Like the current 2021 class of football, Iowa's 2019 class of basketball talent was the best this state has seen in years. Twelve of the Register's final top 16 from 2019 are either playing Division I ball or are signed to play D-I ball — four at a high-major.
Former Bettendorf point guard D.J. Carton is getting plenty of headlines at Ohio State, which checked in at No. 5 in the latest Associated Press poll.
But guys like former Des Moines North point guard Tyreke Locure, former Dubuque Senior forward Noah Carter and former Linn-Mar shooting guard Trey Hutcheson are making noise at the mid-major and low-major levels, as well.
Here's a look at how the Register's top 16 from the 2019 class are faring right now:
1. D.J. Carton, PG, Ohio State
High school: Bettendorf
Carton is averaging 9.9 points, 2.9 assists and 2.6 rebounds in 21.7 minutes per game through Ohio State's 9-1 start to the season. He just scored a career-high 19 points in the Buckeyes' 84-71 loss at Minnesota on Sunday. He's shooting 52.5% from the field and 34.8% from 3-point range.
2. Patrick McCaffery, SF, Iowa
High school: Iowa City West
McCaffery averaged 3 points and 2.5 rebounds in Iowa's games against DePaul and SIU Edwardsville. He hasn't played since, as he's out indefinitely due to "residual health issues" related to the thyroid cancer he was diagnosed with as a seventh-grader.
3. Noah Carter, PF, Northern Iowa
High school: Dubuque Senior
Carter is averaging 5.1 points and 2 rebounds in 10.1 minutes per game through the Panthers' 10-1 start to the season. He's shooting 57.1% from the field and 42.1% from beyond the arc. His best game came Dec. 2 against Luther (D-III), when he netted 25 points and 8 rebounds in a 110-51 win.
4. Tyreke Locure, PG, South Alabama
High school: Des Moines North
Locure is averaging 7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2 assists in 21.1 minutes per game through South Alabama's 5-4 start to the season. He's shooting 37.7% overall and 34.4% from long range. He got the starting nod in the Jaguars' Nov. 19 game against Spring Hill (D-II), when he logged 20 points and 5 assists in 30 minutes.
5. Cole Henry, PF, Northern Iowa
High school: Oskaloosa
Following a knee injury he suffered during the spring, Henry is redshirting his freshman season in Cedar Falls.
6. Issa Samake, PF, Drake
High school: Grand View Christian
Samake has yet to play in a game for the Bulldogs this season.
7. James Betz, PF, Northern Iowa
High school: Garner-Hayfield-Ventura
Betz is averaging 4.1 points and 1.3 rebounds in 8.4 minutes through UNI's 10-1 start. He has appeared in nine games and is shooting 46.7% from the field.
8. Trey Hutcheson, SG, Albany
High school: Linn-Mar
Hutcheson is averaging 7.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 23.5 minutes per game through Albany's 6-6 start. He has started in seven games, and he's shooting 41.5% overall and 36.7% on 3-pointers. He just scored a career-high 18 points in an 84-80 win over Niagara on Saturday.
9. Japannah Kellogg, SF, Wisconsin-Milwaukee
High school: Ames
Kellogg is redshirting his freshman season at Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
10. Harouna Sissoko, SF, Illinois State
High school: Grand View Christian
Sissoko has yet to appear in a game for the Redbirds this season.
11. Owen Coburn, C, Kirkwood Community College
High school: Spirit Lake
After decommitting from South Dakota State, Coburn is averaging 2.3 points and 2.4 rebounds 7.9 minutes per game through Kirkwood's 10-3 start. He has started one game and has played in all 13.
12. Noah Hart, PG, Minnesota State (Division II)
High school: Waukee
Hart recently returned to practice following rehab from a torn ACL suffered during his senior season at Waukee. In all likelihood, he will redshirt his freshman season.
13. Trayvon Williams, PG, junior college
High school: West Des Moines Valley
Williams isn't currently playing but could join a junior college program in the spring.
14. Derek Krogmann, PF, Northern Iowa (walk-on)
High school: West Delaware
Krogmann has yet to appear in a game for the Panthers this season.
15a and 15b. Keegan and Kris Murray, SFs, DME Academy (committed to Iowa)
High school: Cedar Rapids Prairie
Originally part of the 2019 recruiting class, the Murray twins reclassified to 2020 and are currently playing a post-graduate season at DME Academy in Florida. That decision has paid off so far, as both twins signed their National Letters of Intent to play for Fran McCaffery and the Hawkeyes in November.
Also doing well: Tyrese Nickelson, G, Indian Hills Community College
High school: Waterloo East
The former Waterloo East standout didn't crack the Register's rankings as a senior, but he's enjoying an excellent freshman season at junior college powerhouse Indian Hills in Ottumwa, Iowa. He is averaging 7.6 points, 2.4 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 20.4 minutes per game through Indian Hills' 12-2 start. He is shooting 44.4% overall and 30.8% from long range. South Dakota State is showing early interest, and Nickelson will be a mainstay at the top junior college showcases next summer.
Matthew Bain covers recruiting, Iowa/Iowa State athletics and Drake basketball for the Des Moines Register and USA TODAY Network. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.
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