Spring Evaluations: 2020 Guards, Part I

Grassroots
Iowa

Posted On: 07/3/18 8:00 AM

Over the course of April and May, I made my way to a number of grassroots tournaments across the Midwest to get a look at some of the top talent Iowa has to offer. While my “real job” has made it difficult to post evaluations in a timely manner after tournaments, it’s time to sit down and put together evaluations on a number of players I saw over the past few months. Over the course of the next few weeks, those evaluations will be posted here, at Prep Hoops Iowa. We kick off with a look at some of the Class of 2020 guards that caught my eye.

 

Preston Kelling (Ankeny Centennial/All-Iowa Attack)

A 6-3 combo guard, Kelling was electric in our viewings of him throughout the spring. He’s a fantastic athlete who plays above the rim, and he’s a strong, well built guard who is able to finish through contact. He’s a fluid athlete who can make plays for others with the ball in his hands, but is at his best when he’s in attack mode, whether that’s in transition or in the halfcourt. He has the size and athleticism to defend any spot on the perimeter, and isn’t out of his element if switched onto someone who wants to attack him in the paint. He’s a great athlete with size and skills that will be very intriguing for NAIA or DII programs moving forward.

 

Braxton Bayless (Ankeny/All-Iowa Attack)

A highly gifted lead guard with good size, Bayless is dazzling at times. The key now will be to put forth a more consistent effort each time he steps on the floor. He’s a talented playmaker with excellent court vision who thrives on breaking down defenders and setting his teammates up with easy buckets. He uses his facilitating to set up his own offense, as he’s a gifted finisher around the rim with the ability to knock down open shots as well. Defensively, he’s a good athlete who moves his feet and can lock down ball handlers, again when he’s motivated to do so. (Sometimes he appears disinterested, but I think that can sometimes be because the game comes really easy to him.)

 

Reece Held (Murray/Iowa Cornsharks)

Held is a small, 5-9 guard, but he’s a confident player who was the only player on the ‘Sharks who didn’t look afraid when we saw them play against the Mavericks’ top squad. He’s lightning quick with the ball in his hands, isn’t afraid to attack bigger defenders in the paint and is a creative finisher around the rim. He also moves well off the ball and is a good shooter off the catch. His size is going to limit him moving forward, but he has the skill set and confidence of a bigger player, and looks like he’ll have a huge year with Murray.

 

Brees Proctor (Johnston/Kingdom Hoops)

Proctor is a long, athletic combo guard who could stand to improve his handle a bit, but he can make plays with the ball in his hands. He does a good job absorbing contact and finishing at the rim, and he has the ability to stretch the floor with his shooting. He has the length and athleticism to become an impact defender as he continues to learn angles and how to move his feet.

 

Tre McCrary (Cedar Rapids Xavier/Iowa Mavericks Schlabaugh)

A 5-11 point guard, McCrary really started to come on late in the spring, when we saw him both with Xavier and the Mavericks. He’s really quick with the ball in his hands, and unafraid to attack the rim against bigger defenders. He’s shown a quality floater to finish against size, and he’s also able to absorb and finish through contact. Defensively, he has a tendency to overplay passing lanes and can be a little risky, but he does do a good job turning whatever turnovers he creates into points. He can create for others and is a solid passer, but he’s a score first guard who has a really good first step that he uses to get by his defender. He’s improved quite a bit over the last 12 months.

 

Tyler Schrepfer (Clear Creek-Amana/Iowa Dynasty)

The 6-0 lefty guard is a solid, scoring off-guard who can get red hot from the arc and carry a team for minutes with his shooting ability. He moves well off the ball, is ready to shoot off the catch, and has a smooth, repeatable release. He’s fairly limited as a ball handler and playmaker, but his shooting will translate to the next level, and is enough for him to score while the rest of his skill set catches up. He competes on the glass, especially on the defensive end.