Minnesota Select Classic Notes

This weekend at the Minnesota Select Classic the 43 Hoops 16s team coached by Chris Carr won the event going undefeated through six games. This talented group of 11 sophomores turned up the defense playing a strong team game to defeat the Minneapolis Redhawks 59-56 in the tournament championship. And at the young level Joey King had onlookers piled up along the walls.
In pool play 43 Hoops first defeated Triple Threat by the massive score of 77-29 and then beat the Minnesota Comets North 86-65. The anticipated match-up of 43 Hoops and the Minnesota Heat Elite fizzled in the second half as 43 pulled away with a 69-51 victory.
Then in bracket play 43 crushed Comets Blue 79-49, ran away from the 94 Feet of Game 73-56 in the semis, and finally came the tough contest against the Redhawks that 43 Hoops won by three points.
-Late in the game against the Redhawks as well as some other teams coach Carr put in Freddy Young (Brooklyn Center) and Estan Tyler (St. Paul Johnson) to reek havoc in the backcourt pressuring guards and it worked beautifully. Both of these players can sit down and harass with the best in Minnesota. The rest of the contest they alternate as Carr often goes five in and five out with his vast array of talent. In the title game Tyler used his combination of first step and strength to get deep in the lane and get shots off.
-Marquel Curtis (Robbinsdale Armstrong) scored his points in the title game sprinting out in the open floor and slamming in highlight fashion.
-Jameson Parsons (Eagan) was on the floor late for 43 Hoops because he's the type of player who is always working hard on both ends and he makes the right plays. When it comes to effort put forth on the floor Parsons has few equals and he can be productive offensively around the cup.
-Thomas Schalk (Apple Valley) was quiet early in the game but made a monster impact down the stretch scoring in the paint. His offensive boards and putbacks put 43 Hoops over the top of the Redhawks for good. Schalk reminds one of a shorter Kevin Noreen with a prettier looking stroke. Not saying that Schalk's shot is more affective than Kevin’s because Noreen is deadly with his stroke and he has a quicker release. I'm just saying Schalk's is a little more textbook. Not sure Thomas has that type of range yet but physically they are similar although Thomas is an inch or two shorter. Schalk was huge late in the title game leading the team in scoring and his elbow jumper is usually money.
While I'm on the topic of Kevin Noreen I think with his Boston College offer, his recent spring ball success, and the increasing interest from some other high majors Kevin may have moved into the top spot as far as top 2010 Minnesota prospects are concerned. Schools love his size and the fact that his high percentage three-point stroke can get released in the blink of an eye. Plus Kevin has really played a lot tougher in April.
-Jordan Smith (Orono) has one of the better pull-up jumpers that I have seen Minnesota. He can pull up on a dime, Jordan gets good lift on his shot, and the motion seems perfected.
-Roosevelt Scott (St. Paul Johnson) is only 6-foot-2 but he seems to have the length of somebody five or six inches bigger. When he gets low in a stance and spreads his arms and legs out it seems like a massive web of defender that could a dribble or pass could easily get tangled in.
-Ross Travis (Chaska) seems to get taller, longer, and more agile with every viewing. He started the game with two very aggressive attacks to the cup trying to jam over the Redhawk interior players. Because of his build, agility, and growing skill set Travis is looking more and more like one of 2010's best prospects. After a strong start he didn’t have a great championship game but he did okay.
After squeaking by 94 Feet of Game on Friday night the Redhawks coasted threw the SW Minnesota Heat, Minnesota Select II, Triple Threat, and 43 Hoops 17s II into the championship game against 43 Hoops. Despite the loss the Redhawks have continued their reputation as one of the top ten 17 and Under teams in Minnesota.
So far the Redhawk results in four events look like this:
-a loss to Pump N Run 16s in the Silver bracket of the Comet Invite where they went 3-2
-a loss to 43 Hoops II in the Badger City Classic where they went .500
-won four of five at the Spring Showcase falling in the semi-finals to the WI Swing
-won five of six games at the Select Classic losing in the championship
-they avenged the loss in Wisconsin to 43 Hoops II with a 71-61 Sunday victory
-a college coach said that an open John Rowland (Osseo) three-point shot is as money as a normal man's lay-up. I would certainly agree with that as the 6-foot-6 junior made a name for himself in the state tournament and hasn't quit impressing.
