Week 8: Top 2023 and 2025 Players Tony Saw
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PG Garrett Hempen Garrett Hempen 5'10" | PG Aplington-Parkersburg | 2023 State IA (Aplington-Parkersburg) Hempen is just TOUGH. He’s a versatile three-level scorer who loves contact and doesn’t shy away from it. He wants the ball in his hands in…
Hempen is just TOUGH. He’s a versatile three-level scorer who loves contact and doesn’t shy away from it. He wants the ball in his hands in the big moments, scoring 16 of his team-high 25 points in the fourth quarter, trying to lead his team to a big road win. He’s equally adept playing with or without the ball in his hands, has a pure stroke and great footwork as a shooter, and he can get others involved as a playmaker. He was 8-16 from the floor and 8-8 from the line in their loss.
A 6-4/6-5 big man with great hands, good footwork, and soft touch around the rim, Wiggley has provided the Falcons with some needed size and interior scoring this season. The lefty finishes efficiently around the rim, scoring 20 points on 10-15 shooting, to go with 7 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. He’s a good help defender who rotates well and contests shots without fouling, and he uses his soft hands to control the glass on the defensive end. He sees the floor well and is a good passer who the offense can flow through.
I’ve seen Kiburis play some really good games over the last four years. But, given the opponent, none have been better than what he did against Aplington-Parkersburg on Tuesday night, finishing with 35 points on 11-20 shooting (2-3 3P, 11-15 FT), 9 rebounds, and 8 assists. The 6-4 guard has always been at his best when he’s playing downhill and attacking the rim, and that was the case again here, but he also showed much more confidence in his jumper. Last year, his 3-point shot was a bit of a detriment to his all-around game, as teams could sag off of him to try and prevent him from driving to the rim as easily. He put in a ton of work on his shot during the summer, and the results are evident. He’s still looking to get to the rim whenever possible, but he has a shot now that needs to be respected, and it has changed the way that teams can defend him. He has tremendous court vision and is a great passer who loves to get others involved.
PG(West Burlington) (2025)
A cat-quick guard with an explosive first step, Watkins pairs that speed with a tight handle that he uses to blow by defenders and get to the bucket. He still needs to add some strength to his frame, which will allow him to finish at a higher level when he gets to the rim, but he has good body control and is a creative finisher. He sees the floor really well and is a talented passer who likes to get others involved. He had 14 points and 7 assists in the Falcons’ win over Winfield-Mt. Union.
SF(Iowa City West) (2025)
One of the top 2025 players in the state, McCaffery just continues to improve each time I see him, adding more and more to his arsenal. He’s a tremendous help defender with great timing as a shot blocker, turning away a half-dozen shots in West’s win over City high and impacting several others. At 6-8/6-9 and with great length, he has the potential to become a high-level defender. Offensively, he’s getting stronger around the rim, finishing through contact and showing good footwork and touch around the bucket with his right hand (his left could still use a little bit of work). He handles the ball fairly well and can create his own look, and he has a pure stroke out to the arc with a smooth, repeatable release. He had 16 points and 10 rebounds on 6-15 shooting (1-2 3P) in the Trojans’ win over City.