A look at this weekend's Dakota Showcase as this big events starts the preparation for the July open period.
Dakota Schoolers are the class of this pool with Cody Larson, Trevor Gruis and Derek Brown. Joe Terfehr of Breckenridge represents ECI East in the pool. Trevor Osen is the top kid to watch for IBCA Iowa Select I. MN Fury Gold 16s round out the pool with guards Anthony Lee and Terez Van Pelt. I don't see the Schoolers getting much of a challenge.
Another weak pool with ECI West, MN Select Kruger and South Dakota Heat II. With that competition and coming off their championship in Mankato, I expect Magic Black to roll through this pool. Doug Sewall came over from TNL to Magic Black and was the tourney MVP in Mankato last week despite being a bloody mess on Saturday. Watch the shooting of Select Kruger's Brodie Raymond in this pool as well. He had 15 triples in 5 games in Mankato last weekend.
This might be a better pool. MSB and Fury Gold represent Minnesota. North Dakota Jam Boyz and South Dakota Heat I round out the pool. Despite a depleted roster, MSB won a weak pool in Mankato thanks to the play of Lucas Brown. I'll take MSB to win the pool.
Comets-Seevers and MN Select-James top this pool. Jordan Jackson joins Select this week and hopefully Jake Kreuser is healthy for them. Mitchell Kernels and WI Blizzard II make up the bottom of the pool. I look for Scott Nystrom and Martin Wind to be factors for the Comets. Tough pick here but I've picked Ben's team all year. So in the spirit of Chris Berman picking the Bills, I'll take Comets-Seevers to win the pool.
MN Xplosion makes another appearance but the team I'm watching here is the Fury Elites.
Minnesota Glory is in this pool with Connor Gunderson. Team I'm watching is the Wisconsin Blizzard top team with their 3 guards (Hass, Schalow and Mach) and Scott Carney up front. This time it is their real top team coming, not the Blizzard I team that was in Mankato last weekend. (read a preview of them here) A major threat to win the whole thing.
ECI Minnesota here but the top Comets team of Josh Hanson is here and has to be the pick to win the pool. Will Shaun Condon be with the Comets or at Tubby's team camp with his MACCRAY teammates?
Finally, we have the SW MN Stars playing at "home" (a few Sioux Falls Christian kids play for them). Alegent Crusaders come up from Omaha and I see them as the other threat in the pool. But after a runner up finish last weekend in Mankato, I'll take the home team to come out of this pool.
Championship Bracket Predictions (8 pool winners play for the big prize)
Dakota Schoolers over Magic Black
Comets-Seevers over MSB
WI Blizzard over MN Fury Elite (top quarterfinal game)
Comets-Hanson over SW MN Stars
Dakota Schoolers over Comets-Seevers
Comets-Hanson over WI Blizzard (another game that I think will be outstanding)
Comets-Hanson over Dakota Schoolers for the championship but it pains me to pick against the Schoolers on home turf.