Corrected Memorial Day results + this weekend

I incorrectly reported last weekend's Memorial Day results, here are the correct results. My apologies to the teams.

1st Place: MN Fury South
2nd Place: MN Xplosion
3rd Place: MN Fury North
4th Place: TNL Express
Wear out the Net was playing for 5th place.

Xplosion defeated TNL in 1 semifinal, Fury South beat Fury North in the other semifinal.

This weekend has a bunch of local teams at the All Iowa Attack team event.
  • 15U teams participating: MN Magic Elite, East Metro Elite, Howard Pulley (both), 43 Hoops and MN Wrath
  • 16U teams participating: Howard Pulley Black, 94 Ft of Game, MN Crush, MSB, MN Heat Elite, Tartan, MN Magic Phillips, MN Xplosion
  • 17U teams participating: 94 Ft of Game, Howard Pulley Black, MN Magic (Culp, Brown and 16 Elites) and a there may be a couple more.
MYAS spring championship games this weekend (notables, I may be missing a couple)
  • TNL 15U is at BSM with 94 Ft of Game in the 15U division.
  • Mpls Gamblers (Jordan Hughes?), Mpls Redhawks and Wear out the Net also at BSM in the 16U division.
  • 17U at Lakeville S with a couple of 43 Hoops teams, MN Select-Kruger, MN Heat Elite and a MN Comets team.

Results of AAU poll questions and Memorial Day tourneys

Thanks to all who voted in the 2 poll questions that I posted this week. 60% said that it would help Tubby's recruiting if the big local AAU events were moved to the U of M. Personally, I miss the days when the 17U portion of the Sabes Invite was at Williams Arena and the Sports Pavilion. This question came up because this appears to have been a worthwhile factor for Arizona last year with Brandon Jennings (top PG in 2008 class) and with 2009 stud Renardo Sidney both showing that it had influence on them after they appeared at the Cactus Classic AAU event at the U of Arizona. Nothing like a "coincidental" unofficial visit.

Lots of discussion recently about grades and missing school time prompted the 2nd poll question. In terms of yes/no votes, there was an even split (26 yes/25 no) with what I like as an answer chosen by 11 people, depends on the athlete. I'm of the opinion that if a student has demonstrated they can do the student-athlete thing and keep up on the academics, let them do it. If not, then academics have to be the priority. Is missing a day of class ideal, no, but if it can be managed then I can accept it.

As to Memorial Day results, there were a few local teams at the Menomonie, WI event. Here's how they did.

14U/15U section, MN Magic Blue 4-0 pool, 2nd place bracket.

15U/16U section, MN Fury 3-0 pool, East Metro 2-2 pool (Fury def East Metro 77-65). MN Fury 2nd place

16U Gold section. Pool A: TNL Express 3-0, Wear Out the Net 1-2, MN Fury-North 2-1 (Fury N def Wear Out the Net 63-61, TNL over Fury North 86-55, TNL over Wear Out the Net 81-67)
Pool B: MN Fury South 3-0, MN Xplosion 2-1 (Fury def Xplosion 56-30).
Fury South over Fury North 89-65 for 5th place. Wear Out the Net was playing for 3rd.
The battle of Champlin for 1st between TNL Express and the MN Xplosion.

In the 17U section, the MN Fury squad finished 2nd.

In Nashville at the big Nike event, Howard Pulley 17s and 16s each went 2-2 , 15U went 0-3 + a forfeit win. No word on Net Gain at the Bob Gobbins Tournament of Champions in Chapel Hill.

Realignment in the Lake Conference

John Millea reporting today on the StarTrib preps blog that the new Chanhassen High School opening in fall 2009 will join the Lake Conference. No shock there as it makes for 12 teams which will make scheduling far easier. Here's how a realignment into 2 divisions (which seems almost certain) might look.

East: Apple Valley, Eastview, Lakeville N and S, Eagan, Rosemount
West: Chaska, Chanhassen, Eden Prairie, Jefferson, Kennedy, Burnsville

The East is a nice division with 3 natural rivalries. The west is tougher to create as Burnsville is out of place, but they made more sense to move west than any of the 6 teams in the east. Jefferson/Kennedy stay together along with the 3 western schools.

This is a mess for football, but for basketball it would mean 16 conference games. That would be 10 games in division for home and home vs each division foe and single games vs the other division. Those would be split 3 home and 3 away. No byes necessary and it gives the teams 4 more non-conference games to play. That doesn't seem like much, but remember now that if these teams play a 3 game holiday tournament, they only have 3 other games to play. Put that with the byes in the schedule and right now these teams are playing conference games right away in December.

Millea also mentions the Classic Lake dissolving which has been a subject for a while. These teams have tried for a while to get back in the Lake without success. The Lake will have 12 teams and be happy so don't be surprised if the MSHSL has to get involved in the end. Last August I wrote a realignment plan for all the metro schools. It doesn't include East Ridge or Chanhassen but they could be slotted in my plan. Read the AAAA plan here. How I'd do AAA, AA and A is here.

Memorial Day AAU action

Should be a fun Memorial Day weekend for many of the local teams. Howard Pulley has elite squads in Nashville for the big Nike event and Net Gain Sports is at the big Bob Gibbons event in Chapel Hill. Locally, Menomonie, WI is a good place to be. The 15U division has a MN Magic team (Elites?) and I believe a very good Randolph, WI 15U team is playing in the same pool. The MN Fury 15s appear to be playing in the next division up.

