The Czar's 2009 Top 50 Metro Players

A preface to the rankings you're about to read.  These rankings are of players who are in the 11 metro conferences and independents that I follow.  Therefore, there are many worthy names that don't appear on this list.  Deserving players like Shelby Moats, Jordan Smith and Yuriy Maleshenko don't play in leagues that I cover so you will not see them in this list. 

This ranking is an evaluation of where kids are right now, not a prospect list (which would be much much different) and not necessarily what a kid may be capable of later this season.  History is important here.  The biggest factor in these rankings as I did them was impact on the game.  They are based on what I've seen of each of these kids during the regular season and summer basketball.

So without any lengthy or boring explanations, here's the list.
  1. Kevin Noreen
  2. Jacob Thomas
  3. Seantrel Henderson
  4. Mike Rostampour
  5. Calvin Godfrey
  6. Cole Stefan
  7. Vinard Birch
  8. DJ Peterson
  9. Estan Tyler
  10. Tor Anderson
  11. Jake White
  12. Jordan Hughes
  13. Brett Ervin
  14. Marvin Singleton
  15. Zach Riedeman
  16. Joe Coleman
  17. Marquel Curtis
  18. John Crockett
  19. Alex Richter
  20. Alonzo Traylor
  21. Aaron Anderson
  22. Jalen Jaspers
  23. Ryan Duxbury
  24. Taylor Hanson
  25. Louis Cox
  26. Jordan Jackson
  27. Jay Sewer
  28. Devon Knopke
  29. Dajon Newell
  30. Evan McMillan
  31. Jake Kreuser
  32. Manani Beavers
  33. Deron Murphy
  34. Kyle Zimmerman
  35. Jonah Travis
  36. Clay Horne
  37. Thomas Schalk
  38. Isaiah Zierden
  39. Ross Travis
  40. Siyani Chambers
  41. Peter Crawford
  42. Joey King
  43. Nick Latzke
  44. Elijah Sabah
  45. Kyle Noreen
  46. Marcus Alipate
  47. Parker Hines
  48. Josh Pratt
  49. Jasper Duberry
  50. Danny Geiger


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  2. I won't speak for Hoopczar, but yes, I will tell you that Kyle should be ranked higher. AS Hoopczar has covered both players publicly on this blog, he obviously has watched both play.

    Speaking as Kyle's fall AAU coach, I would rank Kyle in the top 20 based on the criteria that were set down on the list. Since I was the coach against New Prague in the game that you reference, I will correct you on certain facts that you mistated and omitted regarding the game. My scorebook shows 12 points for Kyle, not 2. Danny Geiger is a fine talent, who I have for 15 pts. He must have taken at least 75% of New Prague's shot attempts that day. Danny was covered by a 5'7" sophomore that game. Naturally, he would be the #1 option for his school team, my squad was an all star team, where the team is full of true "elite players" who are already holding D-I offers Last I heard, Geiger hasn't had any offers as of yet...
    Even though Kyle is far and away our best defender and probably the best 2G/SF defender in the state, we still never had any need or urgency to have to have him cover Danny and Danny never covered Kyle, so making blanket player v player comparisons based on one game is a little foolish. Kyle is always called on to cover the best player on the other team in more competitive games. He held Cole Stefan to one free throw in a game last year, I think all can agree that Stefan ranks much higher than Geiger. Just last weekend against Chaska, he dominated his matchup with the #131 ranked player in the country, Ross Travis from Chaska in the Hoopmasters title game, blocking Ross' shot twice,
    outscoring Ross 13-5 and outrebounding him 9-1. He did this over and over against some of the top Elite AAU players in the country as well, over the last two summers.

    He will shatter the state steals record in his junior year and at 6'6" and still growing, his versatile all-around game on both ends of the floor, and a huge vertical and wingspan, has already generated a four D-I offers, with dozens more schools tracking him very closely.

    BTW, a true all-star team is going to spread the shots around and I think the final victory margin for our team vs. New Prague was 20 points. If Kyle were playing school team in that situation, I have no doubt he would have put up far more than 12 points in the book. To be fair, based on the selection criteria, Danny could be ranked higher for what he does for his team, but you really needed this education to prove to you that Kyle Noreen should ALSO be ranked much higher.

    Coach PR

  3. Omg riburatab can u get any more biased..?

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  5. BAM, you can say I'm biased, as I am the coach, but the facts as stated, speak for themselves. I'm happy to answer unfounded attacks with the inside truth

    Viking and BAM, I'm sorry if you can't handle the truth, but the truth is what it is. Kyle probably put up his points while you were buying popcorn or crying in your soda. Regardless, you are foolish to pretend that your opinion about him is valid based on watching one fall league game. The Czar probably goes to more games than anyone not directly involved like me, I'll go with his opinion and the dozens of college scouts over yours. Don't even go there with the canard about who his HS plays, he's dominated on D against some of the best in the country and has shut down the best in the state, including Al Nolen at the Gopher Elite Camp. I'd say your lack of being impressed has more to do with your own frustration and bias and less with our teams' abilities (funny that you'd still admit that Kyle was "elite", and then, still disparage all that he's accomplished... as if the Missota and Big Nine competition is any better than much of the schedule that Kyle plays against in hs and year round, you can't be taken seriously! Sorry, very few elite players in either conference in the last few years).

