Over the weekend, the All Iowa Attack program hosted the Battle in the Bluffs at the Iowa West Fieldhouse in Council Bluffs. The two-day event brought some of the top AAU programs from the Midwest led by several players with Division I offers.
One of them was Tamin Lipsey, a 2022 point guard from Ames who picked up an offer from the Huskers last Wednesday. Lipsey led All Iowa Attack Red to the championship game of the top 17U division where their comeback bid against Howard Pulley fell just a point short in a 66-65 loss.
Dain Dainja, a 6-foot-8, 240-pound 4-star center with nearly 20 Division I offers, proved to be too much for Attack in the second half, although AIA did get a shot at the win on the last possession.
“The season just started,” Lipsey told Hail Varsity after the game. “Each practice we work as hard as we can to get better and this is just our second tournament. I feel like we improved a lot from the first tournament.”
Attack met Howard Pulley in the championship game of their first tournament as well, the Super 16 in Ames April 6 and 7, losing that one 84-73.
Though he’s only a freshman, Lipsey is playing up two grade levels against the highest level of competition he can at the 17U level.
“I just want to be pushed as hard as I can because when I get up there I want to be able to develop and adapt to the physicality of the age,” Lipsey said. “So if I play my grade or even just one grade up, it’s a total different jump to the 17s.”
Linsey started as a freshman for Ames High, averaging 17.0 points, 4.7 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 2.2 steals while shooting 52.3 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from 3 while leading the Little Cyclones to a 19-5 record and a state tournament appearance in Iowa’s largest class.
“It was good,” Lipsey said about his first high school season. “We wanted to make it to state and we made it to state. We had a lot of goals that we got, expectations. We just had fun. First high school season, different than AAU but still fun.”
Lipsey played up two grades last summer as well, competing at the 16U level as a 14-year-old, and he said that experience helped prepare him to make an immediate impact at the varsity level.
“Definitely,” Lipsey said. “Just mentally, when you play older you’ve got to be smarter. Your IQ has to be higher and just transitioning that into varsity basketball, it helps a lot.”
Linsey actually received his first offer before he ever set foot on a variety floor. The home-town Cyclones of Iowa State offered him on June 16, 2018.
“It meant a lot,” Lipsey said about that first offer. “I didn’t expect it at all. I was excited. I’m excited to get more.”
Nebraska, under new coach Fred Hoiberg, was the second school to offer Lipsey a scholarship.
Very grateful to have received an offer from Coach Hoiberg and Nebraska basketball!! pic.twitter.com/d9EerV3yEX
— Tamin Lipsey (@TaminLipsey) April 11, 2019
Hoiberg did not have a single scholarship player from the state of Iowa enroll at Iowa State during his time at Ames, but Lipsey was one of the first handful off offers he’s issued at Nebraska.
“I had to text my coach and double-check that that’s what he said because I was kind of in shock,” Lipsey said about the Nebraska offer. “I’ve known [Hoiberg] for a long time. I played with his sons. He’s a great guy. I know him from Ames too.”
The 6-foot-2, 170-pound lead guard is a dynamic athlete who can break down defenses off the bounce at a high level.
2022 #Nebrasketball target @TaminLipsey (No. 3) played in the All Iowa Attack Battle in the Bluffs this weekend with his AIA 17U teammates. Here are a few highlights from the championship game. Explosive first step and an improving jumper. pic.twitter.com/eAr0CTMMn4
— Jacob Padilla (@JacobPadilla_) April 15, 2019
“I feel like my first step, getting to the basket,” Lipsey said. “That’s definitely my strongest. I think I need to work on shooting a lot, and also I think I play good defense.”
Linsey finished with 16 points on 6-of-13 from the field, 3-of-6 from 3 and 1-of-1 from the line, four rebounds, three assists, one turnover and one steal against Howard Pulley in the championship game. In a 65-58 overtime win against Omaha Elite in the semifinals, Lipsey finished with 13 points on 4-of-12 shooting (2-of-4 from 3) and 3-of-4 from the line, one rebound, five assists, one turnover and two steals.
Lipsey is still a long way off from making his college decision, but he’s certainly one to track over the next few years.
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.