The 16U Gold division showcases plenty of local talent. In 1 pool you've got the TNL Express (Jasper Duberry, Elijah Sabah, Jauson Sewer, Kyle Zimmerman etc), MN Fury-North (Josh Hanson, Jay Higgins, Michael Lindberg etc) and Wear Out the Net (Drew Swanson of Lake City highlights that squad). In the other pool, you've got the MN Fury-South (Darry Jones, Santano Rosario etc) and MN Xplosion (Josh Pella etc). If the TNL Express and MN Fury-South hook up that could be a real war and a preview of the AAU championships in 2 weeks.

The MN Fury 17s are also in action with Erik Olson, Noah Sheppard and Josh Hibbison in a 5 team bracket.

MN players in new 2009 rankings

The new rankings for 2009 have been released. (Read them here). Rivals just updated their rankings recently too, you can read what I wrote about that here. You can also read ESPN's rankings here.

Minnesota players
Royce White #38 (#71 ESPN)
Rodney Williams Jr #45 (#66 ESPN)

Wisconsin players
Jamil Wilson #16 (#13 ESPN)
Jeronne Maymon #58
Johnny Lacy #62

Others who played in the metro this season (HS or AAU)
DeMarcus Cousins #7 (#5 ESPN)
DJ Richardson #60 (#93 ESPN)
Michael Dixon #66 (#49 ESPN)
Naji Hibbert #99 (#47 ESPN)

MN Magic 15U May 18th, 2008 games

Today takes the Czar to North (St. Paul) High for MYAS action with the MN Magic 15U Elite squad. No Kyle Noreen or Brandon Siefert for the Magic and Jason Perkins DNP in the 2nd game due to injury so a depleted Magic roster. Mike Yahnke (Delano) played well with double figures in both games. Delano looks in good shape the next 2 years with him and Darius Clare (Magic 16U Elites) on the roster. Jonah Travis with his usual solid performances. But it was Ethan Petrill who put the Magic over the top with a big 2nd half vs 43 Hoops (their 15U B squad I think) and a big 1st half vs a Stillwater based team in the 2nd game. He had 6 triples and a total of 32 points in the 2 games I saw. Magic win 45-39 vs 43 Hoops and 54-47 in the 2nd game.

MN Wrath 15U action

I had the chance to take a couple of MN Wrath 15U games today at BSM. It was my 1st opportunity to see one of the top freshmen in the state in Shelby Moats of Waconia. A nice roster of kids from the SW metro as the entire roster is Eden Prairie, Chaska and Waconia. Moats didn't disappoint in the 2 games. In the 1st game vs BSM coach John Moore's EOTO squad, he finished with 14 pts and 8 rebs. This included the 2 icing free throws with 20 seconds to go in a 45-43 win. In the 2nd game vs a St. Paul Raiders 8th grade team, he scored the 1st 5 points of the game on the way to a 48-13 win. 10 pts and 8 rebs for him in that game. STP with only 1 basket in the 2nd half of that game. Moats reminds me of Raef LaFrentz as he's a lefty who has the ability to step out and knock down shots. Obviously he's not LaFrentz yet, but if he grows to 6'9 with his range and soft touch, he'll be a nice player for somebody at the next level. I also liked his agility as demonstrated by jumping a pass to the wing and taking it the other way. The future also looks bright for Eden Prairie as Jack Klukas and Blake Wragge are both good players. Blake isn't the lights out shooter that Ethan is right now, but you can see the similarity in their games. Evan Koehler of Chaska also productive for the Wrath. I also need to mention Isiah Zierdan of BSM. Nice point guard with good vision. It wouldn't surprise me to see him take the PG reins at BSM as a junior.

Facebook pages for local players

It has come to my attention that Facebook pages for local players were created by someone other than the players themselves and linked to this site. Those pages gave the impression that I created them for purposes of promotion this site. I did not create, support, request or have any involvement with those pages. I do not use Facebook or any other social networking site. If I did, you would already see the links on the site. The only way I actively promote this site is on the Minnesota Preps boys basketball forum. I have their consent to do that, but even then I don't always use it because of the ethical questions. Other than that, the only promotion I do is when I talk to fans at games. So if you see any other instances of issues like this, please bring them to my attention. Those pages were a violation of the Facebook Terms of Use and have been removed. I fully support the removal of those pages. I also offer my apologies to the players affected by this.

MN and WI stars move up in new Rivals 150 released their new top 150 today. I wrote previously that Royce White dropped out of the top 100, but not the case with Rivals. Royce White moves up to #18, Rodney Williams to #28, Trent Lockett stays at #98, Sam Dower moves in at #139, Mike Bruesewitz in at #144. Some Wisconsin names of note. Jeronne Maymon continues to move up with a big spring as he comes in at #60 only 2 spots behind Jamil Wilson. Johnny Lacy is the other Wisconsin player in the list at #99. Players from last weekend Sabes Invititational are included as follows. DJ Richardson who played for the champion Illinois Warriors last weekend came in at #57 and teammate Darius Smith is #62. Michael Dixon of KC Pump N Run is #75.

The only ranked player in MN is Rodney Williams Jr at #87. Wilson (#9), Maymon(#72) and Lacy (#91) are the Wisconsin ranked players. Richardson and Smith are unranked. Dixon came in at #47.

Sabes Invitational Sunday Action 2008

Sunday at the Sabes Invitational gives us a full 6 game slate of 17U and 16U final 8 action.

Session 1 (16U Quarterfinals): HP 16 White came back from 5 down with with 43.8 seconds to play to tie the game on a Martin Wind triple with 10 seconds left. After giving 2 fouls to kill time, KC Pump N Run 16s got a turnaround buzzer beating 3 from in front of their bench to win it 55-52. Aaron Anderson with 17 points and was a thief on defense. The Mpls Redhawks had the final possession in regulation vs the powerful Illinois Warriors, but couldn't convert. The Warriors got a tipin with 1 second left in overtime to win 74-72. In repeats of pool action, HP Black 16s beat KC Pump N Run 15s and ECI Elite beat Madison Spartans.

