43 Hoops Twin Cities Summer Classic Preview

7/11/08 Games scheduled for Hopkins HS have now been moved to Wayzata HS.

(Czar's Note 7/10/08, I've been notified that I've got the 2 MN Comets teams reversed. The Comets Stars are in Pool A and the Comets Elite are in Pool B. My thanks for the info and apologies go out to the Comets. Preview Updated at 12:23 PM

Corrected Comets Stars Roster and fixes to schedule, 10 PM)

Here's my preview of the Inaugural Twin Cities Summer Classic hosted by 43 Hoops. I'll be out watching the games and writing afterwards. You can also get reports from Stevens Sports Report.


Pool A: MN Comets Stars, All Iowa Elite, Net Gain Sports, 94 Feet of Game
Pool B: Illinois Wolves, Triple Threat, MN Comets Elite, Wisconsin Playmakers
Pool C: 43 Hoops Chatman, Team Missouri, Elite Sports Select, MN Mustangs
Pool D: Mac Irvin Fire, Big Game Sports, MSB Roadrunners, 43 Hoops Hemmingson

Schedule (click here for a link to the full schedule)
1st pool games: 8:00 and 9:15 Saturday except Pool B (4:45 PM). All at Hopkins High
2nd pool games: 1:00, 2:15 and 3:30 PM Saturday at Hopkins except Pool B (8:30 PM at 43 Hoops).
3rd pool games: Sunday 8 AM (Pool C), 9:15 AM (Pool D), 10:30 AM (Pool A) at Hopkins. 11:45 AM (Pool B) at 43 Hoops.

Round of 16 Playoffs: Sunday afternoon at 43 Hoops and Hopkins
Final 8: Monday 10:30 and 11:45 AM at 43 Hoops
Semifinals: Monday 6 PM at 43 Hoops
Championship: Tuesday 1 PM at King of Grace in Golden Valley

The Czar's Thoughts

Pool A: Net Gain Sports has a load of perimeter talent with Trent Lockett (Hopkins), Cole Stefan (Minnetonka) and Tor Anderson (Prior Lake). It looks like they also add Chanse Creekmur from Marshalltown, IA. He's a 6'6" wing player in the class of 2010 that mid-majors like Northern Iowa and Creighton are already after. Sam Dower leads them inside. He's had a good summer and may develop into a high-major D1 player this season. I see 94 Ft of Game as the next best squad in this bracket. Steve Baker has had a big summer for them and Freddie Burton is another solid guard for this athletic squad. All Iowa Elite knocked out TNL Express in a tournament this past weekend. The MN Comets Stars is the lesser of the 2 Comets teams here. This bracket is tough enough that they may not win a game in pool play.

Pool B: The Illinois Wolves should be the class of this pool with 2 top 100 players in Diamond Taylor (Wisconsin, #86 Rivals) and Joseph Bertrand (Illinois, #81 Rivals). For the MN Comets Elite, Nate Wolters has had a terrific summer and they've got plenty of other athletes and good players to compete with anybody in this tournament. Their game with the Wolves (4:45 Saturday at Hopkins) will be really fun to watch. The Wisconsin Playmakers (read another preview here) come in with high scoring guard Jack Taylor of Black River Falls and wing Allen Swiggum. Mike Hanson of La Crosse Aquinas is also on this squad. He's being looked at by Columbia, Drake, Winona St and WIAC schools. Taylor has interest from Drake and Winona State.

Pool C: The top 43 Hoops squad resides here. Mike Bruesewitz, Chris Halvorsen and Marc Sonnen lead this squad and give them good inside out balance. Dylan Rodriguez and Damarius Cruz are 2 others who also are worth watching. Team Missouri was here for the Sabes Invitational in May and struggled, but they do have guard Jamie Donnelly. Elite Sports Select brings in a group of players from Northeast Iowa. The MN Mustangs played well in the Star of the North games a couple weeks ago. Their squad is one of Hiawatha Valley Conference all-stars. Overall, I see this as the weakest bracket.

