Posted On: 08/31/18 5:00 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…


Jacob Tischuk, 6’2 G/F

“Jacob is a kid who’s been in the program for three of four years, and he’s just a grinder. You look at at him and his body doesn’t scream basketball player to you, but you put him on the floor and he just finds ways to get things done. He just competes like crazy. He scores it, not at a high volume, but he can score from three different levels on the floor. He played on the same high school team as a kid who had a great career at Tipton, Logan Hoffman, who is the all-time leading scorer there now. I’d really expect Jacob to kind of step up and take on a leadership role, and take a bigger role in both leadership and production for Tipton this year.


Gavin Kies, 6’3 G (Burlington, Notre Dame)

“Gavin is a five-year kid in the program. And I want to say the first two years he only said one word, he was just a really quiet kid. I think early on, which I think is true of a lot of kids, his game followed that same mold. But as he got into high school and started to progress, and got bigger and got stronger, his aggressiveness picked up, and that made him a better player. He’s really skilled, a one, two dribble guy that can score in a variety of ways. He’s a really good shooter, and there were multiple times where he would miss one from deep and he would look over and say ‘my bad, that was too deep,’ and I’d tell him no it’s not because you can shoot from there. And when he played with confidence he was definitely one of the better players on the floor in a lot of games where we played some really good teams. Coming into the summer, if you were to ask him how many schools would be talking to him by the end of July it would have been a big question mark, and it was at that point. But by the time the summer ended, I had about four or five Division III and NAIA schools asking me about him and sending him invites to their showcases and camps coming up. He should have a big senior season at Notre Dame and also he will be playing college basketball somewhere; so I’m very excited for him to have that opportunity.” 


Ben Wolgemuth, 6’4 F (Mediapolis)

“He was definitely the fire and heart of our team. Very similar to the role that Carson Crile plays on our Black team. He’s a smaller town kid, multi-sport athlete, great length, great understanding of the game, and great skill to go along with that. I think he’s definitely going to have a chance to play at the next level if he wants. He plays for his dad at his high school, so he really comes from a rich basketball family. Ben was a just a joy to coach, a joy to be around and a joy to watch compete as well.


Alex Wolter, 6’10  C (Keokuk)

“A first-year kid in the program, he’s from a smaller town, and it’s hard when you’re bigger and everyone wants you to develop quicker, at their pace. He was starting to do that, and I think this summer he took some absolutely huge strides. I went from not knowing that we were going to get from him, to hey, we need get him touches. And it sounds really weird when I talk to people about him and they’ll ask what his best attribute is, and I’ll tell them that he is a phenomenal passer at his size. There were a lot of times where we would try and get the ball inside, not necessarily for him to score the ball, but just for other people to be able to play off of him. He was patient and he was just a great passer, being able to pinpoint pass and find the open guys, see where plays are happening and distribute the ball. And as a big kid like that to be able to pay of of him like that, that gives us a huge advantage. I know I’ve said this a lot about the guys, but I wouldn’t be surprised if his points and rebounds double from where they were last year, that’s the type of strides that he’s made. His college interest is all across the board, I had Division 2s reach out, Division 3s, NAIAs, prep schools. The intriguing fact about him is birthday-wise, he could be going into his junior year of high school right now, if you can believe that. He’s going to have options, it’s just depending on which route he wants to go.” 


Camden Butterbaugh, 6′ G (Mount Vernon)

“Camden was another four-year guy in the program, a back-court player, combo-guard. He’s not extremely comfortable handling the basketball, but that was definitely a growth area we worked on the last few years for him, was handling pressure. He’s a really crafty scorer, not super athletic, but he finds ways to get by people. He’s not super strong but he finds ways to get to the hoop and finish. And his best attribute is definitely shooting the basketball. He made some big shots for us this summer. With him and Noah together over at Mount Vernon, I’m excited to see the type of season he can put together and see him grow.