2011 Best Buy Summer Classic 17U Preview

My previews of the 2011 Best Buy Summer Classic continue with a look at the 17U division.  (Read the 15U/16U Divisions preview here).  Now pay close attention because there are 57 teams that could end up in any of 5, yes 5 brackets.  There are 19 pools of 3 teams.  9 of those teams are in the 1st 3 pools and are super pools.  All 9 of those teams plus the 16 regular pool winners will advance to the Platinum Bracket.  That's 25 teams which means 9 pigtail games.  The losers of those 9 pigtail games will then form the Silver Bracket.  The 9 winners will move on to the round of 16 in the Platinum Bracket.  The 8 losers from those round of 16 games will form the Gold Bracket.  The 8 winners continue play in the Platinum Bracket.  The 16 2nd place finishers from the non super pools will play the Bronze Bracket.  The 16 3rd place finishers will play the Classic Bracket.  Whew!  Got all that?  If you have wall space to donate to post all of the brackets, tournament director Tom Krosschell would greatly appreciate it.

Here's my schedule of prospects to watch during the Wednesday games at Jefferson.

Here's a link to the entire 17U schedule

Super Pools A-C
In Pool A, you have the hosts Minnesota Pump N Run.  Wally Ellenson starting to hear from high majors now.  Sanjay Lumpkin just picked up offers from American and Richmond (Spider on their court is way cool!).  Denver semifinalist Double Pump Elite makes the trip with 4 ranked players.  2013 PG Nigel Williams Goss was outstanding here last year and he returns as the 26th ranked player in the class (all rankings here are Rivals unless otherwise noted).  He had previously committed to UNLV before pulling back after Lon Kruger left.  Now hearing from many high majors.  6'4 G Tyrone Wallace is ranked #95 and has a pair of Pac 12 offers.  6'8 F Zena Edosomwan is #114 and 6'5 F Jordan Tebbutt is 116 and both have multiple Pac 12 offers as well.  When I was in Denver, Double Pump had a 7'6 behemoth who was his own sideshow but he will not be attending.  The final team in pool A is the Atlanta Celtics with 6'5 forwards Damien Wilson (Memphis commit) ranked #83 and Jordan Adams (UCLA commit) ranked #85.  #21 ranked 6'8 F Shaq Goodwin played here with the Celtics last year but is expected to attend the Peach Jam instead.  Double Pump plays the Celtics at 9:30 PM on Wednesday Night in a showcase game.  I'll take Double Pump to win the pool

In Super Pool B, you have Indiana Elite, Texas D1 Ambassadors-Houston and the Illinois Warriors.  Expect to see lots of Tom Crean as Indiana Elite has 3 Indiana commits on the roster.  It starts with 6'8 F Hanner Parea (#15 ranked), 5'11 PG Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell (#23 ranked) and 6'7 wing Jeremy Hollowell who's ranked #52.  Xavier commit 6'8 F James Farr also joins them for July.  The team will be missing 7 footer Peter Jurkin who is also committed to Indiana due to a shin injury.  6'3 Guard Eron Harris is starting to see his interest expand as well.  The Texas D1 Ambassadors bring their Houston squad.  They feature 6'4 SG Alex Caruso who's ranked #63.  6'4 SG Jalen Washington, 6'3 shooter Devon Turk and 6'0 G Chase Brogna also ones to watch.  A couple of wildcards for this roster.  6'9 Aly Mohamed may be with them or Houston Defenders Select.  He may attend Rice.  6'8 C Kendrick Morris is a developing 2014 player.  Southern Select from Georgia rounds out the pool.  6'5 SG Charles Mann is ranked #140.  6'7 F Damien Goodwin is also seeing some D1 interest.  They also feature Alabama football commit 6'4 245 lbs Reggie Ragland.  I'll take Indiana Elite to win the pool

