Final team thoughts from Denver

Some final thoughts on the games from Denver. You can read my story on the Pump N Run 17s tournament win on Minnesota Preps (click here). I will be adding a "Life on the Road" post in the next day or 2 to explain the Saturday night teasers, but here we'll clean up some final thoughts on the 4 MN teams that made the trip.

Net Gain 17U
They were eliminated 80-79 by Step Off Lightning in the late game Saturday night. I didn't see that game as the PNR 15s ran late and then it was time to leave. What was interesting about that game was the Step Off shouldn't have been there. They were down 40-19 at half against KC Pump N Run just to get to that game vs Net Gain, but stormed back with a 42-19 2nd half and stole one 61-59. I watched Net Gain's 1st 2 games on Saturday and it was surprising how cold Cole Stefan was shooting. He was something like 1-12 from 3 in the games I saw and missing badly. I know he arrived late after not playing Friday night so I don't know how much that had to do with it. I can't say I've ever seen him shoot that poorly or be so frustrated with it. DJ Peterson on the other hand played well and their bigs (Alex Rau and Jayvin Reynolds) are perfect for that team as they generate their offense via garbage points. Their money lineup this weekend had those guys on the bench with Chanse Creekmur in the middle. Of all the guys who have played some point guard on that team, most of the time it was Shaun Jensen or Tor Anderson getting the duty.

Pump N Run 17U
The quarterfinal win against 2D1 was a steal. 2D1 had great success with their point guard but then he didn't touch the ball down the stretch and he wasn't face-guarded (something I would have done the way he was playing). In the semis, while a tough call late went against D1E, they still had 2 chances with the ball and didn't take a timeout. A complete meltdown verbally and strategically by their staff after the call went against them. Even their 16s coach, who had just beaten the PNR 16s (more on that below) and had a better view of it than the 17s (other end), thought it was the right call. From my angle at the scorer's table, I think it was the right call but it was VERY close. Team Odom was very talented, read the Keala King, Darius Nelson and Austin McBroom sections of this ESPN article on how those players did the previous weekend in Las Vegas. Their offense vs the PNR 2-3 was strange as their guards were way out high and they didn't get any movement. Worth noting that the rotations tightened up too as there was a basic go-to group of Jon Crockett, Dyami Starks, Steve Tecker, Carlos Emmory and Kevin Noreen. While it may not come out at the state tournament vs local competition, look for it when the big boys come here in July.

Pump N Run 16U
Coach Miller's 16U team only gave up 3 field goals in the 1st half of their quarterfinal game against Team Chandler for a double digit lead. Team Chandler did get the game back to 4 points late but PNR held on to win. Against D1E in the semis, a defensive struggle in a 43-40 loss. A tough charging call against Jason Perkins in the last 90 seconds was big. The bucket would have cut the D1E lead to 2, D1E scored on the other end to put the game at 6 and it was over. Jonah Travis and Alex Richter with big weekends for the 16s. Travis is an interesting case as he's a post for De La Salle and he's playing a wing spot this summer. I like what Aaron Ziman did against great athletes handling pressure for them, but he'll need rest at some point in games. Colorado Basketball Academy tried to come after them full court and got shredded. A 1-2-2 trap from them gave up a 14-3 run early in the game until CBA finally got out of it after sticking with it for far too long.

Pump N Run 15U
Coach Cassidy's 15U team blew through their pool and won late Saturday night to advance to the final 8. Taylor Montero (CDH) was big in that game with 19 points if I recall correctly. They only had 7 guys and their most talented player, Johnny Woodard of Duluth East, wasn't on the trip. This is a group to keep an eye on with jitterbug Cortez Tillman (CDH) at the point. They bowed out in the quarterfinals to Double Pump's 2012 squad which is no shame.

1 comment:

  1. I was at that game between StepOff Lightning and Net Gain and just like the previous game in which they came from behind, they stormed back with tenacious defense and great shooting. I was very impress by the play of that StepOff Lightning team and surprised that they made it to the Final Four. Hats off to StepOff Lightning....


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