The usual thinking is that Iowa high school basketball is not all that great, at least compared to the brand of ball that is played in some other Midwest states.
Most experts will tell you it’s OK to have one or two Iowa kids on the roster, but you couldn’t ever assemble a quality team comprised completely of kids from the state.
If you watched much of Sunday’s game between Iowa and Creighton at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, you know that’s hogwash.
The game, won decidedly by Creighton 82-59, was a showcase for instate talent. Iowa-grown kids combined to score nearly half the points collected by the two teams (69 of 141).
Doug McDermott (Ames) led Creighton with 25 points and nine rebounds and Grant Gibbs (Linn-Mar) added five points, eight rebounds and six assists. The only other Iowan on the Blue Jays’ roster, Will Artino (Waukee), scored six points in just 10 minutes of action.
Iowa’s top two scorers were Josh Oglesby (Cedar Rapids) with 14 and Matt Gatens (Iowa City) with 13 while Eric May (Dubuque) contributed six points and six rebounds. Gatens and May are the Hawkeyes’ top two scorers for the season.
So, if you took all those guys and packaged them with North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes (Ames) and maybe Drake’s Seth Van Deest (Bettendorf) to give you a little added size, what would you have? It probably would be a team that could play with anyone in the country.
McDermott, who played on the same high school team with Barnes, was especially impressive Sunday for those of us who haven’t seen him play that often. At 6-foot-7, he can play pretty much anywhere on the court and do just about everything you’d want a player to do.
“I’ve seen very few players who are as comfortable both in the post and on the perimeter …’’ Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said.