Session 2 (17U Quarterfinals): Jesse Pritchard of All Iowa Attack 17U went off for 24 pts in the 1st half (6 3s) vs KC Pump N Run 17s and Michael Dixon with only 6 for KC. That allowed the Attack to take a 40-34 halftime lead. But Pritchard was cold in the 2nd half (Dixon guarding him mostly) and Dixon got 18 of his own in the 2nd half. With a 3 pt lead with 2 minutes to go, KC hits their FTs and wins 69-60. The Howard Pulley White 17s got down big early to the Illinois Warriors (43-22 at half) and never got close as the Warriors won 84-55. In the biggest upset of the entire tournament, the HP 17 Black squad got beat 65-62 by a Chicago Demons team that they blew out by 30+ yesterday. HP had the ball down 1 with 8 seconds left to go full court, but full court pressure from the Demons forced a turnover for the final layup to seal the upset. The Grassroots squad won the other quarterfinal over the RBS All-Stars.

Session 3 (16U Semis): A nice setup on courts 2 and 4 in the Jefferson Activity Center. Great way to follow both games. HP 16 Black once again blew out ECI Elites 77-48 after a 45-28 halftime lead. For as much as their 17U combo team struggled, the ECI 16s were a very solid team despite their results vs HP. The KC Pump N Run squad took on the Illinois Warriors in a very good game in the other semi. KC was up 6 with 12 minutes left, but this game was back and forth the whole way. The Warriors took a 55-54 lead on a deep 3 with 3:20 to play. Rodney Givens put KC up 56-55 with a steal and deuce with 1:44 to play. After a Warriors airball, KC blows a layup with 55 seconds to play. The Warriors miss again with 30 seconds to go, but KC turns the ball over with 16 seconds left. The Warriors have a shot to win it at the horn (after KC gave 3 fouls to kill time like HP did to them in their earlier game of the day), but its no good and KC moves on 56-55.

Session 4 (17U Semis): Semi #1 was Grassroots (Jordair Jett, John Bright et al) vs the upset minded Chicago Demons. After the Demons took a 24-23 lead with 7:10 left in the 1st half, a 16-0 run put the game away for Grassroots. They led 45-34 at half and poured in on in the 2nd half to win 99-70. KC Pump N Run vs Illinois Warriors in the other semi. KC down 7 early but they use a 9-0 run over 2 minutes to get the lead and they hold it for a 40-39 halftime lead. Down 48-46 with 10:45 to go, the Warriors go on a 15-2 run over 2 and a half minutes with hot 3 pt shooting vs the KC 2-3 zone to open up a 60-51 lead with 8:14 to play. KC gets the next 4 points but they don't get any closer. Illinois Warriors win 74-64.

Session 5 (16U Championship): KC Pump N Run vs the HP Black 16 team that they beat in the semis last weekend in the Jayhawk Invite. Trevor Releford with 8 of the 1st 10 KC pts and they lead 10-5 after 3 minutes. He goes quiet momentarily but gets back to back 3s and KC leads 27-23 with 5:30 to play in the half. HP goes on a 16-3 run before KC gets the last 4 of the half to make it 39-34 HP at the break. Releford continues his hot streak as he gets the 1st 8 KC pts of the 2nd half. 5 of those points are part of a 8-0 KC run that gives them a 49-42 lead at 12:52 and HP gets no closer. KC Pump N Run defeats Howard Pulley Black 16U 76-61 for the 2008 Sabes Invitational 16U Championship. Trevor Releford with 26 points and was terrific. All of this playing with some sort in injury from the quarterfinal game. He was not 100% for the 2nd half of that game or the last 2 games of the day. Great performance. Steve Tecker moved over from the 16 White squad for this game and the semifinal and was a valuable addition. Marvin Singleton with 14 pts and 7 rebounds. DJ Peterson with 16 pts and 5 assists. I was surprised that coach Jared Nuness didn't move DJ onto Releford during the game to try and slow Releford down with Peterson's long arms and size advantage.

Session 6 (17U Championship): Grassroots vs Illinois Warriors. Seeing a local team in the game is no surprise, but Grassroots is not the one people thought. Dion Suggs hit a 3 to give them a 7-6 lead 2 and a half minutes in, but hot shooting was the story. The Warriors hit everything they attempted so it seemed and ran out to a 58-38 lead at halftime. 2nd half was no contest, Illinois Warriors defeat Grassroots 107-72 for the 2008 Sabes Invitational 17U Championship.

Sabes Invitational Saturday action

Session 1: Illinois Warriors vs HP White 17 DJ Richardson, very smooth and reminded me a lot of Jrue Holiday. AJ Barker leading the Panthers with 12 pts. This was a 5 pt game with 11 minutes to go before a Warriors run put it away. 74-59 was the final score. HP tried to play 1-2-2 zone to slow the Warriors down, but had trouble rebounding out of it.

All Iowa Attack Red held on to beat Team Missouri 51-47 as Jesse Pritchard hit 2 late FTs to seal it. The Dakota Schoolers gave KC Pump N Run everything they could handle as the Schoolers led 56-52 with 2:23 to play but a pair of triples tied the game at 58 with 1:20 go. After Schoolers steal for a basket with 30 seconds to go, Michael Dixon comes back with a triple to win it 61-60. The Schoolers had 2 final chances to win that they couldn’t convert in the last 10 seconds.

