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Posted On: 06/24/18 10:51 PM
It’s been an eventful month of June, with team camps providing plenty of summer hoops action to cover, last weekend in Des Moines at Grand View University added to that. As is always the case, there were plenty of standouts, both familiar ones and guys we were seeing for the first time. Below we’ll take a look at the the first crop of guys that caught our eye early on Saturday morning.
Issa Samake, 6’7 F (Grand View Christian) — 2019
Without a doubt the most dynamic player at Grand View on Saturday was Samake. The Mali-born rising senior has fantastic length and even better leaping ability; that combo alone makes him a high-level player. It was clear though in a win over DC-G that he’s been working to hone his jumper. He hit five 3s in that one, and ended up with a game-high 24 points.
Jaxon Smith, 5’11 PG (Ankeny) — 2020
Each time we see the Ankeny rising junior play, it seems he’s gotten better. Defensive instincts have always been his best strength, but his offense is starting to catch up, and if he keeps improving at this pace, the sky’s the limit.
Braxton Bayless, 6′ PG (Ankeny) — 2020
This was the first time we have seen Bayless — Iowa’s 6th-ranked 2020 — play with the Ankeny varsity. We’ve seen him plenty with All Iowa Attack’s over the past two seasons, and he’s just as effective with the Hawks. He notched a game high 20 points in a win over Norwalk, and came away with a slew of steals as well. Bayless transferred into Ankeny from Valley last fall.
Tyler Johnson, 6’2 SG (Norwalk) — 2020
It’s very clear they Tyler Johnson will be a centerpiece in Norwalk’s scheme next season. Plenty of seniors graduated from last season’s state-qualifier, and Johnson is more than capable of helping to fill that void. He was aggressive offensively and scored a team-high 20 points against Ankeny, including four 3-balls.
Bryce Crabb, 6’1 G (Grand View Christian) — 2019
We know how pliable he is, Crabb is the guy that would do the all-out splits during player announcements at every game during GVC’s state tourney run last season, but he’s got some serious game, too. He’s not just bendy, but skilled, and was getting to the rim with some blow-by ability en route to 17 points in a win over DC-G. He canned three 3s in that one, too.
Kong Neyail, 6’2 G (Grand View Christian) — 2019
We’ve seen him play as a role player for some time now, but he was in all-out attack-mode when he scored nine second half points in a win over DC-G. What was most impressive was his breakaway two-hand slam. There’s not many guys in Iowa who can get up and jam it at 6-foot-2.
Luke Ranker, 5’7 PG (Dallas Center-Grimes) — 2021
What an intriguing young prospect this is for DC-G. He’s small, but it’s very clear that he’s student of the game, and he had a better feel on the floor than anyone else we saw on Saturday. He made some mistakes, but they were almost always still the result of a correct decision. His shot is pure and his handle is tight, and although he’s small, he’s got some good length that makes him bigger than his height.