Prep Basketball

Iowa high school boys' basketball 2018-19: 15 area players to watch

North Linn point guard Jake Hilmer is the state's career leader in assists.
North Linn point guard Jake Hilmer is the state's career leader in assists.

There are several other talented players out there in the Gazette area this season. But this 15-man team certainly would do a lot of damage to opponents:

— Andre Brandon (Iowa City Liberty): The 6-5 junior is a jumping jack who can dunk with ease. Averaged 14.3 points and 5.7 rebounds for Liberty’s first-ever team, adding 22 blocked shots.

Even Brauns (Iowa City West): The 6-foot-8 junior transferred from Iowa City Regina and gives the Trojans a talented post presence. Averaged 10.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game last season and had 68 blocked shots.

— Beau Cornwell (West Branch): The multi-sport star averaged 23.3 points last season. Second in career points at his school. Third-team all-stater in Class 2A in 2018.

— Jake Hilmer (North Linn): Senior guard already is Iowa’s all-time leader in career assists. Upper Iowa signee averaged 23.1 points last season, helping the Lynx to the Class 1A state championship game. Had 356 assists and 180 steals.

— Haris Hoffman (Cascade): First-team Class 2A all-state player last season. The senior guard averaged “just” 12.3 points, but Cascade had five very even scorers and played a true team game offensively. Also led the Cougars in rebounding.

— Willie Guy (Cedar Rapids Jefferson): The 5-foot-9 senior is a whirlwind on the floor. Led Jefferson last season in scoring (16.6 ppg), field goals, 3-pointers, free throws, assists and steals and was second in rerbounding. That’s doing everything.

— Trey Hutcheson (Linn-Mar): The 6-foot-6 senior forward averaged 18.7 points and 7.3 rebounds last season. Made 160 of 185 free throws (86.5 percent). Second-team all-state in Class 4A. Has signed with Division I Albany.

— Derek Krogmann (West Delaware): Third-team all-stater in Class 3A last season. Averaged a double-double of 20.7 points and 12.4 rebounds. Six-foot-7 senior will be a preferred walk-on at Northern Iowa.

Keaton Kutcher (Mount Vernon): Sophomore guard hit 10 3-pointers in a game last season as a freshman. Averaged 12.9 points per game. Has received an offer from Western Illinois.

Zack Lasek (Highland): The 6-foot-7 junior is drawing some interest from Division I colleges. Averaged 20.7 points and 9.4 rebounds last season, adding 49 blocked shots.

Patrick McCaffery (Iowa City West): The 6-foot-8 senior and Iowa signee averaged 19.9 points and 6.3 rebounds last season, shooting 52 percent from the field.

— Keegan Murray, Kris Murray (Cedar Rapids Prairie): The identical twin sons of former Iowa Hawkeye Kenyon Murray both have grown to 6-foot-7 as they enter their senior seasons. Both can stroke it from the perimeter, each attempting exactly 130 3-pointers last season. How about that? Kris averaged 16.6 points per game and Keegan 12.9.

J.D. Stout (Keota): Leading returning scorer in the area. Junior guard averaged 23.6 points per game last season. Made 65 percent of his two-point field-goal tries.

— Jack Wetzel (Cedar Rapids Kennedy): The 6-foot-4 junior wing averaged 13.3 points per game last season, making 41 percent of his 3-point attempts. Also averaged 5.5 rebounds, improving noticeably as the season progressed.

l Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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