Session 2: Howard Pulley 17 Black rolls over ECI Elite 78-50. Kurt Mickelson (Ashby)for ECI is absolutely huge and a force to be reckoned with inside. Rodney Williams Jr with a highlight posterizing dunk to end the 1st half of that game. HP Black continuing to struggle from the foul line and it brings back a thought I had during the regular season and that's hack-a-shaq on Seantrell Henderson. HP Black 15s fell to Playground Elite.

Session 3: HP 16 Black vs KC Pump N Run 15s. Brett Comer with a big game for KC and he looks amazingly like Adam Morrison and even wears #3. He finished with 16 pts. DJ Peterson with 15, Marcus Alipate with 14 for HP Black 16s. This was a 6 pt game with 12 minutes left before HP pulled away to win 70-51.

Session 4: Harrison Barnes on display for the All Iowa Attack 16s vs ECI. He had a big 1st half and a couple of important hoops late to finish with 26 pts, 11 rebs, 4 stls and 4 blks. ECI kept hanging around as this game was close all the way, but ultimately they were outmanned. Zach McCabe with 16 and 7 for the Attack as well.

Session 5: Royce White huge again vs the Chicago Demons. Carrington Tankson with 5 triples in the 1st half and was on fire. A 21-3 HP run to finish the 1st half makes it 40-17 at the break and the Panthers don’t look back.

Session 6: A Danny Manning siting was a pleasant surprise. I took in a couple of games of 16U action. The best game that almost nobody saw was the Playground Elite vs the Illinois Warriors, best 2 16 teams I’ve seen here. 65-55 final and back and forth the entire way. HP Black 16s blew out the Madison Spartans in the other game I was paying attention to.

During the morning and day sessions, I also saw some of STP Grassroots with Jordair Jett, John Bright, Chamar Wilson et al. Scary team to defend off the dribble. Tough to deal with their ability to break you down and get to the basket. Saw a little of the MSB win over the Dakota Schoolers. That surprised me. Tyler Bredow doing a nice job at the point for the Roadrunners.

Session 7: In round of 16 playoff action, the KC Pump N Run knocked out Team Missouri 75-65 behind 18 points from star Michael Dixon. KC played with only 7 guys, including the other major stars out. The wear and tear showed as KC led by 19 in the 2nd half before seeing the lead dwindle. RBS All Stars knocked out the All Iowa Attack 16U squad 68-60 so Harrison Barnes is out. A 2 pt game with 1:14 to go before RBS made foul shots down the stretch. All Iowa Attack 17U held on over MSB 57-55 behind a late 3 from Jesse Pritchard. Josh Zitzman with a chance to win it at the end that was no good. And finally, the Dakota Schoolers saw a 5 point lead vanish to DJ Richardson and the Illinois Warriors in the final minute. Richardson with a 4 pt play with 1:05 to go, 1 of 2 FTs after a Schoolers turnover tied it at 72. After 1 Schooler FT and a Warriors layup with 20 seconds left, the Schoolers turned it over again for a Richardson layup for the final 76-73 Warriors margin in a major scare for a tournament favorite against a team that was last in pool D.

Session 8: HP White 17 squad vs MN Comets. Nate Wolters for the Comets big again with 18 pts. This was a 5 point game with 7:35 to play before a HP 10-0 run put it away. 72-59 HP White 17s win. Moses Sundufu with 5 triples on the way to 19 pts. Marques Johnson productive off the bench with 12 pts. Jordan Hughes vs Wolters was a really fun matchup to watch in this game and both guys held their own. Though Hughes had success running side pick and roll with Johnson. HP 16 Black were up 30-4 in their game on the way to a 69-26 win.

Session 9: HP 16 White vs Playground Elite 16s. HP struggling on the glass in the 1st half but having lots of success with high/low action for easy post buckets. 29-28 HP at the break. A Martin Wind triple starts a 10-0 Pulley run that makes it 55-46 Pulley with 6 minutes to play. 9 big Dyami Starks pts (2 triples and a 3 pt play) in the next 3 minutes keep HP ahead and they pull the upset 73-65.

Tournament brackets for Sunday.


HP 17 Black vs Chicago Demons (a team they blew out today)
Grassroots (Jordair Jett etc) vs RBS All-Stars
Illinois Warriors vs HP 17 White
KC Pump N Run vs All Iowa Attack 17U

Fun brackets as there are really fun semis. HP 17 Black vs Grassroots in local rivalry and the Illinois Warriors vs KC Pump N Run game is really high level.

HP 16 Black vs KC Pump N Run 15s
Madison Spartans vs ECI Elite
KC Pump N Run 16s vs HP 16 White
Illinois Warriors vs Mpls Redhawks

3 rematchs as HP 16 Black took out the KC 15s but the KC 16s beat the HP 16 White team in pool play. ECI Elite beat Madison Spartans in pool play as well. I'll take Madison Spartans in revenge, but stay with HP 16 Black and KC 16s along with Illinois Warriors to move on.

Sabes Invitational Friday Action

An interesting Friday night at the Sabes Invitational. No programs at the event so we'll see how good my research turns out to be.

Game 1 of the night was the MN Comets Elite vs Dakota Schoolers. Out of the gate, Nate Wolters (St. Cloud Tech) vs Mike Felt (Redwood Valley). Felt and the Schoolers struggling vs the Comets pressure man. Wolters getting his hands on everything. Schoolers take their 1st lead 22-21 with 6:30 to go in the 1st half, but the Comets stretch it out to 41-30 at the half. Wolters with 17 pts, 4 stls and at least a half dozen other deflections. Felt with just 3 FTs (3-3 FTs when fouled on a 3) in the 1st half. Cody Larson of the Schoolers with 11 in the 1st half.

