Best Bigs of the Sumer (Pt. 2)
BY:Trey Sterner

Forwards carry a big load for their team but aren’t always the first to get recognition. For this reason, I wanted to start off my positional reviews of the summer with this position. Iowa is loaded with a ton of very talented big men. In the next two articles, some of the top forwards I was able to watch throughout the summer will be highlighted.

Brandt Van Dyke | 6’8 | 2023 | Arena Basketball Club | Sioux City East | Concordia (NE) Commit

Van Dyke is going to be a fantastic fit at Concordia. He will make a great addition to their high-powered offense where lengthy, skilled players thrive.  Before that though, Van Dyke is set for a big senior year for Sioux City East. With his heigh combined with solid handles and a great jumper, the forward is an extremely difficult guard for defenses at the high school level.

Lincoln Cantrall | 6’7 | 2023 | Pure Prep | Southeast Polk

Teams looking for a lengthy sharpshooter need to look Cantrall’s direction. Last season and throughout the summer, he was as good of a sharpshooter as they come with serious range and some ability to create looks with a solid handle. His efficiency numbers speak for themselves (nearly 43% from three and a 60% Efg) and he can also provide some shot blocking on the other side of the floor.

Creighton Bracker | 6’6 | 2025 | Nebraska Supreme UAA | Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln

Bracker’s development is going to be fun to track. He is a young, great athlete that already has a great feel for the game and effect’s winning with defensive impact, interior finishing, and movement/screen setting to generate looks within an offense. At the moment, he is a valuable do-it-all glue guy that will likely take on a bigger role with Abraham Lincoln in the next few years.

Brevin Phillips | 6’6 | 2024 | Urbandale | Iowa Battlers 2024

Phillips has been a stock riser with his performance throughout the summer. I will be excited to see the steps he takes with Urbandale in the high school season. He has a strong frame and quick feet that help to make him very effective attacking downhill and in transition. What also helps Phillips to be successful in these situations is a creative handle and vision to see cutting teammates. Phillips isn’t only a driver and transition threat though; he also has patient post moves and footwork to take advantage of the defense from the block.

Kewone Jones | 6’4 | 2023 | All Iowa Attack | Waterloo East

Jones really has the skills of a guard but guards as a forward, so I classify him as a forward. He has serious handles, shoots the ball well, and makes awesome passes. When he gets downhill in transition, Jones is very tough to stop. He can also go to work from the block, making him really versatile on offense. Defensively, he uses his strength and quick feet to make things difficult for offenses.

Baker Beal | 6’5 | 2022 | Beyond Ball 24k | Fort Scott CC Commit

Beal committed to play at Fort Scott Community College at the end of the summer. I’m excited to see the work he does there. I enjoyed watching him with Beyond Ball. Beal is a big-time effort guy with legit athleticism. He’s super strong, can get up, and has great speed. On the defensive end, he’s switchable and can get up and pressure the ball. His speed and effort make him hard to handle as a rim runner in transition and he can also take rebounds coast to coast at times.

Calix Cahill | 6’5 | 2024 | Pure Prep | DCG

Cahill is the type of teammate that everyone should want on their team. He passes the ball very well, both out of the post and off of the perimeter to create easy opportunities for teammates. Around the basket, he is a dependable catch and finisher with some creative post moves to finish over bigger defenders. On the defensive end, Cahill is just as versatile with good shot blocking, perimeter coverage, pick and roll defense, and help defense.

Carter Loney | 6’9 | 2025 | Kingdom Hoops | Johnston

Loney had a really nice summer, and definitely caught some attention with his size and offensive performances. He has solid touch around the rim and does a good job of turning and finishing without giving defenders any chance to dig or strip the ball. I was also very impressed with his offensive rebounding, where he displayed a good sense for where the ball would come off and good effort. As he continues to improve finishing through contact and passing the ball, he could be a big part of an offense and a rim protecting anchor.

Ryan Watters | 6’6 | 2025 | Iowa Mavs | Central Dewitt

Get ready to see Watters’ name in the box score a lot more for Central Dewitt this Winter. With a couple key pieces graduating, Watters looks ready to step right in to be a bigger contributor in his sophomore season. He is a good finisher offensively that combines footwork, height, and touch. The forward is also a good defender that moves really well for someone his size and age and sends back a good number of shots.

Zane Witt | 6’8 | 2023 | Iowa Mavs | Camanche

In 21-22, Witt posted 15.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 3.0 bpg, and a field goal percentage 66%. He looks set for a huge senior year with Camanche in 22-23. Offensively, Witt can throw it down, has an effective jump hook, especially with his left hand, and stays strong through contact. On the other end of the floor, Witt is a terrific shot blocker that affect shot attempts without fouling. College teams looking for a shot blocker, post presence, and dump off/lob finisher should give Witt a serious look

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