Posted On: 07/7/18 7:58 PM
The Prep Hoops Senior Showcase had a long list of talented North Dakota players competing at a high level and one of the most respected players in Burnsville was Chad Morsette of Beulah High School.
The Beast From Beulah
One of the best moments of the summer basketball scene was in St. Cloud when ECI was handily defeating North Dakota Phenom but Coach Lucas Moorman could not enjoy the margin of victory yet because Chad Morsette would not stop scoring on all of the talented ECI guards. Don’t worry coach, nobody in Burnsville could stop Chad from scoring either.
Morsette throws you off with his friendly smile, his two colored haircut, and his headband casually taking the floor. First thought, “hat is he going to do?” Next thing you know Chad jabs right, you move, and he’s got you with that jumper. Then you think you are ready for his move the next time down the floor, but then he steps back on you and… bucket again. Surely you think you are quicker so you move with 100 percent effort and he can’t shoot over your well placed contesting length, right? Wrong again. Chad will hit that fading 18 footer making the net do that beautiful dance.
Morsette is also sneaky in that he’s so good moving to open space at the arc behind the defense without the ball and his release is so quick that players can’t close out after a good reversal. Then comes the best part about Chad, his overwhelming want to make sure his teammate knows that the pass was perfect. I’ve never seen a guy so appreciative of a teammate’s pass before. The Beat from Beulah is as fun to watch as there is out there.
Cameron Makes a Name for Himself
Cameron Vaughn is the brother of Rashad Vaughn, a current member of the Miami Heat summer team and a former five star high school recruit. Everyone knows this. But Cameron is starting to make a name for himself as he’s putting a lot of time in the gym to improve his game. Today all of that hard work showed in a big way.
If/When the box scores are all totaled up I seriously doubt that anyone had more points than the six foot guard from Park Center. Cameron was relentless in his basket attack regardless if it was a six pass possession, a transition attack, or a no pass/one pass possession. Vaughn has surely improved his ability to attack with either the right or the left and he’s confident that he can get to the basket and touch in shots over many. Defenders had no idea how Vaughn was going to attack because he used straight line drives, stepbacks, hesitations, crossovers, and hell, maybe I saw him even do a flip for a score.
Mason Makes His Case
Jamestown 6-foot-6 Mason Walters made his claim as the best big in North Dakota today using a work rate inside that few can match. What separates Mason from other guys his size is that a coach can always trust that he’s going to give a heavy effort every possession and they can trust that Mason is going to be in the right position nearly every possession. Make the right pass? Mason will. Cut perfectly off the ball? Mason does it. Fight for the Boards? Few in North Dakota can match his effort on the glass.
The other thing I love about Walters is his fight defensively. Mason may give up some size but he makes up for that by using quick feet that force the opponent to go over his length with every post shot. Walters knows leverage so he can work a guy out of position plus he works harder than others so he can deny a player from making the entry or deflect/steal an entry. I think Walters is the most trusted big in North Dakota possession by possession as nobody will outwork him. He’s also got good low post moves and his effort gets him a big number of chances.
Don’t Forget About Alex!
East Ridge is talented and really big. Ben Carlson is 6-foot-9, Courtney Brown Jr is about 6-foot-6, and Kendall Brown is 6-foot-5/6-foot-6. They are three of the better players in all of Minnesota so it can be easy to forget that East Ridge is a deep basketball team. One of those players that provides depth is Alex Larson, a 6-foot-7 frontcourt player.
Larson is the perfect candidate to be pegged as a MIAC player with potential because he is playing behind known names but has the physical size and developing skill to be a really good player as he gets more opportunity. Today on the block Alex was as good as there was in catch and making a strong move to complete. Each game he played Alex made multiple deep post plays that forced me to stop looking to see who he was and commit his name to memory. I’m told that was also the case for the numerous D3 coaches watching as well.
2 I’s & Several Buckets
Kiir Mabor of Fargo South is a 6-foot-3 guard with some raw scoring potential that continues to ooze at Prep Hoops events. Mabor is a long wing with a lot of shake and a quick step that was difficult for players to guard today at Burnsville. Mabor is raw and is working on being a more consistent, complete weapon with each possession and today we saw a lot of progress from when we last saw Kiir play in May.
At Fargo South Mabor forced teams to defend him as he put up very good numbers in North Dakota’s highest division of basketball. What caught our eye today wasn’t just his ability to beat smaller quick guards to space but also the way Mabor would respond from mistakes. At one point Mabor turned the ball over and had an airball in back to back possessions. How did he respond? But working harder for high percentage buckets and playing even better as the day went on. At 6-foot-3 watch the development of Kiir Mabor.
Minnesota Quick Hitters
- Austin Puppe of Monitcello was a very pleasant surprise. He stands 6-foot-5 as a forward and his energy was catchy all day. Puppe had one of the best defensive possessions of the day pouncing on a 6-foot-9 center first forcing a tough shot and then blocking that shot twice in a possession. Puppe showed some range on his jumper and the best part of his game was the baseline attacks against other bigs and his scoring off the ball. One of the top surprises of the day.
- Continue to love the approach of Charles Johnson from Washburn. Never forces his offense at all, loves to defend, loves to direct a halfcourt offense to the best shot. I feel strongly that he is going to have a great year in the Minneapolis City Conference. Charles has had a great spring and summer.
Adam Williams and Reilly O’Neil. I love these two as a pair on the floor together. Adam is a stretch the floor two guard that encourages all of his teammates at all times and Reilly is a stretch four at about 6-foot-5 that can hit that corner three but is also becoming very good with a dribble beating bigger players to the cup. When O’Neil gets comfortable with his Princeton teammates it won’t be three Princeton players with similar scoring averages (Jon Stimmler, James Flicek, and Williams), it will be four. Adam is another top shooter in the state and a steady decision maker and that rubs off on teammates so well.
North Dakota Quick Hitters
- Braeton Motschenbacher is a 6-foot-2 shooting guard from Fargo Davies that was honored at a high level after his junior season and it’s easy to see why. This is a skilled, consistent, no-nonsense competitor that is simply a steadier player than you. We’ve talked about a lot of North Dakota guys from this event but possession by possession I’m not sure anyone was as consistent as Braeton and we are talking both ends. A high percentage shooter and a well positioned defensive player.
- Jamison Kramer from Marion is a player you can tell is asked to score in many ways at his school. There were several examples of Kramer making shots off a reversal with his feet set and he was very good attacking small forwards and edging them at the corner for a balanced finish.
- Trapper Jacobs is a 6-foot-2 guard from Turtle Lake who played both guard roles today equally well. The biggest thing I noticed from Jacobs was that he handled today’s aggressive ball pressure defenders well and he was able to find ways to score within the offense.
- One of the most proven North Dakota shooters this off-season has been Ben Schmidt of St. Mary’s. That trend continued today and we expect Schmidt to shoot much better as a senior than he did as a junior.