Prep Basketball

The Gazette's area boys' basketball Team of the Decade

Marcus Paige, Steve Bergman are Player and Coach of the Decade

Linn-Mar's Marcus Paige during a 2012 game. (The Gazette)
Linn-Mar's Marcus Paige during a 2012 game. (The Gazette)

You’ll probably never see anything like it again. Probably.

The boys’ basketball talent in the Metro and Iowa City areas at the start of this decade was unparallelled. That’s why the majority of players on The Gazette’s All-Decade Team are guys who graduated in the early part of the 2010s.

Cedar Rapids Jefferson’s Jarrod Uthoff was Mr. Iowa Basketball in 2011, Linn-Mar’s Marcus Paige was Mr. Basketball the following year. They’re on there, of course, Paige the decade’s player of the year.

But there were others. So many others.

Linn-Mar also had Matt Bohannon back then, Cedar Rapids Washington had Wes Washpun and Josh Oglesby. Iowa City West’s roster included Jeremy Morgan and Wyatt Lohaus.

All played Division I college basketball and excelled.

How good were things in the early part of the decade? The Class 4A field in the 2011 state tournament included Washington, Jefferson, Linn-Mar and West.

Marion made it in Class 3A. That’s crazy.

So, without further hesitation, we give you The Gazette-area’s all-decade boys’ basketball team. Feedback, good or bad, is welcomed.

Who would you have picked? Had we gone with 12 players here instead of 10, guys like Oglesby, who played at the University of Iowa, and Matt Mims, who led Cedar Rapids Xavier to back-to-back Class 3A state championships, probably would have been included, by the way.

That would have been quite the Dirty Dozen.

Jordan Bohannon, Linn-Mar (2012-16)

A three-time all-stater in Class 4A. The 6-1 guard was named Mr. Basketball in 2016, when he averaged 25.8 points a game. Brother, Jason, was Mr. Basketball in 2006, the only brothers to win the award. Finished as the third-leading scorer in Metro history, behind Jason Bohannon and Linn-Mar’s Marcus Paige. Has starred at the University of Iowa, where he recently announced he is redshirting as a senior to have a second hip surgery. Already has broken the school’s record for most career 3-pointers.

Matt Bohannon, Linn-Mar (2008-11)

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You know about the Bohannons, right? Four brothers, all who played major Division I college basketball. Matt played on Linn-Mar’s varsity three seasons and won a Class 4A state title. He was a two-time all-state pick, including first team as a senior in 2011, when he averaged 16.2 points per game. Went on to play collegiately at Northern Iowa, redshirting as a freshman, then starting all 36 games as a senior team captain, averaging 11 points per game. UNI won the Missouri Valley Conference tournament his junior and senior years and a game in the NCAA tournament each of those years. He is the school’s all-time leader in 3-pointers attempted and made.

Jake Hilmer, North Linn (2015-2019)

Historic career included Mr. Basketball honors last season. Shared the award with Bettendorf’s D.J. Carton. North Linn went 102-4 with him as its point guard for four years, winning a Class 2A championship in 2019. Averaged 26 points as a senior. Led the state in assists three consecutive years. Set state records for single-season and career steals and assists. The only player in Iowa history to surpass 2,000 points (2,332) and 1,000 assists (1,106) in his career. He's playing basketball and baseball at Division II Upper Iowa. Has started all 12 games at point guard for UIU, has a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio and is averaging 11 points.

Wyatt Lohaus, Iowa City West (2010-14)

The guard was a three-time all-state pick, two times on the first team. Honored as the 2014 Mr. Basketball, when he averaged 19 points and four assists a game. Helped West win three consecutive Class 4A state championships. Trojans were 94-9 during his career. Played four seasons at Northern Iowa, where he averaged 10.4 points in his career. Signed with a professional team in Germany over the summer.

