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The Iowa Eight is the Register's preseason list of the best boys' basketball prospects in the state of Iowa. Incoming freshmen through seniors are eligible.

The team is selected based on Register staff observations and consultations with high school, college and recruiting contacts. From darlings of mid-major programs to some of the country's elite, this year's Iowa Eight features an impressive depth of talent.

More: The Des Moines Register's preseason Super 10 boys' basketball rankings

More: Meet the Register's preseason All-Iowa boys' basketball team

Selections are listed alphabetically.


Bowen Born

School: Norwalk

Class: 2020

Height: 5-foot-11

Position: Point guard

College choice: Holds offers from UNI and Drake, plus interest from Iowa State, Creighton, Colorado State and others.

Key stats: Averaged 18.4 points on 50.7 percent shooting (42 percent from long range), 2.1 assists and 1.9 steals per game last season.

Why he's one of the Iowa Eight: There aren't many more pure basketball talents in the state than Born. The son of former Cyclone guard and current NBA scout Mike Born, Bowen practically grew up practicing in the Portland Trail Blazers' practice facility, and it shows. He's a smart, quick and deceptively athletic lefty with improving court vision. His 3-point shot is one of the state's best, and he added bounce this offseason. If Born were 2 or 3 inches taller, there's no question he'd be a high-major prospect. (So, UNI and Drake might be hoping he doesn't grow.)


Noah Carter

School: Dubuque Senior

Class: 2019

Height: 6-foot-5

Position: Forward

College choice: Northern Iowa

Key stats: Averaged 18.3 points on 59.1 percent shooting and 9.6 rebounds per game last year. Shot 52.4 percent from 3-point range.

Why he's one of the Iowa Eight: Carter exploded from a fringe Division I prospect to a low- to mid-major darling this spring and summer. He ultimately picked the Panthers over offers from Lehigh, Air Force, South Dakota State, North Dakota, Drake and Wofford. On paper, he's an undersized power forward at 6-5. But on the court, there's a Charles Barkley-like, outwork-everyone approach to his game. He scores from all three levels at a high clip, and he's deceptively strong on defense.


D.J. Carton

School: Bettendorf

Class: 2019

Height: 6-foot-2

Position: Point guard

Key stats: Averaged 23.6 points per game on 49.2 percent shooting last year for the Bulldogs. Added 5.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game.

College choice: Ohio State

Why he's one of the Iowa Eight: Not only did Carton surge from mid-major prospect to a Midwest must-have in a matter of months, he became a nationally recruited five-star prospect, with the likes of Duke looking at him. Ultimately, the cerebral lefty picked Ohio State over Michigan and Indiana. He is known as one of the country's most exciting point guards — a rare combination of big-time athleticism and high-level IQ. 247Sports ranks him the No. 22 prospect in 2019. Rivals ranks him No. 27.


Xavier Foster

School: Oskaloosa

Class: 2020

Height: 7 feet

Position: Forward

College choice: Holds offers from Iowa, Iowa State, UCLA, USC and Kansas, among many others.

Key stats: Averaged 12.7 points on 58.2 percent shooting, eight rebounds and 3.6 blocks per game as a sophomore last year. Knocked down 3-pointers at 39 percent.

Why he's one of the Iowa Eight: A high-four-star prospect, Foster is one of the most sought-after 2020 big men in the Midwest. He has a yawning, high-major frame paired with improving footwork and handles, plus a silky-smooth long-range shot. He is a good athlete, and his upside is why Duke and Kentucky are interested. He has taken official visits to Iowa, Iowa State and UCLA, and he'll take another official to USC at the end of November. 247Sports ranks Foster No. 30 in 2020. Rivals ranks him No. 27.

MEET THE GIRLS' IOWA EIGHT:Our 2018-19 basketball prospects to watch


Cole Henry

School: Oskaloosa

Class: 2019

Height: 6-foot-10

Position: Forward

College choice: Northern Iowa

Key stats: Averaged 15 points on 59.2 percent shooting, 6.9 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game last season. His 142 assists was the fourth-highest total in Class 3A.

Why he's one of the Iowa Eight: If you want the epitome of a point forward, look no further. Henry is a high-flying, rim-rocking athlete. But his basketball IQ separates him from other athletic bigs, and it's why his recruiting stock exploded this summer. He hauled in nine D-I offers in July and picked the Panthers over offers from Montana State, Illinois-Chicago, Furman, South Dakota, Indiana State, Central Michigan, Florida Atlantic, American and Air Force. His shooting stroke continues to improve as well. 


