2013 Breakdown Tipoff Classic Quick Hits Preview

Instead of a brutally long breakdown (no pun intended) of every game at the  Breakdown Tipoff Classic, I'm going to give you 1 item to watch in each game and my predictions for each game

West Gym Games

Game 1: Buffalo vs Woodbury
Buffalo is off to a 1-2 start against a tough schedule.  This is Woodbury's season opener with a talented squad but one that is still adjusting to a new system.  Keep an eye on Buffalo's defense against the Woodbury dribble drive offense.  3 games in vs a team that is only playing game 1.  I'm going to take Buffalo here.

Game 2: #3AAA Blake vs #4A Lakeview Christian
Anders Broman will be a major attraction since he's only 153 points away from the state's all time scoring record (see the full tracker here).  The item to watch here is Broman vs Blake defensive wiz JR Bascom and lanky wing Kebu Johnson.  I think they hold Broman fairly in check and John Veil and Bjorn Broman even out.  I'll take Blake as they're too big and too deep.  I think they hold Broman to one of his lowest 2 point totals of the entire season.

Game 3: #2AAAA Hopkins vs Tartan
If you like defense this game is for you.  You won't find 2 teams who are better coached and more intense on the defensive end than these 2.  Halfcourt buckets will be hard to come by so whoever can do a better job of getting out and running wins this game.  I like Hopkins with their depth and more offensive firepower.

Game 4: #3AAAA Eden Prairie vs Rice Lake, WIRice Lake star soph Henry Ellenson (with a Gopher offer) is the main attraction here for a very good Rice Lake team.  Eden Prairie rock solid on the defensive end.  If they're depleted like on Tuesday vs Washburn than this game is far more interesting. Grant Shaeffer being the major difference maker if he plays.  I'll take Eden Prairie thanks to their defense.

Game 5: #4AAAA Osseo vs Eastview
The inside matchup of Ben Oberfeld vs Ian Theisen will be a treat for locals.  Theisen has been on the radar for years now and Oberfeld is a Bucknell commit who is as good an overall interior defender as we've seen in a while.  Theisen is a major portion of the offense for Osseo so if he's held in check, that's a big deal.  I still like Osseo to win as they have too many pieces and besides Oberfeld, Eastview may struggle to score.

Game 6: #1AAAA Apple Valley vs #6AAAA Park Center
Points, points, points.  That's at the point guard position with Tyus Jones taking on his summer teammate Quinton Hooker.  Its also on the scoreboard as the 1st team to 85 may very well be the winner.  Apple Valley gave up 51 to St. Louis Park in the 2nd half the other night.  The team that decides to defend more wins.  Apple Valley gets enough stops and they have more bench depth.  That's why they're at another level from everybody else right now.

Game 7: Robbinsdale Cooper at #9AAAA Minnetonka
High major recruits Riley Dearring (Wisconsin) and Rashad Vaughn (top 20 in the country in 2014) go at it on the wing in this one.  Vaughn going more solo while Dearring's teammates have stepped up early in the year.  I like Minnetonka at home unless Vaughn decides to put on another vintage performance like last year's 33 points vs De La Salle.  For the last 2 games, keep an eye out for high major D1 coaches to be in the gym.  Tom Izzo and Thad Matta both attended the Apple Valley opener on Tuesday.

East Gym Games

Game 1: Duluth East vs Prior Lake
No good matchup for Carson Shanks or Jeff Probert is going to be the difference.  Keep an eye on Shaq Coleman vs Jon Sobaski at the guard spots.  These are the 2 leaders who make their teams go.  Prior Lake playing well right now.  I like the Lakers to win again.

Game 2: #3AA St. Peter vs #6AA Pelican Rapids
A sleeper game that would likely get more attention if it were any other day of the year.  These teams flip-flopped in the AA poll this week.  Ryan Bruggeman is a star at the point for Pelican Rapids.  Peter Kruize leads the way inside.  His matchup with Tucker Forsgren will be the one to watch.  I'm going to take Pelican Rapids here with their inside and outside play.

Game 3: #5AAAA Roseville vs #6AAA Holy Angels
Holy Angels struggled against Minnetonka and then couldn't put away Breck before surviving in the last minute.   Their guard play has not been up to the high expected standard and their bigs (outside of Charlie Koontz) have been outmuscled.  Roseville has great guard play and good interior play.  Keep an eye on the Holy Angels defense vs the Roseville guards.  If they can keep Roseville from getting lots of open looks, that's a big key.  I'm not convinced that happens though, so I'll take Roseville here.

Game 4: #9AAA Minneapolis Washburn vs Hudson, WI
Forward Alex Herink leads the Raiders across the border.  The young Washburn lineup struggled in the season opener vs Eden Prairie before winning at Hill-Murray.  Nick Anderson makes the ship go.  If he plays well, the Millers can be very difficult to guard.  How Hudson defends him is the key to watch in this game.  Washburn will also need to get offense from another source like Evan Shepherd or Jeff Jones.  I'll take Washburn.
 
Game 5: New Prague vs Maple Grove
A rough and tumble Maple Grove team takes on a changed New Prague team.  The guards return and Paul Friendshuh sees his frontcourt mates all graduate.  Maple Grove comes in 0-2 and New Prague just lost to lowly Albert Lea.  This gets the award for least attractive game of the day.  I'll take Maple Grove here.

Game 6: #2AAA Austin vs #7AAAA Edina
Edina has gotten 2 big games from Graham Woodward and they have no wins to show for it.  The schedule has been brutal (at Waconia and at Lakeville North).  That at least should have Edina prepared.  Zach Wessels and Woodward is an entertaining guard matchup with Wessels having size and Woodward speed.  Expect Austin to play lots of 3-2 zone and how they guard Woodward with it is my key to the game.  Edina hasn't found another scorer yet and the Austin zone is nasty.  I like the Packers here.

Game 7: Robbinsdale Armstrong vs Wayzata
An old Lake Conference rivalry closes out the day as these neighboring schools get after it.  A good forward matchup with Armstrong's Konner Goettsche and Wayzata's Zach Robertson going at it.  They were summer team mates so plenty of familiarity there.  Armstrong has lots of players back from last year but Wayzata has more back than usual too.  Early in the year defense is ahead of offense and Wayzata does defense.  I'll take the Trojans here.

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