Star of the North Results

Here are results from this weekend's Star of the North event in St. Paul.

In Pool A, Tartan and Plainview-Elgin-Millville went 2-0. A 43 Hoops squad and Spring Lake Park went 0-2. In Pool B, MN Xplosion went 2-0, Farmington was 1-1. In Pool C, Centennial was 2-0. In Pool D, the MN Mustangs were 1-1.

The MN Mustangs knocked out Tartan 63-61 before losing to the Xplosion 75-70 in the 1st semifinal. Centennial defeated Farmington 69-60 in the quarters and Plainview-Elgin-Millville 67-65 in the other semifinal. MN Mustangs won 3rd place 68-64 over PEM. In the championship game, Centennial won a close one over the Xplosion 83-78. Jordan Reibling with a big tourney for the Xplosion as he had 93 pts in 5 games. Jack Ghizoni also with a productive tournament for the Xplosion. Nice tourney win for Centennial as this was their full varsity squad. That program has struggled recently and the NW Suburban has been down. Does this mean an uptick for them. Only time will tell. Certainly Jr guard Tony Gerding is a player to build around and they do return most of last year's roster.

The Xplosion and Mustangs will both be in the Twin Cities Summer Classic in 2 weeks. It'll be interesting to see how both teams do with the tough competition that will be there.

MN Results from the Dakota Showcase

Lots of teams at the Dakota Showcase that ended yesterday. Here's how they did.

Pool Play
MN Magic Robertson 3-0
MN Fury 1-2
94 Ft of Game 2-1
MN Magic Elite 3-0
SW MN Stars 1-2
MN Comets 2-1
MSB 3-0
ECI MN 1-2
MN Select-Kruger 2-1 (lost to 3-0 Dakota Schoolers)
MN Heat 0-3
MN Magic Elite Stars 3-0 (beat 2-1 WI Blizzard)
MN Glory II 0-3
MN Glory I 3-0
MN Select DeKok 0-3

Bracket play
Magic Robertson won 1st place defeating Magic Elite in the Semis and then defeating the Dakota Schoolers for the title.

MSB lost to the Dakota Schoolers in the quarters
Magic Elite Stars def MN Glory before losing to the Schoolers in the other semifinal.

94 Ft of Game lost to the 9th place finisher Iowa Barnstomers in the 1st round of bracket play.

MN Fury won 17th place.

Steven Baker (Como Park) of 94 Ft of Game had a tournament high 34 pts in a game on Friday and let the tourney in PPG with 22.5 along with Matt Zager (Shakopee) of the MN Glory. Nate Wolters (St. Cloud Tech) with 2nd highest game of the tourney with 31 on Saturday. He finished 3rd with 22 PPG.

Mike Felt (Redwood Valley) lit it up with 20 3s in 6 games for the Dakota Schoolers.

Players named to the all-tournament team.

Nate Wolters (St. Cloud Tech), Christian Shepley and Emmanuel Addo (Northfield), Matt Zager, Will DeBerg (Edina), Jake Lippert (Farmington), Greg Meyer (Minnehaha), Josh Hibbison (Monticello), Mike Felt (Redwood Valley)

East Metro Showcase Pairings Announced

From, the East Metro Showcase pairings have been announced. On the bad side these games are the same day as the Border Battle. On the good side, both events are entirely MN vs WI games which is appealing. I'm a believer that the East Metro Showcase is just as good an event as the Border Battle and that's a tribute to what Vern Simmons (Johnson coach) has done with it. If you don't want to make the trip to Owatonna, the East Metro Showcase is definitely a worthy local alternative. Here are this year's pairings. All games are at Johnson Friday January 23, 2009 and Saturday January 24th, 2009

Milwaukee NW vs Johnson, 4 PM
Milwaukee Marshall vs Arlington 6 PM
Milwaukee Vincent vs Hopkins 8 PM

Barron, WI vs Richfield, 10 AM
Milwaukee NW vs Central, Noon
Milwaukee Marshall vs Washburn, 2 PM
La Crosse Aquinas vs Hopkins, 4 PM
Milwaukee Vincent vs Eastview, 6 PM
Milwaukee Lutheran vs Wayzata, 8 PM

