Weekend at the 2009 AAU District Qualifier

16 sessions of games this weekend at the AAU qualifier. Let's look at results and highlights of the weekend.

17U (top 2 play D1 next weekend)
Pool A: Comets-Hanson, Triple Threat, MSB, Magic Blue (No surprises). Triple Threat won a pair of close games over MSB and Magic Blue to claim the 2 spot in that pool

Pool B: Fury Elite, Comets-Seevers, Magic Black, River City Cougars (Comets were the 3rd team in the pool, but all 3 of the top teams were worthy, not a major surprise there). On Saturday, Comets-Seevers got 12 points in the last 5 minutes from Scott Nystrom to defeat Magic Black 62-60. Those 12 points included a steal and coast to coast layup in the last 5 seconds in an amazing finish. Magic Black had a chance to potentially eliminate the Comets from the 2 spot, but lost 80-60 on Sunday to MN Fury Elite. Nice performance from Jake Wensmann in that one for the Fury Elites. I did an audio interview on the Fury Elite vs Comets Seevers game for MN Preps yesterday. Read the article and access my interview here.

Pool C: As expected, TNL, TC Elite, MN Fury Gold and Old Skool. TC Elite now without Alex Koch who has moved on to MN Select. Huge loss for them. TNL had to fight to sweep the pool. On Sunday, they went down to the wire with TC Elite. Tied at 41 with 5 minutes left, TNL goes on a 10-0 run over the next 2 minutes. But a dicey 3 by Sewer results in 2 David Rademacher FTs for TC Elite and they're within 54-52 with 40 seconds left. TC Elite doesn't foul and Devon Knopke gets called for a carry with 18 seconds left. Aaron McCrossan's attempt at the horn is no good and TNL survives that game 54-52. In Sunday's late game, TNL got another big game from Jay Sewer (big in the TC Elite game too, I had him for 24 in this game vs Fury Gold). 79-67 TNL sweeps the pool. TC Elite earned the 2 slot in the pool with a 67-62 win over Fury Gold on Friday night.

Pool D: #4 overall and top seed in the pool MN Glory go 0-3 and were blown out by 22+ in their 2 Sunday games. Pump N Run 16s win the pool with MN Heat Select finishing 2nd and Comets Blue 3rd. Pump N Run defeated Glory 67-44 in Sunday morning's opener. PNR 35-44 FTs to Glory's 16-21. Alex Richter 16 points for PNR. They opened Saturday morning with 21 points from Richter in a 62-37 win over Heat Select. Heat Select routed Glory 89-67 on Sunday afternoon (14-1 start) to take the 2nd spot in the pool.

Pool E: Redhawks def Heat Elite in the 6 vs 5 game at the top of pool E for the 1 and 2 spots. Comets North and Wear Out The Net finish 3 and 4. On Sunday, the Redhawks had a 2 point lead on the MN Heat Elite at halftime. Taylor Hanson ignited a big 3 quarter run as the Redhawks won the 3rd quarter 26-12. 71-53 Redhawks win the pool and Heat Elite finish 2nd with the loss.

16U (top 2 play D1 next weekend)
Pool A: MN Glory, Team Minnesota Elite, 43 Hoops II, WI Terror, Comets White. Glory came from 19 down to 43 Hoops to win 83-77 late Saturday afternoon. Ben Figini with a layup with 1:30 left to put Glory over the top and they make their free throws (along with a clutch 3 from Justin Pahl who had 6 in the TNL Super Regional Championship). Glory got a putback from Ben Figini with 3 seconds left to beat Team Minnesota for the pool title and keep their #1 overall seed in 16U. Team Minnesota 53-46 over 43 Hoops II on Sunday morning for the #2 spot in the pool.

Pool B: No surprises. Comets Elite, MN Heat Black, SW MN Heat and Mpls Gators. Comets shorthanded for Sunday's late game vs Heat Black for the pool title, but they still won by 15.

Pool C: MN Heat Elite defeated MSB late Sunday for the pool title. MSB moves up to take the 2 seed in the pool.

Pool D: MN Wrath defeated Magic Elite to swap the top 2 spots in the pool on Sunday. 50-41 Wrath with 1:10 to go before Trevor Morlock gets a 4 point play and after a Daron Garvis steal, he quickly nails another triple. 50-48 Wrath with 43 seconds left, game on. The Wrath miss 2 front ends and a 2nd of 2 FTs and get all of them back in the next 17 seconds. The 2 front ends were offensive rebounds and the 3rd slipped away from a Magic player. 53-48 Wrath wins. Magic Elite over TC Elite 72-63 Saturday morning to avoid a slip to #3 in the pool.

Pool E: Wear Out The Net, MN Fury Gold, Old Skool, Magic Blue (no surprises). The pool title game with WOTN and Fury Gold was a fun finish. Fury's Terez Van Pelt with a steal for 2. 58-56 Fury with 1:15 left. Anthony Lee misses 2 front ends for Fury in the last 35 seconds. After 1 miss, Max Watts makes up for it with a left corner 3 with 9 seconds left for a 1 point lead. Fury with a couple of late chances but they can't convert and WOTN wins 59-58.

15U (all 13 teams play D1 next weekend)
Pool A: MN Suns, MN Heat Elite, TC Elite Green, MN Fury. MN Suns with no big wins but they go 3-0 to keep the #1 overall seed. That included a 79-74 win over MN Heat Elite.

Pool B: MN Magic, Howard Pulley White, 43 Hoops Daniels, TC Elite Black. Howard Pulley came from behind (10 down I heard) to defeat 43 Hoops 64-58 on Sunday to take the #2 spot in the pool.

