Mississippi Athletic Conference Team Leaders
BY:Trey Sterner

With the season nearing closer, I wanted to preview Iowa’s conferences and leaders on each team. With these preview’s, I will include one player from each team in the conference that is set to be a leader for their team.

Navon Shabazz | 2026 | 6’3 | G | Assumption

Shabazz will carry high expectations coming into the season with Assumption after moving back into the state from Florida. He is one of the most heavily recruited prospects in the 2026 class and the state in general, holding DI offers from Iowa State, Wake Forest, Bryant, Siena, and Southern Miss. A big, athletic, and talented young guard that can score the ball from all three levels, his upside is not hard to see. He can make his Assumption team a serious contender in 3A this season.

Caden Wilkins | 2024 | 6’7 | W | Bettendorf

Wilkins is among the top 2024 prospects in the state, holding two current offers from Eastern Illinois, Bryant Offers. His offensive upside is the strongest aspect of his game. He shoots, handles, and makes decisions at a high level for his size, showcasing a smooth overall attack on that end of the floor. Other areas where he will make a huge difference on the court this year are as a rebounder, lengthy defender, and rim protector. With a strong core of returners, an all-state level player in Wilkins, and some talented new additions, Bettendorf will be a very intriguing team this year.

Ryan Watters | 2025 | 6’6 | F | Central Dewitt

Watters had an excellent sophomore season and will return as a leader in nearly every category for Central Dewitt this year as a junior. He ended the 22-23 season averaging 14.6 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists a game on strong scoring efficiency numbers. With a big frame, good touch and footwork on the interior, sure hands, and a two-way impact, Watters has the potential for a big year and a near double-double average.

Kinnick Belitz | 2024 | 6’1 | G | Clinton

Belitz comes into this season as Clinton’s returner with the most experience and production. He chipped in solidly as a scorer, rebounder, and passer last season, especially flashing efficient three-point shooting. At around 35% from that range, he led the team in attempts and percentage. His scoring abilities and leadership will be very important for the Kings.

Tsuirad Moore | 2024 | 6’0 | W | Davenport Central

Watch for Moore to take on a bigger role and a leap forward in the 23-24 season. Davenport Central lost some key pieces to transfer, leaving Moore a great opportunity to take on a higher offensive usage and leading role. He’s a very good athlete that can get to the rim, shows good mechanics from distance, and gets good opportunities in transition using his speed and vertical. On the other end, the guard is able to force turnovers, make plays in passing lanes, and get involved on the boards. Expect increases in production across the boards from the senior.

Davante Bradford | 2024 | 6’3 | W | Davenport West

I expect Bradford to be the offensive engine for Davenport West this season. He’s one of the more crafty players on that end that I watched this summer, showing an excellent handle, great passing vision, range from three, and a variety of finishes and footwork getting to the rim and finishing drives in half-court or transition situations. Playing with a good pace, he can take over games at times for his team. Using his big frame, quick hands, and anticipation, Bradford also rebounds well and forces turnovers frequently by making savvy reads on defense.

Kavon Phillips | 2024 | 6’7 | W | North Scott

Phillips had a big offseason, earning a pair of Division II offers from Truman State and Augustana. The wing and his North Scott team have a ton of potential this year, with depth, talent, and versatility headlined by the talented senior. His defensive intensity, ability to guard at multiple positions, athleticism on the boards and blocking shots, and transition creation are some of his best attributes. Adding in excellent leadership, communication, multi-level scoring, passing, and improving creation off the dribble, Phillips brings a ton to the table for his team. Adding efficiency and consistency on the offensive end will be keys for him moving forward.

David Gorsline | 2024 | 6’2 | W | Pleasant Valley

Gorsline is a player that I imagine any coach in this conference would like to have in their rotation. He makes the right plays consistently, plays with excellent effort and intensity, and affects the game positively in nearly every area. Helping him to accomplish this are great movement off the ball and in transition, very good on and off ball defense, great strength on the glass, and explosive finishing on the inside. With a developing three-point jumper as well, Gorsline should be in a good spot to help his team compete at a high level as a senior.

Ralph Hoeper | 2025 | 6’0 | G | Muscatine

Muscatine will have a very different look this season. On what will likely be a very young team, Hoeper will bring back the most scoring and varsity experience overall. Last season, he stood out as a three-point shooter, notching multiple big games from beyond the arc and shooting almost 34% from that distance and averaging 7 points per game. He’s a player to watch for a breakout year this season as a junior.

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