Vincent brings in the #1 WI 2011 player Larry Bradley. (Czar's Note 11/10/08: Bradley has since transferred but Michael Weems is one of many talented players for Vincent). Chim Kadima is the #4 2010 WI player for Milwaukee Lutheran. He's just returning from a bad knee injury. Jimmy Whitehead is the #12 2009 WI player for Aquinas. Its no secret I'm a La Crosse guy and Aquinas has 2 great wins in this event over the last 2 years (Woodbury 2007, Eastview 2008 in OT), but I'm absolutely shocked they're playing Hopkins. Credit to Coach Schneider for taking this game and playing a tough schedule as usual, but this isn't 2007 or 2008 where they're playing just another highly ranked 4A MN team like the last 2 years. Finally we see Hopkins vs Vincent in a battle of the very best basketball traditions in both states. It'll be interesting to see Vincent now that legendary coach Tom Diener has left the program. Milwaukee NW is a pretty new school but they have a terrific basketball program. Don't overlook their 2 games vs Johnson and Central.

Rivals releases 1st 2010 Top 100

Rivals released their 1st top 100 for the 2010 class today (read it here). No Minnesota players included but some players that did appear locally or I saw are on the list.

#5: Josh Selby who played for DeMatha against Hopkins in the TWolves Shootout last season
#6: Harrison Barnes who played here in the Sabes Invitational with the All Iowa Attack (here's what I saw then) in May and may be back in the Twin Cities Summer Classic in a couple of weeks (I see conflicting schedules on that right now)
#10: Joe Jackson who had 29 for Memphis White Station in their blowout of Cass Lake-Bena in the TWolves Shootout (here's what I saw then)
#11: Crandall Head who may be here in the Twin Cities Summer Classic in a couple of weeks playing for the Mac Irvin Fire. That's also true of #32 Jereme Richmond (Joy of the Game Rising Stars) and #29 Vander Blue (assuming he comes with the Madison Spartans). Blue was also here and impressive in the Sabes Invitational with the Madison Spartans 16U team, but he usually plays with the 17s.
#35 Anthony Johnson was here with the Illinois Warriors at the Sabes Invitational playing with the 16U team.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the other Wisconsin players in the list. I saw both of these kids play last December.
#21 Evan Anderson of Eau Claire North
#95 Flavien Davis. of Wisconsin Lutheran

Scout has only the top 15 ranked right now. They got Richmond #7, Anderson #10, Barnes #11 and Head #12

ESPN has Richmond #9, Jackson #10, Davis #22, Selby #23, Head #25, Johnson #55 in their super 60 for 2010.

Tubby's camps

Another event that I didn't mention for this weekend is Tubby Smith's team camp. BSM, Tonka, Hopkins amongst others will be represented so this will be a big showcase of MN talent. Many of these same kids were at his camp last weekend and shined. Just a few names of note that shined, Royce White (2009), Chad Calcaterra(2010) and Kyle Noreen (2011).

End of June events

Lots going on as we end June and start another college recruiting cycle. Lots of local teams at the Dakota Showcase Thursday-Saturday.

In Pool A, there's Magic-Robertson and MN Fury along with the Iowa Barnstormers and Iowa recruit Brennan Cougill. In Pool B, 94 Ft of Game along with ECI West Black with one of the top players in North Dakota, Cameron Malzer. He was a star for the ECI team that played in the Sabes Invite in May. In Pool C, MN Magic Elite look like they have a less difficult pool. SD Heat and SW MN Stars also in that pool. In Pool D, MN Comets in another less difficult pool. Look for Nate Wolters to have a big weekend there. Also worth watching is Jarrell Crayton (Bellevue E, NE) of the Alegent Crusaders.

In Pool E, we've got MSB and ECI MN. Fun matchup of bigs there with David Berthene and Mike Muscala of MSB vs Jordan Aaberg (NDSU signee) and Kurt Mickelson. In Pool F, Cody Larson leads the Dakota Schoolers up against a couple of MN teams. The MN Heat Elite and MN Select-Kruger squads are in this pool. Look for Maurice Hernandez to have another big weekend for the Select. In Pool G, the MN Magic Elite Stars are there vs the Wisconsin Blizzard. Tyler Brown (teammate of top 10 national soph Evan Anderson at Eau Claire North and one of the top Seniors to be in Wisconsin) leads the Blizzard. I believe they won the WI AAU tournament earlier this spring (preview here). I think the MN Glory 16s are in this pool as well. Finally in Pool H we have the MN Glory and MN Select DeKok teams.

The Czar's complete unqualified pool winner predictions: Magic-Robertson, 94 Ft of Game, MN Magic Elite, MN Comets, MSB, MN Select-Kruger, WI Blizzard and MN Glory.

