The 43 Hoops 17s produced continual excitement this weekend going .500 in the Real Deal on the Hill event. Mike Bruesewitz looked more like David Lee with a handful of monster jams and most of them were right in front of his future coach Bo Ryan. The rest of the group was consistent throughout while DJ Philips was the surprise of the weekend.
After a 14-point victory over the Dallas Mustangs Blue team this 43 Hoops crew took part in a real battle with the talented and athletic MBA Hoops team. They would fall but bounced back to beat the Midstate Ballerz so they qualified for the top level of tournament play. They fell in the first round to the Birmingham Storm and the 5th ranked recruit in the nation DeMarcus Cousins.
In that game Bruesewitz had the play of the tournament with a dunk that had Bo Ryan smiling for almost a minute. Mike caught with a running start, took one step and raised up from the second block. His explosion put down a monster jam over the top of a 6-foot-5 opponent and the gym went insane.
It was the culmination of a weekend that showed Bruesewitz is more then just an outstanding rebounder, a working defender, and a complete hustler. This 6-foot-7 future Badger recruit showcased explosion with some monster boards, blocks and of course those two handed powerful flushes in traffic. Against MBA, Mike dunked twice with a loud scream and it was with a row of college coaches against the wall watching. Plus Bruesewitz did some handling and there is no better coach on the floor and leader in the locker-room then Mike Bruesewitz.
The biggest surprise of the weekend for coach Tommy Chatman's crew was Osseo guard DJ Phillips. DJ made some important baskets on the weekend and handled some for this team but he also had a tremendous impact defending opposing guards. Any opponent of 43 Hoops was forced to deal with DJ's pressure for 94 feet.
Point guard Marc Sonnen was at his best in the first game as he turned a one point lead into a double figure advantage with his penetration and passing. Plus he threw a deep outlet pass after stealing a pass and that was the point that 43 Hoops had the W. Once again Marc was at the helm of a steady controlled offense that ran fluently. Marc is always willing to make the extra pass as he recognizes when teammates are hot working to get them the ball, This is one player who understands what a good shot is and is not.
Sonnen has a smooth jumper although this weekend he was not hitting with the consistency that he normally does. Regardless Northern Iowa, North Dakota State, Wisconsin-Green Bay and Colorado State had assistants watching him at all times.
Six-foot-8 Chris Halvorsen made the biggest impact when he switched over to guard young phenom LaQuinton Ross and completely shut him down. Halvorsen also showed a couple examples of some improvement putting the ball on the floor and getting to the rim. He had a couple nasty jams but there were struggles to finish over DeMarcus Cousins and Jontavious Sulton although that happens to most those athletes face.
Also making a nice impression was Blaine's Dylan Rodriguez. There is a lot of Dusty Rychart in Dylan who is about 6-foot-6 with a great feel for where the ball is going to be. Like Rychart, Dylan is very effective from mid-range, he is always on the offensive glass, and Rodriguez can finish in traffic over bigger defenders. He gets his points, sometimes it may take more shots then others and he will put them up, but he gets point production. Also like Rychart, Dylan Rodriguez takes advantage of all his free throw attempts.
Kyle Risinger is banged up but he still did a great job breaking down defenses to get to the hoop or create shots for others. Risinger showed that he can play with some national guards as he may not be as fast as some but he's quick enough, skilled enough and certainly tough enough to make plays.
This 43 Hoops team has some nice role guys as well. Chaska's Andrew Martinson has a nice stroke and when he hit one it was almost guaranteed that he would hit the next shot or two after that. Inside Ted Vogt gave Bruesewitz a break from banging on opposing big guys as Ted has the size and girth to push around many posts at this level. His high school teammate Damarius Cruz is used in a shooters role from the wing for 43 Hoops and that is what he did in the opening round win over the Dallas Mustangs. Cruz was a pleasant surprise to me showcasing good range plus decent athletic quicks. When he gets more comfortable playing with this group Cruz should have some big summer games