Iowa Elite Basketball Camp Loaded with Talent

Steve Alford hosted a bevy of talented basketball players at Iowa's Elite Basketball Camp this past weekend. It's an invitation only camp, and basketball recruiting effort and friend to Van Coleman was on hand to witness the event & we have his thoughts in this comprehensive rundown. Coleman believes it's the most talent Alford has ever had on campus at one time for this event.

As we mentioned, Van Coleman knows how to evaluate high school prospects, as he has seen tens of thousands of them through the years traveling to AAU tournaments and high school games across the nation. Founder of the Future Stars camps and now the publisher of, Coleman is one of the most prominent experts in the evaluation field as it relates to basketball.

We asked Coleman for his opinions on the talent he saw this weekend and then just let the tape roll. The following words are all from Coleman.

"First off, it was the deepest Elite Camp they have had by far. Lots and lots of talent with lots of kids who can play. They had very, very strong Class of 2008 representation there. Just a very deep group of talented kids there.

In the Class of 2007, they had Brandon McGee from Chicago Crane Tech. He is a Top 100 talent. He was one of the top 10 kids at the Arizona Cactus Classic that I was just at. He is 6-7, 220-pounds. He absolutely can jump out of the gym, plays both ends of the court very hard. He is rising nationally right now and I think he will be a kid that you will see in a lot of Top 50's by the end of the summer if he continues at this pace.

Another senior class kid they had in, a similar player, was Jarryd Cole (pictured left) (6-6/230) out of Winnetonka in Kansas City. He is a big, strong and physical kid originally out of Missouri. He is really tough. Those were the two seniors that I thought were at that next level of player, the Top 100 types that can come in and make a difference right away.

From an instate standpoint, of the seniors, Jordan Printy (6-4/170), the senior out of Lin Mar; he played well. He is a good shooter and will get some notice.

Dairese Gary (6-1/170) was there, the point guard that is already committed. He is a solid kid, he is a fire plug, a tough kid that plays defense and sets his teammates up. Maybe he is not a Top 100 talent, but he is a guy that can come in and compete at that level; a solid player at that level.

Looking at the rising junior class of 2008, there were a lot of them there, a lot of them with talent.

The kids that I think were top 25 potential type kids, Michael Dunigan, (6-9/230) out of Chicago Farragut. He is a big time athlete, long and very strong, physical; gets it on the block and flat throws it down on people. He is a kid that everybody will have in their Top 50 and he could be a Top 25 talent. He could end up being 6-11 or 7-0 according to his coach, Wolf Nelson. Nelson told me that Dunigan is still growing and they think he could be 6-11 at least. He was very, very impressive.

Another guy that I really, really like is Emmanuel Negedu (pictured left)(6-7/225). He will be going to Brewster Academy in New Hampshire next year. Really good student, 3.5 student. To give you an idea about him, on Friday night the kids were doing a little talk, and they were playing some pick up ball and one of the kids from Indiana said that he could touch his head on the rim. And they all egged him on and went up and did it. That gives you an idea of his explosiveness. He is a kid that has proven that he is big time this spring. (Point of Refence: Negedu is 79 inches tall. The rim is 120 inches. That is 41 inches off the ground to touch his head to the rim)

Beas Hamga, who they have a commitment from, he is 7-0, 225. He went to Cornerstone Christian in San Antonio last year. He may go somewhere else this year, but he is living in Bloomington, Indiana right now with his guardian (Mark Adams). He has a 7-4 wingspan and can really run the floor. He gets up and down well. Nice shooting touch 12-foot in. He needs to get stronger in the upper body, but I will tell you what, he is a high-major center all the way. He has the potential to be tremendous down the road. I think he has two or three Big Ten offers. I think Indiana, Wisconsin, maybe Illinois had been involved. Notre Dame, people like Connecticut, Arizona and others that were showing interest. They got a really, really good one there.

Miles and Mason Plumlee. Miles is a 6-8 rising junior, class of 2008. Mason is a 6-8 rising sophomore, class of 2009. Both of them shoot the ball really well, they are long, they get to the hoop in a hurry. They go to high school in North Carolina, but they are originally out of Warsaw, Indiana.

Another kid that was very good that was in that 2008 class was Kyle Pressley. 6-9 out of Ft. Wayne Concordia Lutheran. In the stuff they were doing in the drills, he was tremendous. He needs to play more physically in the game settings. But he was as good a big man that was there in the drill work.

