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Posted On: 09/10/18 4:58 PM
The Prep Hoops Top 250 Expo in Burnsville brought over 250 kids to the court on Sunday with some of Minnesota’s top talent competing. Who stood out among the rest? Here is our Top Ten breakdown.
It was a memorable weekend for Prior Lake center Robert Jones. The senior big visited the University of Denver for his 48 hour official trip, committed to the school, and then shortly after arriving back in the Twin Cities Jones headed to the Top 250 Expo and was the most unstoppable player on the floor on Sunday. Jones showed his full offensive arsenal: short jumper makes after a quick shoulder turn, face up jumpers, face up Attack And1 completion, transition field goals, and many dunks. Then Jones could not be stopped in the 2019 vs 2020 all star game scoring all dozen of his points at the rim.
The last entrant was the best entrant. That’s the story with 6-foot-10 Treyton Thompson from Alexandria. One game into the session a text was sent that said “a very talented big is in the other gym that just arrived” and it was immediately clear that the big was 2021 nationally ranked Treyton Thompson. Treyton has definitely grown about two inches in the past year plus his hands and feet look even bigger. Thompson is scoring with a confident swagger to him beating players of all sizes off the bounce to show off his soft touch with range. It’s the touch that really caught our eye (he’s always had that) but the ability of Thompson to get to space with a nice dribble separation move and then use his long frame to move his man opening the floor for a score.
The top guard in the morning session was Tommy Chatman Jr of Park Center. Schools that have offered Chatman (like Minnesota State Moorhead) were at the Expo to get another look at one of the state’s top available prospects and Chatman didn’t disappoint. The 2019 vs 2020 end of Expo All Star Game saw Chatman attack the younger players at will and score a game high seven baskets. Chatman was smooth as he usually is but his explosive finishes at the basket is what really grabbed our eye.
The definition of high percentage finishing was what Dane Zimmer did in the gym yesterday. Zimmer picked off defenders like swatting flies opening lanes for constant buckets on the move. Dane Zimmer is one of the best screen and roll finishers we’ve seen in a long time and yesterday was a great example of how he can pick off opponents and then put them away. Time and time again. One of the smartest bigs out there.
The most memorable play of the day was a transition score from J’Vonne Hadley where the Mahtomedi standout beat others up the floor and launched himself to the basket while Robert Jones was retreating to contest but Hadley had already beat his man to the rim and threw down a nasty one hander. Hadley scored 18 a game as a sophomore and spent his Sunday scoring in a variety of ways at Burnsville.
PJ Hayes of Waconia has always been a beautiful finisher but now he’s a stronger guard who beat players off the bounce, collected himself squaring up, and hit shots. Our favorite scores where the Hayes kisses off the glass from ten or twelve feet away while the defender stumbled to get back into position. PJ of course can knock down feet-set attempts and his crafty game makes him one of 2020’s better playmakers. The strength Hayes used to separate along with the separation skills will make him even tougher.
The top out of state performer in Burnsville on Sunday was Trey Shearer out of Iowa. Nobody at the event could keep Trey in front of them, nobody. His ability to attack in either direction combined with a lighting quick first step put onlookers in awe and then Shearer made soft finger rolls as well as deadly pull-ups for pretty much four straight hours. On a day when former Iowa State and Tartan great Jake Sullivan was running the event, a Jake Sullivan like young player often stole the show (Shearer).
The guy who really blew me away was Teyghan Hovland of Austin. At 6-foot-4 Hovland played point, he spent time at both wing spots, and with his strength at times he guarded power forwards. That’s the versatility of Hovland who is surely one of the best passers in the 2020 class plus his ball handling talent allowed him to get a step into the paint to touch in shots. He can rebound, Hovland can pass, he handles, and this year he led the Lightning to many big wins as a key scorer. This is a player that should give Austin three really good years.
Maximus Wilson and Quyavant Douglas of Brooklyn Center are guys people have been talking about, and yesterday this pair was everything that we’ve heard about. The best word to use to describe these guys is “explosive”. The short 2021 vs 2022 all star exhibition was filled with these two going at the rim and finishing in a way that wowed the crowd. Wilson competes in a confident fun way using a great frame.
At 6-foot-7 Jackson Loge of Morris Area has a combination of touch and competitive fight as a freshman-to-be that is really rare. Jackson’s feel for the game is special and when combined with that competitive fight makes for a dangerous player and a talented prospect. Add in that his father Kevin Loge played at Minnesota at 6-foot-10 so Jackson has the potential to grow to be even bigger.