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Posted On: 11/19/18 11:00 AM
As part of our preseason content, we’re counting down the top dozen candidates for this year’s Mr. Basketball award, presented annually to the top senior in the state. The list starts with our No. 12 candidate, Garner-Hayfield-Ventura power forward James Betz, a high-flying Northern Iowa signee.
Name: James Betz
2017-18 stats: 385 points (15.4/game), 248 rebounds (9.9), 63 assists (2.5), 43 blocks (1.7), 51.8 FG%, 39.5 3P%, 72.6 FT%
Career stats: 922 points (12.3/game), 560 rebounds (7.5), 126 assists (1.7), 119 blocks (1.6), 51.6 FG%, 37.0 3P%, 76.3 FT%
About Betz: Few players look the part around the state more than Betz, who is a supremely athletic forward who lives above the rim and is one of the more physically imposing players in Iowa. He’s a high impact player on both ends of the floor, and the progression of his skill set, combined with his overwhelming athletic ability and size, have led him to a scholarship at Northern Iowa.
Why he can win Mr. Basketball: He’s been a household name, especially in north central Iowa, since he was a freshman, and he’s signed on to play college basketball at an in-state Division I program. Those types of things factor into this decision. Additionally, he should put up huge numbers for a G-H-V team that is annually one of the best in Class 2A.
Odds he wins Mr. Basketball: He’s the biggest longshot that we’re writing about, but he’s been good enough throughout his high school career that he at least warrants some consideration. Either way, he’s primed to have a massive senior year for the Cardinals before heading to Cedar Falls.