SD State AA’s Preview: The Guards
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The South Dakota State AA Tournament is set to be stacked with high-end guard play. It will be the best display of speed, size, athleticism, and skill in high school boys basketball in South Dakota. There’s a lot at stake…
The South Dakota State AA Tournament is set to be stacked with high-end guard play. It will be the best display of speed, size, athleticism, and skill in high school boys basketball in South Dakota. There’s a lot at stake and no one wants to go home empty-handed. Players will be bringing their best effort and their “A” games. There’s a plethora of guard prospects to be mentioned, so let’s get to it.
Games played at Summit Arena at The Monument in Rapid City, South Dakota — March 16-18
12:00 PM MT — #1 Sioux Falls Jefferson (19-2) vs #9 Harrisburg (14-7)
1:45 PM MT — #4 Yankton (16-5) vs #5 Sioux Falls Washington (15-6)
6:00 PM MT — #2 Sioux Falls Lincoln (18-3) vs #7 Sioux Falls Roosevelt (13-8)
7:45 PM MT — #3 Mitchell (17-4) vs #6 Pierre (14-7)
– 6’0” PG 2023 – Sioux Falls Jefferson – University of Sioux Falls – Runs the show from the point guard spot for the top-rated Sioux Falls Jefferson Cavaliers, so the Division II commit is an important player in this tournament. The three-level scorer reached 1,000 career points recently. Doing that in AA basketball is quite the feat. The Senior guard averaged 16.9 ppg., 3.8 apg., and 3.7 rpg. this season. He’s staying home for college ball — headed to USF — but not before taking a crack at the state championship.
– 6’0” CG 2023 – Sioux Falls Lincoln – Gustavus Adolphus College – Whitney is a major threat from three and will be one of the top three-point shooters in the tournament. Lincoln will be counting on him to get hot and stay hot. Can shoot it from well beyond the line comfortably, without adjusting his stroke. Not just a three-point shooter, Whitney is a tough matchup because he needs to be guarded tightly from range but can also use his ball-handling skill set to get by his matchup. Extremely quick with his crossover and combination moves. 14.3 scoring average on the season, along with 3.7 rpg. and 3.5 apg.
– 6’1” PG 2023 – Mitchell – Myers has an elite handle on the ball as Mitchell’s starting point guard. A lightning-quick first-step and overall quickness. Can quickly bring the ball up in transition play. Uses his feet to apply ball pressure and he actively mirrors the ball.
– 6’0” PG 2025 – Mitchell – Talley is a really nice 2025 guard in the state and is recognized as being a top 15 2025 prospect in South Dakota. Talley starts out at the two-guard but is a point guard on most teams. Will move over to point when leaves the floor. Receives plenty of playing time because he can play both spots and is conditioned to do so. Only a Sophomore, he’s a smooth operator and very comfortable and composed, offensively. The lefty has an unblemished game, where he has all the ball-handling moves to relieve on-ball pressure, and where he can knockdown open threes. Moves well off-ball and understands screening action. Can catch-and-shoot the three very naturally. Doesn’t speed himself up, but at times he’ll show off his explosion by attacking a defender closing out on him .Talley will need to play well for Mitchell to take the crown. Look for Talley to be ready for a true breakout next season, in his Junior campaign.
– 6’3” SG 2023 – Mitchell – All-ESD – Northern State University (Baseball) – Mitchell won the ESD at 7-1 and Soulek was a major factor in them doing so. He was Mitchell’s leading scorer at 13.2 ppg. and also contributed 4.8 rpg., 4.4 apg. An incredibly fluid athlete that moves with speed and is a fast-break specialist. Plays with intense speed and can hit another gear that many can’t hit. The best non-point guard passer in the tournament, with his elite court vision and understanding of how the defense is moving. Loves to throw the skip-pass and put heat on it. The All-ESD selection has chosen Division II baseball, but he could easily perform on a college basketball court. Would not be surprised if he’s on the All-Tournament team.
