"I really like Coach Alford's system," Skinner added. "I know I'll have to work on shooting off the pick or screen, since we run all sets at West Hills, but I've been averaging 3-4 threes a game, so I should fit right in."
Another thing that Hawkeye fans are going to like about Skinner is that he has the ability to become a lock down type of defender. He loves the challenge of going up against the opponent's best offensive threat. He met one of those challenges the weekend before last at the National Prep School Invitational going up against Top ten rated senior Brandon Rush.
"I always wanted to go up against him at the ABCD Camp, but it didn't work out," said Skinner about Rush. "He's got a chance to go to the league. So when we were scheduled to go against him at the NPSI, I was pumped! I had a really good game holding him to 14 points. I guess I was doing something right as the NBA scouts left early."
He was doing something right on both ends as he also finished with 24 points versus Mount Zion. He also had 25 versus Philadelphia, PA Lutheran Christian and capped off the weekend versus Fitchburg, MA Notre Dame Prep going off for 35 points including four jumpers from beyond the arc. He averaged 28 points for the weekend to earn All-Tournament honors at the NPSI.
For the season Skinner is averaging 26 points and just over 10 boards an outing for his 30-6 squad. He has a solid stroke from beyond the arc and is an excellent slasher and driver who hits over 80% from the free throw line. He reminds me of current Minnesota wing Vincent Grier in high school.
We saw that in our evaluation of Skinner from last summer. That he was an explosive leaper with an exceptional vertical who can create dribble drive, hit pull up jumper, or catch opp-pass and finish with highlight reel flush! He is an exciting athlete who will add another dimension to the Hawkeyes perimeter game next fall.
His West Hil;ls squad is just entering the Providence playoffs, so their second season is just starting to heat up. He relishes playing this year, since he missed last season when he transferred to the state's to play ball, but didn't think it was all negative.
"I was really disappointed when they told me I couldn't play at Bishop Loughlin because of New York's junior foreign transfer rule (since repealed) that said I had to sit out a year before I could play," Skinner told us. "But, it wasn't all a negative as I really think I gained a lot of basketball knowledge while I was there. It definitely was a learning experience."
The Hawkeyes really took notice of Skinner after seeing him play for the Ontario Cyclones at the Big-Time tournament in Las Vega last summer.
"Coach Neal saw me in Vegas and called my summer coach Kevin Scarlett after we returned home in August, then Coach Alford and he (Coach Neal) contacted my family and me. They told me that they were really interested in me. They came to see me in Canada and that led to my visiting last weekend."
Nathan Skinner picked Iowa over interest from Wisconsin, Purdue, Florida State, Georgetown, Washington State, and Pepperdine.
Van Coleman is the founder and President of Future Stars and is one of the nation's foremost prep basketball talent evaluators, having been in the industry for more than 25 years. Coleman also publishes a website, www.hoopmasters.com that focuses on basketball recruiting. Coleman and HawkeyeNation.com publisher Jon Miller teamed up to host ‘Talking Future Stars', a radio program that was heard on radio stations throughout the state of Iowa and the Midwest, from 2001 through 2003. We are grateful for Coleman allowing us to share his story on Skinner's commitment with the readers of HawkeyeNation.com.