Felt starts out the 2nd half hot with back to back 3s and its a 11-0 Schoolers run over the 1st 3:40 of the 2nd half to tie it at 41 . Wolters with nothing in the half so far but with 8 minutes to go in the half he gets 2 buckets, kicks to Alex Hanks for 3 and then scores 2 more to be a part of 9 straight Comets points. The Schoolers are matching him and after that 2 minute Wolters spurt, its 54-50 Comets. 2 Larson FTs and a stl to a 3 from Chad White tie it at 58 with 2:47 to play. Larson continuing to play well in the 2nd half as he gets a 3 pt play with 1:46 left to make it 63-60 Schoolers. Wolters misses a triple, but Larson inexplicably takes and misses a triple with 1 minute left. This leads to Wolters knocking down a clutch 3 to tie at 63 with 47 seconds left. Both teams miss chances late and we go to overtime.

In the 1st overtime, the Comets lead by 1 with 40 seconds left and have the ball. But the Schoolers get a steal and recover a Larson miss. Tony Fiegen makes 1 of 2 FTs with 6.7 left and we go to double overtime tied at 69. Trevor Gruis (Ellsworth) gets a deuce to tie it at 73 with 1:30 left in the2nd OT. Larson misses a chance to tie the game with 35 seconds left and Wolters knocks down 2 FTs with 31.2 left to ice it. Final Score 78-73 MN Comets win in 2 OT. Nate Wolters with 30 pts for the winners and was a force on the defensive end vs Mike Felt. Felt with a quiet 11 for the Schoolers. Cody Larson with 22, including 3 triples for the Schoolers.

Game 2 was the HP White 16U squad vs All Iowa Attack. Pulley led 42-31 at the break but did not do a good job getting out to shooters as the Attack were staying the game with triples and outworking Pulley. Pulley finally stretches it out late as it was 65-54 with 4:30 to go, but Evan McMillan (SPA) puts the icing on the cake with a big throwdown late and Pulley wins 75-57.

Game 3 was suppossed to be the showcase of the evening with the All Iowa Attack 16U squad taking on the HP Black 17U squad. Come to find out, no Harrison Barnes, no AJ Derby and 2 other players missing from a limited roster so there were low expectations. But Jake Sullivan had his squad ready to play and the Attack were hot from 3. 14-13 Attack with 8:49 left in the 1st half when the Pulley stars finally come in (White, Williams Jr, Tankson, M. Williams). But the 3s rain down all half. Michael Weber with a couple of 3s to make it 24-17 Attack with 6:20 left in the half. HP trying some 3/4 quarter 1-2-2 pressure, but the Attack are taking care of the ball and they lead 39-30 at the break. Riley Stuve with 8 pts and 6 rebs. Zach McCabe with just 3 pts. Trevor Hook with 10 pts. Royce White 5 pts and 5 rbs for HP. Mike Broghammer with a nice half of 8 pts and 4 rebs.

To the 2nd half, a couple of Rodney Williams dunks make it 42-34 Attack. Then a White triple, a pretty ball fake and layin by Marcus Williams and a stl and dunk by White start a 27-7 Pulley run to make it 61-49 Pulley with 7 minutes to play. Stuve hits a 3 to make it a 9 pt game with 3 and half to play but the big run has the 2nd half never in doubt. Pulley wins 86-71 over an undermanned and very game All Iowa Attack 16U squad. Royce White with 14 and 10, Seantrel Henderson was a manchild inside with 12 pts and the rest of HP squad very balanced. Zach McCabe with 13 and Riley Stuve with 19 and 8 for the Attack.

The Attack are definitely a team I'll be checking out again tomorrow to see if they have their full roster. Harrison Barnes definitely sounds like a player I don't want to miss. Also looking forward to seeing the KC Pump N Run 16 and 17 squads with Michael Dixon and company.

Team Coverage of the 2008 Sabes Invitational

I'm proud to announce that I'll be teaming up with the Twin Cities Hoops Insider for coverage of this weekend's 8th annual Sabes Invitational Tournament. You can check out Steven's Sports Report as he'll be blogging live from the games at Bloomington Jefferson so check that out often for updates. I'll be doing in-depth reports here after each day and an update on pool play before the playoff games on Saturday night.

MN AAU Seeding Tournament Preview

Brackets for the Minnesota AAU Seeding tournament this weekend at Champlin Park have been released.

MN Comets vs Magic-Crawford, winner to play MN Magic Elite
Team Minnesota vs Magic-Wolfe
MN Glory vs Old Skool, winner to play 43 Hoops (I'm assuming this is their top 15U team)
MN Fury vs Central Flyers

43 Hoops vs Magic Elite is my projected final and should be a really fun showcase of young kids. Give me 43 Hoops to win it. 15U Final is at 12:40 on Sunday. (Czar's Note 5/8/08, this does not appear to be the top 43 Hoops team so I amend my prediction to MN Glory)

4 pools, but noticeably absent are the TNL Express

Pool A: MN Magic Elite, MN Fury North, MN Panthers, MN Magic-Blake
Pool B: MN Fury South, MN Select, MSB Roadrunners, Elk River Heat
Pool C: Mpls Redhawks, MN Comets Elite, Rochester Shock, MN Comets 2
Pool D: Magic-Phillips, MN Xplosion, MN Glory, Wear Out the Net

(Czar's Note 5/7/08, I got the 17U Comets Elite and 16U Comets Elite confused, I've updated the paragraph below to reflect this)

I'll take Magic Elite, MN Fury South, Comets Elite and Magic Phillips to win the pools. I'd like to see a rematch of MN Fury South vs Magic Elite. Remember that Fury South beat Magic Elite in the Magic Invite Quarters 2 weeks ago. 16U Final is at 12:40 on Sunday. I'd also like to see Magic Elite get another shot at the Comets Elite as I think those are the 2 best teams.