Star of the North games are going on in St. Paul with the MN Xplosion, 43 Hoops, Tartan and Spring Lake Park in that event. Friday games are at the MLK Rec Center in St. Paul. Saturday games (pool and quarterfinals) are at Arlington and Sunday semis and finals are at Humboldt.

MN Fury 15s and 16s and Grassroots are in the State Farm Summer Hoops Classic tournament at N St. Paul this weekend.

Saturday quarterfinal action at the State AAU tourney

How appropriate that we start year 2 of the blog with Quarterfinal action in all divisions at the state AAU tournament.

Session 1 15U Quarterfinals (top 2 seeds):
  • #2 MN Heat vs #7 SW MN Heat. When 1 jersey says Heat and the other says Minnesota Heat, you have to look twice to make sure you know which team is which. The MN Heat very shorthanded this weekend as the Preiner twins and Ryan Burns are at the UNI camp with their Tartan club and Riley West (Lakeville S varsity player, 5 PPG) is out due to injury. But they still have Alex Richter (also Lakeville S varsity, averaged 6.2 PPG this season), so the cupboard isn't bare. The MN Heat open it up in the 2nd half after a 32-23 halftime lead and roll 79-49. Richter with low minutes in the 2nd and 4th quarters, but he still finished with 27 pts and 8 rebounds by my stat sheet. Very aggressive and was a man amongst children in this game. Easily could have had over 30. Not yet a shooter, but very good in the post vs his peers. Definitely a player I'll be watching over the next 3 seasons.
  • 43 Hoops Carr was only up 12-7 after 1 quarter on the Central MN Flyers, but they run away with the rest of the game for a 90-46 victory. Unselfish team (maybe to a fault) and I liked their 1-2-2 press.
Session 2, 17U Opening Round :
  • #6 MN Comets vs #11 MN Magic Stars. No Ethan Wragge, Jack Gavin, Josh Pedretti or Mitch Bires for the Magic. Close 1st half as the Comets led 12-11 after 1 quarter, but the Magic came back to lead 30-27 at half. Nate Wolters (St. Cloud Tech) with 11 in the 3rd quarter to push the Comets to a 47-40 lead after 3. Billy Giddings (Blaine) gets the 1st bucket of the 4th for the Magic, but the Comets go on a 11-0 run after that to put the game away. 66-48 Comets win. Wolters with 20. Tim Bergstrasser (St. Cloud Apollo) with 14 pts and 7 rbs for the Comets. Billy Giddings with 14 and 7 for the Magic. Chris Orgas (Lakeville North) with 12 and 5 for the Magic
  • #7 MSB blows out #10 MN Comets Stars
  • #8 MN Select-DeKok beats #9 MN Comets North
  • #3 MN Magic Black blows out #14 Rochester Shock in a 16U opening round game.
  • Before the 3rd official session, I saw some of MN Southside's come back from 30 down to win in the 17U D2 bracket. MN Southside is the Eastview squad with Drew Johnson and Carlos Emory. Emory played with this squad instead of Magic-Robertson. Vinard Birch who is also on this squad stayed with 43 Hoops.
Session 3, 16U Quarterfinals (upper bracket):
  • #4 MN Comets Elite vs #5 MN Xplosion. These teams split 2 games earlier in the summer so this should be quite interesting. Fun up and down game, but no pressing from the Xplosion to my surprise. Xplosion gets out to a 15-4 lead after 1 quarter. The Comets close to 18-16 but Xplosion gets 8 of the last 9 to lead 26-17 at the break. 35-28 Xplosion halfway thru quarter #3 when the Comets go on a 11-0 run thanks to 9 straight points from Luke Januschka (St. Cloud Cathedral). 39-37 Comets at the end of the 3rd quarter. Jack Ghizoni (Burnsville) hits 2 FTs for Xplosion with 3 minutes left to make it 46-45 Comets. The teams trade a couple of buckets in the next 2 minutes. With 42 seconds left, Cody Meyer makes the 1st FT but misses the 2nd and gets his own rebound. The Comets get 2 layups after this and they go on to win 55-49. Jack Ghizoni with 14 for Xplosion. Luke Januschka with 14 for the Comets.
  • #1 MN Magic Elite had a close 1st quarter with #8 MN Fury North in the other 16U Quarterfinal that was going on. 49-36 Magic at half, 70-47 Magic after 3 and they win 90-56. Josh Hanson didn't play last night for the Fury but was back today.
Session 4, 16U Quarterfinals (lower bracket):
  • #2 MN Fury South vs #7 43 Hoops-Harris. 10-8 Hoops after 1 quarter. Vinard Birch guarding Dajon Newell (Lakeville N) is really fun to watch. 6 straight front ends of the 1 and 1 missed in the 2nd quarter, including 4 by 43 Hoops. 23-13 Hoops at the half. The Fury just can't get over the hump as they pull to 25-20 but fall back to 36-28 down at the end of the 3rd quarter. Darry Jones (St. Agnes) heats up in the 4th, but Birch playing well leading the offense for 43 Hoops in the 4th and they pull the upset 58-44. Jones with 12 and Newell with 11 for the Fury. Nick Quicksell (Woodbury) with 15, Birch with 13 for 43 Hoops.
  • #3 MN Magic Black vs #6 Mpls Redhawks. 37-30 Redhawks after 3 quarters (that included a late Magic run). 43-36 Redhawks late, but the Magic close within 43-41 with 50 seconds left. The Redhawks hit their FTs down the stretch and they hang on to pull the upset 49-41.
Session 5, 17U Quarterfinals:
  • #4 MN Select-Kruger (coached by Sibley asst coach) vs #5 Magic Superfriends. 18-13 Magic after 1 quarter which was over by the time the previous MN Fury vs 43 Hoops game ended because they started 10 minutes early. Strange. Select gets the last 6 points of the half to only be down 34-28 at the break thanks to a buzzer beating 3 by Alex Miller (Tall... Tall Kid Tall... Tall Kid Tall...). Where are the BSM students when you need them? The Select use an 8-0 run to tie the game late in the 3rd but the Magic push back ahead 46-41 after 3 thanks to a Taylor Sparkman (Minnehaha) bucket and an Isaiah Thomas (Fridley) 3. Select opens the 4th quarter on an 8-0 run before the Magic finally hit a 3 for their 1st points of the quarter with 1:29 left to play (49 all). Maurice Hernandez (Sibley) with a bucket at 1:10 to push the Select back in front 51-49. Cody Hofmann (Park) makes 3 of 4 FTs before a late Thomas 3 makes the final score 54-52 Select.
  • #2 MN Glory vs #7 MSB. 33 all at halftime before the Glory get out to a 50-40 lead in the 3rd quarter. MSB gets last 11 of the quarter and the 1st 4 of the 4th quarter to lead 55-50 with 6 minutes left. 57 all with 2:24 to play and Mike Muscala (Roseville) gets a bucket and then puts back an offensive rebound after a Glory turnover to start a 10-0 run. Muscala also with a couple of thunderous dunks in this game. 1 near the end of the 3rd during the 11-0 run and 1 with the score tied at 55. MSB pulls the upset 69-59.
  • #3 MN Fury vs #6 MN Comets Elite. Close game early but the Fury get out to a 10 pt lead and hold it for most of the 2nd half. They win surprisingly easy (to this observer anyway) 56-45.
  • #1 Magic-Robertson vs #8 MN Select DeKok. I had to do a serious double take as Rodney Williams was playing for the Magic in this one. I know he has ties within the Magic, but still I thought he'd be with Pulley at the UNI camp this weekend. They lead 15-10 after 1 quarter, 36-24 at the break, 55-32 after 3 and roll 75-52.
Sunday Action looks like this

