Iowa Eight: Meet the Register's top high school boys basketball prospects in 2021-22

·4 min read

The boys basketball talent pool in Iowa is a bit unique this year.

In previous seasons, the senior and junior classes dominated the recruiting discussion, with clearly established prospects navigating their way to college decisions.

This year, however, at least in terms of high-end Division I talent, the names to watch are spread out through all four classes ... including the freshman class. And that made selecting the eight best overall boys basketball prospects in Iowa all the more difficult this winter.

But it had to be done. So, in alphabetical order, here is the Des Moines Register's Iowa Eight for boys basketball, as well as the prospects who just missed the cut.

MORE: Who's No. 1 in the Register's first boys basketball Super 10?

Dallas Bear

School: Cedar Falls

Class: 2023

Position: Forward

College: Undecided

Why he's here: There's been a lot of talk about Bear, a 6-8 stretch forward/wing, for the past two years. But he's mostly been a role player so far. That changes this season, and we think he's poised for a monster junior year. He holds an offer from Bryant. Iowa and Iowa State are interested. He has visited Iowa, Nebraska, Marquette, Drake and Loyola Chicago, among others. More offers could come in a few months.

Trey Campbell

School: Cedar Falls

Class: 2022

Position: Point guard

College: Northern Iowa

Why he's here: A 6-4 super athlete who could have also played Division I football, Campbell is a highly intelligent and long point guard whose 3.9-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio last year embodied the type of smart, effective floor general he is. The Panthers offered last January, and he picked his hometown school in June before seeing if other interested schools (including Virginia Tech) would offer in July's AAU season.

Cedar Falls's Trey Campbell shoots the ball during the Dowling Catholic vs. Cedar Falls boys' basketball state tournament Class 4A quarterfinal on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
Cedar Falls's Trey Campbell shoots the ball during the Dowling Catholic vs. Cedar Falls boys' basketball state tournament Class 4A quarterfinal on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

Josh Dix

School: Council Bluffs Lincoln

Class: 2022

Position: Combo guard

College: Iowa

Why he's here: Dix exploded from a mid-major darling to a high-major, Big Ten must-have after an impressive junior season and eye-opening AAU campaign. The 6-4 combo guard who can do a little of everything chose Fran McCaffery's Hawkeyes over Wisconsin, Drake, Utah and Wake Forest.

Council Bluffs Lincoln's Josh Dix makes a basket during 4A quarterfinals between Ames and Council Bluffs Lincoln on March 10, 2021.
Council Bluffs Lincoln's Josh Dix makes a basket during 4A quarterfinals between Ames and Council Bluffs Lincoln on March 10, 2021.

Drew Kingery

School: Indianola

Class: 2023

Position: Combo guard

College: Undecided

Why he's here: Kingery is a physical 6-5 combo guard whose agility and athleticism allow him to play multiple spots on the floor. He's strong, too, and can rebound well for his position. North Dakota has already offered, and programs such as Iowa, Iowa State, Northern Iowa, Drake, South Dakota State, Omaha, South Dakota and Montana State are all interested.

MORE: Who made the cut for the Register's preseason All-Iowa boys basketball teams?

Indianola sophomore Drew Kingery (22) flies in for the lay-up as the Lewis Central Titans (of Council Bluffs) compete against the Indianola Indians on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021, at Indianola High School. The Indians won 80-48.
Indianola sophomore Drew Kingery (22) flies in for the lay-up as the Lewis Central Titans (of Council Bluffs) compete against the Indianola Indians on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021, at Indianola High School. The Indians won 80-48.

Tamin Lipsey

School: Ames

Class: 2022

Position: Point guard

College: Iowa State

Why he's here: A 6-foot-1 point guard known for his defensive intensity and floor general abilities that are mature beyond his years, Lipsey has been as close to a sure thing since he dazzled Iowans as a freshman at Ames. It's hard to imagine him not making an impact as a Cyclone in some form or fashion.

Tamin Lipsey of Ames is headed to Iowa State .
Tamin Lipsey of Ames is headed to Iowa State .

Jack McCaffery

School: Iowa City West

Class: 2025

Position: Forward

College: Undecided

Why he's here: The youngest of Fran McCaffery's sons, Jack has perhaps the highest ceiling of the three. He stands 6-8 as a freshman, so he'll have Patrick McCaffery's size, but he also boasts a similar skill set as Connor McCaffery had at that age. In Iowa City West's season-opening win over Davenport West, Jack scored 19 points, didn't miss a shot, blocked shots and was hitting from long range. He could be special.

Pryce Sandfort

School: Waukee Northwest

Class: 2023

Position: Wing

College: Undecided

Why he's here: If Sandfort isn't 6-7 yet, he will be soon. The rangy wing has been one of Iowa's top 3-point shooters since his freshman season, when he shot 45.8% from outside. Two years later, this Drake and Iowa target has blossomed into much more than a shooter, with excellent rebounding and the ability to put the ball on the floor and score in a variety of ways.

Waukee sophomore guard Pryce Sandfort flies to the hoop in the fourth quarter against Ankeny during the Class 4A regional final on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.
Waukee sophomore guard Pryce Sandfort flies to the hoop in the fourth quarter against Ankeny during the Class 4A regional final on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.

Caden Wilkins

School: Bettendorf

Class: 2024

Position: Wing

College: Undecided

Why he's here: A 6-6 wing out of the Quad Cities, Wilkins is an early front-runner for the No. 1 prospect in Iowa's 2024 class. He already moves so well with and without the ball, and his athleticism and shooting also stand out. There's a reason Iowa, Iowa State, Wisconsin, Marquette and others have all shown early interest.

MORE: 10 burning questions as the 2021-22 Iowa high school boys basketball season begins

Who just missed the cut?

Chase Henderson, PG, Des Moines Hoover, 2023 (undecided)

Ruot Bijiek, PF, Valley, 2022 (undecided)

Blaise Porter, PG, New London, 2023 (undecided)

Tanner Te Slaa, PG, Boyden-Hull, 2022 (South Dakota State)

Steven Kramer, SF, Johnston, 2022 (South Dakota)

Matthew Bain is the deputy sports editor for the Des Moines Register. He still covers some recruiting, too. Contact him at mbain@dmreg.com and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Meet the state's top boys basketball prospects in 2021-22