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Posted On: 07/2/18 2:30 PM
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.
Jonny Leth (Johnston/Kingdom Hoops)
A long, athletic lefty, Leth is a 6-3 wing who has shown a solid perimeter stroke throughout the spring in multiple viewings. He has the ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the rim, can defend multiple spots and knock down shots from well beyond the arc. With a Johnston team that is losing an awful lot of production, look for Leth to be a major contributor for the next two years.
Tate Crane (Iowa City West/Iowa Mavericks Cleveland)
Nothing Crane does is going to blow you away, but he’s as steady as they come on both ends of the floor and rarely makes mistakes. A 6-3 wing, he can knock down shots or play as more of a playmaking, facilitating guard. And on the defensive end he’s a smart, active defender with the size, strength and length to defend anyone on the wing, as well as switch onto guards or bigs for a possession. He competes on the glass, gets on the floor for loose balls and limits turnovers on the offensive end. He’s the type of player every team needs, someone who is going to do all the little things for a winning team.
Lucas Hayes (Bettendorf/Iowa Mavericks Cleveland)
One of two 6-6 bigs on the Mavericks’ top 16U roster, Hayes is the more agile of the bigs. He runs the floor really well and does a good job establishing early position. He’s dominant on the glass on both ends of the floor, constantly competing for the ball and that’s where he does a lot of his damage on the offensive end. He’s a big body with soft hands. He does a good job hedging ball screens, but needs to continue improving lateral quickness to become more switchable on that end of the floor.
Joe Lilenthal (Durant/Iowa Mavericks Cleveland)
A huge, 6-6 big man, Lilenthal has the looks of a defensive tackle on the basketball court, and he uses that bulk to bully his way in the paint on both ends of the floor. He has good hands and is an average finisher around the rim (left hand needs some work still). He plays effectively with Hayes on the floor at the same time, showing the ability to pass out of the high post when they went with a hi-lo look. He doesn’t flash much of a jumper, but his stroke at the free throw line is solid, so there is some hope that he could expand his range. He needs to continue improving his lateral quickness, as he’s currently not really able to switch onto guards, even for a brief bit, but his size and strength will play in the paint.
Trent Allard (North Scott/Iowa Mavericks Schlabaugh)
Allard is a 6-6 lefty big man who does his best work as a rim runner and on the offensive glass. He runs the floor really well and rebounds at a high level on both ends of the floor. He does a great job keeping the ball high after pulling down boards, and rips through strong to protect it. He doesn’t have much versatility in his offensive game at the moment, but he shows a good looking stroke at the free throw line, so perhaps there is some hope that he can extend his range.
Jaleque Dunson (Sioux City East/Martin Brothers)
A 6-3 wing, Dunson is primed to step into a huge role for the lack Raiders this winter following the graduation of Van Rees. And he should thrive. A long, athletic wing, Dunson is a playmaker with the ball in his hands. He competes at a high level on the defensive glass, and has the ball handling and passing abilities to lead the break after pulling down the board. He’s a capable finisher around the rim, can shoot it a bit, and has the versatility to defend multiple positions.
Jaden Keller (Waterloo West/Martin Brothers)
Keller is a 6-4 wing with good size, athleticism and length. He’s a fantastic finisher around the rim, excels in transition and has the ability to break down the defense in the halfcourt and get into the paint. His perimeter shot still needs work, but when he has a head of steam headed to the rim, he’s tough to stop. The Wahawks will have a lot of scoring to replace with the graduation of CaRondis Harris-Anderson and transfer of Nick Pepin, and Keller has the look and skill set of a player who could average close to 15 a game this year in the MVC.