This is our 3rd and final version of “Players To Watch”. In this article, we are looking at the big bad AA schools! We came up with 15 fantastic players to check out in this article. See below for comments…
This is our 3rd and final version of “Players To Watch”. In this article, we are looking at the big bad AA schools! We came up with 15 fantastic players to check out in this article. See below for comments on why we want to watch them and some other information about their game.
Players To Watch
*Listed in no particular order
WHY? He is the #1 ranked player in the 2026 class from SD. Smith had a Rockstar start to the season with 20 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists. Wow, what way to start the season! The fabulous freshman recorded a double-double in game #1 of his 9th grade season. Colton is not just a fierce offensive weapon, he also plays tough defense. It looks like the sky is the limit for this young Kernel!
WHY? He is an up-and-comer with a ton of basketball ability. He is the #3 ranked player in the freshman class from SD. He can really put the ball in the hole for such a young player. Blake is a pure bucket! He is a very good shooter with an emerging inside game. Blake has a bright future and he will be a STUD for years to come.
WHY? He has to be the the strongest PG in South Dakota. I my opinion, Jacoby is an All-State type talent. His outside shooting has improved and he is deadly inside the arc. He is a playmaker and has the potential to be a great defender. Look for Mehrman and the Tigers to be one of the best in AA. It might have been a slow star for Harrisburg but Jacoby will get them going in the right direction.
WHY? He is a long guard with big time scoring ability. I love the looks of his shot and he should stretch the defense & keeps teams honest. Braeden had a nice AAU season, he looked very good at the Expo, and I expect him to standout this winter. If you like watching serious shooters, check out Vanbockern.
WHY? He started the year with a bang! Rugby went off for 33 points, 7 rebounds, and 9 assists. Harrisburg is a good team and that was a great way to start the season for the Bucks. Yankton is currently ranked #4 in State. Rugby is a excellent leader and a 5-tool player. He is a STUD at everything he does, football/basketball/baseball. Ryken is one of the top guards in SD and I am excited to watch him play very soon.
WHY? I saw him this fall and I really like his game. Lukas is long and athletic. He can make plays off the bounce, finish in a variety of ways around the rim, and cash in jumpers. Morgan looks to have loads of potential. He and Olthoff make up one of the best frontcourts in South Dakota. Morgan and Olthoff are going to have the Lynx looking like a scary team in no time.
WHY? He is big, strong, aggressive, tough, and mobile. Josh was great this fall when I watched him play and I want to see him in school ball. He has to be a mismatch problem for most teams because of his size and strength. He and Morgan are a tough frontcourt combination. Morgan is a monster around the basket and the Lynx are going to be a tough team with the Twin-Towers of Olthoff and Morgan.
WHY? I watched him this fall at the EXPO and this kid is the real deal. Goff has ridiculous ball skills and his feel for the game is special. He sees the floor well with excellent vision and he can make all the passes. Hayden is efficient and effective in transition. He is a crafty finisher and is silky smooth. His pull-up game is also noteworthy. The Rough Riders are 2-1 on the year and as the season moves on, I think more and more people will realize just how good Mr. Goff is.
WHY? He had a standout offseason and his stock rose big time. Gavin has signed with USF for hoops. He is amazingly bouncy, a quick jumper, and his hang time is unreal. Gavin is a disruptor on defense with his rim protecting and shot blocking. If you like dunks and alley-oops, then you should be watching Muirhead!
WHY? I have watched him online and in-person and I love his game. Edman is a phenomenal rim protector/shot blocker. He is an aggressive and productive rebounder. Jackson is a true 3-level scorer that can put in buckets with a variety of moves. His strength and athleticism are very impressive. He is also a sensational dunker and strong finisher. Edman is committed to Black Hills State and he is going to have a dominant senior season for the Govs.
WHY? He is a freak athlete and he recently signed with Ohio State for football. When you have that kind of star-power, everyone is going to want to see you play. Pierre is 3-0 on the year and ranked #3 in State. Lincoln is a deep 3-point shooting threat with an unstoppable jumper. He is also a sensational dunker and all-around playmaker. Make sure you take the time to watch Kienholz this season, he is a generational-type athlete that we do not see very often in the Dakotas.
WHY? I watched him last year and this fall at the Expo and Morgan has a ton of potential. Steele will likely be a double-double dude this season. I like his post moves and scoring around the basket. Morgan can also slash for buckets and hit jumpers. He should be a horse on the glass and a rim protector. The Kernels are 1-0 on the year and you should expect Mitchell to be on the winning said of things quite often this season.
WHY? I saw him live this spring and I would like to see how much bigger Vliem looks and to see how he has improved. Jake is a physical defender that protects the rim and he will do good work on the boards. At 6’10” he is an intriguing player and I am excited to see what he can do this season. I think he has big potential on both ends of the floor.
WHY? He is an impressive athlete that can make plays in the open court, slash-n-score, and finish above the rim in impressive fashion. Dylan should put up quality numbers all season with his size, skill, and athleticism. The Kernels are going to be a serious team this year in AA. Mitchell is 1-0 on the year and Dylan had a solid game with 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. Make sure you check out the Hoops City Classic and watch the Kernels take on Campbell County (WY) and Thunder Basin (WY).
WHY? He deserves more attention! He is a gifted athlete as he was an All-State football player. On the basketball court, Tyan does all the little thing to help his team and he makes others around him better players. He is a skilled and heady player. Look for Buus to have an impressive junior season.