Basketblogger's Chat with Kevin Noreen

The Basketblogger got a chance to chat with Minnesota Transitions star Kevin Noreen recently and was kind enough to share it with me. For more interviews like this, including chats with Minnesota Preps publisher Michael Much and 2007-2008 Maranatha star David Hanson, check out the Basketblogger's site.

Here's a transcript of that conversation reprinted with the Basketblogger's permission. I've added formatting for clarity. You can read the original here. My comments follow.

Basketblogger: No, Kevin Noreen does not have a Facebook account, but through a trusted source and confidant of Noreen, I was able to briefly chat with him on Saturday night via the Facebook chat. I was getting ready for a movie with the Mrs. when a friend of mine sent me a chat message, "Hey Kevin is over, you should do an e-interview."

I initially decided against it, given that I usually prepare my questions, but who could pass up 15-20 minutes with the best player in Minnesota's Class of 2010? Noreen made more headlines and highlight reels with his summer league and AAU play. He was winner of a one-on-one contest in Denver against some of the top ballers in the nation. At 6-8 in the small forward role, colleges have made recruiting him a priority.

Kevin has also proven that he's not just a summer ball or regular season wonder. Last season, he beat my beloved Maranatha Mustangs and Hanson brothers en route to an unforeseeable state tournament run, only to fall to defending champion Ellsworth in the title game.

Kevin Noreen: The key was beating Maranatha, that really gave us confidence and propelled us to the championship game... Ellsworth just had too many weapons for us, me and Kyle did not play well enough for us to win. Ellsworth had more experience than us, they had been there 3 years in a row.

Basketblogger: Maranatha was Noreen's school for grades 1-6. Had he (and Kyle) enrolled in Maranatha's high school, we would have been talking about the Maranatha dynasty about now.

My one and only time seeing him play was that section championship against MCA. He was an offensive machine the first half, hitting four 3's beyond the arc. In the second half, Coach Wall made adjustments by assigning David Hanson to guard him. He described the experience of that second half and the excitement of playing against one of his longtime friends, Milos Ristanovic.

Kevin Noreen: That was really fun...I think that was first time that I have ever played against him in a real game...Yes, he was a big part of that comeback... he shot the lights out in that second half!

Basketblogger: When asked about the player he is most like, he mentioned Isaiah Dahlman - formerly of Braham and now with Michigan State. Dahlman also held the scoring record until last season.

Kevin Noreen:...but I have a long way to go to get to be as good as him.

Basketblogger: With two more seasons, there's potential that MTS could be the next Ellsworth with Noreen's leadership and play. Don't worry, Kevin. In a couple years, people will be asking, "Isaiah, who?"

Noreen also mentioned that the toughest player he's ever faced was Royce White-formerly of De La Salle and now Hopkins. He'll have another chance to test his game against Rodney Williams, Jr. and the Minneapolis Gamblers as his fall league squad plays this Sunday at Minnetonka High School.

He's undecided on a college, which is expected given that he's just a junior, but when he decides, I hope to be the one to break the story!

I asked questions about the "lighter side of Kevin Noreen." He takes his academics seriously. When he's not on the court, you'll probably catch him studying. His favorite food are ribs and favorite film is 300 (I think the Breakdown already went down this route). I suggested that he try Rudolphs BBQ in Minneapolis. Hopefully he can squeeze in a visit for some well deserved ribs.

On the question of the three most influential people in his life, he named Coach (John) Sherman and his parents. The Noreens are very well known in the basketball community. Sharpshooter and brother Kyle received an offer to play for Liberty University. The scouting report says that you don't ever want to leave him open on the outside. He will hurt you there.

I wasn't able to find MTS's schedule, but it looks like the Minneapolis Roosevelt Teddies are the team that Noreen has his sights set on. Last season, the Wolves lost a nailbiter to the Teddies at Roosevelt. (See http://tchoops.blogspot.com/2008/02/minnesota-transitions-at-roosevelt.html) He hopes to reverse his fortune this season in the new gym and with the help of the infamous drumline.

Kevin Noreen: Yes, big time!!! They are extremely loud and give us a big advantage at our home games.

Basketblogger: MTS is a Class A school, but they manage to remain competitive against some big schools. Last season, Noreen dropped 41 in a close contest against Arlington. (See http://tchoops.blogspot.com/2008/02/mn-transitions-stuns-arlington-at.html).

If you're looking for a stellar contest, check out any game where MTS plays a AA school or above. The Wolves will be back and hungry for another chance to play for the state title.

-------End Interview

Czar's Comments:
Noreen's performance vs Arlington was one of the better individual displays I saw all of last season. 41 points and he was clutch in that game. The link in the interview will give you all the details so I won't rehash them here.

I've seen the MTS schedule. They open their new 250 seat band box on December 12th vs Minnehaha Academy in a very good opener. Expect the crowd and the drum line to be deafening in that building. They've also upgraded the schedule (an annual bug-a-boo, even last year when I was critical of it) with road games at Spring Grove, Holy Family, Becker and annual class A powerhouse Park Christian to end the regular season. Not to mention their tough rivalry games vs Roosevelt and CHOF in their new building.

Noreen does often get compared to Isiah Dahlman and Noreen will likely take over the all-time state scoring record from Cody Schilling. (Cheap plug, you can follow his progress with the tracker in the left column). That's not a bad comparison since both are high scoring, not super athletic players from small MN schools. Personally, I've gotten away from that comparison. I compare him instead to another former MN Magic star, Jon Leuer (Orono HS, now at Wisconsin). He's not as athletic as Leuer, but he's a better shooter. Both are skinny "power" forwards who can stretch the defense.

2 comments:

  1. Given that Butler has taken an interest in Kevin, and Kyle, we have began tracking the two. If you are interested, here is the URL.

    butlerfans.proboards.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Brent, you've done a nice job putting together information on both Kevin and Kyle. Definitely worth reading.

    Thanks for following along. MTS is a team that most don't pay attention to given past history. Hopefully the local papers will actually follow them this year since they'll be ranked in the top 2 or 3 in Class A.

    ReplyDelete

Have a different take than mine? You can provide your take here.