In Pool C, you have the New England Playaz who bring the top ranked player in the event.  He's 12th ranked 7'0 C Kaleb Tarczewski.  They also have a 6'8 2014 forward Jarred Reuter.  Jon Papale is one of a quality group of shooters on the roster.  The 3rd semifinalist from Denver (Indiana Elite was the 2nd) making the trip is the loaded Houston Defenders Select squad.  They won Denver and are considered one of the top teams in the nation (they beat Indiana Elite in Denver, though IE got them in the quarters last week)  They have 6'5 2013 twins Andrew and Aaron Harrison.  Andrew is a PG and ranked the top 2013 player in the nation.  Aaron is a shooting guard and ho hum he's ranked #9 in the country.  6'7 F Derrick Griffin is ranked #30 in the 2013 class.  And there's 6'9 F Shaquille Cleare who's ranked #29 in the 2012 class.  They also have guard Christian Sanders who's receiving high major interest.  The Illinois Warriors return to the metro after playing at the Sabes Invite.  6'8 F Brad Foster and 6'1 PG Luke Norman are a pair of players to keep an eye on for the Warriors. Houston Defenders play New England Playaz at 8:15 PM on Wednesday in the best pool game of the tournament with me picking Houston Defenders to win the pool.

Regular Pools D-S
Pool D is the 1st regular pool.  Fury Gold and WI Hoops Select join the Michigan Hurricanes.  The Hurricanes bring the #60 player in the 2013 class, Byron "Bo" Zeigler.  He's a 6'6 wing.  In Pool E, Old Gold from Chicago, MN Heat Duberry and M33M (SD). Expect Old Gold to be athletic.  M33M is Mike Miller's program and his relative Jade Miller from hometown Mitchell plays for the program.  Pool F has Academy CT from Manitoba and a pesky Comets Stock crew.  The last team is my sleeper of the entire tournament and that's Pryme Tyme from Rockford, IL.  They feature a very good backcourt 5'11 PG Fred Van Vleet who will attend Wichita St and Marcus Posley who has a UW-Green Bay offer.  Pool G has the 2nd Iowa Pump N Run team and the WI Wizards.  The SW MN Stars head the pool but will be without 6'9" Zach Huisken (and Casey Schilling will be with Dakota Schoolers).  Look for 6'7 F Kyle Kilgore to have a much bigger role for them this week.

The ECI Prospects headline Pool H with versatile forwards Daniel Yale and AJ Jacobsen.  Banger Dexter Werner takes up space in the middle and is productive.  The KC Outlaws and Comets Seevers round out the pool.  ECI Select and WI Starz compete with pool favorite Fury Blue in pool I.  Scrappy WOTN and Basketball Saskatchewan fall in behind M33M Memphis in Pool J.  Keep an eye on 2013 F Robert Hubbs who has 4 high major offers right now.  Heat Elite should take out Ajays Elite (offshoot of Pryme Tyme) and Colorado Titans in pool K.  Justin Pahl playing well for Heat now..  Maybe they can run into the Atlanta Celtics again this year.  They gave the Celtics their best game of the tournament last year in this event.  Dakota Schoolers are my favorite over Wolf Pack (Belgium) and Heat Biwan in Pool L.  Casey Schilling and Mike Busack representing Minnesota in that one.  Bigs Zach Kraning and Scott Mulder (missed St. Cloud due to injury so I think he'll be back) are quality interior players worth watching.

Team GetShook has Shawn Bear but struggled at the Hoosier Shootout.  Team Missouri was also there an 0-3 in a tough pool but won the Copper Bracket..  6'4 SG James Williams has D1 interest and high school teammate (but no relation) 6'7 Kelleon Williams is an interesting 2014 prospect.  6'5 SG Jake Schannuth is another to watch.  IA PNR I rounds out the pool.  MN Southside and Joey King headline Pool N.  Bear Claw Club from Colorado and a pesky Basketball Manitoba squad round out the pool.  Magic Tillman and Arizona Red Shirts are in Pool O with Indiana Elite One.  6'3 G Ron Patterson is ranked #127 and now plays for Indiana Elite One after playing for the top squad in Denver.

