Basketball recruiting doesn't only revolve around high schools in this state. Iowa's junior college scene is among the most talent-rich in the Midwest, producing heaps of NCAA Division I recruits every year.
The Class of 2018 is no different. Three in-state programs were ranked in the preseason NJCAA Division II top 20 (No. 1 Southwestern; No. 14 Kirkwood; No. 18 Iowa Lakes), and two were ranked in the D-I top 20 (No. 6 Indian Hills; No. 20 Iowa Western).
Broken down by school, here's a look at some of the top 2018 junior college names to watch this year — including a pair who will sign with D-Is when the early signing period opens Nov. 8:
Ivan Aurrecoechea, forward (6-foot-8, 240 pounds)
From the Canarias Basketball Academy in Spain, Aurrecoechea plays with some of the most sound inside footwork and post moves you'll see. University of New Mexico wants him, and it seems the feeling is mutual. There's a chance he signs with the Lobos this week.
Corey Manigault, forward (6-9, 230)
Manigault transferred to Indian Hills from Pittsburgh. He committed there as a three-star prospect out of Fairfax, Virginia. Texas A&M, TCU and Illinois were all interested before he even played one junior college game. It should be fun to watch him play with Aurrecoechea.
Jamel Allen, forward/wing (6-7, 210)
The Brentwood, New York native will sign with University of Missouri-Kansas City on Nov. 8. Allen's athleticism is off the charts, and he boasts a nice outside shot to pair with his strong work inside.
Antonio Williams, guard (6-0, 185)
Quick, physical and athletic, this Chicago native is drawing interest from Green Bay and Southern Illinois. He can finish through contact with the best of them.
Shane Gatling, guard (6-2, 170)
The Niagara transfer from Queens enters his Indian Hills season with interest from Iona and Evansville. He's a prime-time shooter with deep range.
Connor Murrell, guard/forward (6-7, 225)
The Sioux City East alum and Minnesota State transfer has interest from Ohio University and Northern Iowa. Panthers head coach Ben Jacobson was in to watch him play Indian Hills' opener last week.
Patrick Dembley, guard (6-1, 170)
Arguably the best junior college guard in the state, Dembley will sign with Boise State on Nov. 8. The Minneapolis native averaged 11.1 points and 3.6 assists last year. Dembley's highly refined in all aspects as a run-the-show point guard, but his high-arcing jumper is especially nice on the eyes.
Des Moines Area Community College
Wali Parks, guard/forward (6-6, 210)
The Iowa City West grad has offers from Bethune Cookman and Nicholls State, plus a laundry list of other D-I interest (including South Dakota State, Houston, Washington State, Indiana State, BYU, Central Michigan and Drake). Park averaged 15.8 points and 6.7 rebounds on 47.9 percent shooting last year. He's a well-rounded prospect with size too big for opposing guards and speed too quick for opposing post players.
The Blackhawks have four 2018 players with interest from the Horizon League, Ohio Valley Conference and Summer League. They are...
Kourtney Ware, guard (6-4, 175) — Dodge City Community College transfer from Hopkinsville, Kentucky
Niksa Nikolic, center (6-8, 235) — Sturdy post from Belgrade, Serbia
Brandon Miller, center (6-8, 250) — Rangy big from deep talent pool in West Palm Beach, Florida
Patrick Jackson, guard (6-2, 175) — Quick guard from New York
Carlo Marble, guard (6-5, 200)
You'll certainly recognize the name. Other than playing a standout career at West Des Moines Valley, Marble is also the youngest son of the late Roy Marble, Iowa's all-time leading scorer. A high-flying athlete with all the tools necessary for a D-I combo guard, Marble has interest from Central Michigan and Green Bay.
Chris King, guard (6-0, 165)
Another Des Moines preps standout, the Hoover alum has interest from Northern Arizona, UMKC and Milwaukee. King averaged 12.7 points on 43.3 percent shooting and 41.3 from long range last year.
Tray Croft, guard (6-1, 170)
The Anniston, Alabama native messed around and broke a school record with 774 points last year. He averaged 24.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. Eastern Illinois, Southeast Missouri, Jacksonville and D-II Wisconsin-Parkside are all interested.
Matthew Bain covers college football and basketball recruiting for the Des Moines Register. He also helps out with Iowa and Iowa State football and basketball coverage for HawkCentral and Cyclone Insider. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.