Its a big week in Minnesota summer basketball as Howard Pulley visits the Peach Jam, Select and Glory invade Louisville and Net Gain visits Milwaukee but most everyone else is home for the 4th annual Best Buy Summer Classic at Jefferson and Kennedy. Pool play begins at 4 PM Thursday and ends Friday night. Bracket play Saturday and Sunday with championships at 2:20 Sunday afternoon. As is the case with most college coaches, focus here will be on the 17U division.
2 super pools in 17U with M33M, Dakota Schoolers I, Indiana Elite Stars MN PNR making up the 1st super pool. The Schoolers bring in one of their better teams in recent memory. Center Zach Hanson just committed to Creighton but had offers from Iowa St and Missouri. Wing Lane Severyn just picked up an NDSU offer and athletic Skyler Flatten is another player at a D1 level for the Schoolers. Guard Jordan Pickett leads the Indiana Elite Stars who were the 2nd Indiana Elite super pool team last week in Indianapolis. They were 1-2 and knocked out in the round of 32. Then you have the host Minnesota Pump N Run. Reid Travis just picked up a USC offer. Point guard Graham Woodward and guard Gerald McCarver both played well last week.
The team to watch is M33M. #11 in the Rivals national ranking is 6'5 wing Robert Hubbs. 6'7 wing Austin Nichols is ranked 43rd by Rivals. Then a couple of highly touted freshmen in 6'10 Skal Labissiere (#8 ESPN's 2015 rankings) and point guard Nyck Smith. Hubbs stock has really shot up since he played here last.
Pool B has perennial power Franchize All-Stars, the returning Michigan Hurricanes, Illinois Warriors and the top team from last year's champion PrymeTyme. Franchize features a pair of 2014 star wings in Mavin Saunders and Joe Burton. The Hurricanes return with wing Bo Ziegler (#118 Rivals). Hurricanes were bounced out of the top bracket last year by PrymeTyme. Will PrymeTyme have another Fred Van Vleet (last year's MVP)?
Pool C is topped by Fury Davis and Bucknell commit Ben Oberfeld. Heat Reese tops Pool D with Fury Ouse and Comets Stock. Pool E features Comets Hanson. Should be very interesting to see what D1 crowd turns out to see 7 footer Connor Voss. The Wisconsin Jets were champions of the Dakota Showcase. Guard Tim Wagner leads the Jets.
Duez Henderson's Iowa PNR squad highlights Pool G. 6'8 Forward Rylan Murray has offers from North Dakota, Nebraska Omaha and Central Michigan. Dakota Pride and Triple Threat could decide pool J. Heat Ogorek gets our sleeper BYC Elite (NM) in their pool. Guard John Dawson has been outstanding all year for BYC. Colorado just offered him. Pool L closes out the list with a bang. MN Lockdown and Logan Doyle have WI Starz Black with their center Blake Derickson. ECI Prospects with NDSU commit AJ Jacobsen also in this pool.
Other players of note include Taylor Schaefer of the ECI Prospects 16s and elite guard 5'10" Hyron Edwards of Team Indiana/Indiana Elite 15s. He's #12 in the ESPN 2015 rankings and has offers from Purdue and Indiana. They're in the PNR 15s super pool. That game is at 6:20 Thursday night.
A couple of other very nice matchups. Fury Dixon and Comets Lewis meet up once again in their 16U super pool. That game is also at 6:20 Thursday. Back in the 15U bracket, the Cyclones take on tNBA in their pool at 10 AM Friday morning. tNBA has been off the radar due to conflicting schedules but they get their shot at Alex Illikainen et al. Last we saw of tNBA was their loss to the very good WI Blizzard-Pronchinske group in the Best Buy Spring Tournament semis.
Heat Biwan 14s step up to 15U with a Schoolers group and SW MN Stars in their pool. Fury Shelman, MN Phenom and Heat Lesewski also representing the best of MN in 15U. Also looking forward to taking another look at the MN Warriors and Heat Garvis. Looking forward to seeing all of the top teams come through Jefferson in all levels which is a change from last year. I like it. More of the premier games will be in the activity center which considering the weather is a good choice as well. Don't expect another power outage though.