Posted On: 04/19/18 12:20 AM
Another wonderful evening at Fridley High School for the annual Heat Jamboree. This year’s team garb has something to do with Game of Thrones, a show for nerds that I don’t watch. But it’s still Heat-related and comfy, so I gladly accepted. Congrats to Willie Vang and his wife Kelly on the adoption of their first child, as well. What a great couple of influences for the community who make perfect sense as parents.
This year’s top 17U Heat teams are very spread out in talent. Heat MacDonald is probably the tallest/longest. Heat Henderson likely has the best post prospects in Jeremy Beckler (6-8 from White Bear Lake) and Alex Larson (6-7 from East Ridge). We already know that Heat Nelson can shoot the lights OUT in the Whitney Center after they gave D1 MN 17U a massive scare thanks to Ricky Eason (Centennial) and Jared Rainey (Maple Grove).
Let’s get into the guys who impressed me. This was a really fun event to get to know some new names and watch some new prospects. My overall eval is that every single MIAC/UMAC/area D3 should take a look at these teams, as there is something for everyone.
Noah Chamberlain, STA/Heat MacDonald — I liked Chamberlain in sections, and I really liked him at the jamboree. He’s a 6-foot-5 wing with great mobility and a smooth game.
Joey Ganley, Breck/Heat Henderson — Joey drives to the rim hard and competes with a high motor. He’s a long wing at 6-foot-4, allowing him to stretch further for defense, passes and lay-ins than most of his defenders. Ganley just scored a 31 ACT and plans to retake it.
Jared Rainey, Maple Grove/Heat Nelson — After graduating Brad Davison (Wisconsin) and Tywhon Pickford (UNI), most people expected Maple Grove to take a big step back this year. But with the help of Rainey (13 PPG, 5.6 APG) and others like Alex Battist and Nate Adams, they made it back to state. Rainey is a flat-out shooter with a dynamic scoring touch. I could see him coming off a MIAC bench early in his career to spark some scoring… or who knows where he will be after another year of hooping. He’s one of the more fun guys to watch emerge this last year.
Sam Schwartz, WBL/Heat MacDonald — Sam is smart on the court and off the court… he carries a 4.2 GPA, which seems astronomical. He can shoot it and plays the game with complete confidence. I see him as a high MIAC recruit.
Ty Zubulake, Henry Sibley/Heat Henderson — Bouncy, energetic ball-handler with strength and poise. He can hit the 3-ball from a good rate (44% during the varsity season) and is skilled with either hand. A number of D3s have began to track him, including UW-La Crosse. He’s on my list of guys to watch more.
Ricky Eason, Centennial/Heat Nelson — This is the kid who hit eight threes against D1 MN 17U in St. Cloud and gave them a real scare. He continued to make shots tonight. Early guess: Eason can hit shots!
Malik Spearman-Tschida, Henry Sibley/Heat MacDonald — Malik is a 6-foot-4 forward with nice footwork underneath the rim and some crafty footwork. He also ran the floor a bit, showing versatility. Don’t forget that this is the guy who had a monster 40 and 22 game vs. Hastings this past season. He definitely rebounds “above his size.” I’ll have my eyes on him.
Alex Larson, East Ridge/Heat Henderson — Larson is a 6-foot-7 post with legit skills who is just buried behind some real talent at East Ridge. I think he could really emerge in the rotation this year after a strong spring/summer. I need to watch more, but I like what I saw tonight.
Adam Williams, Princeton/Heat MacDonald — Williams has a great-looking stroke from the wing area. At 6-foot-2, he’s got good lift and rotation on his clean jumper. He averaged 15.8 PPG for Princeton last year.
Jeremy Beckler, White Bear Lake/Heat Henderson — Beckler has gotten a lot of recruiting attention from area D3s after just one weekend in St. Cloud. He uses his size well and isn’t afraid to step out and take a jumper, although his shoulders twist a bit on his follow through. Maybe something to improve, but it looked like it was working just fine. He put up good numbers for WBL as a junior and will be sought after by the MIAC for the next year or so.
Reilly O’Neill, Norwood-Young America/Heat MacDonald — A 6-foot-5 prospect with a great-looking jumper, IQ and court vision that most D3s should look into. Who doesn’t like that combination? He has to do a lot for his NYA team, handling the ball or guarding the biggest player, but for MacDonald he’s on the wing.
Evan Buri, Stewartville/Heat Henderson — Buri is a flat-out shooter with good arc and solid decision-making. I’ll have to keep watching to see if the trend persists. He noted that Crown College has already reached out.