WHITEWATER, Wis. – Jamarion Batemon didn’t have to do a lot of heavy lifting Thursday night.
The junior guard from Milwaukee Academy of Science glided his way through an overmatched Whitewater squad in the Nova’s 95—36 victory, nearly matching his season average of 26 points despite playing around half the game.
Following the contest, the lithe 6-foot-3, 150-pound junior was eager to discuss his recruiting process, stating emphatically his top two schools.
“Right now for me, it’s Marquette and Iowa State,” Batemon said. “Those are definitely the two that stand out at this point.”
Batemon also holds offers from high majors like Wake Forest, Illinois and Mississippi State. But at this juncture, he’s content to focus on his hometown Golden Eagles and the Cyclones.
Batemon made his official visit to Iowa State to see the Cyclones take on Grambling State in December and came away impressed.
“I had been there before in October and watched them practice, but it was different seeing them in an actual game,” Batemon said. “Just the way the crowd was and the intensity, it was great to see.”
The success of Wisconsin-based Cyclones certainly hasn’t escaped Batemon, whose primary recruiter is Milwaukee native JR Blount.
“Seeing what guys like Tyrese Haliburton have gone on to do, that’s big,” Batemon said. “And the other thing that’s big is that a lot of those coaches are actually from here, and that makes it easy to relate to them and talk with them about what’s going on. They’ve been in my shoes.”
Batemon’s Novas squad is extremely talented, with at least one other Division I recruit in the starting lineup. MAS is currently 7-1, and recently defeated Sun Prairie West, one of the state’s top schools. Batemon scored 37 points to lead the Novas to a tight win.
“I feel really good about where we’re at right now as a team,” Batemon said. “There’s always things to work on, but overall we feel like we’re on the right track.”
Batemon’s team gets after it on the defensive end, and that’s one thing he likes about T.J. Otzelberger’s style.
“That fits right into what I like doing,” Batemon said. “I like to score, but I love getting after it on the defensive end, and that’s definitely something I could see myself doing at Iowa State.”
Batemon has a smooth game, and showed the ability to score at all three levels on Thursday night. His AAU program, Mac Irvin Fire, is one of the top in the Midwest and plays on the EYBL Circuit. Batemon picked up an Iowa State offer in June and has been a big target of the Cyclones ever since.
It’s safe to say the interest is certainly mutual, but Batemon also said he wasn’t ready to make a final decision anytime soon.
“I’m just going to keep playing and see how things go,” Batemon said. “But I’m definitely going to be keeping in touch with Iowa State.”