4 pools

Pool A: MN Glory, Magic-Robertson, WC Assault (19U), BC Blazers (19U)
Pool B: MN Fury, Old Skool, MN Comets Metro
Pool C: MN Select-Kruger, Magic Westside, MN Comets Stars
Pool D: Magic Superfriends, MN Comets North, MN Select-DeKok

Its a shame Glory and Robertson got put together as these are far and away the best 2 teams I'm aware of. MN Fury and the 2 MN Select squads win the other pools. But it should come down to a pool rematch between MN Glory and Magic-Robertson for the title. Lots of talk about the Sabes Invite this weekend, but Glory/Robertson is top notch local talent going at it. 1st matchup is 9:30 PM Friday, championship game is 11:30 AM on Sunday.

2008 Sabes Invitational Preview

Here's my preview of the 2008 8th annual Sabes Invitational. As updates are made and more information comes out I'll come back and make updates so check back before the event for the final preview. Here's the Preview by Chris Monter.


Pool A
  • Howard Pulley Black
  • Chicago Demons
  • ECI Elite
  • All Iowa Attack Black (NOTE: This looks like it will be the All Iowa Attack 16U squad with stud 6'6 Harrison Barnes and 6'5 D1 football and hoops prospects Zack McCabe and AJ Derby).
HP Black was 5-1 last weekend before bowing out in the Jayhawk Invitational semis to nemesis KC Pump N Run. Should be interesting to see the All Iowa Attack 16s in this bracket.

HP Black 3-0, Chicago Demons 2-1, All Iowa Attack Black 1-2, ECI Elite 0-3.

Players I'm Watching:
  • Royce White, Rodney Williams Jr - Howard Pulley Black
  • 6'5 Chris Eversely 16.7 PPG HS Season and 5'11 Christian Byrd (formerly of Chicago powerhouse Whitney Young) - Chicago Demons
  • 6'8 Jordan Aaberg (Rothsay) and 6'9 Kurt Mickelson (Ashby) - ECI Elite
Pool B
  • Madison Spartans
  • KC Cowboys
  • STP Grassroots
  • RBS All Stars
No super high profile teams here, but the Madison Spartans bring in a nice team led by 2010 Wisconsin signee Vander Blue. STP Grassroots with Jordair Jett will be worth watching as well.

Madison Spartans 3-0, STP Grassroots 2-1, RBS All Stars 1-2, KC Cowboys 0-3

Players I'm Watching:
  • Vander Blue (2010 Wisconsin commit), JoJo Pregnont - Madison Spartans
  • Alex English - KC Cowboys
  • Jordair Jett - STP Grassroots
  • TBD - RBS All Stars
Pool C
  • Illinois Warriors
  • All Iowa Attack Red
  • Howard Pulley White
  • Team Missouri
The Illinois Warriors are loaded starting with star DJ Richardson (#53 and Darius Smith who's been offered by Bradley and Baylor. He's known for his defense and had a big King James tournament 2 weeks ago. HP White went 0-2 in pool play last weekend at the Jayhawk Invitational (and a win by forfeit) before winning their consolation game. The HP White and All Iowa Attack Red teams are ironically placed together as the other teams from these programs are also playing together in pool A. This appears to be the top All Iowa Attack team led by Reece Uhlenhopp who's been offered by Drake and Creighton. Jesse Pritchard has been offered by South Dakota. But I expect the Illinois Warriors to roll in this pool.

Illinois Warriors 3-0, All Iowa Attack Red 2-1, HP White 1-2, Team Missouri 0-3.

Game to watch: All Iowa Attack Red vs Illinois Warriors 1:15 Saturday Court 5

Players I'm Watching:
  • 6'3 DJ Richardson, Darius Smith - Illinois Warriors
  • Kyle Kreklow, Jordan Hughes - Howard Pulley White
  • 6'5 Eric May (Dubuque Wahlert), 6'5 Jesse Pritchard (Ames) and 6'7 Reece Uhlenhopp - All Iowa Attack
Pool D
  • KC Pump N Run
  • MN Comets Elite
  • Dakota Schoolers
  • MSB Roadrunners
KC Pump N Run comes in with their tourney win last weekend (4 straight in the Jayhawk invite) and 3 players worth watching from a loaded roster. The remainder of the pool is balanced with MN flavor with 2 teams having outstate MN players and MSB with metro kids. KC Pump N Run rolls in this pool, but all 4 teams are watchable.

KC Pump N Run 3-0, MN Comets Elite 2-1, Dakota Schoolers 1-2, MSB Roadrunners 0-3.

Game to watch: 6:30 PM Friday Dakota Schoolers vs MN Comets Elite

Players I'm Watching:
  • KC Pump N Run
    • 6'0 Michael Dixon (#87, #47 offers from Baylor, Iowa, K State, Missouri and Purdue with Marquette and Louisville just offering)
    • 6'5 Jeff Reid (#85 Top player in Kansas.
    • 6'5 Justin Clark. Averaged 25.6 PPG and 5 Rebs last HS season to lead Kansas City Area (and all of Missouri according to MaxPreps) in scoring.
  • Dakota Schoolers
    • 6'8 Cody Larson of Sioux Falls Roosevelt. Has been a target of MN and Colorado amongst others. Only a sophomore.
    • 6'2 Mike Felt of Redwood Valley. Led all of MN in scoring last season with 30.3 PPG.
    • 6'7 Trevor Gruis of Ellsworth, also a sophomore. Should be a much bigger factor at Ellsworth next year with the graduation of Cody Schilling.
    • 6'6 Chad White and 6'7 Tony Fiegen of Madison, SD. Both have committed to South Dakota State.
  • MN Comets Elite
    • 6'4 Nate Wolters of St. Cloud Tech.
    • 6'4 Andre Garth of St. Cloud Apollo
  • MSB Roadrunners
    • 6'8 David Berthene (top 30 JR in MN) of Lakeville North
    • 6'8 Mike Muscala of Roseville. Averaged 17 and 9 last season.
    • 6'2 Bonzi Wells (AKA Sahr Nkegia)
    • 6'3 Josh Zitzman 18 pts , 6 rebs and 4 ast per game for Farmington last season.
    • 6'5 Jake Lippert 17 pts and 8 rebs for Farmington last season.
Pool A: HP Black, Madison Spartans, KC Pump N Run 15s, ECI Elite

