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Posted On: 05/10/18 1:01 PM
The Hawkeye State will be as well-represented as ever at the annual Battle at the Lakes tournament this weekend in Minneapolis, or as we like to simply call it: The Battle. Nearly all of the top programs in Iowa will be at this event, we’ll list them below, and give a breakdown of which guys to keep a close eye on. You can see the full schedule of the weekend’s events by clicking here
National Division: All Iowa Attack, Iowa Barnstormers, Pure Prep Academy, Kingdom Hoops Elite, Team Iowa White, Showtime Hoopers Black
Regional Division: Iowa Prep Red, Beyond Ball 24K, Iowa Cornsharks Select, Iowa Pump N Run Black, Iowa Prep Black.
Players to Watch
Xavier Foster, 6’10 F, Pure Prep — 2020
Pure Prep was a late addition to The Battle’s 16U field, and we couldn’t be more excited to be hosting this squad, which features one of the nation’s top-ranked forwards, Xavier Foster. The extremely lengthy Oskaloosa forward has a slew of high-major offers, including Illinois, Texas A&M, Iowa and Iowa State, and we’ll be eager to see how he plays against other top competition from around the Midwest.
Bowen Born, 5’10 PG, Barnstormers — 2020
This skilled Norwalk guard recently picked up an offer from Northern Iowa, and we think the Panthers were smart to do so. Some schools might see his size and be weary of offering, but elite scorers like Born will beat you no matter what their size. He’s as crafty and clever as any player in the state, and maybe, in the Midwest. This weekend, we’ll get a good chance to see how he stacks up with other Midwest elites.
Jake Schockemohel, 6’2 PG, Pure Prep — 2020
After switching from the Iowa Mavericks over to Pure Prep, Schockemohel now has the opportunity to play with Xavier Foster, one of the nation’s best forwards. Jake has grown quite a bit the past year, and pairs his added height with a smooth game. He’s a top-25 guy in Iowa’s 2020 class, and we’ll be watching to see how his skill-set has progressed since last summer.
Will Berg, 6’8 F, Iowa Barnstormers — 2020
This Valley big-man joined the Iowa Barnstormers’ top unit and seems to have had a nice spring up until this point of the offseason. He’s a guy with good size who has some nice skill and touch, and adds a bit of finesse. He’ll score over smaller guys in the paint, but can take opponents off the bounce, too. He was great at our Top 250 Expo last fall. And could be the next in a recent surge of very good Valley Tigers big-men.
Braxton Bayless, 6′ PG, All Iowa Attack — 2020
After transferring from Valley to Anekny, Bayless has stayed a little bit under he radar in terms of his high school career. He still has two years of eligibility with the Hawks, and could blow up next winter. We at Prep Hoops have been monitoring him closely since we saw him dominate at Kings of the Court last spring with All Iowa Attack. He’s uncanny, and has a the vision, handles and passing ability that could make him one of Iowa’s best point guards the next two seasons.
Avery Mellman, 5’11 PG, Beyond Ball 24k — 2020
This Mason City product has been firmly on our radar since we watched him go nuts against Martin Brothers last summer in a 15U championship game. He then went on to have moderate success as a sophomore with Mason City. He can score in so many ways, and is a bull when driving to the hoop. Super skilled, and with a nose for the rim, Mellman could have a big weekend in the Twin Cities.
Tamin Lipsey, 6’1 G, All Iowa Attack — 2022
He’s an eighth-grader, who plays up two grades with All Iowa Attack, and is still one of the team’s best players. Without a doubt, this Ames product is one of the elite players in Iowa’s class of 2022. He’s super long and has a knack for getting the rim and finishing well. Lipsey can shoot it and handle it a bit, too. He’s got a solid build, especially for how young he is. Now would be a good time to start monitoring this Little Cyclones product.
AJ Coons, 6’5 G/F, Barnstormers — 2020
Coons had a big-time 15U summer with the ‘Stormers, and carried that momentum into his sophomore season with Solon, where he averaged 17.5 points on 48/45/78 shooting clips. He’s got the size to guard several positions and he can score from inside or out. The rangy wing will get up and jam on you if given the opportunity. We’re hoping to see him flush a couple this weekend.