News&Notes from Hoops in Heartland

This past weekend, FutureStars held their third annual "Hoops in Heartland" Tournament sponsored by AutoGlass Center. After being in attendance for three days straight, I was able to pick up a lot of great tidbits that would be of interest to Hawk fans. Combine GameNight and other activities, Iowa definitely made themselves stronger this weekend in a lot of propsect's minds.

When I first arrived Friday evening, I immediately sat down to take in some game play of Martin Brothers Blue. Jeff Horner wasn't participating because of a football game, but Greg Brunner was quite impressive. Even after playing in seven games, Greg still appeared to be fresh in the legs when it came to the championship on Sunday. Greg is very explosive with how he can get off the ground, and I learned for myself this weekend just how great of a warrior he truly is. I don't believe their is any question that he stands a full "6'7" and I think he should have a fine career playing in the four position for the Hawks.

One name to remember after this weekend is PF Aliou Keita of Iowa City Regina. Aliou played on the Iowa City West AAU team this weekend, averaging eight points and nine rebounds. The scoop on Aliou right now is that he will likely go to a JUCO for one year and then move on to a D1 program. Iowa is taking an active look at Aliou right now, and there is consistent rumors that Aliou could walk-on to Iowa and earn a scholarship after one season.

Aliou came in as a foreign exchange student last fall, being adopted by Dan Ahrens. This will be his first full season of basketball, and only the second year that he has played organized basketball. He has a tremendous body, and many believe that he could equal the body of the one and only, Mr. Evans, after only one or two years of college. We will know a whole lot more on Aliou after this season.

Jeff Horner had his best tournament this past weekend, and the opposite could be said for Josh Rhodes. Rhodes wasn't very happy with the officiating, and he was bothered by bad ankles all weekend. Horner, on the other hand, had a very hot shooting hand and once again put on a display of passes. Sometimes, you'd notice Horner try to do too much, but that will be fixed with more maturity.

7'0 Junior Brian Butch (Appleton West) from Fox Valley Skillz AAU in Wisconsin, is considered one of the top25 juniors in the nation. However, he only had a so-so tourney this weekend, but that was likely because he wasn't very motivated after not playing against very good competition at the big man spot. He, also, was affected by a different offense that his coach was running.

Before the trip to Iowa City, Brian didn't have Iowa in his top15, according to his coach. However, after a visit on Friday, Brian's coach said that Iowa made quite an impression and you could definitely put Iowa on Brian's list of schools. I know Van Coleman and Al Lorenzen, of FutureStars, are very high on Brian, and he was easily considered the best pro prospect at the tournament.

The most impressive underclassmen in the state of Iowa with the last name, Meyers, may not be Junior QB Brett Meyer of Atlantic. Rather, 6'4 Sophmore SG Brandon Meyer of Prarie City-Monroe, is drawing early interest from Iowa, Iowa State, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.

Also, it was quite nice to see many of the Hawkeye players taking in the action. You can tell that Coach Alford really has them believing in this program, and even guys like Reggie Evans and Ryan Hogan were out there trying to help the future of Iowa Hawkeye Basketball.

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