Great Plains Alliance: Thursday

Grassroots
Dakotas

Posted On: 06/28/18 9:34 PM

The South Dakota Attack, ECI Prospects, and North Dakota Attack all opened their 2018 Great Plains Alliance with solid opponents.  Who impressed?  PHD fills you in now.

Knock’Em Down Bryce!

A player that made a name for himself in St. Cloud today was 6-foot-1 guard Bryce Auck of Bismarck Century.  ECI Select lost a close game to a good Wisconsin Shooters team but they had a chance to win in the final minute because of the second half heroics of Auck.

The Shooters held a double figure second half lead, and then Auck hit a three. ECI Select got a stop, and found Auck for a second three in transition.  A scoreless minute later Bryce made a third triple and a double figure lead was reduced to two points.  The Shooters put a bucket on the board but their transition defense was slow meaning another bucket for Bryce.  11 straight points and several college coaches making sure they knew his name standing on the baseline.

Six three-pointers and 25 points later Bryce Auck is a name that you can expect to hear more from.  There is a smooth, confidence to his game that gave all of his teammates a confidence the rest of the way.  His touch going at the rim was soft and the way he glided around the halfcourt offense to catch and dagger looked natural.  Bryce Auck is an up and comer to know the rest of the summer and into the winner.

Top 40 & Rising

The Minnesota prospect rankings were released earlier this week and within the top 40 was Moorhead/ECI Prospects 6-foot-5 wing Maleeck Harden.  The verdict after today’s ECI win over E1T1?  Another jump in the rankings may be coming.

During Harden’s 13 point game in the opening round win, a D1 coach sent a text (after seeing a tweet online) saying Maleeck the Freak.  What that meant was, Maleeck is a different type of player than many in the area.  He’s unique, different, and could very special, all in a good way.

What makes Maleeck different is his developing skill and confidence in the body of a 6-foot-5 and long guard that is rapidly getting better.  Maleeck’s jump up the floor in a long stride transition attack pushes him ahead of the pack and once he was able to get an angle to the rim – with or without the ball – he was ahead of the defender leading to a highlight finish with the dribble or on the catch.

What’s even more exciting for this young talent is that Harden’s skills have been refined.  He’s confidently shooting the ball, seeing the floor open up using his patient approach into an attack, and many at this level don’t have the physical ability to contest a Harden shot once he’s lifted to the basket.

Balanced Victory

At the end of a Mortal Kombat win the video game announcer says “flawless victory”.   ECI didn’t have a flawless victory against E1T1 but they had a great team win that included balanced scoring and outstanding ball movement for high percentage attempts.

Of the nine ECI players, six of them scored three or more times.  Harden had 13 while Joe Jahner made four jumpers for his 11 points.  The players feasting around the basket were 6-foot-6 Mason Walters of Jamestown and 6-foot-5 Isaac Undlin of MLS.

Walters impressed the way he used both his pivot into his touch, and the way he patiently waited for wild help defenders to take themselves out of the play before finishing.  Undlin had back to back dunks cutting off the ball and the second one was down with power that scared the event director into asking “do we have an extra?”

Respect Earned

In South Dakota Noah Freidel is respected as one of the elite players in the state.  A state title and a state runner-up trophy with all state honors will do that.  But Noah wants more than that.  This is a fierce competitor that yearns to be respected as one of the better players in the Midwest and playing in front of ten NSIC schools on Thursday, Noah took a step towards that.

At one point Noah missed his first four field goals and first three foul shots.  His team was quickly down double figures.  With that deficit and struggle some players seemed to fall in the tank.  Not Noah.  Early struggles fueled his fight running the floor and attacking the basket for back to back And1 three-point plays.  Noah also went after defensive boards physically ripping the ball from anyone who dared try and get a finger in his way.  Noah totaled 15 points, nine rebounds, and four assists in a loss to one of Minnesota’s more talented teams.

Noah earned the respect of many with the way he bounced back from a tough start.

More from the GPA

The North Dakota Attack only had six guys for game one and they did ware down and lose to the Minnesota Crossfire.  That said, coaches from Minot State, U of Mary, Minnesota-Crookston, Concordia-Moorhead, Jamestown, and Valley City State all watched closely as Seth Hetzel of Stanley knocked down five long jumpers for his 13 points and an exhausted Dalton Albrecht faced the basket to put up double figure numbers on a pair of active defenders.

Camden Bialis scored eight points with five rebounds in the loss to the Minnesota Comets.  It wasn’t one of the better games that Camden has played but at 6-foot-8 and lengthy we continue to see Camden grown with each viewing.  If Bialis can add core strength to his long frame allowing for better balance in the low post fight every part of his production would be something schools would covet.