air Force, Lehigh and South Dakota State this spring. And after showing his smooth stroke from deep and his immense bounce, he’ll completely blow up soon, it seems.



Luke Skar, 6’4 PF (Team Factory Gold 15U)

The Nebraksa product is just one of those workmanlike guys that will do whatever his team needs to get the W. He was the steady presence down low for the 15U platinum champs last weekend. And what team can’t use a steady, adept, workmanlike big-man?