– 6’3” CG 2023 – Pierre – All-ESD – Ohio State University (Football) – Kienholz is a top-notch athlete in the state. In fact, he has signed to play QB for Ohio State University. A dual-threat QB on the football field, so he has speed. Quickness and elite first-step quickness to explode past his defender off the dribble, verticality, and ability to finish at the hoop — using his athletic ability. Rounds out his overall offensive game with a smooth three-point jumper. Does a good job at controlling pace and changing speeds with the ball for Pierre and handles the ball often for them. Pierre’s best creator off the dribble. For his stellar campaign, Lincoln was All-ESD with 18.5 ppg., 5.6 rpg., 3.2 apg., and 2.1 spg. For funs sake, let’s see him move and throw a football at the All-American games.
– 6’1″ G 2023 – Pierre – Krueger is the starting 2-guard for Pierre. Flies around defensively and has good length for a 6’1″ athlete. A quick release from three and can knock down shots from there. In the SoDak 16 matchup against O’Gorman, he hit two early three-pointers in the 1st quarter. Moves well without the ball, constantly trying to cut and get open to make a play or relieve the ball-handler.
– 6’0” PG 2023 – Yankton – All-ESD – Mount Marty University – Rugby possesses a skilled handled on the ball and great poise and confidence with the ball. A distributor and scorer on the court. Extremely quick defensive hands that leads to many steals. Plays quick and strong going at the hoop of the dribble. A talented point guard that dictates the action. 11.9 ppg., 7.8 apg., 5.3 rpg., 2.3 spg. 155 assists on the season, which is second in Yankton school history. The leader — his father Mark — dished-out 169 assists in the 1990-1991 season.
– 6’0” PG 2023 – Sioux Falls Roosevelt – Kamara is a legit two-way playmaker that is a key cog to Roosevelt’s success. The offense starts with him. Long, athletic, and quick starting point guard for Roosevelt. Brings a ton of energy defensively, always looking to attack the ball to make a play on it. Great lateral agility. An extremely quick handle on the ball. Loves to penetrate and get into the lane. No major weaknesses to his game, as he can hit the trey-ball as well. 11.1 points per game.
– 5’10” G 2023 – Yankton – All-ESD Honorable Mention – Mount Marty University – The ESD Honorable mention selection averaged 17 ppg. This season, Drew broke the AA record for three-pointers made with 85 makes. So, clearly a major three-point threat that will need to get going for Yankton to do what it wants. Deep range threes off the catch.
– 6’3″ SG 2024 – Sioux Falls Roosevelt – Kuol is a starter for Roosevelt and possesses extreme length. Very lengthy arms. Runs and moves well. Very disruptive with his long arms when pressuring the ball in full court defensive pressure. Can penetrate and get into the teeth of the defense, offensively.
– 6’2” SG 2023 – Sioux Falls Jefferson – South Dakota State (Football) – Wilde is a special athlete in terms of his movement ability. Moves with the combination of elite short area quickness and long/top-end speed. This translates well to both football and basketball. He’s an SDSU football commit, but also the starting guard and key piece to the basketball team’s success. An elite defensive player that can chase through screens and defend on the ball with ease. Playing fast doesn’t tire or phase him. He will defend with heavy pressure and relentless effort, then also make a quick move on offense as well. Superb conditioning — a well-oiled machine that has a major impact on the game. 11.8 ppg. and 4.1 rpg.
– 6’2” PG 2023 – Sioux Falls Washington – Mandalla brings a speed element to the game. A very fluid athlete on the court. Moves in all directions at an elite level. Likes to play fast and is a well-conditioned athlete. One of the best overall defenders in the state, that defends with high IQ and sound positioning. Had a solid stat-line this season, with 11.6 pppg., 4.8 rpg., 4.3 apg., 1.6 spg.
– 6’1” G 2023 – Sioux Falls Jefferson – South Dakota State (Football) – The other SDSU football commit in Roosevelt’s roster. Plays boths ends. Averaged 5.2 ppg.
– 6’2” G 2023 – Sioux Falls Washington – Hamline University – Peterson is better than people may realize. He’s a guard that deserves attention as a sound overall guard and playmaker. Plays both ends attentively and at a high level. Will be a main factor in Washington making some noise in the state tournament. Cole recently committed to Hamline University to play basketball.
– 6’4” G 2024 – Harrisburg – All-ESD – Jacoby is a two-way player. An all-around left-handed offensive game, coupling that with solid and sound positioning defensively — both on and off the ball. Can score the ball in any imaginable way. One of the best I’ve seen at creating space for himself as a ball-handler. A scorer that averaged 15.0 ppg. on the season. Has an offer from Morningside University.
