Posted On: 08/22/18 5:04 PM

It’s August, that means live action on the hardwood slows down, but our coverage of Iowa high schools hoops remains active. The grassroots season recently wrapped up, and we’re going to spend the month re-capping what went down by talking to some of the most successful team’s coaches, and getting their take on players that suited up for them all spring and summer.

We recently caught up with Atlanta AllStars 17U coach Ben Miller, who in his 19th season as program director, has enjoyed great success with the program. This season’s squad was chock-full of college prospects, and we had him gave a detailed analysis of each his guys. 

Atlanta AllStars 17U coach Ben Miller talks…


Jaxon Etter, 6’3 (Etowah)

“He’s a very, very intelligent player, with and without the ball. He can really shoot it, he’s a two/three. He’s really strong defensively and moves extremely well laterally and vertically. He’s got a college-ready body, he’s very strong. He’s a very high academic kid, and he’s extremely smart on the floor, really knows how to move with or without the ball. He’s kind of across the board, he’s got some Patriot League interest, and then he’s got some high Division III interest of programs that are in really good leagues. 


Bobby Miller, 6’1 (Buford)

“Bobby’s a kid that has worked very hard. He’s really, really good defensively on the ball, really strong build, really strong upper and lower body. He can really defend and is one of those utility guys. He’s going to play hard, be able to defend really well on the ball. He’s a smart kid and he plays really hard. Wherever he ends up, I think he’s more of a red-shirt type kid.”


Luke Chism, 6’5 (Dawson County)

“Luke’s got big-time potential, he’s 6’5, really long and really, really good on and off the ball. Defensively, he’s got very quick hands, offensively he’s really good at the off-ball screen stuff. He can really handle the ball, you look at him and you say this kid’s a little goofy a little odd, but he’s super productive, especially in ball-screen stuff. He can really get to the rim and he can change hands in the air, he can go left, he can go right. He finishes very well at the rim and is deceivingly athletic. His interest is high-level D2; Peach Belt, Gulf South, Sunshine State, those conferences.”


Eric Coleman, 6’7 (Buford)

“Eric has got several Division I opportunities, a college-ready body; strong, physical. He’s gotten so much better defensively. He’s really a kid that plays much better going downhill and pushing the ball. He shoots it pretty well and has gotten much better at learning how to play hard and being really active on the glass. He’s a kid that’s going to fit in a situation where the team plays a lot downhill. He can really run, he runs like a deer. “


Brady Spence, 6’8 (Alexander)

“He’s massively, massively, massively underrated and it’s because of his weight. When he puts about 25 pounds on his body, he’s going to be the steal in our state. When you look at some of the stuff that’s been put out by several people, he’s in the top two or three bigs in the entire state. He’s 6’8-plus, he can finish with hands around the rim. He’s very, very, very long, he runs extremely well, mid-range/foul-line jump-shot, and again, really good around the rim. He averaged for us about 3.5 blocks per game, he challenged everything around the rim. He’s very high academic, he’s 4.0 (GPA) with a 30 ACT. To be honest, I’m flabbergasted as to why some of these Ivy League and Patriot League schools aren’t all over him. I mean we’ve had about 15 guys in the Ivy and Patriot Leagues and he’s hands down an Ivy/Patriot kid, there’s no doubt; from a personalty standpoint, from an academic standpoint, from a playing standpoint. He has the opportunity to be one of the best bigs out of this state in a long time, and we’ve had a lot of bigs.”


Jayvion Rucker, 6’7 F (East Hall)

“Super versatile, huge upside. He’s 6’7 and the thing about Jayvion is he can defend the three, four and five. He’s really long, really athletic, shoots is extremely well. He’s a stretch-four that can defend multiple positions. He can put it on the floor and create. He’s a great, great kid and has Division I and Division II interest.”


Leslie Nkereuwem, 6’7 F (Discovery)

“Leslie is a 6’7 kid, massively athletic who runs like a deer. He cleans offensive and defensive glass better than anyone in the state. He’s really raw offensively, and he got so much better. He really runs and plays very, very hard. He can guard the three, four and five. He’s got some mid-level Division I offers and interest.”


Matthew Gonzalo, 5’10 PG (St. Pius X)

“You got to watch him three or four times; he’s a small guard, and going downhill, I’d be willing to bet he’s in the top two in the state in terms of you can’t guard him. When he’s going downhill, he can go anywhere he wants with the ball. He’s an extremely smart player who moves well with and without the ball. Defensively on the ball he’s strong as an ox. He’s only 5’10, but for instance on his high school team he leads it in bench and squat. He’s strong as an ox. He’s very, very smart. In his high school situation they run a lot of Princeton stuff, so he really knows how to play. He’s a terrific defender and again, he really pushes it going downhill. He’s tough. And he’s got some D2 interest/offers and he’s got some high academic D3.