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Posted On: 11/19/18 3:00 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. We’ll start by bringing you the best returning scorers, from 4A to 1A.
10 Nick Jacobs, Akron-Westfield — 20.5
It’s the 3-ball that makes Jacobs such an effective scorer. He made 100 of them last season, only current Cedar Falls point guard AJ Green made more. And he did so at a relatively effective clip, 40 percent. Can he eclipse 100 made 3-balls this season?
9 Zack Lasek, Highland, Riverside — 20.7
A top-five prospect in Iowa’s Class of 2020, Lasek is a big and bouncy power forward and he’s starting to develop a jumper. He’ll be among the all-time great scorers in Highland, Riverside’s history by the time this season is over, and he’s only a junior.
8 Andrew Gibb, St. Edmonds — 20.8
Without a doubt, Gibb is one of Iowa’s best shooters. He’s got some great length and has gotten much better at getting to the hoop and scoring at the rim. Two years a go as a sophomore he pieced together 50-50-90 shooting clips, so he’s as efficient of a scorer as there is in Iowa.
7 PJ Rundquist, Wapsie Valley — 21.1
A proven scorer for a long time now, Rundquist came into his high school career as a big-time bucket-getter. the 5-foot-9 shooting guard averaged 20 points as a freshman, 20.1 as a sophomore and 21.1 as a junior. That’s some steady scoring from the ultra-skilled prospect.
6 Levi Lukes, South Winneshiek — 21.6
He’s got one of the best names in Iowa high school hoops, and he’s got one of the best jumpers, too. Lukes scored a ton of points last season and did so at an efficient 51 percent clip. Sometimes it’s tough for guards to get to that 50 percent mark. Lukes did it last year after shooting just 41 percent as a sophomore. We expect him to be up closer to 55 percent this season.
5 Bryce Coppock, Newell-Fonda — 21.9
A small guard, but with some serious length that makes him deceptively big. Coppock, a junior, is a competitor who goes hard on both sides of the ball. Pound for pound, he might be the best scorer in Class 1A. Coppock is well on his way to becoming one of the all-time greats at Newell-Fonda.
4 Drake Johnson, Stanton — 22.0
An athletic and well-built combo guard, Johnson just got done terrorizing opponents on the gridiron, and now he’ll do the same on the hardwood. A 5-foot-11 senior, he’s been a high-level scoring machine for two seasons now, this should be his third straight year scoring more than 20 points per game.
3 Ben Obert, Coon Rapids-Bayard — 22.4
He does a little bit of everything for the Crusdaers, but it’s scoring that he does best. Obert is our preseason player of the year in the Rolling Valley Conference after averaging 3.3 assists, 1.8 steals and 6.3 rebounds in addition to his 22.4 points per game last season.
2 Jake Hilmer, North Linn — 23.1
This is a bit of a typo, because Hilmer and Co. are playing in 2A this season, so we probably should have included him in that list. He did his high-level scoring last season at the 1A level, though. The crazy thing about Hilmer, is scoring might be his third-best skill, he’s known for his marvelous assists, and his prowess on defense. Well, obviously, the elite point guard can score in bunches, too.
1 JD Stout, Keota — 23.6
He picked up a William Penn offer this past spring after attending their elite camp, and there could be plenty more offers coming for the 6-foot Keota scoring machine. As a freshman he averaged 8.3 points, then as a sophomore made huge strides, going for a whopping 23.6. We think it’s possible he gets up around 30 points per game this junior season.