And they're off!! The Daytona 500 of the Minnesota AAU basketball world gets rolling this weekend with the 32 team Minnesota Comets Invite. Because this event includes so many of the state's top teams it may be the best tournament of the year. And because it's after only a week of practice it may be sloppy but already teams are itching to get at one another. So gentlemen start your engines! And head to St. Cloud!
As expected the Howard Pulley Panthers opted not to participate in this event and just yesterday a talented Net Gain team dropped out of the event. That's okay though as every other top team in state will be in attendance and that includes the best two 16s teams playing in the 17s tournament.
Minnesota Preps will be getting after it this week with three previews of the Comets Invite. Today we start with a quick look at the pools.
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Minnesota Comets Elite
Minnesota School of Basketball
MN Select II
The jewel of this group is the Minnesota Comets Elite team that early on is considered one of the top five teams in the state of Minnesota. They have a healthy combination of size, skill, and talent and their leader is Staples-Motley scorer Jordan Riewer. While Jordan isn't quite one of their top prospects he is one of their top performers as is St. Cloud Tech forward Alex Hanks and Mike Johnson from Grand Rapids. The top prospects will be 6-foot-7 wing Dan Kornbaum from Little Falls, 6-foot-8 post Ben Bucholz from Perham, and Willmar wing Taylor Filipek.
Mitch Ohnstad's MSB Roadrunners lost a strong bunch of talent last year but will be competitive again this season. There is not an AAU coach out there who improves the skill level of players like Mitch does and you can expect Roseville's Lucas Brown, Rosemount's Zach Vraa, and Tartan's Troy Klingsporn to be a tough out in the event.
I would expect the Xplosion to consist of Champlin Park kids once again and little to nothing is know about the Minnesota Select II at this point.
43 Hoops II
Minnesota Comets Blue
Some mysteries here. Not sure who Hoop Training is (although it could be a MN SW team), not sure what level of a team this 43 Hoops team is, don't know anything about this Comet team, and who does the Minnesota Glory have? I would expect to see Austin scorer Marcus Gunderson, Cloquet big Ben Schultz, Rush City guard Justin Bosman, NRHEG big Cory Camerer, and Rochester Century big Dan Fleissner on the Glory.
If this is the second 43 Hoops 17s team then you will see Minneapolis Southwest and Minnesota Gopher walk-on commit Dominique Dawson, St Paul Johnson wing Dimitri Conwell, and Spring Lake Park starters Elijah Sabah and shooter Travis Johnson.
43 Hoops 16s
Iowa Mavericks II
Minnesota Fury North
The Express will be blazing up the floor with Champlin Park point guard Jasper Duberry handling and Richfield guard Jay Sewer and wing Devon Knopke running as well. Inside they will utilize the size of crafty White Bear Lake big Spencer Cummings
The 43 Hoops 16s are the Chris Carr led squad that includes much of the 16s level talent. Orono guard Jordan Smith is a scorer, Armstrong's Marquel Curtis is a major producer, and Estan Tayler and Freddie Young are guys who will handle. Roosevelt Scott should give the team highlights from the wing while Jake White and Tom Schalk will do some work both on the wing and inside.
Minnesota Pump N Run
94 Feet of Game
The new Pump N Run team is making their debut. This is a big team with a lot of size plus a couple real workers in Maple Northwestern's Steven Tecker and Sibley's Mike Rostampour. Rostampour is 6-foot-7 and he joins 6-foot-8 Kevin Noreen, 6-foot-10 Alec Brown, and seven foot Jake Kreuser in the frontcourt. Add in athletic 6-foot-6 Carlos Emmory and that is quite a frontcourt of talent. Then you have Tecker, Aaron Anderon, and Dyami Starks playing in the backcourt.
Grassroots should give a battle. Jordair Jett should be in uniform along with Jordan Hughes and the two of them will run with anybody. Breckenridge's Joe Terfehr is one to watch for ECI Minnesota.
Minnesota Fury Elite
Minnesota Magic Black
The Redhawks are a nice team made up of Minnehaha Academy kids plus they should have Osseo shooter John Rowland and Burnsville wing Jack Ghuzoni. Nothing is known for sure about the Fury Elite but a guess would include Lakeville North point Dajon Newell, Belle Plaine's Charlie Kern, and Jordan's Yuriy Malashenko.
MN Select I
These teams are kind of a mystery as well. There is a very good Minnesota Heat team from the east metro that has Ryan Duxbury, Paul Franklin and three other Stillwater kids plus a Wisconsin big, Park's Craig Brown, and Woodbury's Nick Quicksell but which Heat team that is I don't know as of yet. The top Minnesota Select team is still uncertain but you can expect some Hopkins junior varsity kids, some southern Minnesota kids, and Jimmy Ryan from Sibley.
Comets Elite Seevers
Terry Porter Elite
Minnesota Heat Select
The Terry Porter Elite is another mystery but if they have Silas Mills of Milwaukee King, Trent Thomas of Vincent, and Jonathan Williams from Milwaukee Washington with them again they will be a force to deal with. The Fury South could very well have some of the kids I mentioned on a previous team while the Heat mentioned here could have the players mentioned in the prior paragraph. This Minnesota Comets squad is also talented with Nevis scorer Nolan Toft, Sebeka brute Joey Cuperus, Cass Lake-Bena's Martin Wind, and Mora's Andrew Good brings the size at 6-foot-9.
43 Hoops I
Minnesota Pump n Run 16s
Iowa Mavericks 1
The top 43 Hoops team should be solid with Eden Prairie's Brett Ervin, Eastview point Vernard Birch, Tartan's Manani Beavers, Clay Horne from Cretin-Derham Hall, Tony Gerdling of Centennial, Leonard Glass of Minnetonka, Johnson's Max Rosenbloom, and a big new name in Jordan Reetz from Wisconsin who is a top ten player from that state.
The young group from the Pump-n-Run will include Kyle Noreen of Minnesota Transitions, Shelby Moats from Waconia, Alex Richter from Lakeville South, and Jonah Travis of DeLaSalle.