Week 2 of 2009 Fall Leagues

Week 2 of fall leagues is in the books. The notes
  • MYAS claim "Best and largest pool of certified officials in the state." was totally debunked today. Officials that I saw doing the varsity boys games at Hopkins as a whole, did not compare to the MBA league.
  • Nice to see Duluth East coach Chuck Tolo in the house on Saturday following his kids. With the top programs, you seem to always see the head guys out following their guys.
  • Credit to Aaron Ziman for outplaying Jasper Duberry in Select's loss to Champlin Park.
  • D3 schools and AAU guys at the MBA this weekend (and the coolest guy in the NSIC!). Nice to see the interest.
  • Minnehaha with 12 oz cans of Pepsi this week instead of the usual 1 Liter bottles. The horror. I'm an addict, I have a habit to maintain. When I mentioned this to the concession stand, I got the perfect response. "You can always come back for more". Well said, I got nothing for that one.
  • The stars were out this weekend. I thought last weekend had some big performances, but some very nice performances by known names this weekend.
  • Fun to see a couple of good quality young point guards playing. Kashif Hayes (2013) from St. Louis Park is 1. The other is from the south metro is the younger brother of former DeLaSalle/Hopkins star Jadee Jones.
Read all about the weekend in my Minnesota Preps column. (Click here to read)

I also did a piece on summer recruiting on my Star Tribune blog. Read that here.

2009 Week 2 Fall League Schedule

Here's this week's fall league schedule. Game of note are in bold

Saturday at Minnehaha Academy
Orono vs Edison 10 AM - Ct 1
NYA vs Anoka 10 AM - Ct 2
St. Anthony vs Blake 10 AM - Ct 3
Orono vs St. Anthony Noon - Ct 1
Blake vs Anoka Noon -Ct 2
Edison vs NYA Noon - Ct 3
Maple Grove vs Hoops Training 1 PM - Ct 1
Minnehaha vs Champlin Park 2 PM - Ct 1
Hoops Training vs DeLaSalle 3 PM - Ct 1
Maple Grove vs Minnehaha 4 PM - Ct 1
Champlin Park vs Select 5 PM - Ct 1
Duluth East vs DeLaSalle 6 PM - Ct 1
Duluth East vs Select 8 PM - Ct 1

The buzz around Johnny Woodard of Duluth East has been huge this week. Get a chair on court 1 early for the 2 late games. Sean Kruger will have a name or 2 up his sleeve with his Select squad entering this week. Jordan Smith of Orono doubtful to play this week from what I'm told.

Saturday at Kennedy
Gamblers vs Raiders 2 PM - Ct 1
Waconia vs Baldwin-Woodville 3 PM - Ct 1
Raiders vs Burnsville 4 PM - Ct 2
Waconia vs Gamblers 5 PM - Ct 1
Burnsville vs Baldwin-Woodville 5 PM - Ct 2

Baldwin-Woodville showed they've got a nice club last week with a close loss to MTS (granted that was the 4th MTS game of the day). So that 3 PM game vs Waconia could be an interesting one.

Sunday at Forest Lake
Ellsworth vs Centennial 10 AM - Ct 1
Forest Lake vs Eastside (Stillwater) 10 AM - Ct 2
Cardinals vs Roseville 10 AM - Ct 3
Irondale vs North Branch 10 AM - Ct 4
Centennial vs Forest Lake Noon - Ct 1
Ellsworth vs Eastside Noon - Ct 2
Roseville vs Irondale Noon - Ct 3
Cardinals vs North Branch Noon - Ct 4

A very depleted league last week with Stillwater missing most of their guys, no Zach Riedeman from Forest Lake. Centennial does have a full crew though.

Czar Note: 9/25/09 I'm told that Centennial is without 5 of their top 8 guys.

Sunday at Hopkins
New Prague vs Rochester Mayo 1 PM - Ct 1
Waconia vs Lakeville South 1 PM - Ct 2
MDB White vs Owatonna 1 PM - Ct 3
Apple Valley vs Wayzata 2 PM - Ct 1
Mound Westonka vs Wolves 2 PM - Ct 2
Minnetonka vs Wizards 2 PM - Ct 3
Rochester Mayo vs Owatonna 3 PM - Ct 4
Waconia vs New Prague 3 PM - Ct 5
MDB White vs Lakeville South 3 PM - Ct 6
Mound Westonka vs Wayzata 4 PM - Ct 4
Minnetonka vs Wolves 4 PM - Ct 5
Apple Valley vs Wizards 4 PM - Ct 6

If Waconia has all their guys, look for that game with Lakeville South to be outstanding. Both teams are top heavy with juniors.

Sunday at Kennedy
SW Christian vs TWolves 1 PM - Ct 1
Prior Lake vs Holy Family White 1 PM - Ct 2
SW Christian vs Holy Family White 3 PM - Ct 1
Prior Lake vs TWolves 3 PM - Ct 2
Edina vs Holy Family Green 3 PM - Ct 3
Eden Prairie vs Mix 3 PM - Ct 4
Bethany vs Transitions 3 PM - Ct 5
Mix vs Holy Family Green 4 PM - Ct 3
Edina vs Panthers 4 PM - Ct 4
Eden Prairie vs Bethany 4 PM - Ct 5
Transitions vs Panthers 5 PM - Ct 5

It'll be very interesting to see where the Noreens play as they're scheduled for 2 and 4 at Hopkins and 3 and 5 at Kennedy. Let's hope Hopkins since that's where I'll be stationed.

Week 1 of 2009 Fall Leagues

From a Buddy Holly look-alike official, to kids coaching, to parents scorekeeping, it was an eventful week 1 in fall leagues this weekend. I'll spare you all the obvious Weezer reference, but I will tell you that Minnehaha's Parker Hines pulled double duty by coaching the JVs in the morning before playing in the afternoon session on Saturday. That's an idea that I like a lot for developing kids as leaders.

