Posted On: 05/3/18 3:48 PM

The Minnesota Heat will once again be hosting the Meg Vang Memorial Tournament and this year the event has put brought in a new record of 427 teams to this ever growing event.  NHR looks at the top three divisions today.

17u.  The top 17u division of the Meg Vang Invitational has 26 teams in it separated into four pools and then ultimately the four winners come together to find a champion.  The biggest name at the 17u level if the D1 Minnesota 15u squad which is the number one team in 15u in Minnesota and now a top 25 squad nationally after a perfect weekend in Adidas Gauntlet play.  The D1 15u squad will get some quality challengers in their pool including 12th ranked Fury Kaupa and a few squads fighting for respect and a chance to break into the top 25 (TC Finest, WC United, WOTN Christensen).

The second pool includes several more teams just outside the top 25: 43 Hoops, West Central Wildcats, and Heat Ismail plus Andover High School who is a common participating team each year in AAU style events.  Ranked 13th in the state, Heat Nelson leads the third pool with top challengers being Brainerd High, 20th ranked Heat Walljasper and 21st ranked RIP City among others.  Then in pool four 10th ranked Heat Henderson is another event favorite but they have to get by 17th ranked D1 Minnesota Prospects, Minnesota Magic, Northern Lakers, and others.

16U.  There are three pools and the winner of the Black Pool gets a spot in the championship game.  Favorites from that pool? Minnesota Lace Up has likely been the best 16u team out there not ranked in the top 25 but watch out for the 43 Hoops Robinson and Minnesota Bulldogs squads as sleepers that we need to learn more about.  Grassroots Sizzle is ranked 23rd and in this pool, the Minnesota Suns Martin are player in their fourth event, and 13th ranked Heat Presbi has high expectations for themselves this weekend.

The Red Pool of the 16u division could go in any direction.  Gordon DTA Gold out of Fargo is coming off a strong weekend at the Proving Grounds and ready to take another step.  The Twin Cities Finest squad entered the top 20 at 19 this weekend, Minneapolis FAB should be a tough competitor, and 20th ranked West Central United is also in the pool.  Then in the White Pool we have All Iowa Attack, the second Gordon DTA team, RIP City, and Wisconsin Playmakers Strege.

15U. At 16u we have four more pools made up of a total of 28 teams in the top 15u division.  The first pool starts with the Gain Elite 14u squad, 19th ranked Select Rush, Iowa Elite, 20th ranked Minnesota Knights, 13th ranked Fury Syverson, and 8th ranked West Central United Select.  That’s quite a strong group in one pool.  The second pool is not as strong but does have 17rh ranked Heat Bohrer, TC Pirates, Andover freshmen, Lace Up, and others. The third pool – Red Division – has All Iowa Attack, a couple Wisconsin Playmakers squads, Grassroots Jett, Heat Johnson, Select Reese, and 16th ranked Minnesota Magic.  The fourth and final pool is led by Heat Tietz and 15th ranked D1 Minnesota Prospects.

Ten 17u Division Prospects to Watch:

  • Miles Mendes of Fury K/Farmington.  The 6-foot-4 forward looks on the verge of a huge senior season as physically he’s coming into his own and understanding how to use that physical ability to be an impact guy both ways.
  • Jared Rainey of Heat Nelson/Maple Grove.  The word dynamic was used by the Prep Hoops team to describe Rainey all weekend at the Proving Grounds, college coaches would use the word “interested”.  Rainey is a talented guard and the biggest thing he’s starting to become is consistently one of the best on the floor at a high level of play.
  • Carter Anderson of Heat Presbi 16s/Centennial.  Carter was a nice player as a Cougars sophomore but this 16u year he’s shown to be physically more than expected, skill wise he’s been better than expected, and most importantly Carter’s aggressive approach to a high level of play is what really has people interested.
  • Jeremy Beckler of Heat Henderson/White Bear Lake.  Showing range on his tough, showing a quicker explosion to finish than expected, at 6-foot-8 Beckler is certainly playing like a scholarship prospect regularly.
  • Cornell Richardson of Mpls FAB or 43 Hoops 17s/Osseo.  Whichever team Cornell is playing with this weekend Richardson is a talented point guard who now has both two years as a high school player and two years on the AAU circuit to show what he can do.
  • Jayton Metcalf of Rip City/St. Croix Prep.  Metcalf has had a long road back from injury but this past weekend at the Proving Grounds Metcalf not only looked skilled as every but he looks longer and more complete as a playmaker.
  • Da’Koi Hines of Twin Cities Finest/Minneapolis.  At 6-foot-8 Hines is about to graduate from Minneapolis North but he’s also getting on more shot to compete at the 17u level.  Hines is long at 6-foot-8 and agile, but a raw prospect.  A player some schools need to see in terms of how he could potentially develop.
  • Daniel Savageau of WC United 16s/Osakis.  Daniel had a huge scoring year at Osakis and his WC squad is playing well so far this winter.  Can he produce to a degree at this level like he did over the winter as a sophomore?
  • Lincoln Meister of D1 Minnesota Prospects/Rochester JM.  The Rockets sophomores is playing up at the 17u level and that’s because Meister is a player with potential at 6-foot-6 playing forward.  Lincoln had a good year this winter and has growing expectations.
  • Riley Mahlman of D1 Minnesota 15s/Lakeville South.  Riley is mean, he’s big, he’s strong and he’s already got the option to play football in the Big Ten.  As a basketball player he is one of the best in Minnesota’s 2021 class.