Edina defeated an improved Shakopee team 74-66 Wednesday night as a part of the EP Holiday Tournament. NHR was on hand to look at the several prospects on the court.
- Jack Middleton, Edina, 6-4 junior wing. Conversations about Jack always point to the variety of roles he can play and his willingness to do whatever is needed for his team. Last night examples of those conversations were present, plus Middleton was tasked with being the go to scoring option and he performed this role at a high level. The biggest impression Jack left on me was how well he moved off the ball within the Edina motion to get into space (or to catch and move the ball), get his hands up with feet set, catch, and perform his motion perfectly in a rhythm with space created with his actions off the ball. Jack made five three-pointers and 9 of 14 shots overall for his 23 points plus he grabbed eight boards and moved the ball for four assists (Edina had six guys on their team with multiple assists).
- Charles Katona, Shakopee, 6-5 sophomore forward. Charles is a quick releasing confident shooter in a long frame that I feel has the potential to be one of the better shooting prospects in his class. Katona showed range by making a three and then a long jumper with his toe on the line leading him to a 9 of 16 shooting day for 21 points. His face-up jumper quickly releasing before Edina size could react was a big weapon as was the multiple things that Charles did off of one dribble to touch in scores at the rim. Katona has agility as shown by his explosive putbacks and he pulled in ten boards. His true position is more of a face-up forward but for the Sabers he has to play with his back to the bucket some and he does that well too. A 21/10 double-double making a strong impression.
- Anders Nelson, Edina, 6-1 senior guard. Nelson has had an outstanding senior year as I highlighted on twitter yesterday as he came into this game averaging 25-26 points a game. Frustratingly for me, I have caught him on a couple tough nights (this one and against Hopkins). Shakopee was very physical with Nelson limiting him to 4 of 11 shooting. What I liked about Nelson was that he didn’t force much offense as the game hit it’s key parts late, what he did was move the ball for four assists, pull down six rebounds, score a couple times late, and find ways to help his team get win number five.
- Jacob Hutton, Edina, 6-7 sophomore forward. Jacob has had a strong sophomore year for the Hornets in the post but this was a tough game for the top 15 level sophomore. He had a tough time finishing in the paint overall but he did have some very nice kick-outs and skips out of the post helping Edina to their 13 three-pointers made. Hutton also led Edina with ten boards.
- Caleb Druvenga, Shakopee, 5-11 sophomore guard. I’m really not sure what type of prospect Caleb will be yet but I can tell you this young man is matured more than most his age, has more confidence than most his age, and is more skilled than most his age. Caleb dropped in five threes with most of them coming in the second half plus he made all three of his foul shots at a clutch part late in the game. Caleb, Katona, Will Cordes, and Bruce Lockwood are the sophomores already playing strong minutes for a Shakopee that I feel is already better than I expected them to be.
- Luke Glenna, Edina, 5-11 senior guard. I feel like Luke is an ideal second guard in the Lake Conference. He’s tough, knows how to defend, and really knows how to move the ball within the Edina offensive framework. That, and Luke makes open shots in space. Glenna hit a couple threes last night, had a tame high five assists, and always defends with toughness.
- Garrett Mitchell, Shakopee, 6-2 senior small forward. I could be wrong but I think Garrett was injured some time in the past year and had a lot of injury recovery to do. He’s looking like he’s bounced back pretty well hitting four mid-range shots and chasing down loose ball and boards for six rebounds. You get the feel that as the year moves on and when Katona, Druvenga, and Will Cordes become even more mature, Mitchell will give mesh with them as a tough senior and they will be a tough out.
- Charlie Fischer, Edina, 6-1 senior guard. I can definitely tell you who not to foul or who not to leave open for Edina, that’s Charlie. The senior hit three opens threes and then made six foul shots in the last two minutes to put the game away. Had 17.
- Will Cordes, Shakopee, 5-11 sophomore guard. A lot of the qualities that have Druvenga on the floor at a young age are the same for Cordes. Dished out five assists last night.
- Charles Haff, Edina, 6-5 junior forward. Haff backs up Hutton with less size but a year more experience and he’s more agile. Hit a three, scored at the rim, rebounded three times, but was saddled with fouls.
Underappreciated in the Modern Day Game. Addison Leininger, Shakopee, 6-1 senior wing. This is that guy teammates love and opponents hate. Defensively he’s 100 percent all in, is experienced so he knows how to be physical without drawing a whistle on every play, and he did a great job on Nelson last night. The guy you want on your high school team as he willingly takes on the top defensive responsibility and does what is asked of him on offense without making bad choices.