9:30 15U Semifinals.
  • #1 43 Hoops Carr vs #12 43 Hoops Amundson in 1 semifinal. The Amundson squad with 2 upsets in morning play but remember that they gave the Magic Elite 15s all they wanted a couple of weeks ago.
  • #2 MN Heat Elite vs #3 MN Magic Elite. Big game here and the one I'll be focusing on at this time. The Heat Elite won big the last time these 2 played. But the Heat had their full roster and Jason Perkins got injured for the Magic during that game so this semifinal will be much different. I'm really looking forward to seeing what game plan coach Miller has for the Heat's Alex Richter. He certainly has a couple of big bodies (Perkins and Mike Yahnke) that he can use. I'm also interested to see Richter against this higher level of competition.
10:50 16U and 17U semifinals
  • My game will be the #1 MN Magic Elite 16s vs #4 MN Comets Elite 16s. The Comets beat the Magic head-head at the Magic invite in April. The athleticism of the Comets seemed to bother the Magic then. But this isn't the same Magic squad either. Derek Brown has arrived from South Dakota, not to mention the additions of Jasper Duberry (Champlin Park) and Jay Sewer (Richfield) from high flying TNL Express roster. Should be very interesting.
  • The other 16U semi the bracketbuster game. #6 Mpls Redhawks vs #7 43 Hoops Harris. 43 Hoops has been very good defensively, but the Redhawks keep getting it done. Should be a very interesting game.
  • 17U Semifinal #1 is Magic-Robertson vs MN Select Kruger. Robertson just too much here.
  • 17U Semifinal #2 is MSB vs MN Fury. Fury are solid and MSB is coming off the upset so this one should be interesting. I wonder how the Fury deal with MSB's big guys. But how does MSB matchup with Erik Olson of the Fury?
12:10 15U championship game
1:30 17U 3rd place game and maybe I'll sneak a peak at the 14U D1 title game.
2:50 17U championship