Another Class of 2009 kid who was at another level over a lot of the kids there was Jeremy Robinson (pictured left). 6-8, about 205 pounds out of Decatur Eisenhower. He will be a big time prospect in that class. He is a Top 100 without thinking about type of player. He has a chance to be special. Another kid in the Class of 2008 out of Illinois that gets a lot of looks and is being recruited by Illinois, Wisconsin and others is Tyler Storm. 6-7 kid out of Geneseo, Illinois. JD Darnell High School. Really skilled, excellent open court passer, showed that he could hit the three. I think his potential caught a lot of eyes.

Another 2008 kid that could be real good, as good as his brother is Tyler Zoeller. He is 6-10, 195 out of Washington, Indiana (high school of Craig Neal and Sam Alford). He is really skilled. He is starting to show a little toughness. I have been waiting for that from him, because I have watched him play three or four times and that is the only thing keeping him from being a Top 100 player, is to play tougher and get nastier. He showed it this weekend and I thought played very, very well.

A young guard out of Decatur Eisenhower, Lewis Jackson, is another Class of 2009 prospect. A 5-8 point guard, distributes the ball very, very well. He is going to be a high major talent.

Now some kids that are on the borderline, that have a chance to maybe make that high-major move…

Mohammed Conteh. 6-7, 230 out of Bloomington, Indiana. He is a kid that has gotten a lot of ink nationally. He is at least a mid-major plus to a high-major.

There was a shooter there, Brent Eaton (pictured left). 6-5, 200-pounds out of Middlebury Indiana Northridge. Supposedly is going to be offered this week by Florida. He is going down to their Elite Camp and from what his AAU coach said, he will probably get offered by them. Talking to some people, they thought Jordan Printy might be a better shooter.

Andy Nagle played well, I thought he was competitive with a lot of these kids. He has that potential to get to that highest level. He has a lot of work to do athletically, getting more explosion off the floor and work on getting his feet quicker. He has slimmed down. He is down to 225 from that 240 where he was last fall. He is getting quicker, out of Ft Dodge Saint Edmonds.

There were several mid-major kids there, kids that could end up being pretty good. At this point it's hard to know where they will end up. Jordan Stormer, Malcom Moore out of Prarie, who I think is as good a freshman as there is in Iowa. He is 6-7, 215. If he ends up 6-9, Iowa and Iowa State will recruit him.

A kid with a lot of potential, Brennan Cougill. 6-8, 250, Class of 2009 out of Sioux City Heelan. He has that big country body; really big, wide barrel chested kid. Long arms, left handed. He may end up being a guy that will end up being an Iowa or Iowa State level recruit down the road.

There were two kids that didn't make it that they planned on being there; DeAndre Liggins and E'Twaun Moore. But Moore decided that after six weeks of playing, he wanted the weekend off. I look at those three of four kids in the sophomore class that were the top group, Iowa is right in there.

Dunigan has Iowa in his top three, they are in the top three with Negedu and they got Hamga. If you look at Robinson and Jackson that came from Decatur, I think they are right there at the top of their list.

Brandon McGee (pictured left) said that Iowa is a school that he wants to visit officially. I look at those kids and say they are in pretty good shape. And the Cole kid was really excited about Iowa. So you have a couple kids in the 2007 class that are Top 100 type kids in Cole and McGee and that group of 2008 kids was as deep a group that I have seen on their campus.

The way I look at it, the overall quality of the camp really surprised everybody who was there. Even though a few players they wanted to be there couldn't make it, but they don't have a lot of scholarships. They have two max this year and four the next year. If they could have gotten who they wanted at the camp, they would be just about done. E'Twaun Moore is their top guard recruit now, but they are involved with two or three other kids that are not far behind him on a national basis that were not there, but they could get those kids and not feel like they lost out on anything. Ashton Gibbs, who is a Top 50 sophomore from New Jersey who wasn't there, but he has Iowa in his top five. Billy Garrett is having an instant impact.

In part two of our conversation with Van Coleman, we will focus on the recruiting impact being made by Iowa coaches Craig Neal, Billy Garrett and Tim Buckley and how Iowa has become a significant player with several high-major talented prospects seemingly overnight. Look for that story late Monday evening.

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