The Iowa high school boys basketball season starts soon, and the competition this year throughout the state will be incredible.
From familiar faces to emerging stars, there are dozens of players who have already earned the right to be called one of the state’s best.
The unfortunate part about putting together a top 50 list is that there are way too many talented players who get left off. Even star players that the Des Moines Register knows will be out with an injury were not included on this list.
But that’s also the beauty of preseason rankings: Anything can change over the next few months. Surprising talents, emerging stars and under-the-radar prospects are what make covering high school sports fun.
So, let’s get to it. Here are the top 50 high school boys basketball players in Iowa entering the 2023-24 season.
1. Curtis Stinson Jr., West Des Moines Valley
Offers: Iowa State, Missouri, Nebraska
Versatile and efficient in almost all areas of his game. Showed he could remain calm under pressure, helping Valley to a 2023 state title with 13.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.3 steals per game.
2. Jack McCaffery, Iowa City West
Offers: Bryant, Butler, Wake Forest
A hard-working post player who brings a lot to the table. Averaged 16 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 3.9 blocks on a West team littered with several talented players.
3. Navon Shabazz, Davenport Assumption
Offers: Iowa State, Siena, Southern Miss, Wake Forest
A fresh face to Iowa high school basketball but one that fans will know soon. Averaged 12.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists and a steal per game at the NSU University School in Florida as a freshman.
4. Caden Wilkins, Bettendorf
Offers: Bryant, Eastern Illinois, Indiana State
A solid scorer from all over the floor. Shot 44.7% from the field while averaging 19.9 points per game last season. Scoring isn’t the only thing he does well, with 10.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.5 blocks per game as a junior.
5. Owen Larson, Estherville-Lincoln Central
College: South Dakota State
Efficient scorer and solid rebounder who makes those around him better. Averaged an absurd 27.2 points per game, in addition to 8.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.6 steals as a junior.
6. Redek Born, Norwalk
A gifted offensive athlete, who brings length and speed to the court. Made over 50% of his attempts for 18.6 points per game, in addition to 5.5 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.5 steals a season ago.
7. Cade Courbat, Cedar Falls
Offers: Kansas City, NJIT, North Dakota
Can go end-to-end with ease and throw down a good dunk but can also work his way past defenders in the paint. Averaged 12.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.6 blocks last season.
8. Kavon Phillips, North Scott
Offers: Augustana, BlackHawk College, Sauk Valley Community College, Truman State
His almost natural athleticism comes to mind first, and he fills the role of swingman well. Put up 14.5 points per game and had eight rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.5 blocks per game.
9. Trovary Cavil, Johnston
Creative player who can score from all three levels. Grew his skillset last season, averaging 21.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 6.3 assists at Des Moines Lincoln. Learning from Courtney Henderson at Johnston should only up his game.
10. Joe Bean, Cedar Rapids Kennedy
College: Upper Iowa
Just seemed to get better as the season went on, helping Xavier (his former team) to a runner-up finish in the state tournament with 14.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.8 steals per game.
11. Preston Ries, Monticello
Sometimes you have to ask yourself: What can’t this Iowa football commit do? Shot nearly 50% from the field while averaging 23.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.2 steals per game a season ago.
12. Jonovan Wilkinson, Roland-Story
Consistent scorer who can knock down 3-pointers with ease. His defense isn’t too far behind either. Averaged 16.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.2 steals as a junior.
13. Luke Winkel, Ankeny Centennial
College: St. Cloud State
Shifty and speedy guard who knows how to get the job done when his teammates need him to step up. Helped Centennial to the state quarterfinals with 16.8 points and 4.9 assists per game.
14. Kiki Deng, West Des Moines Valley
Athletic, lock-down defender who still has room to grow alongside some other super juniors at Valley. Averaged 10.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game en route to a state title.
15. Kareem Earl, Iowa City West
Offer: Southwestern Michigan College
Missed several games last season with an injury, and it was clear that West is a better team with him on the court. Shot over 50% from the field and averaged nearly 11 points and five rebounds per game.
