2009 Pump N Run Showcase 17U Preview

Here's what I'm paying attention to this weekend in the 17U division of the Pump N Run Spring Showcase.

Pool A - This is Pump N Run's pool with very little of note. The MN Heat's 2nd squad is here with Trey Scott and Steve Bailey as their 1st team has the weekend off due to Stillwater's prom. In another pool they might be a surprise, but not here.

Pool B - Here's the top competition for Pump N Run, the WI Swing-Selk team. This Swing team has 4 of the top 10 kids in Wisconsin and 2 more in the top 25. Here's the list of those kids with their ranking.

#3 6'4 G Josh Gasser - Port Washington.
#8 6'6 F Chip Rank - Cedarburg
#9 6'9 F Kyle Kelm - Randolph
#10 6'4 F Marquis Mason - Madison East
#16 6'3 F Evan Richard - Cuba City
#24 6'1 G Brett Meinecke - Sussex Hamilton

Gasser has been looked at by Iowa, Iowa State and Indiana with offers from Northwestern, St. Louis, UNI, UWGB and UW-Milwaukee. Averaged 22.4 PPG this year and is a terrific rebounder from his point guard spot. Rank averaged 19.2 PPG this season and has offers from St. Louis, UWGB, UW-Milwaukee and NDSU. Kelm has high major offers from Iowa, Iowa State, Marquette and Oregon State along with interest from Minnesota. More of a high post player than a low post threat. Mason is a left-handed beast on the block who needed to work on his perimeter game when I saw him in December 2007. He was the catalyst for a much improved Madison East team this year and just received a football offer from Wisconsin at wide receiver. He was once committed to UW-Milwaukee for basketball but withdrew that committment. Richard blew up this year and scored 50 points in a game over the Christmas holiday. Meinecke gets overshadowed by teammate Kameron Cerroni, but he's a solid guard who can shoot it.

Pool C - MN Fury's 2nd team is here but the team to beat here is the Fox Valley Storm. Read a preview of them here. Their top player Logan Ellman of Oconto made a big leap from nowhere to #21 in the latest Wishoops ranking.

Pool D - If this were last year's Iowa Barnstormers roster with Brennan Cougill, I'd really be interested. MSB and the Fury 3rd team are in the pool, but the tradition of the Barnstormers as one of the 3 premier AAU programs in Iowa makes me take them here.

Pool E - TC Elite heads up the local contingent in this pool, but again I'm going the Wisconsin route with former Badger Hennssy Auriantal's Wisconsin Force program. They have 3 players ranked in the Wishoops top 50. 6'1 Mike Boos from Sun Prairie (#36), 6'1 Josh Cameron from Kenosha Christian Life (#42) and 6'6 Sam Gage from Waterloo (#44) along with a couple of 6'7 bodies. The Saturday game between those 2 teams should be a good one to decide the pool.

Pool F - The Iowa Mavericks hopefully won't get snowed out like they did at the Comets tournament, but I'll take the Mpls Redhawks here. The 3rd Comets team is in this pool as well.

Pool G- The other Iowa Mavs squad is here, but I'm taking the Fury Elite.

Pool H - The Swing's 2nd team, a decimated Xplosion squad (another team losing kids to prom and a couple of kids moving over Heat Select) and 94 Ft are here. Look for Andre Ingram of 94 Ft to be huge in pool play.

Everybody advances to the championship bracket with play-in games in the mid-afternoon. Round of 16 games are at 7 and 8:10 Saturday night. Here are my predictions of those.

Round of 16
Pump N Run over Comets Seevers
94 Ft of Game over IA Mavs Blue (but 94 Ft is the #1 seed most likely to be upset)
IA Barnstormers over Fury Gold
WI Force over IA Mavs Black
WI Swing Selk over Heat Select
Fury Elite over WI Swing Shaw
Fox Valley Storm over MSB
Mpls Redhawks over TC Elite

Quarterfinals (9:40 AM Sunday)
Pump N Run over 94 Ft
IA Barnstormers over WI Force
WI Swing Selk over Fury Elite
Mpls Redhawks over Fox Valley Storm

Semifinals (1:10 PM Sunday)
Pump N Run over IA Barnstormers
WI Swing Selk over Mpls Redhawks

Championship (3:30 PM Sunday)
Pump N Run over WI Swing Selk


  1. HOPEFULLY the Mavericks can make it up to the tournament this weekend. The forecast is 80 degrees in Iowa today. I'll be interested to hear what your take is on the Iowa teams... I just found your blog, but I'm enjoying reading your stuff.

  2. So do you plan to do a preview for the 15U division? I have a special place in my heart for MN Southside...... *wink*

  3. Greg, I hope the Mavs make it but I can't say I know anything about the Iowa rosters.

    Hoopaholic, I know very little about the 15s which is why I won't do an official preview, but Swing-Litscher is loaded, PNR is very good, I like Southside (tough draw and is Love with them still?), don't sleep on Swing-Williams and Heat Elite will be solid.

    Swing teams to win pools, Heat Elite, PNR in 2 more. Pool D is a toss up. I'll take a PNR vs Swing-Litscher final with PNR winning if they have Woodard. Litscher wins if they don't due to depth.

  4. Czar-- I know the Mavs will make it, because I'll be driving them up there (and coaching them) in about 5 hours. I can try to give you some insight into the Iowa kids if you'd like, though. The Barnstormers are one of the top programs in the state, but I wouldn't consider the 17U 'Stormers the cream of the crop just yet. The All Iowa Attack 17s are the team to beat in Iowa this year. Players to watch on the 'Stormers 17s:

    Rasham Suarez... a 16U player who is playing up a year. He played high school basketball as a freshman at IC West, but attended Findley Prep this year, winning a national championship.

    Isaac Gardner... a 6-3 guard who is one of the best shooters in the state, but has developing athleticism too. He could have a big summer.

    Nate Buss... a 6-8 wing who can shoot the three, attack the rim, and post up... the total package, but skinny as a rail. He's a late bloomer, and mark my words... he'll explode this summer.

    From the 'Stormers 16s, you were right to highlight Oglesby. The kid can play, and from what I've seen, he might be the best 2011 kid out of Iowa. He can really shoot it, but wait until you see his passing and court vision. He is a lot of fun to watch.

  5. Thanks for the info Coach and good luck, I would agree that Barnes and the All Iowa Attack 17s are the top club and I'd probably have to take Martin Brothers with Dystrka ahead of them too.

  6. Thanks. Introduce yourself when we're up there if you get a chance... I'll be coaching the 17U Black Mavs squad, wishing that our top guard... Tayler Bontrager from Iowa City West... wasn't running track this weekend at the Drake Relays. Hopefully we can be competitive.

  7. Will do Coach, sorry to hear one of your top kids is out. Any thoughts on Alex Vogel for the assembled masses here?

  8. Vogel is one of the other top guards on the Mavs 17s. This is my first year working with him, but he's got a GREAT first step, and excellent handles. For his high school team, he's a shoot-first guard, because he has to be... I'm excited to see what he can do this some with some shooters around him. We'll be counting on him a lot with Bontrager gone this weekend.

    One of the other guards to watch out for from the Mavs 17s is Andrew Wirth from Cedar Falls. He led his team to the state tourney this year, including an upset of Linn Mar during the last game of the regular season, and wins against Marshalltown (Creekmur) and CR Kennedy to get to state. You'll like him a lot.


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