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Posted On: 08/7/18 2:41 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’re continuing our “Coach’s Take” series with one of the veterans in Iowa grassroots hoops, Duez Henderson. The former Iowa Hawkeyes hoopster is one of the more knowledgeable coaches in the state, and one of the more animated on the sidelines too. His top 17U squad was not only fun to watch, but they won a lot of games around the Midwest, with guys like Mason Porter, Bryce Barnett, Keontae Luckett and Carson Crile headlining.
Iowa Pump N’ Run 17U Black coach, Duez Henderson
Carter Hartman, 6’2 SG (Cedar Rapids Xavier)
“The first term that comes to mind with Carter is that he’s just hard-nosed. He’s blue collar, did a lot of things for us on the defensive end. And he made shots and created for us when needed. But Carter, if we had a guy going off on us, I don’t care of he was a 5’4 jet-quick guard or a 6’4 power player who wanted to bang, I would say, ‘Hey Carter, we need to you to go at this kid,’ and he would look at me in the eye and say, ‘I got you, coach.’ Just being able to have that at your disposal as a coach, not only having someone who is able to do that, but is willing to do that and accept that challenge, it’s great. He just did a really good job of doing whatever we needed him to do on each end of the floor.”
Max Wilcox, 5’8 G (Danville)
“He could score the ball at a very high clip. I think the confidence that he got during the high school season, at Danville, a smaller school where he’s relied upon to do a lot, it helps him; because he’s used to taking big shots and making big shots. I’ll admit, that Max and I had multiple conversations about his shot selection over the years, but especially this summer, he grew into understanding the shots he should take. He did still take those heat-check shots, after two or three go in, basically the whole gym knew he was shooting again after he made two or three. But, that speaks to the confidence that he has, and I’m excited to see him in the high school season. I would not be surprised if he puts 40 or more on the board a couple times this year.”
Bryce Barnett, 6’1 G (Iowa City Regina)
“I joked with Bryce a couple times this summer, he is the career leader for games played in a Pump ‘N Run uniform. Bryce started playing in fourth grade with us, up on our fifth grade team, and he’s been with us ever since. He’s a great kid with a great understanding of the game. For many years, I wished he was bigger, because he was one of those kids that understood the game and knew exactly what he was supposed to do, but sometimes his strength and athleticism didn’t allow him to do that. And over the past probably 18 months, he’s probably grown five inches and put on 30 pounds of muscle, and to see some of the games he had this summer and what he was able to do once it all clicked and that athleticism started to catch up, was really fun to watch.”
Collin Breen, 6’4 (Fairfield)
“Collin is another kid who really shot up, he was actually the second tallest kid on our team this year. With that size and that athleticism on the wing, it was really great for us. He’s a kid that can do a lot of different things, and Collin is best when he was putting it on the floor and being aggressive; attacking the basket and taking shots. That hasn’t been his role with the high school team in the past, and it usually took him a few tournaments to really get into that mindset of being aggressive and attacking. Again, he’s another kid who’s gotten a lot better over the years and I’m excited to see what he does this winter.”