Posted On: 05/9/18 9:22 PM
The annual Prep Hoops Battle at the Lakes will take place across Minneapolis this weekend, and the event is as loaded as it has ever been. 21 of the top 30 players in Iowa’s 2019 rankings will converge on the Land of 10,000 Lakes, as many of the state’s top grassroots teams will be in attendance. We take a look at some of the players we’ll be keeping a close eye on in 17U division play this weekend. All 17U action will take place at Wayzata High School across eight courts.
Players to Watch
PG Tyreke Locure, Beyond Ball
One of the most electrifying players in the state, Locure is playing for offers this summer, and he has a huge chance to prove himself right away this weekend, as Beyond Ball opens up with a matchup against D1 Minnesota. That means a head-to-head matchup against Tyrell Terry, who is one of the hottest point guards in the country right now, recently adding offers from Xavier, Minnesota and Indiana, among others. A lightning quick point guard with great instincts on the defensive end, a big showing against Terry would go a long way towards getting Locure’s name further onto the map. He’s a player that many programs are monitoring, and proving himself this weekend, although Division I programs won’t be in attendance, will help immensely.
F Noah Carter, Iowa Barnstormers
The coverboy of this article, perhaps only Bettendorf PG DJ Carton has had a better spring than Carter. He’s putting up huge numbers against top notch competition every week, with the ability to score effectively from all three levels. At 6-6, he’s one of the best shooters in the state, has really improved his body over the last 18-24 months, becoming a more explosive athlete, and his footwork around the rim is unmatched. Simply put, he’s a matchup nightmare who is going to score regardless of what the opponent throws at him. He’ll be looking to continue his fantastic spring with another deep tournament run.
PG Noah Hart, Iowa Barnstormers
There are a number of players from the Barnstormers who will be players to watch, but we’ll be keeping a close eye on the Waukee point guard who just picked up his first Division I offer, from Air Force. A big, physical 6-3 lead guard, he’s one of the best passers in the state and is a really solid defender. He’s shooting the ball well from deep and is an intelligent lead guard on both ends of the floor. He’ll be looking to continue building on his momentum with another strong showing.
PF Issa Samake, All-Iowa Attack
After some down years at the 17U level (at least compared to what Attack has been used to), they’ve been very competitive this spring, routinely making deep runs in tournaments, and Samake is a big reason why. The 6-7 forward is a freakish athlete with an incredible wingspan, and although he’s incredibly raw, his size and athletic ability can cause all sorts of issues on either end of the floor. There will be some plays he makes where you shake your head in a bad way, then some where you’ll shake your head in a great way.
F Nathan Johnson, Kingdom Hoops
The Waukee forward has reclassified into the 2019 class and will head to play a post-grad year at Hargrave Military Academy next year. An explosive athlete who thrives in transition, there are few players in the state who get off the floor better than Johnson. He’s capable of scoring from all three levels, defending multiple spots and rebounding at a high level.
SF Patrick McCaffery, D1 Minnesota
The top ranked player in the state in the 2019 class, McCaffery moved to D1 Minnesota this year after the scandal involving Barnstormers co-founder Greg Stephen. The 6-8 forward was recently invited to try out for Team USA and is one of the top players in the country nationally. He’s playing with a number of outstanding players with D1, as they’re one of the best 17U teams in the country, so while he may not stand out all the time, he’s proving himself to be elite. He has tremendous ball skills and is a gifted all-around player on both ends of the floor.
PG Cliff McCray, Showtime Hoopers
A big, physical and athletic lead guard, McCray is a smart, slashing guard who protects the basketball, sets his teammates up and gets to the rim seemingly at will. He finishes effectively with either hand around the rim, rebounds at a high level and keeps constant pressure on the defense, looking to push tempo to score or facilitate with any chance he gets.
PF Carson Crile, Iowa Pump n Run Black
An undersized forward, Crile is someone who is going to compete on every possession, despite being smaller than a large majority of the players he’s battling on the interior. He’s a relentless rebounder on both ends of the floor and a capable scorer both around the rim and from the arc.
SF Jarvorius Toney, SE MN Lightning
The product of Mason City has had an impressive spring playing with the Lightning, who have had some impressive showings in Prep Hoops-run tournaments a few weeks ago. A 6-6 point forward who led the Mohawks in assists last season, he’s used his length, athleticism and passing ability to get his name out there this spring, and he’ll look to help lead his team to another successful weekend.
Each team in 17U play this weekend will start in bracket play, with the exception of teams playing in the “regional” portion of the tournament (marked with an asterisk). A loss means they’re out of the running for the Battle at the Lakes title, but they’ll still get to compete for other titles if they lose their opener. Brackets and a full schedule can be found here.
Opener: vs. Full Package – Montay, 11:45 am Saturday
Beyond Ball 24K
Opener: vs. D1 Minnesota, 11:45 am Saturday
*Beyond Ball Next-Up
Opener: vs. MN Knights, 8:30 am Saturday
Opener: vs. MN Bulldogs, 12:50 pm Saturday
Iowa Cornsharks Select
Opener: vs. Wisconsin Playground Warriors, 11:45 am Saturday
*Iowa Cornsharks Regional
Opener: vs. BBA Force, 8:30 am Saturday
Iowa Pump n Run Black
Opener: vs. Pirates, 1:55 pm Saturday
*Iowa Pump n Run Gold
Opener: vs. Family First, 8:30 am Saturday
Kingdom Hoops Elite I
Opener: vs. Fundamental U Grey, 10:40 am Saturday
Kingdom Hoops Elite II
Opener: vs. RAW Athletics, 12:50 pm Saturday
Opener: vs. KC Spurs, 1:55 pm Saturday
*Team Iowa Red
Opener: vs. Boji Select, 9:35 am Saturday