Friday action at the State AAU Tourney

Only 16U action in the top 3 brackets tonight. Biggest humor moment of the night was a woman fully decked out as if it was the Kentucky Derby, terrific hat included. All she needed was a mint julep. Don't get me wrong, she looked like a million bucks if she was at the derby (or even the Belmont later today). But I had to stop myself from busting out laughing at how out of place the outfit was in this basketball environment. Combine that with 4 8 minute quarters in these games and there was a strangeness to the evening.

Game 1 of the night was the 16U 8 vs 9 game with the MN Fury North taking on Wear Out the Net. No Drew Swanson (Lake City) for WOTN as he's out due to injury. Josh Pratt (St. Anthony) and Stephen Asp (Edina) showed that they are the top 2 players for this roster. This game was about runs and Jess Briggity (Blaine). The Fury got a 10-0 run in the 1st quarter to get out to an 8 pt lead. WOTN got back in it with 8 straight of their own, before countering a 12-2 with a 14-2 run to end the half up 28-26. WOTN cold in the 3rd but its 42-38 Fury going to the 4th. Logan Hussung (Farmington) gets a nice post up bucket with 2 minutes left to pull WOTN within 52-51, but Briggity's last 2 of the night and 2 Jack Wallick (Apple Valley) seal a 60-56 Fury North win.

Briggity with 14 in the 1st half, 7 in the 3rd quarter and 10 in the 4th to finish with 31 pts. He got into the lane at will and hit floaters all night. Wallick with 15 pts and 8 rebounds. Michael Lindberg (West Lutheran) pitched in with 9 pts and 5 rbs. Isaac Peterson (Cannon Falls) led WOTN with 16 pts (4 triples). Also noteworthy that this game was anything goes from an officials standpoint. Not bad, but interesting considering that the next 2 games were very tightly called. Interesting contrast.

Speaking of tightly called, I got to see a large chunk of the ending of the MN Suns 14U (Siyani Chambers-Hopkins, Darian Pittman-MCA) game that they won 60-40. Game ran way late because there was a whistle every 2.4 milliseconds.

MN Xplosion vs MSB in the always dicey 5 vs 12 matchup. More of the same tight officiating in the 2nd session as we had 9 FTs attempted before the 1st made FG. Xplosion trying to press but getting nothing and making nothing. An 8-0 MSB run gives them a 15-7 lead after the 1st quarter. In the 2nd quarter the full court man press starts to have some results but its not until the Xplosion get 4 late 3s that they take a 33-31 at halftime. MSB not going away though as they start the 2nd half on a 10-2 run to take a 41-35 lead. But they get sloppy later in the quarter as they give up an offensive rebound on a FT which leads to a triple and Andrew Kuledge gets a steal and a layup to tie it at 48. A late MSB 3 makes it 51-50 Roadrunners after 3 quarters. The Xplosion get a 8-0 run over the 1st 2:49 of the 4th to lead 58-51 and it looks over. Especially when they go 2-3 zone and the Roadrunners are getting no movement and hoisting up hurried 3s. But David Stanley (Roseville) hits a 3 for MSB after a scramble and its 59-58 Xplosion with 2:15 to go and the Xplosion turn it over. MSB gets nothing out of it and with 1:18 left the Xplosion have the ball and call time. They call a great iso off the inbound for Josh Pella which he converts for a 61-58 Xplosion lead with 1:10 to play. The teams trade 2 FTs each and with 15.9 to go MSB has the ball down 3 in the frontcourt. They run America's Play for Stanley but they don't execute and Stanley has nothing. Cory Stiles throws up a prayer at the horn that is no good and the Xplosion survive 63-60. The Xplosion are deep, they hustle and have tons of people who can knock down 3s. Dangerous team. Jordan Reibling led them with 12 pts. David Stanley with 22 and a nice game to lead MSB. Cory Stiles (Eastview) with 8 pts and 12 rebounds in a very productive outing. He's athletic and showed an ability to handle the ball a bit in addition to his rebounding.

