Tomorrow the Howard Pulley Panthers will host the Pulley Invitational at the High Performance Academy in Eagan. The event includes the Panthers as well as the Comets and Magic Tillman from Minnesota plus quality national teams in Texas PRO, the St. Louis Eagles, Playground Elite, Kingdom Hoops, the Dakota Schoolers, and others.
Howard Pulley Black
Pulley Black has played ten games in the EBYL (they have went 6-4) plus competed in a few contests in their Jamboree a couple weekends back. Right now the squad is led in scoring by 2014 standout Tyus Jones and sharp shooter Isaiah Zierden with Kyle Washington and Siyani Chambers playing multiple roles plus producing around ten a night. In support C.J. Neumann works in the post, Thomas Sjoberg is the shooter off the bench, and 2013 guard Quinton Hooker is instant offense off the bench. Also, Zach Stahl is also part of the crew when healthy.
This was held temporarily by the Iowa Pump N Run who took the spot of the Metro Hawks. Right now it's anybody's guess and there are some good guesses out there.
There was nothing found online about this squad from the Cornhusker state.
On the Minnesota Preps Resource Page it lists the Magic's most talented squad Magic Superfriends (Demetrius Martin, Rodney Owens, Darrian Pittman) as in the event but now the Superfriends are scheduled for the Minnesota Heat tournament at Bethel. It's expected that Minnesota Magic Tillman is the Magic squad playing here and this team is a group of varsity role players from Holy Angels, Richfield, Minneapolis Washburn, and Edina. All schools which share very close borders to one another.
Playground Elite 1
The Playground Elite are off to a rough start this year going 1-9 in EBYL play. With that said they still have very good talent in 2013 guard Duane Wilson and Arroyo Edwards. These two alone should help them earn a couple pool play victories. But if Phillip Nolan is in town or if Cinmeon Bowers is healthy enough to play than we have to talk about tournament title contenders. Bowers only played one high school game this season after getting hurt while Nolan goes to school in New Jersey and has only played with the Playground when they were out east for a tournament.
St. Louis Eagles
The Eagles are most definitely one of the more talented teams here although the EBYL hasn't been kind to them (0-10). This group lost in the 16s semifinals last year to Houston Hoops but the Eagles are back with more talent. Tough point guard Anthony Beane runs the show while the main weapon is Notre Dame committed Cameron Biedscheid. The four star Biedschied will be on one wing while the hard driving Rayshawn Simmons will be on the other. Inside the Eagles have long, athletic wings in the skilled 6-foot-7 Jordon Granger and the active athletic 6-foot-6 Willie Wiley.
The Demons are a Pulley Invite regular and every year the athletic Windy City bunch pulls off an upset. It wasn't that long ago that the Demons knocked Howard Pulley out of the event on Sunday morning. They are a dangerous club although at this point none of their players have drawn enough college interest to be placed in the Rivals database. Don't let that fool you into thinking they are a push over though. The Demons are consistently tough.
The Comets are 10-4 this season with their biggest moment coming in Kansas when they defeated the KC Keys (in pool D this weekend) as Tyler Vaughan scored eight points in the final minute to seal the victory. High IQ Nate Meyer, sizeable Damien Reinke and his mid-range touch, tough guy Joe Burt, and long and agile scoring wing Jal Rial join with Vaughan to make the Comets a top five team in Minnesota.
The Schoolers are a tough out as they showed last year against the Pulley Panthers early in bracket play. This year Casey Schilling and Michael Busack are a year older and ready to prove that their division one caliber talent can compete with that of the many others in Eagan. In the middle the Schoolers will bang with Zach Kraning while Skye Warwick is the type of kid who usually gets his regardless of the competition level.
KC Pump N Run
The KC Pump N Run has had some tough moments early in the season but they still have talent that will draw college coaches to their games in July. Skilled forward Gavin Thurman is their top threat and he pairs with George Funtarov giving KC two 6-foot-6 capable players. KC also has dependable guards in Craig Nicholson, Mason Wedel, and Jalen Love.
This is the team that has area basketball lovers all excited. When they get off the plane in Minneapolis there are going to be plenty heads turning. Why? Because five star Isaiah Austin is 7-foot-0 200 pounds, Jeremy King is 6-foot-10, Chicken Knowles is 6-foot-10, and Austin Lewis is 6-foot-8 (although he collapsed at an event not to long enough and we wish him the best with his health).
Then you have the backcourt talent. Four star Jelon Hornbeak is a multi major offer kid, Danuel House has high major offers, Emmanuel Mudiay is a 2014 superstar, and Branford Jones and T.J. Rhodes will handle the ball. This squad is talented and if half of these players make the trip Minnesota is in for some fun basketball. Texas Pro has won three straight tournaments and is 29-1 this spring.
All Iowa Attack
This isn't the squad with Marcus Paige and Adam Woodbury as those in Minnesota hoped but AI Attack is still going to provide solid competition.
Kingdom Hoops 1
Three star Rivals 150 point guard Wesley Staten leads the group with his ridiculous quickness and knack for scoring. Sharp shooting Casey Kasperbauer and Scott Bruxvoort are on the wings for Staten to kick out to when he doesn't have a clear lane to produce. The highly anticipated Staten versus Paige match-up won't happen but there is the chance that Staten could see Siyani Chambers which would also be very entertaining.
The Warriors are a bit of a mystery as they don't have a player in the Rivals 2012 database but they have been coming to this event for years and are always tough. They've won the event a couple times and although they may not have a recognizable name right now they will still be a tough out.
The Playmakers are led by Matt Van Scyoc who has good athletic ability, can finish at the rim and has shooting range. Riley Bambenek is a power point guard that plays with a high motor on both ends and is a tremendous leader. Six-foot-6 wing Luke Heller is an inside-out four man that can shoot out to the arc, and he rebounds well. Chase Luebker plays with high intensity on both ends, as he's a great defensive player who can also score in bunches.
The big name is Shaquille Harrison who is a long two guard and a catch and attack guy who uses his athleticism and quick first step to get middle. Harrison is also a quality defender who caught the eye of Rivals.com as a D1 talent in the Jayhawk Invitational. The Keys will give teams a run for their money and as an athletic bunch they are a serious contender to win pool D.
Howard Pulley White
Will Greg Wesley be here with Pulley or somewhere with the Magic? The 6-foot-6 sophomore is a wanted commodity. With or without him Pulley White still has some very good players including freshman Jake Wright who had one game in Kansas where he nailed five treys and scored 25 points. Add in a scorer like Rickey Suggs and frontcourt workhorses in Jordan Mills and Chad Potas and Pulley White again look like they could win local tournaments like they did last year at AAU state.
KC Pump N Run 16s
The KC Pump 16s are led by a couple talented guards in Conner Frankamp and Travis Jorgenson who are highly skilled prospects. It will be very interesting to see how they compete against 17 and Under second teams from very good programs.
Playground 2/Kingdom Hoops 2