Tamin Lipsey

School: Ames

Class: 2022

Height: 6-foot-2

Position: Point guard

College choice: Holds an offer from Iowa State, plus interest from Iowa, Michigan, Tulane and North Carolina. 

Key stats: Lipsey has not yet played a high school basketball game.

Why he's one of the Iowa Eight: The Ames freshman is already considered one of the best 2022 prospects. He was one of 29 players from the class invited to October's Team USA Junior National Team mini-camp. Iowa State very rarely offers kids before they play a high school game. Lipsey is known as a highly physical lead guard who always seems to be at the heart of the action. He's a strong defender, and his stock will only blossom as his scoring catches up.


Tyreke Locure

School: Des Moines North

Class: 2019

Height: 5-foot-11

Position: Point guard

College choice: South Alabama

Key stats: Averaged 28.1 points on 47.4 percent shooting, 6.9 assists and 3.9 steals per game last season. His 166 assists was the second-highest total in Class 4A and his 94 steals accounted for the most in 4A. 

Why he's one of the Iowa Eight: One of the state's most exciting players for the past three years, Locure found his college home in Mobile, Alabama. Perhaps no player in Iowa can score or get to the rim more at will than Locure. He will be given the "keys to the offense" at South Alabama, whose new head coach, Richie Riley, identified Locure as his top 2019 target this summer. Some added bulk and improved defensive consistency could make Locure a daunting force in the Sun Belt Conference. He held a North Dakota offer and interest from Drake and Minnesota, among others.


Patrick McCaffery

School: Iowa City West

Class: 2019

Height: 6-foot-9

Position: Forward

College choice: Iowa

Key stats: Averaged 19.9 points on 52.1 percent shooting, 6.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals and a block per game last year for the state runner-up Trojans.

Why he's one of the Iowa Eight: McCaffery has consistently performed well against elite competition in AAU basketball. Although there may be more athletic 6-9 players out there, there aren't many who are smarter. McCaffery is definitely a coach's kid out there — he's an active defender, moves well off the ball and does all the little things to help his teams win. And, with the capacity to stretch his game beyond the arc, McCaffery presents considerable upside as a stretch forward. 247Sports ranks McCaffery the No. 92 prospect in 2019. Rivals ranks him No. 64.

Just missed

Issa Samake, forward, 2019, Grand View Christian: The 6-7 Drake signee boasts a jaw-dropping 7-2½ wingspan. Originally from Mali, Samake transferred in from Tennessee last year. He's still quite raw, but he has big-time upside with his athleticism and improving shot.

Even Brauns, forward, 2020, Iowa City West: A bouncy 6-9 forward, Brauns holds offers from Drake, UNI, Toledo and Milwaukee. He has good upside because, right now, he's a better athlete than he is a basketball player. Playing under coach Steve Bergman at West will help move things along.

Trey Hutcheson, guard/wing, 2019, Linn-Mar: Shooting strokes don't get much smoother than Hutcheson's. An Albany signee, this 6-5 guard/wing rarely makes mistakes and will always have a role, thanks to his high-release, long-range shot.

James Betz, forward, 2019, Garner-Hayfield-Ventura: A UNI signee, Betz is a 6-7, do-it-all guy. He can pass, dribble and shoot 3-pointers at a good clip. He'll be able to carve out a role for himself in Cedar Falls.

Owen Coburn, center, 2019, Spirit Lake: A South Dakota State signee, Coburn is a 6-10 rock in the paint. He's a skilled post player and one of the best bigs in Iowa.

Japannah Kellogg, wing, 2019, Ames: The 6-6 wing saw his stock blossom after performing well with an elite D1Minnesota squad this offseason. Now signed with Green Bay, Kellogg is an active defender who's patient and efficient on offense.

Ty Anderson, wing, 2020, North Scott: A UNI recruit, Anderson is a 6-5 wing whose athleticism and versatility combine to form a prospect with considerable upside.

Harouna Sissoko, forward, 2019, Grand View Christian: Sissoko, a 6-7 forward who just transferred in from Georgia, is going to be exciting. We haven't been able to see him much in person, but he's got offers from Middle Tennessee State and Tulsa, plus interest from Valparaiso and Grand Canyon, among others.

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 mbain@dmreg.com and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.

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