This weekend at the Fury Shootout the host squad brought home the gold defeating a fast paced Grassroots team for the championship led by 6-foot-9 Rogers big Michael Schreiber. Also, the much talked about 15s division was fun to watch all weekend highlighted by the super pool contests matching top squad for top squad. Minnesota Elite beat Minnesota Heat Select for the 15s championship.
The story of the weekend was likely the play of Michael Schreiber. His weekend really got rolling Saturday night when his Fury Blue team defeated Heat Lesewski in pool play. In that game Schreiber scored over the top of 6-foot-9 Dan Lochner several times in the second half as his Fury team opened up a close contest.
There really isn't much science behind what the big guy did this weekend, it was just establish low post position, use a strong base to maintain his spot, catch, bump off the opposing center with a strong, score, and repeat. In bracket play Schreiber scored 28 points, 21 points, and 30 points (in the championship game over Grassroots). Simply put, Michael Schreiber dominated the paint in Fury Shootout.
In Tyler Moore of DeLaSalle, Trent Pollard of Prairie Seeds Academy, and Marquealis Edwards of St. Louis Park, Fury Blue had what many other teams didn't have to stop Grassroots this weekend, athletic and tough guards.
Grassroots Minnesota was flying all over the place with their fast paced attack and quality backcourt including Darrion Strong, Freddy Young, and Tyler Moore (of Tartan). Grassroots ran past opponents like they were in brand new Supras cruising around old station wagons.
Grassroots defeated the Minnesota Pump N Run 16s (most of whom were two years younger than their opponents) 63-40 and it was a huge game for Strong who continually found his way to the rim. However, the final was a different story as guards matched guards and Schreiber's dominance inside gave Fury Blue the gold.
In addition to Schreiber up front and the guards taking care of the ball, the Fury Blue has several wings that make them deep. Six-foot-4 Sander Mohn from Eden Prairie looks like he's ready for a huge senior year, Tony Kuplic is always good for consistent scoring, and Edwards gives the team toughness that most kids don't have any more.
A Big to Watch
Six-foot-11, yes 6-foot-11, St. Cloud Cathedral center Connor Voss should be on the watch list of just about every college in the Midwest. Why? For one he's 6-foot-11. But two, the improvement in this young man in the past two months playing with the Minnesota Comets 16s is very eye opening.
Voss is raw no question and because of that consistency isn't always there. But this weekend when the Comets came back from a dozen down to beat the Heat by eight big Connor Voss was a massive part of it. He changed the game on defense as the Heat wouldn't go near the rim to challenge him (after he blocked a couple shots) and posts couldn't shoot over him at all. He adjusted their shots to extremely low percentage angles.
Add in that Connor consistently boarded and made a face-up ten footer and this is a guy whose mailbox should be filling with interest very soon.
• Darrion Strong's first step off of ball reversals and wing entries is so sudden and covers so much ground defenders look like they are trying to chase the Flash. He had a good weekend playing with Grassroots Minnesota and guard Freddy Young who played at a prep school in Iowa this past winter.
• I caught a rumor that Tanner Oakes, a senior from Jordan, is headed to UW-River Falls. If true that is a fantastic get because this young man has very strong potential. He spent time playing point guard at Jordan over the past couple years at 6-foot-5 as he's a capable ball handler and a great passer. This weekend playing with the Magic 19s Tanner showed the ability to hit multiple treys per game and he had a showing on one possession where he grabbed three o-boards and created three shots for others off of those o-boards. Tanner also had scoring stretches of eight straight points and seven straight points in Saturday games. He has scholarship potential.
• Hastings has been down lately but 6-foot-5 Darius Wilkerson could help the recovery. At the end of the game playing for Heat Biwan Wilkerson used his long arms to attack rim and score over a defender and then he blocked a Tim Gill shot at the buzzer to give his team the 50-48 overtime win. Darius led Hastings in scoring this year at 11.3 points per game.
• Dawson-Boyd guard Nathaniel Huot is a key reason as to why so many NSIC coaches followed his Comets Elite 16s team in previous weeks. The 6-foot-0 guard is a capable combo guard who can handle plus this weekend he showed he can hit threes with Chris Kingsbury near range. Plus he seems to be a tough guy. After burying four treys he legally crushed a guy on a back pick.
• Minnesota Heat/Anoka guard Malcolm Seals is the 2013 version of Tommy McDermott in the way that he seems to shake people down and nobody can stop him from getting lane. His crossover shook defenders all weekend and while his pull-up is good and getting to consistent, his long arms in the lane allow him to score at very difficult angles.
• You tell me that Pat Fischer's effort, hair, and build doesn't remind you of Alex Hanks than I will call you a liar.
• Lester Prairie's next lead man is Jared Kadrie and playing with Triple Threat on Saturday, Jared impressed facing up defenders and breaking them down to go lane. Kadrie is a strong kid at about 6-foot-2 and he's got the versatility to maybe play good minutes in the MIAC. He scored ten points in five minutes to open his team's Saturday afternoon.
• David Simmet was the immovable object Saturday. He made high-low feeds look like child's play as he easily put up a big paw to catch and score when teams continually tried to front him. The 6-foot-9 Hill-Murray center is a very good outlet passer and he knows post positioning.
• David's high school teammate Cullen Ogren was a battler for a different Heat team and the 6-foot-5 forward looks like he can step right in and replace a good portion of the numbers lost at power forward to graduation.
• Speaking of bigs 6-foot-8 Grand Rapids four-five man Mike Spoden definitely looks improved. Agility wise, positioning, and the touch all looked NSIC attention worthy this weekend. Six-foot-4 Riley Aeikins of MACCRAY plays with Spoden on Comet Stock and he's another who looks like he should grab some NSIC looks.
• Comets Seevers has a true battler in 6-foot-5 Felipe Villalaz whose frame reminds me a lot of Brock Zins. Villalaz, of Sauk Rapids, puts a Rodman like defensive and rebounding effort forward. Also, Comet teammate Tarik Hujdorovik of St. John's Prep is a name to watch. Tarik has a crafty scoring game as a 6-foot-2 combo.
• Last but not least is Justin Pahl from East Ridge. This extremely confident 6-foot-3 wing has a little Cole Stefan in him in that he's confident, he can stroke consistently with four or five treys a game, and he will surprise you with his guts and bounce going at the rim. No Pahl or Stefan isn't Sam Jacobson going at the cup but they sure aren't Michael J Much either. Pahl had an aggressive three-point play that shows his scoring ability is more versatile than opponents expect. Scholarship interest has to be in consideration because he's 6-foot-3, can shoot a high percentage behind the arc, Justin is aggressive, and he's confident.
• Tyler Vaughan of Braham has added offers from Northern State and St .Cloud State.
• Isaiah Zierden of Benilde-St. Margaret's now has offers from Boston, UMASS, and Creighton plus strong interest from Notre Dame and Maryland amongst others.
• Sanjay Lumpkin of Benilde-St. Margaret's added offers from Princeton and Santa Clara.
• Damien Reinke of Becker picked up an offer from Minnesota State-Moorhead.
• Marcus Marshall has added offers from Albany and South Dakota.
• Six-foot-7 C.J. Neumann, a scrappy power forward with a shooting touch out to 20 feet, has grabbed interest from South Dakota State, North Dakota, Lehigh, Yale, Northern Iowa, Bucknell, Indiana State, he's getting mail from several high majors including Minnesota, and the NSIC wants him as well.