Iowa Top 250 Expo: Top Guards

High School
Iowa

Posted On: 10/6/18 8:43 AM

Jake Auer (West Des Moines Valley, 2020)

The 6-0 Valley guard was a standout with the Tigers sophomore team last year, then put together a really strong summer with the Iowa Barnstormers. He followed that strong summer up with a fantastic showing here on Saturday, showcasing himself as one of the best shooters in the state, regardless of class. He has one of the prettiest strokes you’ll see, with a quick, consistent and smooth release and extended range on his jumper. He does a good job moving off the ball and finding space in the defense to get his shot off, ready to shoot off the catch immediately with his feet squared to the rim. His all-around offensive game is still a bit of a work in progress, but it’s improving. His shooting is already top notch and will get him noticed. 

 

Willie Guy III (Cedar Rapids Jefferson, 2019)

Like Auer, Guy is coming off a strong summer, his with the Iowa Mavericks. He’s a compact, strong 5-10 combo guard who is equally adept creating for his teammates as he is putting up points in bunches. He’s a high-level athlete who competes on the glass on both ends of the floor and looks to push the tempo in transition when he pulls down a defensive board. He’s a versatile defender who moves his feet well on that end of the floor and has the strength to bang with bigger bodies when he gets switched onto bigs in the paint. His jumper has steadily improved, and he’s a quality passer as well. Guy does everything well and is an across-the-board contributor. 

 

Adam Jackson (Des Moines Hoover, 2019)

One of the biggest standouts among the guards throughout the afternoon was Jackson, Hoover’s second leading scorer last season. He was sensational getting to the rim, relentlessly attacking the paint both in the halfcourt and in transition. He’s a talented ball handler with the ability to finish around or through contact with either hand, and he has a lightning quick first step. He does a nice job utilizing ball fakes, and has good footwork, getting defenders to move and create the smallest bit of space he needs to get past his defender. He’s a willing passer who looks to push the pace in transition, and he does a nice job dishing off to open teammates off of penetration when the defense collapses. If he can improve his jumper, he’ll become a really dangerous offensive player. 

 

Jevin Sullivan (North Polk, 2022)

A standout from the first set of games on Saturday, the freshman guard made a major impact on both ends, showing basketball IQ well above his years. He did a great job positioning himself on the defensive end, and stepped in to take a charge a few different times in transition. On the offensive end, he’s a good ball handler with the ability to get to the rim and finish. He does a nice job utilizing ball fakes to get the defender to move and create space for himself. Where he really stands out and this stage is with his shooting. He’s a knockdown perimeter shooter, both off the catch and the bounce. The Comets freshman has an incredibly bright future and was one of the standouts, despite playing against much older competition. 

 

Preston Kelling (Ankeny Centennial, 2020)

A 6-3 junior guard from Ankeny Centennial, Kelling has steadily improved throughout his time in high school, and he was great on Saturday afternoon. He’s a fantastic athlete capable of finishing above the rim with authority, blessed with above-average length and explosive athleticism. He was great playing in the pick-and-roll on Saturday, routinely making beautiful passes to the roll man for easy buckets, as well as turning the corner and getting to the rim for finishes through contact. He rebounds at a high level on both ends of the floor, competes on the defensive end and if he continues at this trajectory of improvement, he’ll be a steal for some program in a few years. He’s remarkably athletic, with great physical tools, and the skill set is definitely catching up.

 

Trey Shearer (Montezuma, 2021)

One of the best players in the gym on Saturday was the 5-10 point guard from tiny Montezuma. A long, wiry guard with fantastic handles, Shearer was routinely getting to the rim for finishes, setting up teammates and knocking down open shots. He gets the ball into his shooting pocket quickly, both off the dribble and the catch, and has a quick, consistent release on his jumper with extended range. He’s not a fantastic defender on-ball right now, but he has the length and tools to become a quality defender on and off the ball. A gifted passer, he’s really strong playing in the pick-and-roll, where he’s a threat to turn the corner and get to the rim, pull up and drill a jumper, or slip a little pocket pass to the roller for a layup. The future is bright for the Montezuma sophomore, and if he grows a bit, he has the look of a potential Division I player down the line. 

 

Jackson Molstead (Charles City, 2019)

The 5-11 guard has long been one of the best players in the 2019 class, and he put on a show on Saturday afternoon. A well put together guard, he does a nice job absorbing contact and finishing through it around the rim. He’s a good ball handler who destroyed a kid in transition with a beautiful inside-out dribble that led to an easy finish. He’s a vocal leader on both ends of the floor, an extension of a coach on the court. He’s quick with the ball in his hands, a quality shooter and passer. He’ll make some Division II program very happy.

 

John Steffen (Linn-Mar, 2020)

The Linn-Mar guard was a standout with the Iowa Mavericks over the summer, and he was really good again on Saturday. He’s a great ball handler who stays poised under pressure, a one-man press break. And he’s a quality offensive player who was routinely getting by his defender throughout the afternoon, getting to the rim and finishing creatively in the paint. He’s a good shooter, both off the catch and the dribble, and was particularly effective with his pull-up mid-range jumper on Saturday. A solid all-around player, with Steffen you know what you’re getting – a talented guard who is going to make an impact on both ends of the floor and make minimal mistakes.