Thoughts from MN Magic College Night

Tonight takes the Czar to the MN Magic College Exposure Night at the Eden Prairie HS Activities Center. Plenty of local college coaches on hand and a truckload of teams.

15U thoughts
Magic 15U elite starters

Daron Garvis 5'9 (Richfield) PG
Brandon Siefert 6'2 (Holy Family) Wing
Kyle Noreen 6'2 (MTS) Wing
Jonah Travis 6'5 (DLS) PF
Mike Yahnke 6'6 (Delano) C

Others of note in the game, Ethan Petrill 6'2 Wing from Shakopee, Vaughn Thada from Owatonna, Shaylynn Owens of CDH and Eric Robertson of Wayzata. Of no surprise in this game, the MTS 1-2-2 zone employed by coach Miller (the MTS JV coach) left the FT line wide open.

Alex Cole from Eau Claire and Will Iverson from Elk River caught my eye for the Magic 15U Crawford squad. Jonah Travis was impressive tonight after his big JV year for DLS. He reminds me a lot of teammate Jalen Jaspers. Eric Robertson was quiet tonight, but I still think next year might be a year where he jumps up and surprises people and becomes a very comparable replacement to Nick Rocca. Kyle Noreen displayed a little of a drive and kick game, but its definitely something he'll need to add to his game going forward as teams will make him beat them off the bounce.

16U Thoughts
I covered the 16U Elites last weekend (read that here) so I won't cover them again except to say that it was nice to see them finally go man. Chad Calcaterra looked better tonight than over the weekend and Marshall Bjorklund is still a beast with Jon Crockett being a real disruptive force on defense. The other 16U squad looks like this.

Walter Franklin 5'9 PG from DLS, 1 of the 2 sophomore reserves for DLS last year in their final rotation (Bryce Hawkins was the other with Jalen Jaspers in the starting lineup)

Andrew Krupke 6'2 Sartell, Jeff Fallat 6'2 Burnsville, Deron Murphy 5'10 Kennedy, Marcus Shaw 6'0 Columbia Heights, Omot Ajack 6'0 Stillwater, Dan Carney 6'2 Tonka, Jeff Burns 6'3 Centennial, Jalen Williams 6'2 Jefferson, Eric Schmechel 6'6 Hudson, WI, David Michaelson 5'11 Roseville

Shaw, Carney and Schmechel caught my eye in addition to Franklin. Tough spot for Shaw as he has Jacob Thomas and Harold Rainey in front of him at CH (they're both playing for Howard Pulley this summer). I didn't see the Magic 16U Blake squad play but it has Peter Sorensen on it who got major minutes for SW Christian this year.

17U thoughts
There are 3 teams that stuck out to me. 2 of which are familiar to some. The Elite/Culp squad (Chris Williams, Greg Meyer, Taylor Sparkman, David Burnham, Zach Matos, Chris Breuer, Isaiah Thomas, Renard Robinson) and the Robertson squad (Trent Davis, Lamar Anderson, Shaun Jensen, Avery Duncan, Carlos Emory and Caleb Palkert), but their best squad might be their Brown squad (Will DeBerg, Mitch Bires, Tyler Swanson, Billy Giddings, Jack Gavin, Tyler Goetz, Ethan Wragge, Josh Pedretti, Chris Orgas, Bronson Byrne). Wragge was flammable tonight vs the 16 Elites. Giddings is long and athletic and a pleasure to watch. DeBerg was solid at the point with great vision and poise. Pedretti may look about 40 years old, but he's tough inside. I think its worth noting (despite the wacky timing and scoring at this event) that the 16U Elites beat the Culp squad but lost to the Brown squad. Brown team isn't as deep, but still very talented. 17U Elites started Chris Williams at PG, Meyer and Thomas on the wings, Sparkman at the 4 and Eric Gilbertson (River Falls, WI averaged 10.1 PPG this season) in the middle. A fun 2nd unit of Renard Robinson, Sean Gilbert, Zach Matos and Chris Breuer (David Burnham not in attendance tonight).


  1. Glad to see you get out to experience the AAU circuit. Most teams have only been together a very short time and when you see them again, they will be much more polished.
    My team, the 15u elite's, didn't play very well against Crawford's team the first game. If you got to see us play the 16u team led by Daron Murphy. We played a lot better help side defense( man and zone) which propelled us to the "W".
    You mentioned 9 out of 10 players from my team. You left off Jason Perkins from Shako.. he might not of stood out last night but he was are most consistent player in our march to the championship at the comets tournament.
    Two things I must correct that you said...
    1. This team has no starters, everyone plays and starts. From top to bottom, I feel my Squad is solid. Hence, you will see that over a two game stretch everyone gets the chance to start.
    2. I am the former MTS JV coach.
    Just like every zone defense the 1-2-2 has weakness and the free throw line is one of them Our best defense is Man to Man playing up the line. We put the 1-2-2 in the day before.
    We play in the ECI this weekend in the 16u bracket. If you would like, I could send you updates. Also, I would like to extend an invitation for you to attend one of our practices to take a closer look at the players on this team.

  2. Coach, thank you for your comments. I didn't realize you were no longer the JV coach at MTS, I will correct that going forward. Great point about the lack of practice time for these teams.

    I agree with you that the squad is solid from top to bottom. I like your squad. You make a great point about starters vs bench. It is worth noting that all the teams I saw had the kids playing equal minutes. Its true that it doesn't make a difference as Ethan Wragge didn't start for his team in the 1 game I saw his team play. Proves your point that the 1st 5 on the floor doesn't mean much.

    Jason Perkins was an omission, my bad. I also didn't note how much I liked Petrill, the other Shakopee player.

    The 1-2-2 does have the FT line as a weakness and you did just put it in. Those are valid points. However, I think its fair to say that the MTS apple doesn't fall far from the tree. The MTS varsity had issues defending the FT line in the 1-2-2 (or in any zone for that matter) during the HS season, Jerry Noreen's 16U squad doesn't defend it well and your squad didn't last night. I don't think that's a coincidence. But that's a difference in our approaches. I'm more old school for standard slides and not extending (or if you're going to extend, do it differently), the MTS approach is to get out and get after it and play passing lanes. There's plenty to be said for either approach.

    Playing up a level in the ECI event should be a nice challenge for your squad. I'll always take information, so feel free to pass it along. I look forward to it.

    As to your invitation for practice, shoot me an email (its on the front page) and I will definitely try to watch. I greatly appreciate it.

  3. Your Culp 17U analysis overlooked Brennan Olson, a stand-out from Luck, WI who generally is in the first 5 for Culp, but like Burnham did not make the jamboree, and Tim Markoe, a 16 yo playing up from Hill-Murray who was a part of the "fun 2nd unit."


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