Late game (and I do mean late) was 43 Hoops Harris vs MN Select. Aaron Ziman vs Vinard Birch was the highlight here. Birch is one of the best on ball defenders in the metro and is extremely disruptive on opposing point guards. Defense in this game far ahead of the offense. 7-6 Select after 1 quarter. 18-15 43 Hoops at halftime (and that was with 3 quick Select pts late in the half) before I called it a night.

MN Fury South won their game in a blowout (55-20 near the end of the 3rd quarter when the Xplosion game was at half) in the 4th 16U game of the night.

Games I'll be watching at the State AAU tourney

If you missed the previews of the 15U, 16U and 17U divisions for the state AAU tourney, you can read them with the following links.
Here are the primary games that I intend to watch at the tournament as of right now (subject to change at any time). I'll also be checking around on other games during the day. If you see me with my clipboard and 3 ring binder, feel free to say hello.

  • 6:30 PM, MN Fury North vs Wear Out The Net (16U 8 vs 9)
  • 7:50 PM, MN Xplosion vs MSB Roadrunners (16U 5 vs 12)
  • 9:10 PM, 43 Hoops Harris vs MN Select (16U 7 vs 10)
  • 9:00 AM, MN Magic Black vs 43 Hoops Amundson (15U 5 vs 12)
  • 11:40 AM, MN Comets Elite vs MN Glory (16U 4 vs 13)
  • 1:00 PM, MN Comets Elite vs MN Magic Stars (17U 6 vs 11)
  • 2:20 PM, 16U 6th place bracket game (MN Select vs MN Magic Blue if seeds hold true)
  • 3:40 PM, 16U 4 vs 5 Quarterfinal (MN Comets Elite vs MN Xplosion if seeds hold true)
  • 5:00 PM, 16U 2 vs 7 Quarterfinal (MN Fury South vs 43 Hoops Harris if seeds hold true)
  • 6:20 PM, MN Select Kruger vs MN Magic Superfriends (17U Quarterfinal)
  • Possible bonus games to end the day
    • 7:40 PM, 16U 5th place bracket semifinal (MN Xplosion vs MN Fury North if seeds hold true)
    • 9:00 PM, 17U 5th place bracket semifinal (MN Comets Elite vs MSB Roadrunners if seeds hold true)
  • 9:30 AM, 15U Semifinal (MN Heat Elite vs MN Magic Elite projected)
  • 10:50 AM, 16U Semifinal (MN Magic Elite vs MN Comets projected)
  • 12:10 PM, 15U Championship
  • 1:30 PM, 17U 3rd place game
  • 2:50 PM, 17U Championship

MN AAU Boys District Championship Preview 17U

This is the 3rd in a series of 3 previews of the MN AAU Boys District Championship at Bloomington Jefferson this weekend. We'll do the 17U top division here.

Click here to read the 15U preview.
Click here to read the 16U preview.

  • 1-4: MN Magic Robertson, MN Glory, MN Fury, MN Select Kruger
  • 5-8: MN Magic Superfriends, MN Comets Elite, MSB, MN Select DeKok
  • 9-11: MN Comets North, MN Comets Stars, MN Magic Stars
Schedule: (click here for a bracket)
  • Opening round: Saturday 1:00 PM Courts 1-3
  • Quarterfinals: Saturday 6:20 PM Courts 1-4
  • Semifinals: Sunday 10:50 AM Courts 3 and 4
  • Championship: Sunday 2:50 PM Court 3
  • 3rd Place: Sunday 1:30 PM Court 3
  • 5th Place: Sunday 12:10 PM Court 3
Deep bracket here as well. MSB dangerous at #7 with their inside play, MN Comets Elite at #6 are very dangerous with Nate Wolters leading the way. If Magic Stars show up with everybody, they're much better than the #11 seed but they haven't shown it on the court yet. Plenty of fun games and players to watch.

