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 Scout.com Preview by Chris Monter.

17U

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.

Predictions:
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.

Predictions:
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 Rivals.com) 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.

Predictions:
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.

Predictions:
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 Rivals.com, #47 Scout.com offers from Baylor, Iowa, K State, Missouri and Purdue with Marquette and Louisville just offering)
    • 6'5 Jeff Reid (#85 Scout.com). 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.
16U
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 Wishoops.net. 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.

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