The Best Buy Classic at Augsburg opened up with three games on Monday all won decidedly buy local Minnesota squads. St Paul Johnson defeated St. Louis Park 85-58, Henry Sibley defeated Chicago Julian 86-75, and Hopkins rolled over Milwaukee Marshall 94-67. The 25 points from Henry Sibley's Jordan Jackson was a Best Buy high for the day.
Henry Sibley vs. Chicago Julian
Jordan Jackson played perhaps his best game as a Sibley Warrior scoring 25 points and showcasing his outstanding athleticism against an athletic team. Jackson helped shut down Julian standout Walter Lemon to only six points on two of seven shooting. Lemon was so frustrated that he was called for a pair of technical fouls (shoved a player, constant words with the officials who were terrible) and kicked out of the game.
Jackson was a terror scoring in both transition and off the drive as he normally does. But equally impressive was Jordan spotting up to hit a pair of threes plus nailing two high post pull-up jumpers as he cleared space to shoot with an impressive dribble drive. The most memorable plays came when Jackson was getting back in transition to stop the full court drive of Julian junior point guard (6-foot-3) Phillip Greene. Greene tried to attack Jackson twice with scores to the rim but Jordan responded to the challenge by rising up over Greene and swatting those attempts impressively back the other way.
* Mike Rostampour also may have had his finest hour as a Warrior. Plagued with first half foul trouble Mike still finished the game with 23 points and 11 rebounds. He was a hound on the offensive glass and in low post defense as he usually is playing like a shorter Miles Tarver (the former Gopher two year starting power forward). As good as Mike's physical game was he was even better from the foul line making 17 of 20 free throws. Add in the three of five shooting from the floor and there is the 23 points.
* Lafayette signed Jake Kreuser rattled the rim with three physical dunks as he finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, and four blocks. Jake made six of his eight field goal attempts that also included him backing down 6-foot-7 Jamari Taylor.
* Rostampour and Kreuser scored the combined 36 points but also held the Julian frontcourt of Taylor and Xzavier Ottman to a combined ten points. Junior 6-foot-6 forward Cedric Smith did step in to help with 12 points up front for Julian but it wasn't enough as the Sibley pair outplayed the Julian trio. Julian was without 6-foot-7 senior wing Shayok Shayok who Minnesota fans may recall standing out with the Boys II Men team that was at the Best Buy Summer Classic in July.
* Phillip Greene stepped up for Julian as the game wore on handling the ball with a smooth style plus scoring 22 points. As a crafty and trustworthy 6-foot-3 junior point Greene is one to keep an eye on for the future as he also nailed a pair of triples. With Lemon struggling and then kicked out senior Timothy Perkins filled the gap with 16 points.
* In one word the officiating in this game was horrendous. And coincidently enough one of the officials was the same guy from the Chaska against Eastview mess that I reported on before Christmas. The formula was the same: inconsistent and odd traveling calls, inconsistent contact allowed on fouls, a second half with both teams in the double bonus before the clock could hit the 12:00 mark, several technical could calls, and an overall lose of control. The only good thing was that this time there were no fists thrown. A total of 56 fouls were called and four T's were handed out.
* Coaches in the stands were several and included Minnesota assistant Ron Jirsa, North Dakota State's Will Ryan, coaches from Southwest MN State, and St. Cloud State.
St. Louis Park vs. St. Paul Johnson
The game was never in doubt as Johnson jumped out to an 11-2 lead and never looked back. The Governors used their ten man rotation of mostly pesky defenders to force the Orioles into countless turnovers and eventually an 85-58 victory.
Any time one sees Johnson play it's a possibility that three guys could impress you the most and then three different could do the same the next day. They just have a ton of talent and depth. Early in the game 6-foot-4 senior forward Maxie Rosenbloom hit a three, scored inside, defended extremely hard, and rebounded well. As the game moved on Roosevelt Scott gave everybody a look at his improved skills as he handled the ball with more fluidity in the transition game. Scott swerved through the defense and took off to glide over everyone with a couple finger rolls using that huge wingspan.
In the second half it was sophomore Marcus Marshall giving fans a look at his vast scoring abilities. Marshall scored with a pair of treys, a couple pull-ups, and a couple drives. Five-foot-10 senior guard Donte Warlick opened eyes himself with transition scores and three jumpers.
Scott led the team with 15 points that included eight made free throws. Marshall totaled 14 points, Rosenbloom had 13, and Warlick 11.
* Many eyes were on Estan Tyler who finished four of eight from the floor for eight points on a very quiet day for him. Estan sat a lot in this game and when playing he was pretty loose with the basketball. Tyler was able to show off his shooting stroke making a handful of jumpers that included a pretty two dribble pull-up at the elbow.
* Rosenbloom will keep division twos interested all year because of his agility, activity, and toughness. He's the type of guy that could be brought in at the D2 level or even walk-on at the D1 level and instantly make practices tougher. Max has the frame and defensive ability to immediately play a limited role for a college team (D2 or D3) and when his skills improve maybe get a lot of time. Max's shooting stroke looks better every time he plays.
* Roosevelt Scott impressed yesterday. His length, agility, and improved ball skill will keep him on the recruiting radar. Roosevelt also made a three and if his game continues to grow in terms of consistency he could be one to watch on a regular basis. With his length you have to think there is going to be more physical growth.
* The Orioles received 13 points from Alex Koch, Aaron Ziman, and Marquelis Edwards plus a lot of role playing contributions from Joe Zangel. Ziman made his jumpers with more consistency yesterday, Edwards is a nice scorer and when his game is more refined he could be dangerous, and Zangel will always be there to play tough defense, block shots, and rebound.
Hopkins vs. Milwaukee Marshall
As expected this was just a white wash. With Ron Jirsa following Joe Coleman closely Joe scored a game high 24 points. Junior Marvin Singleton had 18, sophomore Zach Stahl scored a dozen, and senior guard Jeremiah Tolbert put up 11.
Coleman had a windmill jam off a putback that has had everybody talking. Texts, phone calls, emails, you name it the Coleman jam was said to be completely amazing.