Five Things to Know: Cooper vs Chaska

High School

Posted On: 02/6/18 3:45 PM

Robbinsdale Cooper went to Chaska, fell behind 18, and came out of the building with a wild 74-58 victory swinging the game 34 points in their direction.

One.  A Sample of What Jalen Can Do.  Cooper guard Jalen Justice is a 2019 prospect that has college coaches interested but at the moment they really want to see what he can do on a consistent basis.  What I saw last night was a guard that can take over games.  Jalen scored 24 in the second half to push Cooper to this win and it included a three from the scorer’s table, quick attacking assists to cutters and shooters, transition finishes, the quick separation pull-up, and acrobatic attacking finishes.  Jalen scored 29 for the game and Chaska had nobody that could keep him in front.

Two.  The Cooper Comeback.  There were a lot of factors in this but the main piece was that Cooper started picking up fullcourt and it seemed to speed Chaska up.  It’s not that Chaska had a bunch of turnovers (they did have more than they wanted of course), it just seemed that once they were across halfcourt, they just didn’t seem to play comfortable.  And many Cooper players played their part.  Jalen had his but Jalen Miller had a second half run of his own and The Wing Muscle Duo of Nathan Hill and Onte Burns played a big part in the win.  Both Hill and Burns made late foul shots plus Burns had a drop step dunk in traffic and he Hill attacked to finish at the cup several times.  Hill scored 17, Miller had 10, Burns had 8, and I liked the ball pressure that Quincy Snoddy gave too.

Three. Cole Gets Buckets.  Up until the last two games I think I placed Cole Nicholson as a tough guy who can body guys at the rim and then hit jumpers with his feet set.  A nice player but that’s really where I was at.  But the last two games Nicholson, a junior, has proved that he is a dangerous scorer from anywhere on the court.  Sure he has a great touch with feet set but he’s hitting shots on the move with range and he is attacking to make soft touching shots after contact.  The ball handling is more than I expected and he has some body control that allows him to make some crafty scores as well.  Cole scored 27 for the game and he puts up points in a lot of ways.

Four. Fear the Hawk(s).  Cooper is 10-6, Chaska is 13-5.  There are teams in their section that better prepare for them because both can make March a sad day for a lot of teams.  Chaska has already beaten Lakeville North, Edina, and Delano.  Cooper has lost four games by two scores or less and they gave Hopkins some fits at times. Beating Chaska was the biggest win of the season but they also recently beat Lakeville South.

Five.  It was a Mess.  So, I really wanted to just talk about the kids and their future on Twitter and here, but I’ve had texts and emails about this game being a mess.  Yes, it was.

In the gym, 29 out of 30 people watching had a strong affiliation to one of the teams so they of course thought their squad was being cheated or the other team was wrong or whatever.  As one of the one in those every thirty, I would say it was all a mess.  And there are a lot of adults that need to really take a step back and think about the evening.  People can blame kids, but it starts with the adults.

The people in control of the game are the officials and unfortunately they did not have control.  One of the officials has no business officiating anything about sixth grade.  No exaggeration.  Another ref made 90 percent of the calls and got too emotionally involved in the game (stop talking to the fans like you are at the gym hanging out!).  The mess starts with the officials not having control.

Then the coaches.  Both are very good head coaches.  But this was an emotional game and there were three or four technical fouls on the coaches.  Obviously when kids see the coaches getting calls they are going to follow that lead of complaint, especially when it’s as constant as it was.  When coaches have to hold other coaches back it’s going to lead to players and fans losing their cool too.

Fans.  When you have fans screaming and yelling about every single call bringing red to their face that often, the kids see it and react.  And nobody should start pointing fingers, it was parents/adults/whomever for both teams yelling most of the game  All of you are equal parts guilty for contributing to the heated issues. I could see the Cooper adults yelling and getting out of their seat, and I listened to some nasty things said from Chaska parents. It wasn’t just one side and if you try to blame just one side you need to take a serious step back.

The Kids.  So here you have the kids.  You have a student section that is loud and getting after the other team like they usually do.  But the kids on the floor are watching officials, coaches, and parents all loose their cool for a long period of time.  Are we really going to get mad at the 16, 17, and 18 year olds for their behavior?  They are following the lead of the adults!  Yes we want to hold kids accountable for their actions but those people that have to hold them accountable have to be better than last night.

No side should point fingers.  The adults in the building caused last night’s issue.  Starting with the refs and down the pyramid.