KC Pump N Run finished 2nd to All Iowa Attack at the Jayhawk Invite last weekend. I look for them to come out of this pool. HP Black 2nd, ECI 4th. Watch Jacob Thomas of HP Black and . HP Black also features DJ Peterson of Hopkins and a couple of high profile MN freshmen, Marvin Singleton of Hopkins and Marcus Alipate of Bloomington Jefferson.

Pool B: Chicago Demons, Playground Elite 15U, All Iowa Attack Black, Howard Pulley White 15.

Not to much to say about this bracket. HP White 15s feature Zach Romashko (Blaine) and Ariel Deloney (North). This appears to be the 2nd All Iowa Attack 15U team.

Pool C: KC Pump N Run, All Iowa Attack Red, Howard Pulley White, Mpls Redhawks

For KC Pump N Run watch Trevor Releford. He's the younger brother of Travis Releford who's going to Kansas. Travis played here last year and lit up Cody Schilling in a Friday night game in this event. This appears to be the All Iowa Attack 15U team that won the Jayhawk Invitiational last weekend. They have some nice young kids in Grant Lange, Alex Savage and Reggie White. For HP White, Steve Tecker averaged 17 and 9 in 4 wins last weekend. He's the #16 Soph in WI according to This squad also includes Jalen Jaspers and Bryce Hawkins of DLS.

Pool D: Illinois Warriors, Playground Elite, STP Grassroots, Howard Pulley Black 15. The Illinois Warriors feature 6'3 guard Anthony Johnson who has offers from Iowa, Purdue, Illinois and Notre Dame. They also have 6'5 forward Dwayne Evans. HP Black 15s have Malik El-Amin of North, Joe Coleman of Hopkins, Nick Latzke of Minnetonka and Myles Barnes of BSM.

Note that the Playground Elite squads are not the loaded Wisconsin teams previously thought to be attending. Those teams are playing in the Wisconsin AAU tourney this weekend from what that schedule says.

Sabes Invitational schedules posted

Pools and schedules for this weekend's Sabes Invitational have been posted on the Howard Pulley Site. I'll be previewing this later today or tomorrow. Should be fun. 15U and 16U are combined. 16 teams in 17U and the combined 15/16U bracket. Pool play and round of 16 play Friday and Saturday. Elite 8 games on Sunday in both divisions with the brackets alternating on Sunday.

Results from the Jayhawk Invite

The Jayhawk Invitational gives us a preview of some high profile teams here for the Sabes Invititational next weekend.

KC Pump N' Run lost to All-Iowa Attack Red. 2 local Teams (MN Magic Elite and Howard Pulley Black) made the final 8 before bowing out.

Both Howard Pulley teams made the semis and lost. We got the same final in 16U as 15U. KC Pump N' Run def All Iowa Attack.

Howard Pulley Black was in the semis. They lost to KC Pump N' Run. In the final KC Pump N'Run defeated High Intensity

KC Pump N'Run now with 4 straight Jayhawk Invitational titles

Commits this week

Besides the Cory Johnson and Cameron Rundles commits, Marc Sonnen has committed to Northern Iowa. This continues the long line of Tartan players committing to UNI. Also, Evan Anderson one of the top 2010 players in the nation from Eau Claire North committed to Wisconsin with weekend joining Vander Blue (Madison Memorial). Big pickup for Bucky and probably wasn't hurt by Tom Crean leaving Marquette for Indiana. Anderson will be here this coming weekend with the WI Playground Warriors for the Sabes Invitational. Links to their website, rosters and schedule can be found on my AAU page. There's a preview of his AAU team in this post.

Other news and notes. Kevin Noreen (2010 MTS) received his 1st pair of offers after a big performance in Denver last month. Sam Dower (2009 Osseo) is getting high major interest after previously receiving mid-major offers (including Rick Majerus of St. Louis who was here watching him during section play in Rogers)

MN Pool Results from the Jayhawk Invite

  • Howard Pulley Black 3-0 in pool, 2-0 in playoffs playing KC Pump N Run in Semis
  • MSB Roadrunners 0-3
  • SW MN Stars 0-3
  • Net Gain Sports 3-0 (1-1 in playoff)
  • MN Fury 2-1, lost 1st playoff game
  • MN Select-Kruger 1-2
  • MN Magic Culp 2-2, lost 1st playoff game
  • 94 Ft of Game 0-4, lost 1st playoff game (Czar's Note 5/5/08, the Jayhawk Invite Website at the time of writing the results showed 0-4, but they obviously wouldn't have made the championship bracket that way. I've received word they were 3-1 in pool play before their 1st round loss)
  • Howard Pulley White 0-2 (won a game by forfeit)
  • MN Magic Brown 2-1, lost 1st playoff game
  • MN Select-DeKok 0-3
  • MN Magic Robertson 3-0 (1-1, lost to Howard Pulley Black in playoffs)
  • MN Magic Elite 2-1, 1-1 in playoffs lost to Howard Pulley White
  • 94 Ft of Game 0-2 and forfeit
  • Howard Pulley Black 2-1, 1-0 in playoffs playing KC Pump N Run in semis
  • Howard Pulley White 3-0, 2-0 in playoffs playing All Iowa Attack in semis
  • MN Fury South 2-1 (only loss to Howard Pulley White), lost 1st round playoffs
  • MN Fury North 0-3
  • MN Xplosion 0-3
  • MN Comets Elite 1-2 (beat MN Xplosion)
  • MN Select 1-2
  • MN Suns 1-2
  • Howard Pulley Blue 3-0 lost 1st playoff game
  • 43 Hoops 2-1 lost 1st playoff game
  • MN Fury 0-3
  • Team Minnesota 1-2
  • MN Magic Elite 2-1, 1-1 in playoffs lost to KC Pump N Run
  • Howard Pulley White 1-2
  • 94 Ft of Game 0-3

