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Posted On: 10/6/18 3:30 PM
PG Josh Ollendieck (Cedar Falls, 2020)
A 6-2 guard blessed with unbelievable length, Ollendieck is still developing as a defender, but he has the tools to become fantastic on that end of the floor. He has the size and length to defend multiple positions, and his length allows him to cover a ton of space that many other guards can’t. He did a great job contesting shots throughout the afternoon, and his length allowed him to get a piece of quite a few of them. As he continues to improve his lateral quickness, he could become a lockdown defender on the perimeter.
G Junior Bodden (Aplington-Parkersburg, 2019)
A 6-0 guard who takes pride on the defensive end of the floor, Bodden is a big, physical defender who can hold his own against much bigger players with his strength. He plays with a non-stop motor, competing on each and every possession. He moves well laterally with explosive athleticism, and with his size and physicality, he’s willing to bang in the paint with anyone. He competes on the glass on both ends of the floor, provides versatility and brings an abundant amount of energy to the floor. Look for him to have a big senior year with the Falcons.
SG Nick Hawn (Johnston, 2020)
In a day and age when a lot of players don’t do much talking on the hardwood, Hawn stands out in that regard. A 6-3 junior, he has the length to defend multiple spots, but it’s his communication that makes him a great team defender. He’s constantly talking to his teammates, coaching them through screens and positioning, and he understands his own positioning as well. He moves his feet, has length, competes and communicates.
PG Dante Eldridge (Iowa City West, 2019)
A lightning quick guard who pressures the ball and makes the opposing ball handler work hard for everything, Eldridge is also a strong defender off the ball, routinely playing passing lanes and turning those steals into easy layups. He has quick hands and is a pest on the ball, so while he’s only 5-9, and doesn’t provide the versatility on the defensive end that some of the others on this list possess, he makes his impact known on that end of the floor.
PG Kenny Quinn (Des Moines Hoover, 2019)
Like Eldridge, Quinn is small at 5-10, but he’s a bulldog who competes on the defensive end like a typical Hoover guard. He’s physical and quick, willing to defend in the paint against significantly larger players. He moves extremely well laterally and is one of the best on-ball defenders in the state. He takes pride in the defensive end of the floor and is the type of player who is perfectly fine scoring no points, as long as his man doesn’t score either.
G Jaxon Smith (Ankeny, 2020)
In this showcase type events, you don’t always see consistent effort on the defensive end, which is why the players on this list stand out. Smith fits into that mold, routinely picking up players full court and making them work really hard just to bring the ball up the floor. The 5-11 guard is quick, moves well and has above average length. A lot of defense is effort, and Smith brought that effort on Saturday.
G Trayvon Williams (West Des Moines Valley, 2019)
An athletic 6-4 guard, Williams has the length and athleticism to be a lockdown defender, and he showcased that ability on Saturday afternoon. He moves extremely well laterally, has the wingspan to make up ground if necessary and he contests shots and jumps passing lanes. He’s a versatile defender with the ability to guard any perimeter spot and hold his own against bigger bodies on switches.
PF Dakota Rold (Exira-EHK, 2019)
A 6-7 big man, Rold has been putting up huge block numbers for years now for Exira-EHK, but we were a bit skeptical as to how much of that came from being a 6-7 player at the 1A level. No concerns there anymore. He’s a real rim protector who competed against bigger competition and held his own. He’s a big body who positions himself well, is a physical post defender who doesn’t let anything come easy, and a quality helpside defender who protects the rim. Rim protection has become key in today’s basketball, and Rold is the type of player who can provide that.
PF Aguek Deng (West Des Moines Valley, 2019)
Deng has been written about plenty already here and here. So we won’t repeat too much of what has already been written about Valley’s standout big. He played with a level of aggressiveness that we’ve never seen from him, and if he plays with that type of consistent effort all the time, watch out. He’s a versatile, switchable defender who can protect the rim and move his feet on the perimeter. There is an awful lot of upside with this 6-7 big.