2014 Spring Lake Park Jamboree thoughts

The 2014 Spring Lake Park Jamboree is in the books.  As always, it was a nice showcase of north metro teams.  I keep the beverage count rolling with a can of Sprite.  Understandable but disappointing that there were no hot dogs, only candy so Snickers will have to suffice for my waist line.

Beverage Count: 24 ounces

6 regular time halves of basketball on the slate, here are the results.

Session 1: North Branch def Totino-Grace 26-22
Session 2: Maple Grove def St. Francis 33-28
Session 3: Forest Lake def Spring Lake Park 41-14
Session 4: Irondale def Coon Rapids 30-21
Session 5: Osseo def Fridley 42-20
Session 6: Mounds View def Blaine 31-10

Here are some observations from the evening.
  • North Branch ran a UCLA screen to side ball screen/double away continuity to death.  But their last clinching bucket was a layup from none other than THE WORLD'S WORST OFFENSE.
  • With Brad Davison back in the lineup, no surprise that we saw lots more ball screen looks from Maple Grove.  He was the best player on the floor in his half.
  • Kayode Awosika was too much on the low block.  Also notable inside were the times when Blake Moreno and Reed Nikko went at each other.  Nikko got the better of those on the defensive end but Moreno wasn't going to be scared away.
  • For those of you in section 7AAAA who thought I didn't think enough of St. Francis, I'll admit you were right.  They won't be the dominant team in the section again but they will be better than what I initially thought and should be in the discussion for who's next behind Cambridge-Isanti.  They struggled with turnovers otherwise they might have won (for those who actually care about the final score of a scrimmage)
  • Forest Lake running lots of stuff for Connor Knutson.
  • Spring Lake Park looked depleted with the end of their football season.  No size and despite some of the WORLD'S WORST OFFENSE from them, no real offense.
  • Osseo will have to grind games out this year with a roster of new guys.  But beware of the youngsters, they have plenty in the pipeline.
  • Interesting to see Osseo use Elliot Kane some in almost a 4 man capacity.  He would set ball screens and pop.  Also a set where he'd catch on the elbow and look for a post to post ball screen.
  • Fridley has great length in Tessy Pal and John Conyers (who look almost the exact same height), but I don't see how they generate offense.  Pal can be contained by forcing him to use his right hand and Conyers offense is still developing.  They struggled mightly against Osseo's pressure man. 
  • Conyers and Pal will be significant factors in keeping the ball out of the paint and they'll come out to challenge shots too.
  • Mounds View's Ryan Kaczynski is still a beast.
  • Blaine's junior forward Ben Scherer is a mountain inside with a nice touch.  Mounds View couldn't keep him off the block and over his left shoulder was a quality look every time.
  • No Kyle Cappard on Blaine's roster takes away the 1 ball handler and perimeter scorer they were going to have.  It showed as they showed you can really pressure them and turn them over.

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