A busy weekend for kids with the Badger camp in Madison, Mr. Basketball MN Showcase in Mankato and the Dakota Showcase up in Wahpeton, ND/Breckenridge, MN. Not to mention a Breakdown HS tourney at Minnetonka. (Czar's Note 6/17/09: Chaska, Stillwater and Shakopee will be in The Old Kingdom for a HS tourney in La Crosse, including games at my alma mater. Hopefully Stillwater will go easy on Central but make up for it against Logan. 6 games for each of those teams with 3 on Friday and Saturday before bracket play on Sunday)
Dakota Showcase (schedule here)
MN Triple Threat makes the trip north and they get Trevor Gruis and the Dakota Schoolers in their pool. Bad break there in the draw. MN Glory 16s are also there. In the 15s, visions of the MN Select Classic appear. MN Southside, Comets Elites, Dakota Schoolers 14s and 15s along with Martin Brothers (1 of the top programs in Iowa) are all in the 15U bracket. If this is the Martin Brothers team I expect you're looking at possibly Marcus Paige (though he may in Madison with his Linn-Mar teammates), Mike Gesell and Adam Woodbury (top Iowa kids in 2012) all appearing. Should be a terrific 15U bracket. Southside vs Comets 3 PM Saturday as they have split their last 2 meetings if I recall correctly. Martin Brothers vs Southside at 6:30 PM Saturday.
Mr. Basketball MN Showcase (schedule here)
One of easiest setups for fans like me since its 1 court only for the 1st 2 days. Tough with the Sunday night final though. MN Glory and TC Elite should be interesting in Pool A (7:30 PM Saturday). Connor Gunderson vs Josh Pratt in a nice perimeter matchup in that game will be fun to watch. Pool B has the Wisconsin Blizzard top team which I think is a favorite here (read a preview of them here). Trevor Hass should be fun to watch for them as he leads their terrific group of guards. But MSB is also in Pool B and gets their shot at the Blizzard at 7:30 on Friday night. Let's hope I finally get to see Zach Vraa play for them. Magic Black highlights pool C but the Western Iowa Knickerbockers have 6'8 Patrick Kurth in the middle to deal with. Not to mention Tim Olejniczak who was the top small school scorer in Iowa last year at 24 pts per game. Minnesota Select's 2nd team (Kruger?) with St. Peter's Brodie Raymond and MN Heat Select with Elijah Sabah are also in the pool. TNL Express and MN Select I (James I'm assuming) are the tops of Pool D and play at 8:40 Saturday night in my most anticipated game of the day. This MN Select squad will look very different than what I saw at the MN Select Tournament. Alex Koch and Jake Kreuser are now on board (though Kreuser could be with Sibley this weekend). Looks like they may also have the 18 and 7 that Matt Baldwin averaged at East Grand Forks. Sami Onsomu and Jesse Briggity DNP as well in May when I saw them. They're a big wildcard in this tourney.
The Czar's Pool Winners: Glory, Blizzard I, W. Iowa Knickerbockers, MN Select I
Breakdown Tourney (schedule here)
6 teams in the Red bracket with 3 nice teams Apollo, Champlin Park and Faribault in 1 pool. Sibley headlines the other pool with Northfield and Owatonna. Sibley to win their pool, especially if Mike Rostampour and/or Jake Kreuser play for them. They steamrolled last weekend at Hamline. The other pool is tougher. What will Champlin Park have with TNL playing in Mankato? Hopefully Mike Emge is playing for Faribault as he's a heck of a shooter.
The Blue bracket is Big Lake, GFW and Austin (Connor Gunderson appearance?) on 1 side with Delano, New London-Spicer and MACCRAY on the other. If all players show up, you'd have nice kids in Mike Yahnke (Delano), Jayme Moten and Eric Tengwall (NLS), Seth Hinrichs and Shawn Condon (MACCRAY). MACCRAY coming off winning the event last weekend at SW MN State.