Posted On: 08/8/18 6:23 PM
The Grassroots season will always have players that prove themselves better than nearly everyone expected. Team by team we give you the top stock raiser from the 17u level.
D1 Minnesota. Tyler Wahl. Tyler has had his share of publicity but let’s all be honest, the Wisconsin commit is a guy that we all really respected but his rise to being a nationally ranked player was not what most expected in January. High major? You could see that when Wahl outplayed Tre Jones and Apple Valley for the big win during the season, nationally ranked though? Pretty cool.
Grassroots Sizzle. Goodnews Kpegeol. For anybody that says guys heading for a post graduate shouldn’t play 17U I offer a Goodnews Kpegeol. The opinion of many was that Goodnews was a D1 kid, it just took the D1 schools a bit longer to come around than we thought they would.
Minnesota Fury. Regan Tollefson. Regan just committed to U of Mary this week. He had a great year Chanhassen as a junior but playing with the Fury he proved he can play basketball at the Northern Sun level.
Howard Pulley. Antwan Kimmons. Watching Kimmons during the winter you could see the talent was there, but would it translate for Howard Pulley? It most certainly did. The biggest thing Kimmons did was settle into a role and play that role very well. Headed to Idaho State for a visit in a few weeks as they recently offered him a scholarship.
Minnesota Comets. Austin Jentzen. Matt Johnson was my first thought as I love the way he plays, but Austin Jentzen went at good bigs this summer and held his own. Austin scored eight a game in high school last year and about matched that played against much better competition this 17u season.
WOTN. Gavin Patton. Patton really did come out of left field to make an impact. If you were to run off several players on the WOTN team talking to others before the year you would of likely forget to mention him. After the year Gavin is one of the first three or four names out of the mouth when discussing this team.
Heat Nelson. Ricky Eason. Centennial struggled last year so not much attention came the way of Mr. Eason. That changed on weekend one when Ricky had the D1 Minnesota 17s shook because he wouldn’t stop making threes. That was the first weekend of the year and Eason never slowed down. Ricky will make a strong MIAC player.
SE Minnesota Lightning. Jarvorius Toney. I still have a hard time trying to describe this 6-foot-7 player from Mason City, Iowa to people. Long, bouncy, played point guard in high school, has a nice looking jumper, boards, and has the look of a scholarship guy. Very raw but helped lead the Lightning to many wins.
SW Minnesota Stars. Cole Woodford. Just like Eason give fits to D1 Minnesota, Cole Woodford gave those fits to Howard Pulley in their last game. Cole was fantastic at the state tournament and his game against Pulley helped land him his first scholarship offer.
Heat MacDonald. Sam Schwartz. Sam has to be Mr. Heat this year based on his love and loyalty to the program. And today he committed to the Southwest Minnesota State Mustangs. Schwartz was surely a MIAC player but he played his way into one of the better NSIC programs.
Comets K. Drew Gustafson. Drew was offered by Jamestown today after a visit. At the start of the year Drew is one of the last guys on the team that I expected to consistently hit double figures and be offered but Drew had a great year with Comets K.
Mentality Minnesota. Kameron Givens. Embarrassment of riches? One could say so. DeLaSalle guard Kameron Givens harassed defenders and pushed one of the better transition attacks of the summer. Kameron is going to give the Islanders another excellent player.
Comets DLR. Jon Stimmler. Several players on the Comets improved but it was Stimmler who really proved to us that he can play at a higher level than we thought. His strength, toughness, and agility as well as feet/hands moving off the screen are much better than we thought.
Twin Cities Pirates. DJ Purnell. I have many times said DJ Pollard because of the former St. Louis Park former player. This here is DJ Purnell, a 6-foot-4 forward that has more skills than I first thought, and is more than just a working four.
Howard Pulley Justice. Jaeden King. Jaeden spent his entire winter looking every bit like a D1 player. Those thoughts were alive and well this summer when King spent his time making more threes than nearly anybody in 17u basketball in Minnesota. King recently committed to Western Illinois at the D1 level.
44 Elite. Kato Seley. My expectations for Kato next year have surely lifted. Love what he does as a defender and offensively he uses his body really well. Has better handles than we thought too.
Fury Kaupa. Miles Mendes. Physically few can match what Miles can bring in the bigger/faster/stronger category. But Miles has added “consistent production” to that list as one of the toughest backside covers around.
D1 Minnesota Rise. Jake Kettner. Is Jake a scholarship player? We thought so and this summer Kettner earned what he has worked so hard for, and deserved. Will visit Minnesota-Crookston soon.
Select Leafblad. Bradley Winter. Winter was one of the most consistent players up front in 17u and his crazy final game of making 13 of 13 field goals for a double-double. If he keeps making this progress I see scholarship chances for him in the future.
Heat Henderson. Alex Larson. It doesn’t seem fair that East Ridge has another really good big up front but that is what we are seeing from Alex these days. Good size and more consistency describes Larson.
Rip City. Donn Ward. Donn Ward put up numbers in the St. Paul City. Donn Ward also put up numbers against really good 17u teams and some of the highlights…. wow. The potential is there.
Heat Walljasper. Tyler Born/Kyle Dreyer. Maple Grove keeps producing good basketball players and these two are another pair that should help the Crimson defend their section title.
Select Ellis. Montrell Stokes. Osseo just rebuilds right? Sure looks that way. Elijah Barlue was strong with Heat Nelson and the way that Montrell consistently played for Select Ellis, he looks like another Osseo player that should have a strong senior year.