16. Davis Kern, Linn-Mar
Offers: Bryant, UNI
Brings solid size at 6-foot-8 and is a mobile defender who can stretch the floor and finish plays. Shot 53.4% from the field and averaged 19.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game as a sophomore.
17. Zach Driscoll, Decorah
An incredible facilitator when he isn’t producing on his own. Knows how to separate himself from defenders and finish. Recorded 20.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 4.2 steals per game a season ago.
18. Toryn Severson, Madrid
Understands the game and his role on the team well. Averaged 20.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.6 blocks as a sophomore.
19. Micah Schlaak, Cedar Rapids Kennedy
College: Southwest Minnesota State
This is a guy who rarely misses the mark, literally. Made 67% of his shots, averaging 12.3 points per game. Added seven rebounds and a steal per matchup on a team loaded with talent.
20. Reece Vander Zee, Central Lyon
Another high-level scorer, Vander Zee, an Iowa football commit, is as good at basketball as he is on the gridiron. Shot nearly 62% from the field and averaged 17.8 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.2 steals for a championship-winning team.
21. Jesse Van Kalsbeek, MOC-Floyd-Valley
Dynamic and agile, makes plays from all over the floor. Averaged 20.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.8 steals as a junior.
22. Holden Arnaman, West Branch
College: Minnesota State Mankato
Versatile player who can score from anywhere, which is clear with his 21.8 points per game average from last season. Continued to grow in the offseason and could be a serious player to watch.
23. Jack Miller, Jesup
College: Upper Iowa
There’s no denying that he can score — averaging 26 points per game and adding 6.3 rebounds, three assists and two steals last season. But don’t ignore his defense.
24. Camden Davis, Hudson
Offers: Buena Vista, Central College, Coe, Rock Valley
At 6-foot-4, he has a good frame for the game, but he doesn’t rely on size. Backs it up with solid handles, helping him average 19.7 points and 10.6 rebounds as a junior.
25. Tyron Wright, Des Moines Roosevelt
Wright will finish his high school career at Roosevelt, but last season, he was one of the best in the DMPS at East. A rebounding star who loves pulling down boards. Averaged 9.7 rebounds and 15 points per game, shooting 58.3% from the field as a junior.
26. Trevin Jirak, West Des Moines Valley
27. Anthony Galvin, Cedar Falls
28. Matthew Noll, Bishop Heelan
29. Ty Pflughaupt, North Linn
30. Grant Tigges, Waukee Northwest
31. Cyrus Courtney, Cedar Rapids Kennedy
32. Carson Johnson, Ankeny
33. Gavin Thomas, Aplington-Parkersburg
34. Benjamin Bockman, Decorah
35. Jayden McGregory, West Des Moines Valley
36. Cam Buffington, Winfield Mt. Union
37. Calix Cahill, Dallas Center-Grimes
38. Derek Weisskopf, Williamsburg
39. Jalen Kirkpatrick, Grundy Center
40. Mason Bechen, North Linn
41. Kanyon Bryte, Western Dubuque
42. Hunter Hughes, WACO
43. Bode Goodman, Southeast Polk
44. Lio Aguirre, Ankeny
45. Nano Barrantes, Grand View Christian
46. Dylan Marquart, Dunkerton
47. Jaidyn Coon, Storm Lake
48. Mason Costello, Waukee
49. Jalen Richardson, Johnston
50. Aiden Stensrud, Lake Mills
Just missed the cut:
- Tevin Schultz, Dubuque Senior
- Keenen Wiley, Charles City
- Reggie Postel, North Polk
- Kaden Van Regenmorter, Western Christian
- Gage Kampman, Iowa City Liberty
Alyssa Hertel is the college sports recruiting reporter for the Des Moines Register. Contact Alyssa at email@example.com or on Twitter @AlyssaHertel.