    Notice you never responded to my points about Danny putting up 75% of his teams' shots against a sophomore and only getting 15 points; or envisioning a man to man matchup with Kyle-- if he's shutting down Stefan, Nolen and Travis, how do you think he'd do against Geiger? And again, Danny's a very nice talent, but what college interest has he generated?

    FYI Our team has 5 players going D-I, thanks for asking, hope the facts help:

    Kevin Noreen (nice that you could take a shot at this ACC-bound kid,
    with a 4-Star Ranking and #107 nationally, I guess you're the king of who "deserves" to be in the record-books, too! Good thing he doesn't have to worry about YOU granting him "legitimacy", he'll just have to hope that Dave Telep, Bob Gibbons, Dana Pump, et al, are strong enough opinion-makers to make him legit)

    Kyle Noreen (nuff said)

    Jonah Travis (6'5" beast, his best days are still ahead of him, he's going to make his mark on both ends of the floors in D-I, possibly going high major)

    Siyani Chambers (premiere PG in the state of MN, only a soph and already on the Gophers radar with tons of low majors hot on his path, ranked regionally as the top PG in his class)

    Mike Yahnke (6'8" and growing, big body with solid footwork and shooting touch out to the Arc, the D-Is are dying to get this kid on their campus)

    I'm sure in your eyes none of these guys did anything in your one-game expert evaluation against New Prague. Your rant is a lot more about jealousy than reality.

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  7. One of my parents just told me about this argument.

    Why is that when we say someone is good, we have to bad mouth someone else.

    Kyle is a great KID. He is also a very good basketball player. He plays D, rebounds, can shoot lights out and makes his teammates better. He was very important to our PNR team.

    I saw Geiger once, in the state AAU championship. I won’t make a judgment on his skill until I see him play a few times.

    Kyle doesn't need anyone to come to his defense; he can let his game and a D1 scholarship talk for him.

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  9. Vikingfan11, "You think Siyani is a premier point guard in the state of Minnesota ? ha what has he done in high school basketball ? nothing."

    This quote immediately removes you from the legitimate posters list and all of your future statements should be disregarded on the grounds of lack of knowledge.

    As for your attacks on Kyle Noreen; I have now identified you as a troll.

    I would request that you go back under your bridge.

  10. This has degraded into name calling. Remember we're talking about kids here. Please discuss the issue in basketball terms or I'll have to start deleting comments.

    VikingFan, you are entitled to your opinion. I'll point out that I chose Geiger as the Missota MVP and have written about him more than once in my MN Preps work (see the 30 point 2nd half outburst at Hopkins this fall that I wrote about) and made a point of seeing him play last season at Holy Angels. I agree with the sentiment that I could have justified moving Geiger up.

    While class A games may not compare to last season's Missota, I would argue that last season MTS played as tough a schedule as any class A team in MN has ever played. They went on the road for long road trips to 3 ranked opponents and handled them all. Amazing how nobody cared when Cody Schilling played against a worse schedule. Look at the top scorers in WI history, all small schools. That includes Anthony Pieper who had a very nice career at Marquette and then played overseas. South Dakota's top scorer, small school. Look at the MN list. Except for Jake Sullivan, small schools.

    I actually had Geiger ahead of Kyle when I first put this together, then I switched based on these basketball reasons.

    In my opinion, Kyle's more athletic, a better defender and a better shooter and he's 2-4 inches taller. Geiger does a great job using his body and he was a huge factor in Connor O'Brien's success last season creating out of the dribble drive. Both are tough as nails and I'd be more than happy with either kid on my team.

    We're happy to debate the list in a civil manner. This list is by no means perfect. However, when you question the amount of games and players that I see (public knowledge that I update almost daily during the season), the MTS schedule or the generally accepted evaluation of Chambers, you come across as very rude and unprepared.

  11. how does a person who scored 49 points in a game this year NOT make this list?Jordan Smith belongs to be on here

  12. Okay, I was gonna leave this one alone, but the response has just been too juicy for me to resist!!! I don't have a problem with a majority of the players listed or even the order they were listed, however I have a huge isseue with underclassmen being put on this list over guys who are clearly more deserving, just because of where they play. Shelby Moats, Alec Brown, Chad Calcaterra, Marshall Bjorklund....just to name a few! These are all D1 players who'd be at or near the top of list!

    I mean really, it almost looks foolish to have some guys who have only done a little more than dress for varsity on a top 50 list over some of these proven and quite frankly better (for now atleast) upperclassmen.

    Some were left off the list because they play in conferences that you don't cover, but at the same time these same group of players are constantly being mentioned or getting write ups on this very site throughout the year, just a tad bit hypocritical, but atleats the reasoning behind the process was explained.

    Just curious, so if this were a top 50 "prospect" list, how different would it look....if at all?

  13. Kyle and Hoop, putting the top kids like Jordan Smith, Shelby Moats, etc in this list would have been easy as I've seen a lot of them during the summer (but very little during the regular season which is also important). How about Alec Brown who I've never seen at the HS level and was a totally different player between April and July.

    Its when you get beyond those top kids that the can of worms opens. How about lots of those Comets kids like Riewer, Bucholz, Kornbaum, etc. I haven't seen enough of them or followed them enough to make any reasonable conclusion on them.


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