The Minnetonka Fall League completed week two play yesterday as most of the metro's best teams, and some quality talent from the outstate, have converged to form the highest level of fall competition in the state of Minnesota. Week two standouts included Tyus Jones, Marvin Singleton, and then there is Ater Mangyang. College programs, high school programs, AAU nation wide, get ready for Ater Mangyang.
Get to Know the Name: Ater Mangyang
Mangyang 's introduction to the Rivals.com network was last April at the Minnesota Comets Spring Invitational. Mangyang used high level athletic ability to dominate the boards, block shots all over the Whitney Center, and score inside at a consistent rate. The perimeter game was rarely seen at that point. What a difference a summer makes.
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Yesterday at the Tonka Fall League the 6-foot-4 Mangyang exploded for 30 points (at least) when Rochester Mayo (Mangyang is actually from Rochester Century but he's playing with Mayo) defeated Minnetonka 77-71 in overtime.
Ater kicked off the game using his strength to score in the post and in the ten foot area. Hard-nosed Tonka defender Blake Nelson used his strength to battle Ater but on this day there was little one could do. Mangyang was able to power to the cup for scores, step back after making contact, and he scored putbacks.
As the game moved on, Mangyang moved out further but the percentages stayed the same. Ater was scoring off of pull-up attacks, step back jumpers from 18 feet, and then he hit three or four three-pointers from all around the arc.
The addition of a perimeter game coupled with his explosive athletic ability, strength, and hustle on the floor instantly catapults Ater into the level of top ten prospects in the 2012 class, at the least. If his shooting range and floor game is consistent there's no telling how high the ceiling is. Especially with Mangyang's frame.
Tyus Being Tyus
Apple Valley and Holy Angels were engaged in one of the uglier games of the day. With about seven minutes to go boredom started to overtake fans as the Eagles and Stars slugged it out in ugly fashion tied at 38. Then Tyus turned his game up a notch and off the Eagles went.
First Jones picked off a pass and went the other way assisting to a teammate with a beautiful no-look set up. Then he attacked the rim himself resulting in successful free throw makes in back to back possessions.
After setting up a teammate for a three-point miss, Jones came back down the floor running a superb fast break that led to a three point play for a teammate. The next time down Tyus dribbled to the right wing, faced up his defender, dribble moved his opponent back on his heels, and with space to hit Tyus calmly drained a three and strolled back the other way never changing expression.
A tied game was all of a sudden an Apple Valley 12 point advantage and they closed out Holy Angles with a 21-4 run to end the game. Then in their second contest facing Minneapolis Henry, Jones scored three lay-ups in overtime as the Eagles outscored Henry 10-1 in the extra session to win 93-84.
What Makes Hopkins Different?
Many of you will say talent and of course that's the obvious answer. But there's more to it than that. When many of the other teams in the league are casually warming up the Royals have their leaders pushing their teammates to go hard. Guys like Gopher commit Joe Coleman and Rivals top 100 point guard Siyani Chambers in the 2012 class.
Up against Orono in game one, Hopkins controlled the contest throughout consistently working on the defensive end. Orono is a team that went to state last year, brings enough talent back to likely go to state again this year, and they have one of the state's elite shooters in Jordan Smith.
Smith was able to get his buckets in the first half but the Hopkins defense shut everything else down. Marvin Singleton was unstoppable around the basket and the Royals breezed to a 60-36 victory.
In game two Hopkins faced Tartan who earlier in the day dispatched of Prior Lake 63-38 despite the fact that the Preiner Twins, Ryan Burns, and Xavier Hall weren't in attendance. The Titans showed some swagger in warm-ups but it didn't last long as Hopkins blitzed them 68-40.
In fact, the start of the second half was an endless stream of Hopkins fast break point production. The script was the same: force turnover, get the ball to Siyani, Chambers creates an exciting finish. Joe Coleman must have had four dunks, Siyani scored lay-ins, Marvin produced his, and overall the defensive dominance of the Royals controlled the game.
What is a big reason Hopkins is so successful? They get it (team basketball!), plain and simple. In warm-ups they concentrate and go at a good pace. During the game they work as a collective unit on both ends and dominate. After the game they walk away with another victory.
* Kyle Noreen and Minnesota Transitions defeated the Rochester Conglomerate 77-71 and Noreen showed both his skill and his chemistry with rapidly improving Rodney Owens. It's amazing how Noreen can quickly move players off balance with his variety of fakes, jabs, and ability to go right or left. Late in the game, Kyle made consecutive plays to put the game away as he first shook a defender left, quickly attacked right to get into the lane to produce, then attacked with a dribble and hit a cutting Owens for a score, and finally saw an opening in the post, sealed his opponent, and finished. Noreen is one of the state's more versatile players and his sidekick Rodney Owens is becoming one of the state's more dangerous slashers. MTS defeated Rochester and Prior Lake.
* St. Louis Park's trio of point guards is going to scare opponents. Senior Aaron Zimmer, young Kashif Hayes, and New York transfer Fred (last name not transcribed) will have defenders falling over themselves this year. The Orioles defeated Wayzata 48-41, Henry 66-51, and Columbia Heights 73-69 yesterday to pick up three good wins.
* In big men Tim Gill and Latrell Love as well as point guard Deonte Blakemore the Henry Patriots will have players to win games this year. Gill is especially intriguing using his agility and size.
* There were points in yesterday's Minnetonka versus Rochester game where Nick Latzke was unstoppable offensively. The 6-foot-4 Tonka wing had a scoring run all of his own on a couple occasions as well as a forceful dunk in transition. Going to the bucket, Latzke has strength and touch that allow him to finish while being contested.
* Benilde-St. Margaret's bounced back from a tough opening weekend that saw them lose two games. This week they hammered Cretin-Derham Hall (who was without several regulars) 83-48 and Winona 79-43.
* Armstrong defeated Winona 76-70 but lost to Osseo 72-61. The Falcons have backcourt talent in Marquel Curtis, Levi Abercrombie, and K.J. Bluford that will make them tough consistently. Up front Jaevon Walton is long, he runs well at 6-foot-6, and he has potential that could make them even more dangerous.
* Columbia Heights will reload and what they are reloading with is pretty good. Add in talented experienced players like Zach Lofton and Ben Glover to the new players and what you have is a dangerous team. They showed how explosive they can be against Waconia (who was without Shelby Moats) yesterday when they took a close game and exploded in the open floor to walk away with an 88-77 victory.
* Joel Awich and the Tartan Titans blew out Prior Lake but were blown out by Hopkins. Along the way Awich had several highlights blocking some of the states better prospects as well as dunking over the top of a couple high rated Hopkins players. At 6-foot-6, growing skill, and surprising bounce Awich gets better with every viewing.
* At 6-foot-8, Rochester Mayo's Michael Idso has a surprising shooting touch. Idso was hitting both mid-range jumpers and three-pointers multiple times against Minnetonka. Division two coaches take note, this big guy's shooting touch inside and out looked as good as advertised.