Iowa basketball recruiting big board 2.0: New point guards to watch after April live periods

Matthew Bain
Hawk Central

With April's offseason evaluation period in the books, 2019 priorities for college basketball teams around the country are becoming more and more clear.

Based on what the Register is hearing from recruiting contacts and industry sources, as well as taking team needs into consideration, here is the newest version of Iowa's basketball recruiting big board:

Southfield Christian guard Harlond Beverly brings the ball upcourt against Dollar Bay during the second period of Christian's 71-32 win in the Class D semifinals on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at the Breslin Center.

D.J. Carton is still the obvious No. 1 target. After Carton, though, there isn't a crystal-clear No. 2 or 3 point guard option right now for Iowa, which is still evaluating other players it likes, should Carton commit elsewhere.

Iowa currently has two more scholarship slots to fill for 2019. One is a scholarship Fran McCaffery is pocketing for 2019 after Brady Ellingson and Ahmad Wagner left the program. The other is one of Iowa's normally allotted 2019 scholarships.

1. D.J. Carton, PG


6-foot-2, 180 pounds

247Sports Composite: 4 stars; Rivals: 4 stars

Iowa is all-in on Carton, who is obviously its biggest target for the 2019 class. The cerebral lefty recently named the Hawkeyes to his top six, along with Michigan, Ohio State, Indiana, Marquette and Xavier. Iowa doesn't currently have a summer visit scheduled with Carton, but it will.

Fort Wayne North Side High School junior Keion Brooks (12) works the ball into the New Albany defense during the first half a varsity basketball game at Southport High School, Saturday, December 9, 2017. Southport hosted the Tip-Off Classic tournament through the weekend.

2. Keion Brooks, SF

North Side (Fort Wayne, Indiana)

6-8, 185

247Sports Composite: 5 stars; Rivals: 4 stars

Yes, the Hawkeyes are still in the race for Brooks, who's also drawn the attention of Michigan State, Indiana and Kentucky. Assistant coach Andrew Francis has a longstanding relationship with Brooks and his family. Don't be surprised if Iowa lands a visit this summer. Remember, it had an in-home visit with Brooks in April.

3. Tyrell Terry, PG

DeLaSalle (Minneapolis)

6-3, 160

247Sports Composite: 3 stars; Rivals: 4 stars

Iowa was Terry's first offer, and there's a good amount of mutual interest. His stock is also starting to explode this summer, though, and other schools will be able to recruit him as their No. 1 target. He'll showcase his talent plenty with D1Minnesota this summer.

4. Zeke Nnaji, SF/PF

Hopkins (Hopkins, Minnesota)

6-9, 200

247Sports Composite: 3 stars; Rivals: 3 stars

Another D1Minnesota prospect whose stock is booming, Nnaji is becoming a high-end option for Iowa at the forward position. He has picked up offers from Oklahoma, Penn State, Ohio State, St. John's, Purdue, UCLA, Illinois and Texas Tech in May. The Hawkeyes were in well before recent suitors, though, having offered last October.

5. Malik Hall, SF

Sunrise Christian (Wichita, Kansas)

6-7, 210

247Sports Composite: 4 stars; Rivals: 4 stars

Nearly everyone is saying Hall is a shoo-in for Kansas — everyone except Hall, that is. The versatile forward is another prospect Francis has created a strong, longstanding relationship with. Iowa might not be among the current favorites, but it is still in the picture for one of the country's best.

6. Rocket Watts, PG/SG

Old Redford Academy (Detroit)

6-2, 180

247Sports Composite: 4 stars; Rivals: 4 stars

Starting to get to some new point guard names on this big board. Thought to be a Michigan State lean, Watts, who holds an Iowa offer, recently made it clear that his recruitment is still wide open. He netted 42 points in a Nike EYBL game this past weekend and has shown himself to be one of the country's best combo guards. Iowa is well aware of his performance this offseason, and it is keeping in contact.

Trayce Jackson-Davis is going through process of in-home visits.

7. Trayce Jackson-Davis, PF

Center Grove (Greenwood, Indiana)

6-9, 210

247Sports Composite: 4 stars; Rivals: 4 stars

Indiana is considered the favorite for Jackson-Davis right now. Although Iowa is still in the running, it's probably below schools like Indiana and UCLA. It did, however, secure an in-home visit with Jackson-Davis in April.

8. E.J. Liddell, PF

Belleville West (Belleville, Illinois)

6-7, 220

247Sports Composite: 4 stars; Rivals: 4 stars

The Hawkeyes are still in on Liddell, the reigning Mr. Illinois Basketball. Illinois and Missouri are logical favorites here. Liddell's relationship with Keith Randolph, his best friend who is being recruited by Illinois for football, is significant.

9. Harlond Beverly, PG

Southfield Christian School (Southfield, Michigan)

6-4, 170

247Sports Composite: 4 stars; Rivals: 4 stars

No Iowa offer yet, but the Hawkeyes have been watching him this offseason. Beverly is considered a Michigan State lean. But if things don't go according to plan in East Lansing and Iowa misses on Carton, Beverly will certainly be on Iowa's short list.

10. Noah Hutchins, PG

The Park School of Buffalo (Buffalo, New York)

5-11, 165

247Sports Composite: 3 stars; Rivals: Unrated

Iowa has become aware of Hutchins and likes his pass-first floor general abilities. The Hawkeyes are keeping an eye on Hutchins, who's from Francis' home state of New York and will evaluate him as the offseason progresses. He doesn't hold an Iowa offer yet.

Des Moines North junior point guard Tyreke Locure drives to the hoop against Des Moines Hoover on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, at Hoover High School in Des Moines.

11. Tyreke Locure, PG

Des Moines North

5-11, 170

247Sports Composite: Unrated; Rivals: Unrated

Locure is among the group of point guards Iowa is continuously evaluating this offseason. He's one of the best players in the state and happens to play the position Iowa needs the most for this class, so he will always be in the conversation. Fran McCaffery was watching Patrick McCaffery last weekend during PrepHoops' Battle at the Lakes in Minneapolis. Patrick's first opponent with D1Minnesota? Locure's Beyond Ball. So unless McCaffery shielded his eyes from everyone except his son while sitting in the bleachers, he got to see Locure again. D1Minnesota won 81-47.

12. Jordan Mitchell, SF

Gahanna Lincoln (Columbus, Ohio)

6-7, 190

247Sports Composite: 4 stars; Rivals: 4 stars

Mitchell, who plays his high school ball at national juggernaut Montverde Academy in Florida, just switched over to Team Parsons on the Adidas Gauntlet in early May. Assistant coach Sherman Dillard is keeping in contact with Mitchell, who holds an Iowa offer. There is mutual interest here. Ohio State isn't all over Mitchell, allowing other schools to wedge themselves in.

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 and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.