Posted On: 08/30/18 11:37 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 conclude our “Coach’s Take” series with Iowa Pump ‘N Run program director Duez Henderson, one of the hardest working guys in the biz. He coached both the 17U black and gold teams, and there was plenty of talent from top to bottom his program. We’ve highlighted the Black squad already, now it’s time to take a look at the Gold unit.
Iowa Pump ‘N Run program director Duez Henderson talks…
Matthew Walton, 6’3 G (Anamosa)
“Matthew is a two-sport kid, he’s a starting quarterback at Anamosa as well. I think Matthew made strides in two areas that he wanted to make them. One was just becoming a more confident shooter. His biggest problem was he wouldn’t take contested or semi-contested shots; but he’s too good of a shooter to be passing up shots. That’s something where he saw some growth in that area. And then he became a bit more comfortable putting the ball on the floor. He’s a really good player for Anamosa and they’re going to do a lot of things with their back-court.
Noah Guillaume, 6’9 C (Mount Vernon)
“Noah was kind of an unknown. He reached out to us shortly after the high school season ended, saying he was interested in playing. I had never heard of him and then I saw his height and I thought it had to be a misprint. I was like ‘a 6’9 kid right in Mount Vernon?’ I would have heard about him. He’s a kid that started playing basketball late, in eighth grade. He’s still developing. But I was really impressed with his willingness and his desire to learn. Especially being a kid that size and not getting a ton of minutes on your high school team, I think it would have been very easy in that situation to just pack it in and not really care. But I think he had a fire lit under him, because he had some success this summer. He was able to play right with some really good competition. I’m really excited to see is he’s able to maintain that growth and keep that aggressiveness as he heads into his high school season at Mount Vernon this year.”
“He’s small, but I would say pound for pound he’s the best athlete we had on that team. He’s really, really good at the pick and roll situation. I’m kind of kicking myself in the butt because I didn’t put him in pick and roll situations enough early on. We had a game where we were playing a Minnesota team and we were kind of a mismatch team, we had a couple other guys from other teams because we were missing guys due to other commitments, and I just put the ball in Logan’s hands and we would have one of our bigs set the screen and do the screen and roll. I believe he ended that game with 36 points and 13 assists. And you’re basically accounting for 50-plus points there. And I would say 40 of those points came out of the pick and roll situation. He’s a really crafty finisher, he’s strong. He is going to have a great senior year, and I think he’s going to have some chances to compete at the next level, at a NAIA or Division III; he’d be really good at that level.”
“Ryle from Burlington is a multi-sport athlete, he’s got a bigger body. He’s really able to take advantage of a lot of mismatches, you know, we played him at a four/stretch-four position. He was able to get to the basket, he’s a really strong finisher inside. He would knock down shots here and there, I wouldn’t say his shooting is a strength, but it’s definitely something he’s working on and gotten better at each year. Again, he’s just a kid that I think will have a very good senior year if he’s able to carry over some of the fire that he played with this summer.”