2009 AAU District Qualifier 16U Preview

Part 2 in the preview series for this weekend's AAU district qualifier. In this scroll, a look at the 16U division. Read all the previews here.

Pool A
A tough pool here with the MN Glory who's win at the TNL Super Regional "earned" them the 1 seed and talented 43 Hoops II and Team Minnesota Elite squads. WI Terror and Comets II round out the pool. 43 Hoops II is a major threat here out of the low seed. Ben Figini for Glory is the player to watch in this pool. I'll also be interested to see Joe Zangel returns for Glory after having a bad back 2 weeks ago. Jared Bervin can go off at any time for 43 Hoops II.

Pool B
Comets Elite is the easy pick in this pool. Gotta love Jayme Moten at the point along with Bryan Reeves and Simon Krych up front. Seth Hinrichs gives them a player who poses matchup problems with his size and shooting. The 2nd spot out of the pool is a tougher choice. After their performance with guys playing unnatural positions at the Select tourney, give me the SW MN Heat to be the #2 team here. Caleb Johnson is a point guard playing the post for them and Zak Pendleton gives them a dangerous shooter. Pendleton's Cedar Mountain-Comfrey teammate Dalton Kleinschmidt is another player of note for them. Their game with MN Heat Black at 7 PM on Saturday should be the determining factor. MN Heat Black's Bryan Sprang will be a tough matchup to deal with in this pool.

Pool C
MN Heat Elite's got their revenge on Wear Out the Net in Iowa 2 weeks ago. Easy pick to win this pool. MSB is dangerous (as demonstrated by them taking Pump N Run's 16s to the wire earlier this spring) and their game vs Fury Blue should determine the #2 team out of this pool. TJ Gist is the player I'm watching for Fury.

Pool D
For me, a somewhat unknown pool. MN Wrath is the squad that Shelby Moats played for, but he's now up with the PNR 16s. That said, they blew out Fury Blue and Team MN Elite down in Iowa for a 4-1 record. The only loss was in the bracket opener vs eventual champ Speice MoKan. Magic Elites have a couple of holdovers from last season's Magic Elites in Vaughn Thada and Daron Garvis. Add in talents like Joe Carpenter and BP Pajibo and there's talent here. They had a controversial 59-58 win over Wear Out The Net in Iowa to win their pool before they too lost to Speice MoKan in bracket play. TC Elite and Central Flyers round out the pool.

Pool E
Wear Out the Net leads this pool. Max Watts has been outstanding for them after coming over from 43 Hoops this year. Brandon Siefert is another perimeter player to watch for them. Spencer Pankonin gives them size and scoring inside. Fury Gold is interesting to watch with the pickups of Anthony Lee and Chris Smith-Bond from St. Paul Johnson. Lee saw varsity minutes in the deep rotation this season. Old Skool and P-Town are 2 non factors in the pool.

I think the top 2 from each pool advance to the District Championships so here are my picks
Pool A: MN Glory and 43 Hoops II
Pool B: Comets Elite and SW MN Heat
Pool C: MN Heat Elite and Fury Blue
Pool D: Magic Elite and MN Wrath
Pool E: WOTN and Fury Gold

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