The Midwest D1 Basketball Showcase took place on Friday and Saturday at Staley High School in North Kansas City (Missouri). Three teams and 23 prospects from Nebraska participated in the scholastic event.
The scholastic live period event was a certified/approved by the NCAA Enforcement and Approvals Group (ECAG), the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and run by the state’s High School Basketball Coaches Associations. Prospects from Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma are participating in the event.
Nebraska’s three teams finished the weekend with a combined record of 9-6.
The weekend was an opportunity for players from Nebraska to play in front of Division I basketball coaches and showcase their talent. The sample size was good, each team played five games in the two days. While 23 players from Nebraska participated, a handful raised their recruiting profile with their ability to stack quality play and games together throughout the weekend.
They may or may not be, depending on your opinion, the five best players from the 2023 or 2024 class in Nebraska but here are the five that’s recruitment is trending up after their play in Kansas City.
Jaden Jackson, G, 2024, 6-1, 171, Bellevue West
There is a key to getting noticed by coaches in a showcase setting and that is not trying to do too much to show you deserve to be on a program’s radar. Jackson didn’t force things on the offensive end, every shot he took felt like it was in the offensive flow and rhythm of the game.
He was the star of the show for players from Nebraska. At 6-1 he is longer than he is tall. His ability to make shots from distance was on full display. He finished the weekend shooting 50% (17-of-34) from 3-point range. In the two games he played Friday he was 4-of-7 and 3-of-6 from three. Saturday was a slower start for Jackson. In Team Nebraska’s first game he made just one of the seven 3-point attempts. The second game was 3-of-6 from distance but he closed out the weekend with his best performance of the five games scoring 20 points and making six of his eight 3-point attempts.
It wasn’t just his three point shooting that was tremendous. Defensively he had a number of deflections using his length and ability to defend in man-to-man situations. There were times he would get switched onto a much taller, longer and what looked to be stronger post player. He didn’t back down from that challenge, fronting the post and used his strength to not get pushed off of the block.
Jacob Arop, F, 2024, 6-6, 245, Bellevue West
Arop wasn’t the longest or that tallest post player in Kansas City. He might have been the strongest. His motor didn’t stop running. If his team was up by five or 10 or 15 or trailing his effort was the same. He can clean up on the offensive boards, if efficient enough as a scorer in the paint and runs the floor really well for his size. He also showed he has the ability to handle the ball by bringing it up the floor against pressure which was something you don’t rarely see from him.
Defensively, opposing post players couldn’t move him to get to their spot. His length and ability to get off the floor just enough certainly caused problems for opponents.
Treyson Anderson, F, 2024, 6-9, 218, Lincoln Pius X
Anderson stands out, literally. At 6-9 he’s hard to miss, especially when there isn’t a lot of size in the region, much less the state in the 2023 and 24 classes. Anderson’s play was consistent throughout the weekend. It wasn’t just one game that he was his team’s leading scorer or took the most shots to get the most points.
He didn’t force the issue, he was smooth with his approach to the game. He’s also developed nicely physically with a lot more room for growth. He played harder than I’ve ever seen him play. He worked hard on both ends of the floor on the glass. Although it isn’t perfect he showed he can step out and connect on open three point shots which makes him alluring as a prospect.
Jake Brack, F, 2023, 6-9, 210, Skutt Catholic
He likely will never be his team’s best offensive weapon or rarely will be the team’s leading scorer in games. He knows his role and was really good at it. What he did do was the little things that will help a team win and the things that you rarely see in a stat sheet. He’s a first to floor guy and isn’t afraid to chase down loose balls which is out of the norm for most post players. He showed he could rebound out of his area and had a little extra punch or explosiveness with a few dunks that he didn’t show in the winter or spring.
Brack battled for offensive rebounds and got more than his fair share of put-backs off of even his own misses with contact. At 6-9, he showed he has the ability to stretch the defense beyond the three-point line. He wasn’t just out there running rim to rim and looking the part, he was aggressive and played with an edge.
Antallah Sandlin’el, F, 2023, 6-7, 180, Lincoln North Star
Longer than tall and a rim runner was the best way to describe Sandlin’el. There is plenty to like to make you take notice and want to see more. He can finish around the rim, made some clutch plays when his team needed it whether it was a momentum stopping basket or key defensive rebound.
If coaches liked these players heading into the weekend then they still like them after the weekend. They did enough to stay on a teams radar and didn’t necessarily play their way off of a team’s recruiting board.
Josiah Dotzler, G, 2023, 6-3, 180, Bellevue West
I think it is safe to say at this point Dotzler is the best overall player in the 2023 class. I’m not sure that was or is up for debate. He was and always has been extremely tough to stay in front of for defenders. He has an uncanny ability to score at the rim with contact after he blows by a defender using his speed, quickness and handle. He’s won a lot of games in his life and just knows how to win, he’s also not afraid of the big moment. The lights are never too bright or the situation is never too big.
Neal Mosser, 2024, G, 6-3, 160, Millard North
If you’ve seen Mosser play you know he can shoot from distance. The ultimate green light guy that should never turn down even a contested three. He had a game where he was 5-of-10 from distance and has developed into a dependable ball handler if needed.
Tate Odvody, 2023, G/F, 6-4, 194, Omaha Westside
Odvody did what he always does, found a way to score on the offensive end and uses his body just enough to defend against wings that may be a little quicker than him. He is a true three level scorer and has developed a nice mid-range shot. He can create separation to get his shot off against longer defenders and can finish at the rim with contact.
Will Cooper, 2024, F, 6-6, 200, Millard South
When Cooper is in the corner and ready to shoot it most likely is going up and going in. He played hard and competed, which is something he generally always does. His game has grown to where he is much more than just a 3-point shooter. He has the strength to fight in the post against on both ends and he showed he can switch defensively and be just fine defending the three through five.
Landon Classen, 2023, G, 6-2, 175, O’Neill
Classen got comfortable with the speed of the games and his teammates on Saturday. At this point he is longer than tall and looks as though he is not done growing. He can be a leading scorer or be comfortable scoring less than 10 as long as he can impact the game in other ways.
JJ Ferrin, 2023, G, 6-2, 170, Skutt Catholic
The saying goes shooters shoot. That is exactly what Ferrin is, a green light special 3-point shooter. Rotation on his shot is tremendous and if he gets it off you expect it to go in every time.
Kellon Harris, 2023, G, 6-1, 150, Scottsbluff
Harris is long and athletic. He has a quick bounce and can explode when you least expect it. He also showed he can knock down attempts from three in the flow of the offense.