We had upsets, tight finishes and big performances. That included a kid who blew up huge on Sunday but is flying under the radar. D2s, if that name isn't on your radar, why not? I think the kid deserves that kind of look.

Read about all of it in my Minnesota Preps column (click here)

Also, I'm keeping my season totals up to date with fall league and AAU action this season. The 1st updates are posted here.

BTW, I feel like a total fool for mentioning Ellsworth, MN as playing the in the MYAS league in Forest Lake. Looks like they played in Sioux Falls. I'm a Wisconsin guy and I forgot Ellsworth, WI. DOH!

Issues with the game articles

I came across some very interesting articles recently regarding the biggest issues we face in the game.

1) Don Casey had some interesting thoughts on his "Temple of Zones" blog regarding how to regulate the summer. One that really caught my attention was to have the NFHS control the summer. Read all of his thoughts here.

2) Andy Katz of ESPN had a nice piece on how early agents start pursuing kids and the issues that come up from that. Read that article here.

3) The LA Times had a piece on how the rich keep getting richer with transfers. Since that's a hot topic here in the metro with certain schools, see how much of this article you think applies. Read it here.

Fall Leagues preview

This weekend kicks off fall leagues around the metro.

The MBA league is absolutely loaded with Champlin Park, Sibley, Orono, Duluth East, Minnehaha and DeLaSalle just to name a few. If I thought AAU days were long, how about that 8 AM to 8 PM schedule. OUCH!

I'm going to try and check in on some MYAS ball too as both divisions of their league are well stocked.

And being a Wisconsin guy, I will be checking in on Evan Anderson at the Magic fall league.

Check out my full preview on my GamefaceMN blog. Read it here.

2 Minnesota Stars commit

2 of Minnesota's top players in 2010 made their commitments over the last few days. Chad Calcaterra of Cloquet committed to Colorado State. Jacob Thomas of Columbia Heights committed to Long Beach State. Both of these came after long talk about them attending Minnesota. Here's an interesting perspective from Gopher writer Marcus Fuller of the Pioneer Press on their commitments.

Here's David Lavaque's Star Tribune article on Thomas signing with Long Beach State. It also includes an update on Calvin Godfrey who's now at Cooper instead of Armstrong as was initially reported (see the original here)

For an entire list of commitments from the class of 2010, click here.

Moats receives Mountain West offer

Class of 2011 scholarships starting to take some shape. Utah was in on Sunday to look at Waconia's Shelby Moats and liked what they saw enough to offer him.

Fall recruiting period kicks off

Today was the 1st day of the fall contact period for Division 2 schools. That goes through October 14th. The D1 schools have their contact period begin on Wednesday through October 5th. That will allow the D2 guys to be out watching the exposure camps this weekend in St. Cloud and at 43 Hoops.

Nov 9-11 for Division 2 schools (7 AM to 7 AM) and Nov 9-12 for the Division 1 schools are dead periods for the start of the early signing period. This year the early basketball signing dates are November 11th - November 18th.

Scout.com's latest top 100 for 2010

No Minnesotans in this edition of the Scout.com top 100 for 2010. No surprise there but the rankings aren't totally bare for Minnesota as we do have a player in the positional rankings. Drumroll please.

Kevin Noreen is the #26 Power Forward.

Here are the notables in the Scout.com list

Harrison Barnes #1 (no change)
Josh Selby #10 (no change)
Joe Jackson #17 (no change)
Vander Blue #27 (up from #47 in July)
Dwight Powell #45
Trevor Releford #50 (up from #72)
Tobi Oyedeji #68 (down from #58)
Alex Kirk #80 (down from #66)
Evan Anderson #90 (down from #70)
Anthony Johnson drops out

Lake Conference no more

From John Millea of the Star Tribune, all of the previous Lake conference members except Eden Prairie have decided to go their own way and add in Prior Lake for a new 10 team league. As Millea had previously reported, Prior Lake was looking to leave the Missota. Upon review, the Bloomington schools decided not to join the Missota and stuck with their Lake kin. Now we're back to 5 with Eden Prairie and the 4 ugly ducklings. How long until that group dissolves and we're back to square 1?

Czar's Note 9/3/09: According to the Pioneer Press, this new conference will be called the South Suburban Conference. How original but they outgrew Dakota County so that wouldn't work and Minnesota River was already taken. That gives us more suburban soup with the Classic Suburban, North Suburban, Northwest Suburban and their backwards cousin, the Suburban East. Let the remainder of the Lake schools call themselves the Suburban West and we'll have all the geography covered.

Former Milwaukee star transfers to the metro

From Wishoops.net, former UW-Milwaukee signee Calvin Godfrey has transferred to Armstrong. This was the 1 hole in the Falcons lineup. Expect him to be effective inside with all of the shooters that they feature.

(Czar's Note 9/2/09: Before transferring to a prep school out east Godfrey was ranked the 5th best prospect in Wisconsin by Wishoops.net)

The Czar goes Mobile

I'm excited to announce that The Czar has gone mobile.

First, for those of you who may read me on your phones while you're out and about, you can use this link, Czar On Your Phone, to read the scrolls in a mobile friendly format.

Better yet, I'm on Twitter now. I hope to bring you game updates, previews and post-game tidbits as I travel throughout the metro to enhance what I'm already doing here. I'll also throw in other updates and random hoops thoughts as well. But it will stay very basketball oriented. None of this "I'm sitting on the patio" nonsense. Check out my Twitter page here, Czar Tweets

Both of these links can be found in the "About the Czar" menu. Hope you enjoy them.