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Posted On: 04/11/18 10:46 AM
At the Comets Shootout over the weekend the NHR team was introduced to some new players that caught our eye, and will likely catch the eye of college coaches at some level. Here is our group of “17U New Names to Know”.
Brock Bangasser of Crossfire Peterson/HLWW. At 6-foot-7 Brock continues to be one of the most reliable Class AA double-double threats in the state. Brock was the Crossfire scoring option around the basket and one of their two main scoring options all weekend. Brock put up 13/10 this winter and is doing something very similar after a week with his 17u team.
Jeremy Beckler of Heat Henderson/White Bear Lake. Jeremy is not really a new name to us, but he may be to some college coaches and they need to learn who Beckler is now so take note. This 6-foot-8 skilled forward led a much improved WBL team with 19.4 points per game and seven boards and didn’t slow down in his first weekend in 17u. Beckler scored 32 against Minnesota Mentality and then had 20 against Minnesota Select Ellis. Get to see him soon!
Ricky Eason of Heat Nelson/Centennial. Ricky is that guard that made eight threes and had some D1 Minnesota parents panicking a bit on his way to a 30+ point game. This wasn’t just a one time thing. The Cougar guard was torching from the perimeter all weekend long. Ricky played with excellent vision and confidence in every game. He was able to get his quick release in pull-up spots on the floor and off the curling//cutting catch as well.
DeVonne Harris of Comets K/Big Lake. Harris isn’t necessarily a new name to the basketball scene but was new to us was learning how much of a football standout he is. Harris earned recent offers from Wyoming and North Dakota as a 6-foot-4 defensive end and for that we at NHR are excited. Harris was also good on the court this weekend as well.
Sam Holtz of SE MN Lightning/St. Charles. Let’s not forget about St. Charles down in southeastern Minnesota. They still have some really good players and one of them is 6-foot-1 guard Sam Holtz. This is a lefty that put up team leading like shooting numbers throughout the weekend and does it with toughness. Strong player with a stroke that looks consistent.
Curtis Jones of Mentality MN/Minneapolis South. A new player for me to see was 2020 Curtis Jones, a 6-foot-1 guard that exploded for 17 points a game at South this winter. Mentality MN has some nice players with Marcus Shepley being so good going at the rim and James Sommer who looks taller and more agile (plus Prince Aligbe who was hurt in the first game) and when you add in the speed of attack that Jones has it makes this time an interesting group to follow. Liked what we saw from Jones attacking space against older defenders.
Preston Keaveny of Crossfire Bellefeuille/Melrose. Preston had a strong season at Melrose and put together a massive game against Fury Kaupa scoring 25 points and leading his team to a big win. The Crossfire battled with the top Comets squad into three overtimes and then Keaveny carried his club home with a monster final game.
Drew Leistikow of SE MN Lightning/St. Charles. At 6-foot-3 Drew led the Lightning in scoring a couple times going back to back with 16 and 17 points showing off a nice face-up game for the Lightning. Drew led St. Charles in scoring this year and looks on the verge of being a real nice D3 prospect. Also a quality rebounder for his size. The 16 point/7 rebound games for the Lightning is just an extension of what he did this high school season.
Zubeir Omar of Heat Ismail/Anoka. When Omar was able to play for Anoka this year he was a reasonably productive player scoring the ball. This weekend with the Heat Omar showed a very good touch with range sinking jumpers over the out-stretched arms of opposing players.
Andrew Quade of D1 Minnesota Rise/Westbrook-Walnut Grove. The six foot guard was the second leading scorer for the Rise over the weekend showing off a three point touch that must be closed out on with strong effort. Quade hit four threes to help his team beat Select and is also a well paced player who moves the ball well.
Ronnelle Porter of Select Ellis/St. Paul Central. Porter’s basket attack beat the help defenders all weekend long. At 5-foot-7 he uses his size to burst into space playing an aggressive style of basketball that netted double figures with Central this year on average and double figure games in St. Cloud.
Jared Rainey of Heat Nelson/Maple Grove. The Maple Grove leading scorer took his team to state this past winter and this weekend played strong for Heat Nelson. Slippery and elusive attacking the basket, once into defenders Jared did a fantastic job of finishing over contesting arms. His percentages were high all weekend because he made open looks, and contested attempts. Was also a committed defender every time down the court as well. Not really a new name, but a name I felt needed a mention as I forgot him in the previous article.
Joseph Stokman of Crossfire Peterson/Maple Lake. This winter we saw Stokman hit shots with serious range and he did that once again this weekend. At 6-foot-3 Stokman is good with a dribble into an attempt but his length and range combination allow him to make shots a step or two behind the arc as well. Scored 19 in his final game of the weekend.
Isaiah Watts of Fury Wilde/Bloomington Jefferson. Watts is coming off a 14 point season at Jefferson and this weekend he provided a lot of bench spark to the Fury line-up. Chasing down a board here, using his 6-foot-3 frame to get out in transition and score a couple times there, and overall just giving his team an emotional lift at times on the floor. Active kid who brought a spark it seemed.
Antewan Webber Jr of D1 Minnesota Prospects/Rochester Lourdes. We only saw the Prospects once but in that game Webber really impressed. He’s an athletic 6-foot-1/6-foot-2 wing that initially grabbed our attention by making athletic hustle plays (passing lane jumps, shot contests, loose ball chases, etc) and then going at the rim with an explosive first step to finish. Webber scored 13 a game this year as a junior.
M’Akil Weems of D1 Minnesota Prospects/Tartan. At 6-foot-4 and long Weems played an active role off the Tartan bench this year and I thought he brought a lot of that same energy to the court this weekend with his team.
Brad Winter of Select Leafblad/Winona. Winter has to be one of the bigger stock raisers of the weekend. The biggest reason is that Winter stands 6-foot-6 and plays actively and that right there grabbed the attention of some coaches because unfortunately size moving that often is not as common as people think. Brad’s ability to move off a quality screen (set by him) was crucial to Select Leafblad getting Select to the next round. He had four baskets down the stretch of a close game and it was all active movement to space against a defense that couldn’t locate him and when they did Brad is too big for them to do something with.
Tyrinn Zubulake of Heat Henderson/Henry Sibley. Tyrinn did a wonderful job breaking apart the ball pressure and full court press of Minnesota Mentality scoring ten and dishing out 5-6 assists in that game and Tyrinn was also very good against Select scoring 18. Zubulake is a 6-foot-1 guard that is coming off an 11 point per game season for the Warriors.