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Posted On: 08/8/18 4:54 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
Mason Porter, 6’2 G (New London)
“A guy that scores the ball in bunches, and he’s a really streaky scorer. As a coach this summer, I started off every game with a set fro Mason, trying to get him an easy look or an easy basket, because if it went in, it was going to be trouble for the other team. And that’s just because of the confidence that he plays with when he’s rolling and when he’s playing well. It was great to see him healthy coming off of the hand and finger injury that he had. And for him being able to play the entire summer was great to see. I do think he might have lost a little bit of traction, some people might have forgotten about him a little bit, but at the 1A level, he’s going to be a bear to guard and to keep off the scoreboard. He’s a great athlete, he’s involved in a lot of different sports; at the college level, I wouldn’t be surprised if he looked to be a dual-sport athlete.”
Keontae Luckett, 5’10 PG (New London)
“I think his assists numbers are so high because he gets by absolutely everyone that guards him. He’s just an unbelievable athlete. He’s a running back that’s playing point guard. And with the vision he needs to play running back, I think that helps him out on the basketball court. He’s just a phenomenal athlete, I would just tell people he’s one big muscle; he’s strong, he’s quick, he’s fast. Just another guy who’s going to have his pick as to what sport he’s going to pursue at the next level. It’s been really fun to watch him be able to use his athleticism on the basketball court.”
Mason Rahe, 6’3 SF (Marion)
“Another really solid, big-bodied kid. He’s one of those kids who says, ‘hey, I need to get eight rebounds this game, hey I need to get 12 points, or I need to guard the best player. Hey, I need to make sure I get the ball to Max. I need to make sure I set good screens for Max.’ He’s just one of those type of kids. Kids like that who buy into their role and have success with it, are awesome. He just does whatever you ask of him as a coach, and he does it as best he can. I don’t think you could ask for anything better.”
Carson Crile, 6’4 SF (Fairfield)
“Carson is definitely the emotional leader of the team. Whether we called a timeout or the other team called a timeout, whether we’re on a 10-0 run, or on the other side of a 10-0 run, Carson is usually the first one in the huddle talking, or picking up his teammates if they need to be. He’s always been that kind of person internally, and being able to coach him the last six years, I’ve seen him the last two summers really come out of his shell and he really became a great motivator for himself and he brought some guys with him. As a high school kid, that kind be kind of intimidating, because you don’t know what you’re going to get in return, but that’s kind of what he brought to the table intangibly. As far as his skill-level, he’s a 6’4 kid that can do everything, and he plays quarterback, so that kind of gives you a feel of his athletic ability. He can step out and hit some 3s, he can post up bigger guys, he can take smaller guys in the paint and get them in foul trouble. He’s a guy who I’m fortunate to have coached as long as I have.”
Rhett Zeglen, 6’4 F
“Rhett has had quite the evolution. When he joined our program in sixth-grade, I think he was probably three or four inches taller than everyone. He was getting offensive rebounds, put-backs, just a strong inside presence. As other players around him have grown, and he hasn’t, he has done just a great job of evolving his game. Being able to feel conformable playing on the perimeter, being able to knock-down shots. I told the guys this all the time: Rhett probably led us in 3-point percentage. And the reason is, he took good shots and he made them. He wasn’t taking six 3s a game, but he was taking three to four consistently and making two to three of them. He’s a great kid, fun to watch. I know he just went through a coaching change at Mount Pleasant, and I hope it’s a good fit for him especially. You want to see good kids who work hard and do all the right things have a great experience in high school, and I hope he’s able to go out on a good note. But, again, he’s just a great kid and was fun to coach.”