The 17 and Under games naturally get the most attention considering the talent, experience level, and amount of kids playing but the Pump N Run Spring Classic also has a lot of intriguing players and teams at the younger levels. The 16 and Under Pump N Run will be playing locally for the first time and the 15s level has been set up with a fantastic group of Minnesota teams.
The Minnesota Pump N Run squad has several names of note starting with Tartan point guard Darrion Strong and Osseo freshman power forward Ian Theisen. Strong is a quick and strong point guard who picked up an offer from Boise State before his sophomore season and Theissen is one of the top prospects of the 2014 class. This pair was the first duo to make headlines but there are certainly many others to consider.
Some people think 6-foot-4 Hopkins wing Jamal Davis could be one of the next stars of their school (and maybe the Pump N Run) and 6-foot-7 Reggie Lynch has potential that people are raving about. The stage is set for Zach Robertson of Wayzata to start making his push towards a high caliber player, guard Graham Woodard of Edina is one of the headiest players in the event, and Jonah Eisenshank of Rocori succeeds on the floor because of his physical build and his skilled mid-range abilities to hit at a high percentage facing up and scoring despite contact.
The Iowa Pump N Run have a pair of twins that have made headlines after a fantastic high school season at Danville. Six-foot-4 Steven Soukup scored 20.2 points per game shooting 52 percent from the floor and 37 percent behind the arc plus he grabbed seven boards a contest. Michael Soukup, also 6-foot-4, scored 17.4 points per game shooting 50 percent from the floor and 37 percent behind the arc and grabbing 6.1 rebounds a game.
The Dakota Pride 16s will be back in Minnesota meaning Moorhead's Aaron Lien and maybe A.J. Jacobson once again. Both are scholarship wings with Jacobson definitely being a division one talent. The Ultimate Hoops squad that has received a lot of Minnesota Preps attention in the past couple days is here with their roster full of southwest metro future standouts. Also watch out for Centennial's Ben Walker playing with the Minnesota Heat.
At the 15s level there is a ton of excitement for this event. The Minnesota Heat Select brings ultra athletic Andre Wallace of Eden Prairie, talented Deidrick Hubbard also of EP, beastly Coon Rapids big Isaac Mathhews, and Washburn guards Quinton Garvis and Jeff Jones. Their expected quarterfinal match-up against the Fury Black is something to see.
Coach Nick Carroll has some quality talented highlighted by 6-foot-7 New Prague standout Paul Friendshuh, Faribault's Nate Emge (the brother of recently signed Northern State player Michael Emge), and Wheeler Baker from DeLaSalle. Baker is the player who first made an impact in a Grand Rapids varsity event last summer being named all tournament team along with several seniors.
The Minnesota Elite squad is tough and talented. They have a Minnetonka presence with point guard Andrew Grosz and Grant Steele who both played roles with the Minnetonka varsity last year. Also, Chaska's Eric West is talented, Josh Goldschmit has good varsity experience with Maranatha Christian, and 6-foot-5 Joe Conroy of Holy Family can definitely go.
Then you have the tournament favorites in the Minnesota Pump N Run 15s. The talent of Reid Travis has been well documented, Henry Ellenson and Alex Herick out of Wisconsin both have great potential, and the athletic ability of Luis Williams is at an elite level. Jordan Dembley and Jarvis Johnson are serious playmakers, DelShaun Strickland showed he can stroke it in St. Cloud, and Tartan 8th grader Marshawn Wilson is tough as nails already.
Also, Rashad Vaughn is playing with the Ballers this weekend and will be in the Minnesota Heat Select pool.