Posted On: 03/26/18 4:16 PM
Who are the players at the state tournament who improved their stock? NHR runs through them as we look back on the state tournament.
Prince Aligbe of Minnehaha Academy, Grade 8. I’m usually very, very slow before I throw down that a young player has a chance to be really special. Way too often that is said about kids and maturation takes a different turn. That said, with Aligbe, I can’t help it. At 6-foot-5 with that length and the athletic strides that should scare everyone in his way, Aligbe has a chance to be good, special good. His quick springs and aggressive approach – 15 rebounds at state in one game – are so rare. And the frame of long legs and length for days looks like it will grow into a better way. This young man has a chance to be something special as long as the work continues to be put in.
Quinn Fischer of Esko, Senior. Fischer has evolved in a great way as a player. Led Esko in several categories at state and was our pick from his team as the all tournament team player. He’s grown to 6-foot-5 as a wing and showed great body control going at the basket to attack and finish. You have to guard him with a fairly big player and he will have the agility to beat most of those players. The potential to be really good in college.
Carter Hansen of RTR, Junior. Nobody worked harder than this kid at state. Nobody. Scored his 16 a game but that was in addition to the defense, the team leading 10.7 rebounds a game, the team leading steals, and the outstanding passing. Carter did some of everything and in his attack to the rim or in his catch off of cutters, nobody stopped him from finishing in that final. An outstanding performance, a Class A MVP performance actually.
Quentin Hardrict of Columbia Heights, Senior. This young man has come a long way. If you are a college looking at a point guard that controls pace and defenders have a hard time keeping up with his 0 to 60, this may be a guy to look into. Hardrict had a fantastic playoff run that will be forever immortalized by his steal of Tyrell Terry leading to the game winning ball collection. The photo go Quentin having stolen the ball, covering it up, and smiling as the clock hit zero if frozen in time. He had 15 points, seven boards, and seven assists in the historic win over DeLaSalle. Sure, winning state would of been better, but it was still quite amazing what they Hylanders did.
Chet Holmgren of Minnehaha Academy, Freshman. I really like the moxie of this kid. Let’s get past the obvious, he’s 6-foot-10 and length like a private plane. Not many people will be scoring over the top of him ever in life and if they do, they better come hard like Mitch Plombon did. You think that is a knock on the kid? Heck no. A freshman stood in there and tried to deny it. He’s wont that battle with guys more often than not. Holmgren also rebounds and contests shots with way more effort than most bigs and his thirst for putbacks and swats have me excited for his future.
Eli King of Caledonia, Grade 8. Seven steals in a game at state? Eight rebounds vs physical Brooklyn Center? Defending Jalen Suggs? Who knew? Southern Minnesota knew and now everyone that watches and/or recruits Minnesota will know. Going at the basket his body control amazed me. This young man has a chance to be very good and in the house he lives in he will get the hoops education.
Cade Goggleye of North Woods, Junior. The first thing you think about with Cade is big numbers from the arc hitting threes but he has really grown to become more than that. Now Cade looks also to be a confident ball handler who has really good lift with his jumper and one of the prettiest touches out there. His dribble separation is tough to laterally move with as well. This is a combo guard now and a better prospect than he was a year ago.
Noah King of Caledonia, Sophomore. The spin move that Noah uses is very slick. He used that thing to get to step backs and get to the rim. His game has really grown off the dribble and in the past he was a spot up shooter you wouldn’t want to leave free (tough state tournament at the arc though going 2 of 14). The spotlight is now on him to see how he does this spring/summer, and what happens next at Caledonia.
Ryan Larson of CDH, Senior. Ryan has always been a guy I believed to be a top scholarship player, a top NSIC PG prospect at the least. He’s taken a big step forward when it comes to his toughness being on display: the way he defended in the EYBL last year, playing through a painful ankle injury and giving good results this February and March, making the game winning play at state. Those are toughness plays. His 18 points and 7 assists against EP should not be overlooked either. As of right now I know that some mid-majors are thinking about moving forward in recruiting him. Will it happen? I don’t know but I think he has shown that he can play point guard solidly at a D1 school.
Wendell Matthews of Columbia Heights, Senior. I may need to stand next to Wendell to be sure, but I think he has grown about two inches since last spring (at least 6-foot-7 now I think). His arms certainly are longer. The length Matthews has makes him a bigger player and he can play the power forward spot because he is so active around the glass with a quick initial bounce and second bounce. Wendell also moves very well laterally off of screens. He had 20/11 on 13 shots vs the Islanders, 21/11 on 13 shots in the title game, and 16/8 on 11 shots in round one of state. A great week of work. I strongly feel that we will be hearing Wendell’s name connected to an offer some day at a fairly decent level. When? I don’t know, but someday.
Marten Morem of Caledonia, Senior. If it is indeed true that Gustavus slipped in and grabbed this kid while others hadn’t seem him much, good move by them. Moren is minimal 6-foot-6 and the way he moves off the ball ranks with the best. Great court IQ and knowledge of how to read the defense. Also a very high percentage finisher and an effort rebounder. Excellent player who had a great state tournament.
Keegan O’Neill of Delano, Senior. Going into the state championship game O’Neill was a guy who I thought had the size, has a nice face-up touch, and seemed to finish a very high percentage of his looks around the basket. Now I will always remember him as the player who out down 30 in the state tournament against a heck of a player in Wendell Matthews. Before this game the best of the MIAC had interest, after the state run you have to believe there will more calling. At state there was more finishing through contact and over length than we’d seen before.
Lu’Cye Patterson of Brooklun Center, Sophomore. Patterson shot 28 of 54 at state for 77 points in three games shooting above 50 percent as a guard at this level, that’s unheard of. Also had 15 rebounds in those three games. We’ve talked a lot about his playmaking and feel for the game at a young level as of late but we needed to remind you again, only show it in numbers this time.
Jalen Suggs of Minnehaha Academy, Sophomore. It’s kind of hard to improve Jalen’s stock considering he’s ranked second in the nation but I just wanted to throw in on here how ridiculous he was going at the basket. A guy at his size and his agility coming down hill at a defender is nearly impossible for anybody to stop anywhere. And when he puts that hesitation dribble on you, or the in and out crossover? What are you supposed to do? You better have good help behind you.
Tyler Wahl of Eden Prairie, Junior. Wahl led his team to third place in state which is a solid accomplishment. This is a young player who high major programs are really starting to look at and have more interest in. Why? He does everything. When it comes to defend on the perimeter, on the block, and in help defense I have not seen a player better in Minnesota this year. As a 6-foot-6 forward he played point guard at state and was fantastic off ball screens. He led his team in scoring and didn’t need a lot of shots to get there. So versatile. Before this winter I didn’t think he was a high major potential guy. Since that game he took over against Apple Valley I now think he has a chance to get high major opportunities.
Calvin Wishart of Delano, Senior. Mid-majors are regretting not getting to him early, the question is starting to become “could Calvin be a high major guys?”. The one thing I do know is that Georgia Southern got a steal. If Wishart keeps improving like he did from last June until now, he could have a fantastic freshmen year. His rebounding as a guard is incredible and as an explosive scorer there are few as good in Minnesota. You can count them on one hand and have remaining fingers standing tall. Wishart made breaking the Austin press look simple and he made the game winning plays down the stretch to win state.