Tonka Fall League continued Sunday with a highlighting match-up of Apple Valley against Benilde-St. Margaret's. The metro's best players compete at this fall league and the league is now half over. Hopkins continues to dominate their opponents with intensity, talent, and unselfishness while the rest of the league continues to get the kinks out.
Tyus Jones - Tyus did a couple things in the game with the Red Knights (who played without Isaiah Zierden): first he let you know he's human and then second he showed everyone why he's the state's best player. Tyus opened the game with three turnovers and two airballs. Seeing this many in the gym looked stunned. But just as conversations began he changed course showing off his handle, his composure, his jumper, and his bounce.
Twice in the first half Jones went at the rim over the top of Red Knight contesting defenders to drop the ball in with a soft touch. As amazing as the contested finish was, more eye-opening was the new bounce. Tyus also hit a handful of soft pull-up jumpers that came off his hand as smooth as it would a top ranked shooting guard. The most interesting part of the game was watching quick Red Knight guards try and pressure him all over the court. Despite guys basically running parallel and making contact, Tyus handled the defenders with the coolness of a veteran motorcyclist cruising with sidecar passengers. Nobody bothered the five star elite point guard as he turned a rough start into another strong showing. Tyus finished with 36 points in the win.
Will Dunn - The IPFW commit has most definitely been working on his individual ball handling skill. Apple Valley had some good athletes trying to defend Dunn but Will handled confidently and used dribble attack moves to cruise past the defense. Dunn hit pull-ups and threes plus he attacked the rim to get double figure points. Dunn is known as a strong shooter but he's added some dribble attack to his game plus he's leaned up and looks quicker.
Sanjay Lumpkin - Lumpkin hit some noteworthy jumpers and he scored inside but the biggest thing to take away from the day is how Sanjay has added important strength to his body. There are a lot of 6-foot-5, 6-foot-6 people out there who wonder why they don't get recruited at a high level and one reason that can be shown is a guy like Lumpkin. He's now a strong 6-foot-6 with the willingness to work on both ends and let's not forget his athleticism. Sanjay had a smashing block off the backboard that had Big Ten bounce written all over it.
Siyani Chambers - Let's just make this quick. Redundant but quick. Why does Hopkins win? Because their veteran players get it. They play everybody from the best teams to the worst equally as hard and they did that again last Saturday led by their leader Siyani Chambers. There are few basketball players out there anymore who actually get what being a leader and working hard mean but Siyani is one of those guys.
Bloomington Kennedy - I'm impressed with their depth at guard. They have so many hard attacking, aggressive, playmakers that constantly put the pressure on a defense. Between Darrian Pittman, Rico Gunn, Travon Hearns, and Darrien Johnson there is a lot of talent that is going to win South Suburban games.