Players to Watch:
  • Trent Davis (St. Bernard's), Shaun Jensen (Spring Lake Park), Carlos Emory (Eastview), Caleb Palkert (SW Christian), Averey Duncan (St. Bernard's), Emmanuel Addo (Northfield) - Magic Robertson
  • Matt Zager (Shakopee), Josh Figini (Chisago Lakes), Charlie Baker (Eagan) - MN Glory
  • Erik Olsen (Buffalo), Noah Sheppard (Washburn), Josh Hibbison (Monticello) - MN Fury
  • Maurice Hernandez (Sibley), Justin Harding (Mounds View), Bo Shiffler (Woodbury), Dan Carroll (Mounds View) and Tall Kid Tall (Alex Miller BSM) - MN Select Kruger
  • Greg Meyer, David Burnham and Taylor Sparkman (Minnehaha), Chris Breuer (SCL), Isaiah Thomas (Fridley), Renard Robinson (Richfield) - Magic Superfriends
  • Nate Wolters (St. Cloud Tech), Andre Garth (St. Cloud Apollo), Eric Shulstad (Pelican Rapids) - Comets Elite
  • Mike Muscala (Roseville), David Berthene (Lakeville N), Josh Zitzmann (Farmington), Bonzi Wells (Sahr Ngekia AHA)- MSB Roadrunners
  • Justin Segal (BSM), Chris Neumann (LP/HT) - MN Select DeKok
  • Jonah Dahlman (Braham), Jared Sutherland and Matt Sjostrand (Grand Rapids)-Comets North
  • Braden Johnson (Cambridge-Isanti), Grant Spark (Spectrum)-Comets Stars
  • Ethan Wragge (Eden Prairie), Billy Giddings (Blaine), Jack Gavin (Elk River), Will Deberg (Edina) - Magic Stars
  • Opening Round: MN Select DeKok over Comets North (8 vs 9), MSB over Comets Stars (7 vs 10), Comets Elite over Magic Stars (6 over 11) in a game that is much better than the seeding indicates.
  • Quarterfinals: Magic Robertson over Select DeKok (1 vs 8), Magic Superfriends "upset" MN Select Kruger in a terrific 4 vs 5 game, MN Glory over MSB (2 vs 7), MN Comets Elite upset MN Fury (3 vs 6)
  • Semifinals: Magic Robertson over Magic Superfriends (1 vs 5), Glory over Comets Elite in a terrific 2 vs 6 game.
  • Title game: Magic Robertson def MN Glory
  • 3rd place: Comets Elite over Magic Superfriends

MN AAU Boys District Championship Preview 16U

This is the 2nd in a series of 3 previews of the MN AAU Boys District Championship at Bloomington Jefferson this weekend. We'll do the 16U division here.

Click here to read the 15U preview.
Click here to read the 17U preview.

  • 1-4: MN Magic Elite (now includes TNL Express), MN Fury South, MN Magic Black, MN Comets Elite
  • 5-8: MN Xplosion, Mpls Redhawks, 43 Hoops Harris, MN Fury North
  • 9-12: Wear Out the Net, MN Select, MN Comets Select, MSB
  • 13-15: MN Glory, Rochester Shock, MN Magic Blue
Schedule: (click here for a bracket)
  • Opening round, 4 games Friday night (6:30, 2 at 7:50 and 1 at 9:10) and 3 on Saturday (11:40 AM and 2 at 1:00 PM)
  • Quarterfinals, Saturday 3:40 and 5:00 PM courts 1 and 2
  • Semifinals, Sunday 10:50 AM courts 1 and 2
  • Championship, Sunday 2:50 PM Court 1
  • 3rd Place, Sunday 2:50 PM Court 2
  • 5th Place, Sunday 1:30 PM Court 1
This 16U bracket is very deep with the top 7 teams all very solid. I love the Comets as a #4 seed and would really like to see them take on Magic Elite in the semis. Fury South vs Magic Black is another very good projected semifinal. 43 Hoops Harris with nice perimeter players as the #7 seed could be dangerous. MN Xplosion doesn't have a name that sticks out like other teams but they've been solid all spring and can play with anybody in this bracket.