Pool C: MN Southside, MN Pump N Run, 43 Hoops Gameli, Comets Blue, TC Elite White. The Comets got Joey King in foul trouble in their Saturday morning game vs MN Southside. King had 9 in the 3rd quarter and the game was tied at 39 heading to the 4th quarter. King fouled out with 4 minutes left and Southside down 4. Comets paraded to the foul line all day for a 65-56 win. MN Southside defated Pump N Run 49-38 Saturday afternoon. Pump N Run was on all cylinders on Sunday morning vs 43 Hoops Gameli. Will Dunn with 13 points in the 1st quarter. A 19-2 across the quarter break blows the game open with Cortez Tillman being a huge factor in the run. PNR 50-21 at the half and they win 83-51. Dunn's 19 lead 5 PNR players in double figures. Shot selection for 43 Hoops was a major issue in this one.

A great sight seeing Luke Preiner of the MN Heat Elite 16s having a bandaid on his right temple that was held on with duct tape. Yes, duct tape. Note to self, The Czar needs a cell phone with a camera on it, especially all the razzing I took for it this weekend. :) Also have to give props to the pork sandwich meal deal. Hmmm good. Had to make sure to get that in on both days of the weekend.

To the bad, the scorekeeping/timing had the same issues as last season's tournament. Also, the officiating across the board was horrific in my opinion. Not just in 1 game, just about everywhere from what I saw. I only wish I could say more, but I feel the circumstances and today's lawyer happy society don't allow me to.


  1. Czar,

    Officiating is always bad but you when you have MYAS and AAU battling from the same pool for refs it really gets bad. Some officials didn't know the rules. Officials reffing games for programs they coach is ridiculous. If these referees want to keep the fans quiet then work hard! Get up and down the floor. Quit making calls from 40 feet. It's embarrassing sometimes.

    In any event, hopefully next weekend will improve. I was impressed with the PNR 15's. Play well together, move the ball etc. I'd also say it's impressive to have the quality of coaching the program puts out their for the program

  2. Pimp, well said on the officials. Hard to ignore the fans though when they're on the court (literally thanks to the tight sidelines). At Jefferson, you don't have that since the fans are under the baskets.

    In the game vs 43 Hoops-Gameli that's as good as I've seen from the PNR 15s this year. Add in poor shot selection and frustration from 43 and the game just snowballed. You could see what a difference just 1 year between kids makes. The 32 point margin really surprised me. Shanks can be very good, Theisen is scary for a 7th grader and Johnson can really shoot it and has an edge to him. Not to mention Xavier Hall who's the real deal too.

  3. The year is huge. Not sure if there is an age group that is the most difficult but the transition from 14 to 15 sure seems to be huge. The physical size of the PNR kids was a lot to handle.

    I really like what Coach Gameli is doing with this group. Pushing them as hard as he can while still getting some good results.

    Theisen won't be 14 until the fall and though he's a big kid it's a stuggle for him.

    Agree with you on Shanks and Hall. They are very skilled for their positions. Once they get stronger, the confidence will follow and then look out!

    Besides sometimes you eat the dog and sometimes the dog eats you!

  4. Just curious, how do you think 43 Hoops Gameli would do against the teams in the 14U?

  5. I don't know much of anything about the 14s, but I have to think they'd be one of the best Minnesota teams in that group as having that much size and that many athletes is really hard to come by. This year will definitely be valuable if the losses to the top 15U teams doesn't keep the kids from seeing the big picture.

  6. Gameli is right there. I like the Magic Elite 14 team a lot. Nice PG play makes that team hum nicely. Well coached, looking for the extra pass.

    I know they put some beatings on some fairly ordinary teams this past weekend but looked very impressive doing it!

  7. thank you both for your responses, I have to agree with you on the Magic Elite and the point guard(Tyus Jones). I think 43 Hoops Gameli would be in the top 5. Along with this team there is the Hustlers, The Prospects and MPLS Select(who won the MYAS State) along with three or four other teams that are pretty solid. My question to you gentleman or anyone else, is why is it that these teams all get together and play each other more often? With these teams there would be about 8 to 10 teams that would be great competition for everyone. It would be great ball. I agree with you that playing up is great for the big picture but there is plenty of competition if some of these clubs communicated. Right now it seems like teams are just avoiding each other. Plus it could be all local. would luv your thoughts.

  8. 43 Hoops has played at the 15U level all year (absent an Ohio tourney). I know the Magic played some 15U as well. I think all of these teams are loaded with quality players. Just programs with different agendas. Not sure I'd say anyone is avoiding anyone so to speak.

  9. Thanks for the clarifications on the 14s. I've heard that the Magic team is very good, I saw a bit of the Hustlers and I think they won the Pump N Run tourney in April. Jerry Robertson's team at 14s being good doesn't surprise me.

    There is a big perception amongst the top programs that playing locally doesn't benefit them due to a lower level of competition. I was in Denver in April and I can't say I'd fault a team for playing in an event like that every weekend.

    That said, there are politics involved in the top teams not playing in each other's events, but from a pure competition standpoint, ducking is too strong a term to use. It does make it very interesting in Kansas and in July in Chicago when the teams can run into each other 1 time per year and teams know it.

    The Comets event was as close as we'll get to having everyone together as all the top teams in 1 place (everybody but Howard Pulley was scheduled).

  10. I guess the question that I have is why don't they play all in one tournament? I don't mean to be naive because I am new to the youth basketball circuit, but wouldn't it make sense that all the programs at the beginning of the year agree to meet at one tournament and play each other? Imagine having it at Bloomington Jefferson and could turn it into a charitable event to raise money. If you build it big enough, you would have college coaches coming to it? Invite the best teams from IA, IL, etc? Is politics among the teams that bad that this could not happen? Maybe ducking is too strong, but not far off. Thanks again, luv the responses.


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