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Posted On: 07/2/18 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. Here we take a look at some of the Class of 2020 wings and big men that caught my eye.
Jack Vermeer (Pella Christian/All-Iowa Attack)
A big bodied wing, Vermeer is a skilled lefty with the ability to stretch the defense with his shot, or score on the block against smaller defenders. He needs to continue improving his athleticism and ball handling, but he’s a fairly solid passer and has the ability to score from all three levels. He’s primed for a big year with Pella Christian.
Donovan Williams (Lincoln North NE/Iowa Barnstormers)
A 6-5 wing out of Lincoln, Nebraska, Williams is one of the most physically impressive players I’ve seen at the 16U age group in my time at Prep Hoops. He’s extremely well put together, and that strength allows him to get to the rim and finish through contact routinely. He’s a solid ball handler, and a streaky shooter, who thrives on getting into the paint and finishing through, around or over people. As he continues to improve his perimeter stroke, he’ll become one of the better all-around offensive prospects in the Midwest. He has a chance to be really strong on the defensive end as well, as his combination of size, athleticism and toughness will allow him to defend multiple positions on that end of the floor. He has the looks right now of a mid-major player, who could be just a few improvements away from making his way into the high-major discussion.
Will Berg (West Des Moines Valley/Iowa Barnstormers)
A legitimate 6-8 big man, Berg figures to be a major piece for the Tigers over the next two seasons. He’s a very good athlete who excels as a rim runner currently, with a few post moves that he can mix in when he catches on the block in halfcourt settings. He finishes with either hand at the rim, rebounds at a high level and has the ability to switch on the defensive end. His footwork is still a work in progress, and he’ll need to add a bit of strength to excel at the next level, but there are shades of former Valley, and current Indiana State, big man Blake Brinkmeyer in Berg. Both were very athletic big men who do a majority of their damage off of feeds and the offensive glass, and are solid defensively. Look for Berg’s trajectory towards the college level to follow a similar path.
Micah Johnson (Ankeny Centennial/Iowa Barnstormers)
Like Berg, Johnson is a newcomer to the Barnstormers program this year. And like Berg, he’s a good athlete who runs the floor well. At 6-6, he’s a combo forward who is a solid perimeter shooter and steadily improving in that area. He has the ability to put the ball on the floor against bigger defenders, but his handle will need to continue to tighten up leading to the next level. He has good length, rebounds on both ends of the floor and can provide some defensive versatility.
Ty Anderson (North Scott/Iowa Barnstormers)
Anderson is a long, 6-6 combo forward with plus athleticism. He’s still fairly raw on the offensive end, but is working hard to improve his jumper and expand his range. He has the athletic ability, size and length to defend multiple positions, won’t be lost on a ball screen, and is a good help defender with rim protection abilities. His best offensive skills right now are mostly as a rim runner or off of offensive rebounds, but he has the work ethic to continue improving his shot, and the strides made there in the last year have been noticeable.
Andre Brandon (Iowa City Liberty/Iowa Dynasty)
Brandon, at 6-5, is currently an undersized four, but he’s working on his jumper, ball handling and quickness to make the transition out to the wing for the next level. He’s a solid athlete who scores really well at the rim, either in the halfcourt off of post touches, or in transition. He has good footwork on the block and can score against most defenders at the high school level. He’s capable of knocking down 3s, and though he needs to become more consistent in that area, the improvement he’s made there over the last year is enough for me to think that he’ll continue to project up in that area of his game. He has above-average length, but needs to improve his lateral quickness to defend ball screens at a higher level.