Players to Watch:
  • Chad Calcaterra (Cloquet) - Magic Elite
  • Marshall Bjorklund (Sibley East) - Magic Elite
  • Darry Jones (St. Agnes) - MN Fury South
  • Santano Rosario (SPA) - MN Fury South
  • Walter Franklin (DLS) - Magic Black
  • Deron Murphy (Kennedy) - Magic Black
  • Alex Hanks (St. Cloud Tech) - MN Comets Elite
  • Craig Brown (Park) - 43 Hoops Harris
  • Nick Quicksell (Woodbury) - 43 Hoops Harris
  • Josh Hanson (MCA) - MN Fury North
  • Michael Lindberg (West Lutheran) - MN Fury North
  • Drew Swanson (Lake City) - Wear Out the Net
  • Opening Round: MN Fury N over Wear Out the Net (8 vs 9), Comets Elite over Glory (4 vs 13), Xplosion over MSB (5 vs 12), Fury S over Magic Blue (2 vs 15), 43 Hoops over MN Select (7 vs 10), Magic Black over Rochester Shock (3 vs 14), Mpls Redhawks over Comets Select (6 vs 11). No surprises.
  • Quarterfinals: Magic Elite over MN Fury N (1 vs 8), Comets Elite over MN Xplosion (4 vs 5) , Fury S squeaks by 43 Hoops Harris (2 vs 7), Magic Black over Mpls Redhawks (3 vs 6)
  • Semifinals: Magic Elite over MN Comets Elite (1 vs 4) thanks to the TNL guards. Fury South over Magic Black in a tough game (2 vs 3).
  • Title game: Magic Elite over Fury South to avenge another loss
  • 3rd place: Comets Elite over Magic Black

MN AAU Boys District Championship Preview 15U

This is the 1st in a series of 3 previews of the MN AAU Boys District Championship at Bloomington Jefferson this weekend. We begin with the 15U division.

Click here to read the 16U preview.
Click here to read the 17U preview.


  • 1-4: 43 Hoops Carr, MN Heat Elite, MN Magic Elite, MN Fury
  • 5-8: MN Magic Black, MN Glory, SW MN Heat, MN Comets
  • 9-14: Central Flyers, MN Select, Team Minnesota, 43 Hoops Amundson, MN Magic Blue, Old Skool MIN
Schedule: (click here for a bracket)
  • Opening round, Saturday 9:00 AM courts 1-6
  • Quarterfinals, Saturday 11:40 AM and 1:00 PM courts 6 and 7
  • Semifinals, Sunday 9:30 AM courts 1 and 2
  • Championship, Sunday 12:10 PM Court 1
  • 3rd Place, Sunday 12:10 PM Court 3
  • 5th Place, Sunday 2:50 PM Court 5
Chris Carr's loaded 43 Hoops 15U squad makes a local appearance. Too bad that their top 16 and 17 squads aren't also playing here, but that's another issue for another time. Absolutely loaded with Jameson Parsons of Eagan, Freddie Young of BC, Estan Tyler of Johnson, Jordan Smith of Orono and Jake White of Mayer Lutheran just to name a few. MN Heat Elite with the Preiner twins from Tartan get the #2 seed in a slight surprise. MN Magic Elite are dangerous at #3 as they proved by winning the Festival of Champions last weekend in Ames, IA. But the Magic Elites won't have an easy go of it. The quarterfinal matchup with the winner of the 6 vs 11 game (MN Glory vs Team Minnesota) is very dangerous regardless of who they play. Unfortunately we won't get to see the MN Wrath squad, they're playing up in a 16U MYAS pool in Delano. They'd be a very dangerous mid-level seed here.

Players to Watch:
  • Jordan Smith (Orono) - 43 Hoops Carr
  • Jake White (Mayer Lutheran) - 43 Hoops Carr
  • Drew and Luke Preiner (Tartan)- MN Heat Elite
  • Kyle Noreen (MTS) - Magic Elite
  • Jonah Travis (DLS) - Magic Elite
  • Will Iverson (Elk River) - MN Fury
  • Opening Round: MN Comets over Central Flyers in the 8 vs 9 game, MN Fury over Old Skool (4 vs 13), Magic Black over 43 Hoops Amundson in a close 5 vs 12 battle (gotta love those 5 vs 12 games), MN Select over SW MN Heat in the 7 vs 10 game. Magic Elite over Magic Blue in the 3 vs 14 game, Team MN over MN Glory in the upset in the 6 vs 11 game.
  • Quarters: 43 Hoops over MN Comets, Magic Black over MN Fury, MN Heat over MN Select, Magic Elite over Team Minnesota
  • Semifinals: 43 Hoops over Magic Black, Magic Elite over MN Heat
  • Title game: 43 Hoops over Magic Elite
  • 3rd place: MN Heat over Magic Black

Great ESPN feature on S Carolina HS AAAA title game

(Czar's note 6/2/08, I found the ESPN link and updated the text to include it)

Forgive me for being a sentimental type of guy, but ESPN had a great feature tonight on Sportscenter on the South Carolina AAAA boys basketball championship game. This article from The Post and Courier of Charleston, SC recaps it but doesn't do the entire story justice. If you get a chance, I highly recommend going out on and viewing the piece (click here). A great story of triumph and tragedy with (of course) a cinderella ending.