Pool D: The Mac Irvin Fire come in with a very good and young team. 2010 stud Crandall Head (brother of current NBA player Luther Head) is #11 in the Rivals rankings and #12 in the Scout rankings. They also have a real star in the making from the 2011 class, Mike Shaw. They got knocked out of the Milwaukee event this week by the All Iowa Attack 17s. Big Game Sports had a very nice run in Indianapolis this week and could be a real sleeper in this pool. MSB brings their dangerous size to the pool with Mike Muscala (Roseville) and David Berthene (Lakeville N). The Big Game Sports vs MSB matchup (Sunday 9:15 AM at Hopkins) intrigues me and should determine 2nd place in the pool. 43 Hoops Hemmingson is the lesser of the 2 43 Hoops teams in the 17U portion. Travon McKee (Arlington) can really score and Jayvin Reynolds (Osseo) is a big man who will have an important role this coming season.

Pool Winner Predictions:
Net Gain Sports, Illinois Wolves, 43 Hoops Chatman and Mac Irvin Fire

In 16U, many of the top Minnesota teams are present. They include the Mpls Redhawks, MN Magic Phillips, MN Comets Elite, MN Xplosion in addition to the 2 43 Hoops teams. The MN Heat Black, Big Game Sports and 94 Ft of Game squads are also represented here. Also watch Silas Mills Jr of the Terry Porter Elite. For those of us who remember the dynasty that was Milwaukee Washington in the 80s, you'll know him as the son of Silas Mills who played in the NBA.

Games to watch:
  • 8:00 AM 94 Ft of Game vs Net Gain Sports, Hopkins Court 3
  • 9:15 AM Mac Irvin Fire vs Big Game Sports, Hopkins Court 3
  • 10:30 AM MN Magic Phillips vs MN Xplosion (16U), Hopkins Court 3
  • 11:45 AM MN Heat Black vs 43 Hoops Carr 43 Hoops Court 2 OR 43 Hoops Amundson vs Madison Spartans Hopkins Court 3(both games 15U)
  • 1:00 PM All Iowa Elite vs Net Gain Sports, Hopkins Court 3
  • 2:15 PM Mac Irvin Fire vs MSB Roadrunners, Hopkins Court 2 OR Mpls Redhawks vs MN Magic Phillips (16U), Hopkins Court 4
  • 3:30 PM Elite Sports Select vs MN Mustangs, Hopkins Court 4 (only 17U game going on)
  • 4:45 PM Illinois Wolves vs MN Comets Elite, Hopkins Court 2
  • 6:00 PM MSB Roadrunners vs MN Heat Black (16U), Hopkins Court 3
  • 7:15 PM MN Heat Elite vs Illinois Wolves (15U), Hopkins Court 2
  • 8:30 PM Illinois Wolves vs Triple Threat 43 Hoops Court 1 OR MN Comets Elite vs WI Playmakers 43 Hoops Court 2
  • 8:00 AM 43 Hoops Chatman vs Elite Sports Select, Hopkins Court 2
  • 9:15 AM Big Game Sports vs MSB Roadrunners, Hopkins Court 3
  • 10:30 AM All Iowa Elite vs 94 Ft of Game, Hopkins Court 3
  • 11:45 AM Illinois Wolves vs WI Playmakers , 43 Hoops Court 1
  • 1:00 PM 43 Hoops Harris vs MN Heat Black (16U) Hopkins Court 4
  • Tournament play begins with round of 16 play (pool winners vs last place pool finishers)
Monday (all games at 43 Hoops)
  • 10:30 and 11:45 AM 17U Quarterfinals
  • 1:00 and 2:15 PM 16U Quarterfinals
  • 3:30 and 4:45 PM 15U Quarterfinals
  • 6 PM 17U Semifinals
  • 7:15 16U Semifinals
  • 8:30 15U Semifinals
Tuesday (all games at King of Grace church in Golden Valley)
  • 9:15 AM 14U Championship
  • 10:30 AM 15U Championship
  • 11:45 AM 16U Championship
  • 1:00 PM 17U Championship

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