– 6’3” G 2023 – Harrisburg -All-ESD – One of the top guards in AA, Determan is a scoring guard that loves to go off the dribble and attack by either getting near-hoop or pulling a jumper. An elite midrange game. A three-level scorer that has a quick and accurate release from three. I predict he will be one of the top scorers in the state tournament and possibly earn all-tournament team. Prototypical size and build at 6’3”. All-ESD conference honors, averaging 18.0 ppg. this season.
– 6’1” SG 2024 – Sioux Falls Lincoln – Tate is a heck of an athlete and mover that flies around and brings energy to the Patriots squad. He can burry threes if you give him some space as well. The whole Sioux Falls Lincoln rotation can stroke the three, and Tate is no different. Loves pulling the corner and wing three and is deadly from there. Averaged 14.1 points per game.
– 6’3” G/wing 2024 – Sioux Falls Lincoln – Mohr is a lefty guard/wing with good length that can also knock it down from deep. Versatile defender with his size.
Braeden Vanbockern – 6’3” G 2024 – Harrisburg – VanBockern has some swag and confidence to his game. The 2024 guard prospect has all the necessary skills from the guard spot, with the ability to hit three-ball.
– 6’3” G/wing 2023 – Pierre – Could be considered a forward, but Ben can jump out of the gym! One of my favorite players to watch because he can sky up and dunk the ball at anytime. Has some dunks that will surprise you. An even 14.0 ppg. on the year.
– 5’8” PG 2023 – Sioux Falls Lincoln – Hilgenberg is the starting ball-handler for Lincoln. One of the smaller guards in the tournament but has elite quickness, which allows him to easily get the defense on its heels. He often breaks down his defender just to get in the middle of the lane, then take advantage from there. Pushes the ball quickly in transition and will attack the middle of the lane. Pulled up and scored on his own from there in the January 21st matchup against Mitchell.
– 6’2” G 2024 – Mitchell – Soukup has extreme length for a 6’2” prospect that will likely blow up next season. College coaches need to get familiarized with this ascending prospect. Plays active defense and will use that length with quick guards.
– 6’1” G 2023 – Sioux Falls Lincoln – Mount Marty University – Another guard for Lincoln that can shoot the rock at a high level. A solid guard that takes care of the ball as well. He’s off to play college ball at Mount Marty.
– 6’0” G 2024 – Sioux Falls Roosevelt – Nielsen is a contributor off the bench for Roosevelt. A smart player that plays within the game. Takes the open shot and makes the right passes. Need to see more of him. Will have further evaluation after the state tournament.
– 6’0” PG/SG 2023 – Sioux Falls Jefferson – Cameron comes off the bench for Jefferson and does a nice job filling in. Can handle the ball and pressure.
– 5’8” G 2025 – Pierre – The Sophomore guard is firmly in the rotation for Pierre. A nice-looking shot. Need to see more of him as well.
– 5’10” SG 2025 – Harrisburg – Feeldy is a shifty Sophomore guard that is in the rotation for Harrisburg. Further evaluation upcoming.
Hayden Goff – 5’11” G 2024 – Sioux Falls Roosevelt – Hayden is a lights-out shooter and an overall solid guard that is entrenched in the starting lineup as well. Handles the ball well and can create space.
– 5’11” PG 2023 – Pierre – Starting point guard for Pierre. Can handle the ball, with the ability to play fast. Attentive and aware defensive player that will play tight coverage.
– 6’1″ SG 2024 – Yankton – Potts is a really a nice guard to be coming off of the bench. Can knockdown threes and creates scoring opportunities for himself as well. Has a skilled handle on the ball and can continue his dribble.
– 6’2″ SG 2024 – Pierre – Being recruited for football, Cade is a solid contributor for the basketball team as well. A solid build with athleticism and movement. Locks down on defense and handles his matchup. Gets in a solid stance and will apply pressure and stay in front. His defensive ability earns him playing time.
– 5’8” PG 2024 – Sioux Falls Roosevelt – Naser is a quick guard that brings heavy on-ball pressure and will suffocate the ball-handler and make them uncomfortable. Impressive change of direction and shiftiness.
– 6’2” SG 2024 – Sioux Falls Washington – Wilson is athletic, strong, and can defend. Plays sparingly but his overall athleticism absolutely stands out on the court.