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Posted On: 11/26/18 6:58 PM
Tick tock, the season is almost here. Practice started across Iowa on Nov. 12, and games will start across the state on Tuesday, Nov. 27. That gives us just enough time to bring some quantitative lists, counting down the best returners in a given statistical category. The series continues with us bringing you the best returning assisters, from 4A to 1A.
10 Drake Johnson, Stanton — 5.66
One of the state’s best all-around athletes, Johnson was sensational on the gridiron this season for the Vikings. Now, his focus will shift to the hardwood, where, although passing is certainly a strength, it’s the scoring that he’ll do best.
9 Brady Happel, Dunkerton — 5.72
Dunkerton enjoyed a great deal of success last season, winning 22 games and advancing to a Substate final before being defeated by Edgewood-Colesburg. That team was led by then-junior Happel, and much will be expected of him and the Raiders this winter.
8 Hunter Rickels, Calamus-Whatland — 6.0
The Rickels’ have been charting as top assist guys for as long as we’ve been doing this Prep Hoops Iowa thing. It was Hunter’s brother Garrett who was among the state’s best passers from 2013 to 2017, now the younger Rickel’s is doing the same.
7 Braden Gibbons, Madrid — 6.4
He was only a sophomore last season, but was still able to make his mark in a big way for Madrid. Even as a freshman he was among the state’s best assists guys when he dished out 2.7 helpers per game. By the time his career is done, Gibbons could see himself on some all-time assists charts.
6 Cole Burmeister, Exira-EHK — 6.5
There’s sky-high expectations for the Spartans this season, and it’ll be up to Burmeister to lead the charge. He’s got one of the small-school hoops’ best bigs with Dakota Rold, that will certainly help the assists numbers. We’re expecting a big-time season from Cole.
5 Keontae Luckett, New London — 6.91
We saw this guy in action plenty this offseason with Iowa Pump N Run, and it’s very clear that excellent passing and vision come naturally to him. He’s ultra quick, allowing him to breeze by his opponent, and when he does, he loves to dish.
4 Preston Rochford, Edgewood-Colesburg — 6.92
Last season was a historic one for Edgewood-Colesburg, it was the first time the hoops program had ever advanced to a state state tourney. Rochford was a massive reason for that success. Unfortunately, once they got there, they were walloped by Jake Hilmer’s North Linn squad. But it was a great accomplishment nevertheless.
3 Keaton Gwinn, Mormon Trail, Garden Grove — 7.2
Another captain of a very good team, Gwinn was a dish master last season for the 15-3 Saints. He dished out a season-high 12 helpers against Twin Cedars, Bussey last January. The Saints open up with Southeast Warren on Tursday, we expect Gwinn to light up the state sheet in that one.
2 Jack Franey, Martensdale-St. Marys — 7.4
He led all freshman in assists last season, that’s quite an accomplishment. As a matter of fact, his Blue Devils squad was chock-full of freshman studs last season. Now, the group of sophomores will try continue to recent surge of success that M-SM has experienced.
1 Bryce Carr, Danville — 7.9
Danville is going to be very good this season, and Carr is almost certainly going to be racking up a slew of assists. The Bears like to play fast, they averaged 72.2 points per game last season; that’s a lot of assists that will need to be made. Pretty much the entire team comes back from last season’s 11-win squad, so there chemistry between Carr and his teammates will be off the charts.