Friday scores at the Jayhawk Invite

Minnesota teams go 7-2 in 17U action on Friday night at the Jayhawk invititional and 1 of those loses was a head-head battle.
  • Howard Pulley Black def Indiana Elite One 72-67. Very good win for Pulley as the Indiana Elite One team is loaded (Mason Plumlee going to Duke and Stephen Van Treese to name a couple). Rodney Williams with 24 and 6. Carrington Tankson and Royce White with 14 for a short-handed HP squad (no Marcus Williams, Dylan Hale or Seantrel Henderson).
  • Net Gain Sports def Arizona Premier Black 73-69. Without Trent Lockett too, good win.
  • MN Fury def KC Magic 70-47
  • Magic-Culp def KC Cowboys 76-66
  • Howard Pulley White with a forfeit win
  • Magic-Brown def MN Select-DeKok 73-43
  • Magic-Robertson def Wedman Pumas 71-63
  • MSB lost to Wichita Flight 51-41
  • MN Select-Krueger def Remmy Basketball 71-51
In 16U Action, MN Teams went 3-5 on Friday night.
  • Magic Elite lost to KC Pump N Run 76-56
  • Howard Pulley White def MN Fury South 63-52. Steve Tecker (#16 WI Soph from Maple Northwestern) with a big game of 25 and 10.
  • MN Fury North lost to Mo-Kan Elite 81-54
  • 94 Ft of Game lost to KC Pump N Run 89-81
  • Howard Pulley Black def Show Me Spurs 73-44. Jacob Thomas with 21, DJ Peterson with 19 and 9. Marvin Singleton 10 and 11.
  • MN Xplosion lost 78-63 to KC Keys
  • MN Comets Elite lost to New Mexico Force 60-51
  • MN Select def Arizona Premier 69-60
In 15U Action, MN Teams went 2-4 on Friday night.
  • Team Minnesota lost to Midwest Mission 71-25
  • MN Magic lost to STL Primetime 52-50
  • MN Suns def KC Chaos 81-77
  • Howard Pulley Black def Missouri Titans 90-75
  • Howard Pulley White lost to KC Cowboys 59-46
  • 94 Ft of Game lost 75-62 to All Iowa Attack

Jayhawk Invite Notes and local 15U Weekend action did a nice preview of the Jayhawk Invitational (click here to read it). Some Minnesota games of note this weekend including the MN vs MN matchups.

  • Howard Pulley Black (top HP team) vs Indiana Elite One 7:15 PM Friday at Allen Fieldhouse.
  • MN Magic Elite Stars (Magic-Brown?) vs MN Select-DeKok 7:15 Friday
  • Howard Pulley Black vs MSB Roadrunners 2:15 PM Saturday
  • Net Gain Sports vs MN Fury 9:15 AM Saturday
  • Howard Pulley White vs Iowa Barnstormers 11:45 AM Saturday
  • MN Magic (Magic-Culp?) vs 94 Ft of Game 3:30 PM Saturday
  • Howard Pulley White vs MN Fury South 7:15 PM Friday
  • All Iowa Attack vs MN Fury North 8:00 AM Saturday
  • MN Magic Elite vs 94 Ft of Game, 9:15 AM Saturday
  • MN Xplosion vs MN Comets Elite 4:45 PM Saturday
  • 43 Hoops vs MN Fury 9:45 PM Friday
  • Howard Pulley White vs 94 Ft of Game 9:15 AM Saturday
  • Team Minnesota vs MN Magic 11:45 AM Saturday
Also there is 15U action at Hopkins this weekend with some of the other local teams. The MN Glory, Magic-Crawford and Magic-Wolfe teams all play this weekend starting at 3 PM Saturday. Click here for the full schedule.

Cameron Rundles and Cory Johnson select new schools

From the Howard Pulley Website, former DLS star Cameron Rundles has just committed to join former Braham star Noah Dahlman at Wofford. This is after much talk that he would end up with HS teammate Jamar Diggs at Wayne State.

Rundles is one of the absolute toughest HS players I've ever seen. My most enduring image of him is after getting busted open and dislocating a shoulder in a section final vs Henry, he's doing a TV interview with his head all wrapped up and a line of blood all the way down the side of his face to his chin. Was totally clutch too. I remember him hitting a buzzer beater to send a game at North to overtime and then hitting a buzzer beater in the OT to win it which almost caused a riot. Not to mention bring them back from 20 down at halftime vs Bryce Webster to win in regulation in a regular season classic (best game I saw that season) before DLS blew STA out in the tournament on their way to a championship.

Former Duluth East star Cory Johnson has decided to transfer to Valparaiso after leaving Iowa State. He joins fomer Tartan star Urule Igbavboa.

Both will have to sit out next season before resuming their college careers in the 2009-10 season.