Posted On: 05/10/18 5:30 PM
The oldest division at the Battle will be a lot of fun, but the 16u division of Battle at the Lakes competition has a nasty level of talent that includes some of the nation’s best players. Today we preview the 16u level.
There are 82 16 and Under teams in all at the Battle at the Lakes with 24 teams competing in the second division and the other 58 competing in the single elimination tournament (single elimination as far top bracket play, if games are lost teams obviously move on to another bracket). Is 58 teams a field of 64? Yes and no. If the NCAA Tournament “Field of 64” can have 68 than the Battle at the Lakes “Field of 64” can have 58.
Here is our 16u preview broken up into the four corners of the bracket.
D1 Minnesota is in this group of 15 (they are the only squad with a round one bye) led by a pair of four star top 100 talents in Dawson Garcia and Ben Carlson. Dawson is a 6-foot-10 forward with offers from Minnesota, Butler, Xavier, Texas, and Baylor while Carlson is a 6-foot-9 forward with offers from Minnesota, Iowa State, Nebraska, and others. Add in Dalton Banks and Caden Boser of Wisconsin, Austin Andrews, Drake Dobbs, and Connor Christensen and you have a must see group of young players.
The top contenders to D1, a nationally ranked 16 team? All Iowa Attack will be one. Their backcourt of Braxton Bayless and Tamin Lipsey is a tough group that should make an appearance in the Sweet 16. Six-foot-4 Jayden Johnson of Fundamental U is the 7th ranked 20 in the state of Illinois and he’s heard from Stanford and Ohio State already as well as mid majors. Another squad in this region to pay attention to is the KC Pacers who just won the Prep Hoops Series in Kansas last weekend. Team Swish is another squad to watch for in the Northwest.
The Iowa Barnstormers 16u club gets one of the two byes after a great start to the Adidas Gauntlet Gold competition. Barnstormers guard Bowen Born just picked up a Northern Iowa offer at point guard. Born leads a group that includes 6-foot-8 skilled post Will Berg and 6-foot-5 wing AJ Coons. Another tough out in the Southeast will be Team RWA led by 6-foot-9 big Nate Suputis, a top 12 player in the state of Illinois 2020 class.
Also out of Illinois is Young & Reckless who has three of the top 15 players in the state of Illinois: 6th ranked Reggie Strong, 11th ranked Kee Hargrow, and 15th ranked Keshawn Williams. Strong is a 6-foot-1 point guard with offers from Southern Utah, Illinois-Chicago, and Southern Illinois while backcourt mate Keshawn Williams has offers from Hampton and Illinois-Chicago. The Young & Reckless gets a game with Manimal Elite who has had a few quality moments to start the year.
Also in the Southwest Region is Pure Prep Academy meaning 6-foot-10 Xavier Foster is coming to the Battle, a nationally ranked top 30 player that is now pushing five star status moving up on everyone’s charts. Foster has offers from Baylor, Creighton, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Missouri, and Texas A&M among others with Duke and Kansas following him close.
The Wisconsin Playground Warriors from the Under Armour circuit are the favorite out of the Northeast corner of the bracket. Guard Gabe Madsen has offers from Marquette and Northern Iowa among others as one of the top five players in the state of Minnesota’s 2020 class. Gabe is coming off an amazing shooting performance at the Jayhawk Invitational. Brother Luke Madsen – also with a Northern Iowa offer – is a top ten player in the state of Minnesota and they lead a strong group WPW team. Also with the Warriors is 6-foot-4 small forward Jordan Davis (ranked 8th in Wisconsin’s 202o class) and Trey Zastow is top 20 guard in Wisconsin. Another prospect headliner for the Playground Warriors is shooting guard Johnny Davis, a LaCrosse area talent with offers from Wisconsin and UNLV.
Let’s not go any further without mentioning the Indiana Road Dawgz who have one of the better names as well as Full Package, Old Gold, and the South Dakota Network who played well at the Proving Grounds. Team RWA has another squad in the event that is in the Northeast, Fury Kline is a top ten team from Minnesota led by 6-foot-9 division one prospect Jacob Hutson who had monster games at the Proving Grounds, and the number one team in South Dakota – the South Dakota Attack – is led by 6-foot-8 2021 skilled forward Matthew Mors who has an offer from Creighton and just led his team to a state title.
Also in this region is Grassroots Sizzle led by Jalen Suggs, a five star guard with offers from Minnesota, UCLA, Arizona State, West Virginia, Iowa State, Pitt, and so many others. Jalen is a top three ranked 2020 nationally and he will be the highest ranked player in the Battle 16u division. The Grassroots Sizzle squad is basically their 17u team that plays on the Under Armour circuit minus three kids in the 2019 class. Their group will include top 100 talent Dain Dainja with his offers from Minnesota, Iowa, Pitt, West Virginia, and Baylor. Add in high major football talents (and top 10 basketball players in Minnesota) Kaden Johnson and Terry Lockett as well as 2021 Chet Holmgren and this is a loaded group.
One of the fastest rising bigs in the nation right now is 6-foot-10 Jon Aku of Texas Impact 4:13. Aku has some offers already and is a top ten level player in the Texas 2020 class with the potential to reach top five. Aku may be playing with the 17u but if he is playing 16u we certainly wanted to get his name mentioned with all of the other 2020 talent at the Battle at the Lakes.
Team Rose is led by 6-foot-5 top ten player in Illinois Demarius Splunge who just picked up an offer from TCU out of the Big XII to go with offers from Oklahoma State and DePaul. Playing with Splunge on the wing for Team Rose is top 20 Illinois player Ramean Hinton at 6-foot-4. Add in Dan Florey at PG and Team Rose is an Adidas Gold team that could make a deep run.
Team Rush from Kansas City and the Adidas circuit is also in the southeast as is Kingdom Hoops Elite, Wisconsin Academy, Wisconsin Playmakers, and more.
****Writer’s Note: programs have multiple teams in this event so it is possible I talked about a team in a region when they are actually in a different region mixing up the teams from the same program. If this is the case we will change the preview.