Comets Hanson with Joe Burt and Tyler Vaughan highlights Pool P.  QC Elite and Nebraska Select are the rest of the pool.  Arkansas Hawks NW are in Pool Q with Grassroots and Magic Superfriends.  They play each other at 4:55 Wed afternoon.  Grassroots with Freddie Young, Darrion Strong and Zach Lofton (just got Duquesne offer).  Magic Superfriends with Darian Pittman, Rodney Owens, Demetrius Martin and shooter Tyson Kalien is very dangerous.  They've beat 43 Hoops and Howard Pulley Black this year.  In Pool R, G James Harrington should lead IA Barnstormers Black to the pool title over MN Heat McDonald and EOTO Black.  Last but not least Mpls Gator and EOTO Gold are in pool S.  They join guard Brandon Ortiz and F Jamal "Popcorn" Morris from the Wisconsin Force.  Ortiz played well in St. Cloud and was amazing in the 3 OT state championship game for Madison Memorial in March.

Too many teams and games to predict brackets.  But Houston Defenders, New England Playaz, Indiana Elite have to be the 1st group of favorites.  I put DoublePump and the Atlanta Celtics right behind them  Plenty of possible games that would be interesting to watch even at the pigtail level.


  1. More 14U coverage than I can ever remember which is great for the young kids but you gotta help me out on this Alex kid. Is he your nephew or something? I mean great he's having success but really with all the tweets? Quite frankly I don't remember many of the top 14 talents in the past 5 years playing their own grade. Ease up on pumping the kid up and let him have fun.

    Pump Tourney thoughts. 15U bracket isn't much to talk about. Pump 15's had a solid weekend in Indy. I'd expect them to walk. IE 15 team is a disappointment.

    16U. Not enough love to Grassroots. Assuming they have a similar team to last year, they are certainly a fav over DC. Pump 16's are putting more together and I like them to take out DC Assault. Fury is down to 7 maybe 8 if McCarver comes over from the Jags. Tough with 7 kids. The Houston Select team you love went 1-3 in Indy and couldn't throw it in the Ocean at times. I like them in the finals unless they get zoned. Their press is great but not enough if they don't make some shots. Don't overlook the Arkansas Hawks either. They drilled the Pump 15's last year in Vegas by 30-40 pts.

    17s is more than solid in the super pools but the Celtics and Double Pump will be down a couple players each. That's too bad as their teams were fun to watch at times last year. Houston Defenders have to be the pick here their two best players might be 2013 kids as well. Not as impressed with Indiana Elite even with all their talent as I was last year.

  2. Hello again Pimp. I'm just reporting the stats as their given to me and they're huge. And its the top 14U team we have. Not to mention he's already playing varsity and averaged a double double this year for Grand Rapids. Like it or not, there is an interest. I haven't written about those stats so to say I'm doing extra to hype the kid is a bit harsh when the numbers speak volumes.

    I've heard good things about the Ark Hawks 16s. Doesn't McCarver usually play Fury Gold 17s? Grassroots Canada will be interesting. The DC folks are high on that squad so we'll see.

    I saw both those Houston teams in Denver, really impressed and Indiana Elite is still the real deal too from what I saw. I'm looking forward to seeing NE Playaz and what the Celtics have.

  3. I'm glad you're relaying the results for the MN Cyclones, but then again- I have a keen interest in the class of 2015.

    Illikaninenennian (yeah- I know I spelled it wrong) was a great pick up for the Cyclones, and without him would have been the 3rd (or possibly 4th) best Minnesota 14u team behind Net Gain and TNBA. (Even with him, I think Net Gain would go 4-3 in a 7 game series vs. the Cyclones- they split their two meetings this summer.)

    I still haven't quite figured out why he played 14U this spring rather than playing up, but it won't hurt him. He has a great future. Frankly I'd love to see him playing 16u or 17u next summer where he'll run into some players his own size, and then we'll really see what he can do.


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