Connor McCaffery, Iowa City West (2013-17)

The 6-6 guard started four years for the Trojans, quite the feat. West won a Class 4A state title when he was a freshman in 2014 and a senior in 2017. Was selected a Class 4A all-stater three years, including first-team honors as a junior and senior. Playing basketball and baseball at the University of Iowa. Averaging 7.7 points so far this hoops season for the Hawkeyes and has 46 assists to just 12 turnovers as the team’s primary point guard.

Patrick McCaffery, Iowa City West (2015-2019)

Notice all the West players on this list? The 6-8 forward scored more points in his Trojans career than all of them. West’s all-time leading scorer was a four-year varsity guy and multiple-year all-stater, averaging 25.1 points as a senior. This is where we remind you he is a cancer survivor, overcoming thyroid cancer when he was in seventh grade. Finding the right combination of medication for him to prevent more cancer and still be at his best athletically always has been a challenge and is right now preventing him from playing for his dad, Fran, at the University of Iowa. Has the talent to be a major contributor once that is figured out.

Jeremy Morgan, Iowa City West (2009-13)

Rare four-year varsity player at the big-school level. The wing helped West to back-to-back Class 4A state titles in 2012 and 2013, with the Trojans going 52-0 in those seasons. Twice was named first-team all-state. Also named The Gazette’s 2013 Male Athlete of the Year. Played four years at Northern Iowa, where he started 110 games and averaged 14.8 points as a senior. Has played professionally since graduating from college, including a stint with Memphis in the G League. Now in Germany.

Jarrod Uthoff, Cedar Rapids Jefferson (2007-11)

The 6-foot-8 forward was Mr. Basketball in 2011, when he led the state with a 25.9 scoring average. Also averaged 11 rebounds. Two-time first-team all-state in Class 4A. Began prep career at Iowa Valley before transferring to Jefferson as a sophomore. Signed with the University of Wisconsin, redshirted his freshman year, then transferred to Iowa, where he played three years and averaged 13 points a game. Has played professionally since 2016, including nine games with the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks in 2017. Now is with the Memphis Hustle of the G League.

Wes Washpun, Cedar Rapids Washington (2008-11)

Class 4A first team all-state in 2011 for the 6-1 athletic guard. Averaged 18 points, five assists, four steals and two blocked shots a game. Started college career at Tennessee, then transferred to Northern Iowa. Averaged 16 points as a senior for the Panthers, who beat Texas in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Has played professionally since 2016, including a stint in the NBA Development League (now G League). Playing now in Latvia.

Marcus Paige, Linn-Mar (2008-12)

Player of the Decade

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It was late February 2012 when the guard gave a sold-out crowd of 2,500-plus people at Cedar Rapids Prairie a performance they’ll never forget. One I’ll never forget. He scored 49 points as his team beat Cedar Rapids Kennedy in double overtime in a Class 4A substate final. That included scoring seven points in a span of about 11 seconds in the waning moments of regulation to somehow pull the Lions from seven points down to a tie. A four-year starter for the Lions, a three-time all-stater, an obvious Mr. Basketball choice in 2012 and a McDonald’s All-American. Started four years at North Carolina, where he recently was named to its all-decade team. Hit a 3-pointer with 4.7 seconds left to tie the 2016 NCAA championship game against Villanova, which got a buzzer-beating shot of its own to win. Picked by the Brooklyn Nets in the second round of the 2016 NBA Draft. Played five games for the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, and is currently playing professionally in Serbia.

Steve Bergman, Iowa City West

Coach of the Decade

2010. That’s the only year this decade Bergman and the Trojans didn’t qualify for the state tournament. Of that nine-year streak, only last season did West not win its Class 4A quarterfinal game. The nine in a row is a state record, by the way. The Trojans won championships four times, including three in a row in 2012, 2013 and 2014. West finished second in 2016 and 2018. “Bergy” is fourth all-time with 28 state tournament victories and is tied for first with 18 state tournament appearances. The hall of fame awaits, whenever he decides to hang it up.

Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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