Posted On: 07/28/18 10:19 AM
The South Dakota Attack traveled to Las Vegas looking to make a run in a national event. So far so good.
The Attack opened their week with a 61-43 win over HIT and a 60-47 victory over New Mexico Slam on Thursday. Friday afternoon Prep Hoops watched the Dakota kids take on the Rebels from San Francisco and we weren’t alone, Wisconsin Head Coach Greg Gard, Creighton Head Coach Greg McDermott, and Minnesota assistant coach Ed Conroy were also looking on.
The coaches were there to watch 2021 national standout Matthew Mors, of course. Mors has earned a scholarship offer from Creighton and he was at Wisconsin Team Camp in June as well as a regular viewing target for the Badger staff all month. Minnesota, is a new school watching Mors but you can bet they will be one of many to add their name to the mix soon.
Mors didn’t disappoint right from the start. A defender from San Fran was nearly Matthew’s size and likely a longer player. He aggressively tried to defend Mors but was quickly defeated, both physically and mentally. Mors has an array of different skills around the basket that an excited but non-educated defender can quickly become exposed to.
Matthew used ball fakes, quick separation moves, power dribbles into a quick turn for a touch, as well as passes out of the post. It didn’t take long for the west coast defender to move from excited to nervous and once he became jumpy with anticipation, Mors became the executioner possession after possession. A five basket run early in the game was followed up with six more scores and a 23 point performance. Mors even took his game out to the arc for a couple threes and scored late in the open floor.
The Attack is more than a star with some guys around him, this is a team made up of some of the best juniors-to-be in the state (along with Mors the sophomore-to-be). They are now 26-4 on the year headed into today’s game with Dallas Showtyme North. Showtyme is a well respected team from Texas although this is not their top 16u squad. A win here could lead towards playing an Oakland Soldiers or Houston Hoops or Team Griffin later on this side of the bracket.
Another key piece to the win on Friday was Kobe Busch of Huron, an Augustana offered player that continues to offer a bit of everything. When the game was on the line on Friday late, Kobe offered just that. His plays included several instances of handling the basketball including a defensive split between the legs just before being trapped in the corner which became a transition assist. Or the late game baseball pass for a Mors lay-up that secured the game. Busch has good size with the skills to score (big winter numbers as a sophomore) or the skills to ease the offensive transition. And he’s explosive as that baseline missed dunk attempt showed.
If you are looking for the other game MVP I give you Kayden Verley, a guard from Canton who also had a great winter. Kayden put a dozen on the board to support Mors in the scorebook and his final basket at the rim late in the game was crucial to the Attack victory needs. Verley is a trusted player with the ball in the halfcourt set but his defensive work leading the group may have been even more important.
Verley made a couple late hustle plays including a late steal and he teamed up with Max Nielson to shut out the constant ball screens designed to get the speedy west coast players in space. Nielson was able to move his feet enough to make sure the Rebel guards saw little paint and if they did, there was a positioned Max in their path. Also, Verley’s talk, positioning, and versatility to defend 2-3 spots allowed him to work with Nielson to limit the top of they key pick and roll.
The quick Rebels tried to put Verley and Nielson on an island at the top of the key but the Attack defenders were to defensively sound to be left on that island like some pirate from the Caribbean. The Attack beat the Rebels 52-43 advancing to bracket play a confident team with Vegas wins now on their resume.