2011 PNR Spring Tourney Early Thoughts

Some early predictions for the 2011 Spring Tourney.  Easter weekend hurts the field but still a good group of teams.  Games are Friday and Saturday only.

Pool A
Minnesota Pump N  Run highlights the top pool with Wally Ellenson.  2nd WI Blizzard team (Emery) and a lower MN Heat team (McDonald) are in the pool.  That Heat team is very Richfield based so with Howard Pulley off, I wouldn't be surprised to see Jared Noonan join the Heat again like he did in St. Cloud.  If so, that's makes that team much more dangerous.

Pool B
One of the major contenders is the WI Swing top team led by Justin Litscher.  Very balanced with quality guard play from Zak Showalter, Josh Mongan and David Neis.  Austin Arians is a quality wing.  Then 2013 stars Nick Fuller (wing) and post Luke Fischer also appear.  MN Premiere and EOTO Gold (winner of Spring Jam last week).  Tim Gill and Shawn Atkins from Mpls Henry highlight that squad.

Pool C
The SW MN Stars make the trip with a hopefully healthy Zach Huisken. With the Dakota Schoolers off, I would expect Casey Schilling to appear with this group as well.  Jake Holt and Mitch Weg add to a group with great size.  Brandon Tyler leads the Fox Valley Fire in the pool .  Heat Biwan in the pool with their own nice size.  Very balanced pool.

Pool D
Team GetShook showed well in St. Cloud.  They have quality size up front and should be a factor in the pool.  6'5 forward Elijah Hinze is a scorer who can fill it up for the Wisconsin Blaze.  The 2nd IA PNR squad rounds out the pool.

Pool E
Very little on this pool with RK Elite (WI), QC Elite (IA) and Magic Maroon all here.

Pool F
MN Southside and Joey King is the big name in the pool.  But they won't have it easy as the top IA PNR team is also here.  Hopefully no travel delays for them this week.  Guards Rudy Bentley and Kwame Latimer are 2 notables for WI Streak Select.

Pool G
The MN Heat Elite team is here along with EOTO Black.  The top Wisconsin Blizzard team is here.  One name of note for Blizzard is 6'5 Juac Majok.  6'4 Dylan Heemstra is another to watch. 

Pool H
The 2nd Wisconsin Swing team is here along with pleasant surprise WOTN and the Iowa Heat.

Pool I
WI Starz make their annual trip.  While they've been known for guards in the past, this year's squad is known for their size.  Heat Duberry again lurks in this pool.

Pool J
Very little known here as well with St. Paul's Finest (though they had a surprise or 2 on the roster this fall), IMPACTT Basketball from Iowa and MN Magic Tillman.

17U Bracket guesses
I expect Southside to come through and make the semis against the Swing top team.  MN PNR should come through to the semis in the top half to play Team Get Shook.  I'll take Swing over MN PNR in another epic final between these teams (see 2 years ago here)

16U Thoughts
Minnesota Pump N Run should be a factor with their versatile lineup.  Duez Henderson's top IA PNR squad with twins Michael and Steven Soukop will also be a factor.  Dakota Pride with Moorhead's Aaron Lien will win their pool.  Keep an eye on Ian Taylor of the WI Starz.  Ultimate Hoops opens their season in tough pool F with the Starz and EOTO Gold (3rd last week at Spring Jam).   Ultimate Hoops lined up to meet Dakota Pride in an outstanding quarterfinal.  Winner of that should make the final.  MN PNR vs IA PNR in a possible semifinal would be a fun bragging rights game between PNR organizations.

15U Thoughts
I love that 4 top teams are here (MN Elite, MN Heat Select and MN Fury Black with hosts).  The home team gets a break as the other 3 are all on the opposite site of the bracket.  Fury Black and MN Elite are lined up to meet in the quarters which is a shame since that's a championship caliber game.  The winner then likely runs into MN Heat Select who has won 2 straight tourneys.  That's another outstanding game.  Expect MN PNR to steamroll to the final and then win it.


  1. Hey Czar,

    Someone's been spending to much time with the Fury if the most you can say about the Pump 16's is they should be a factor. Should have hung out more with the Pump crowd! A one point loss to the Houston Defenders certainly makes them the favorite here in a pretty unimpressive 16 tourney. Disappointed to not see Fury, Select, Heat top etc. The Mn jealousy on tourney's strike again I guess.

    17's - Too much love for Southside. I just don't see them getting out of the qtrs. Really too bad Joey King couldn't find another program to help his game. Hopefully he builds more this summer as I really like his game.

    I'll take the Pump 17's. Too much of the Wisky kid and the Tartan senior. Add in the motion from the rest of the team they look very solid. Again, very disappointed with the tourney quality. I get it's Easter but it looks like they'll be done on Sat without a lot of issue. Also would have liked to see the 43 team at the 17U battle.

    Still should be a good tourney. Good stuff Czar.


  2. Watch for MN Heat Select Player
    #34 Deidrick Hubbard 6'5" Eden Prairie
    The kid is talented and only his second year AAU

  3. Hello again Pimp. 16s field is good. Didn't realize PNR only lost to that loaded Houston team by 1. That's impressive. Dakota Pride, Ultimate Hoops, IA PNR and even the MN Jaguars are all nice teams. Have to like PNR to at least make the final, but I wouldn't be totally shocked if they went out in semis either.

  4. NIB Raptors had the 15-U champs on the ropes in the first round. Watch out for this up and coming group from North Iowa in the future.


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