-Parker Hines is moving up the ladder of top junior point guards with each weekend. At 6-foot-0 he's trusted to both take care of the basketball and score for the Redhawks and he's done a fine job of that. Division twos are likely to start taking closer looks.
-Cory Booker (Bloomington Kennedy) was a man child in the title game fighting off the several different posts that 43 Hoops sent at him. Booker put up a double-double of twenty and ten scoring with strong moves inside and hitting some short jumpers from the baseline and in the lane. Despite being a little shorter than the 43 Hoops bigs the 6-foot-5 (maybe 6-foot-6) Booker was the best rebounder on the floor for that championship game.
-St. Peter's Brodie Raymond plays for Minnesota Select II and he is one of the better shooters in southern Minnesota. At about six feet tall he's also a crafty scorer who may be a nice player for a MIAC school if he can get stronger.
-The SW Minnesota Heat has a very good trio of players in Caleb Johnson (Marshall), Dalton Kleinschmidt (Cedar Mountain-Comfrey), and b>Nate Golden (Cedar Mountain-Comfrey) but the problem is these three basically played the frontcourt for their team this weekend. If you have Johnson running the point like he does at Marshall and Kleinschmidt and Golden on the wings this group of 2011 kids would be extremely dangerous. But we all can't have the luxury of size and the SW Heat didn't this past weekend. Watch them in the future though most definitely as they competed well at the 17s level considering they were undersized and a year younger than most.
-Marcus Dorsey (DeLaSalle) of 43 Hoops II 16s looked very agile and impressive in the semi-final contest. It was the first time I have seen him play memorably and he was an active performer for his team that could really help the Islanders around the basket next season.
-I honestly don't know to many players that work harder than Riley West (Lakeville South) of the Minnesota Heat Elite 16s. The kid just never quits and he can find ways to score when put in spots you never thought he could create a shot from.
-Minnesota beware, both Drew Preiner and Luke Preiner look to be more confident with their three point shot each weekend. Drew opened up the 16s title game with a pair of threes, then Luke hit one, and Drew hit another allowing the Heat to jump out quick and eventually win the 16s title.
-Count me in as a big fan of TNL 16s Marcus Nolan (St. Anthony). The two games I watched him play Nolan was constantly getting to the rim and he was hitting shots from deep. At 5-foot-9 and quick Nolan was going by guards from all teams and getting to the lane to make plays and when defenses over compensated for him Nolan stepped back to rain some triples.
-Finally some words about Joey King of the Southside team. Joey is a 6-foot-7 forward who played some for Eagan as a freshman this year but then transferred at some point to Eastview.
This kid is a major talent. Besides his height and enormous feet, the first thing I noticed about his game was the skill level that looked more like that of a senior. As a freshman King is catching the ball in strong triple threat position on the wing and his rip-throughs are very tough. He uses his head and shoulder fakes extremely well (using it to get the defense out of position) and couples them with a quick first move. Joey took every big off the dribble then maneuvered his way around the paint to score while absorbing contact. From the line King showed a great stroke making regular free throws and he also sunk mid-range jumpers. What I haven't seen him do yet (and remember I have seen him in one game) is explode at the rim finishing above others.
On the defensive end he blocked five shots in less than a half during the 15s title game as his timing is fantastic. Plus he grabbed some strong rebounds high on the glass and cleared defenders with strong pivots. King even pulled one board off the glass with a single hand. Joey runs well, he's very skilled, has a nice touch, has been well coached in some of the small skill points of the game, looks to have a real will to win, he's 6-foot-7 and growing with a good perimeter game, and overall he just looks like the next big thing. The last two players that I went out on the limb to say that about at this age were Royce White and Jordan Taylor so I hope my vision wasn't blurry Sunday as I don't like to praise like this much at this age. But Joey King has a ton of talent and as long as he keeps working and progressing there is something special there.