Senior Salute 2018: #26-50

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Minnesota

Posted On: 09/4/18 2:29 PM

Each year, we say a sentence or two about the best basketball players in Minnesota’s graduating class before they move onto their next phase of life. The second installment is made up of players No. 26-50 in our 2018 rankings.

Ranking First Name Last Name High School Plans After High School Notes
           
26 Luke Martens Apple Valley Winona State Luke quietly opened his career by jumping headfirst into the starting small forward spot as a sophomore for AV and has become a really tough cover as a cutter and driver. Strong and confident wing, winning pedigree, headed to a winning program.
27 Jordan Belka Rogers Northern State One of the best stretch fours around. Belka transformed from spot-up guy to Royal offensive conductor and the results were 23ppg, 9rpg and 47/38/85 splits. Wolves reload with potential!
28 Cody Landwehr Sauk Rapids-Rice Bemidji State A bruising traditional big with good shooting range, I remember watching Cody dominate the paint as a sixth-grader and he’s continued that consistency throughout a nice career at SRR. Bemidji adds him in a really strong recruiting class.
           
           
29 Tayler Johnson Minneapolis North Northern Iowa (football) Tayler is as bouncy as they come, and he’s been a key cog in the Polar juggernaut of the last half-decade. A great hooper who is an even better defensive back and he’ll head down to Cedar Falls.
30 Ethan Youso Virginia Minnesota-Duluth Youso is a stellar athlete. Not only has he dominated northern Minnesota on the hardwood, he’s also a state-caliber tennis star. No doubt bright things are ahead for this guy who’s as genuine as they come.
31 Justin Balcome Alexandria Northern State Led the summer stock raisers in the class of 2018. He’s 6-foot-10 and can handle, jump and shoot; Justin will have a great career developing with Northern.
32 Damani Hayes Mankato East SD School of Mines A top-notch student and athlete, Damani had his choice of D3s and jucos to accept a spot from. The bouncy, skilled and smart forward chose the mines and he will do well in all facets.
33 Max Bjorklund Orono Bemidji State I had the pleasure of watching Max close-up during travel ball (he was a Maple Grove kid same age as my brother). Back then he was a small speedy scorer; now he’s 6-2, strong and creative as a playmaker. He landed a couple NSIC offers after a great AAU summer and chose the Beavers.
34 Deng Deang Sauk Rapids-Rice Minnesota Prep Academy Deang came into his own as his Storm years progressed and he’s become a more complete player. The newly minted MN Prep Academy will be his home court next year.
35 Jake Phipps Anoka Southwest MN State Jake had a unique career at Anoka and despite being hidden from the spotlight for a long time, he emerged as a really good two-way big by his senior year and will get an opportunity with the Mustangs.
36 Zach Theisen Osseo St. Thomas Known as one of the best shooters in recent Minnesota memory, Zach was another guy I got to see firsthand in his formative years and his development has been steady. UST will find many a treyball sunk when he’s on the floor. Don’t sleep on his golf game either!
37 Deundra Roberson Columbia Heights NIACC The lead guard for the Hylanders produced big numbers as a senior and his length and intensity made him a menace defensively. I really came to like his style of play at both guard spots.
38 Nathan Rund Fergus Falls MN State-Moorhead Hardworking, grind-it-out guard who never did anything but play his best brand of basketball. Nate’s one of the more fundamentally sound guys in this class and his maturity will serve him well at the next level in Moorhead.
39 Uhana Ochan Mankato East   Super-duper-uber athletically gifted, Uhana always attracted the cameras in warmups and games. What slips through the cracks is how critical he was in Mankato East’s run to state this past year. Really became a factor for the Cougars down the stretch.
40 Keegan O’Neill Delano   Every year there’s a guy who turns heads in his final few career games… Keegan did exactly that for Delano as a senior in the playoffs. He dropped 30/12 in the state title game which the Tigers won. Heckuva way to go out!
41 Noah Kannegeisser Hancock Concordia-St. Paul Noah shoots the crap out of the basketball. Small-school or not, he gets buckets, and an explosion during his senior campaign landed him a scholarship with CSP.
42 Trever Kaiser Dassel-Cokato University of Mary Dassel-Cokato is not necessarily what you’d call a basketball factory. But watching Trever emerge as a top wing on both ends with the Comets during AAU and then the Chargers in the winter was a joy to see, and I expect he’ll succeed at Mary.
43 Duoth Gach Austin NDSCS Duoth took hold of more basketball responsibilities after his brother Both transferred to prep school in Arizona, and he excelled. Austin made state once again and Duoth showed why he’s one of the best skill/athleticism combos within the border. Heads up north to NDSCS.
44 Emmette Page Osseo Northeast Nebraska CC If you are a prospect who hasn’t gotten a lot of varsity tick going into your senior year, use Emmette’s story as your motivation. He stepped into a huge role and became the Orioles’ big-shot maker, and now he’s going to one of the best jucos in the Midwest.
45 Odell Wilson IV Minneapolis North NDSU Odell’s been a staple of the Polars for so many years it’s hard to picture them without him. The immovable, dominant and productive post player is joining many more MN natives at NDSU next season.
           
46 Gavin Bates Sibley East St. John’s (MN) Gritty as they come, Gavin was a stat-stuffer at Sibley East and has prototypical MIAC lead guard skills. Always a steady dose of efficiency and strength coming from him. Collegeville keeps pulling in top-level perimeter guys.
47 Sam Vascellaro St. Thomas Academy St. Thomas “Jack-of-all-trades” is the perfect term to describe Sam’s game. He has great size for a wing and his skills are polished as a handler. UST’s recruiting class is top-notch with him involved.
48 Charlie Jacob Totino-Grace SD School of Mines A strong point guard who shoots it well, Charlie was a focal point of the resurgence the Eagles have made into relevancy and competitiveness the last few years. Mines has a fighter on their side who’s tough to guard.
49 Kyler Kluge Eden Prairie St. Cloud State (football) Kluge’s been a mainstay in the Eden Prairie athletics scene since he was Steph Curry’ing MYAS travel ball back in the day. He’s a fine defensive back who will head up 94 West to SCSU.
50 Garrett Maag St. Croix Lutheran North Dakota (football) Remember the dominant SCL squad in 2015-16? Maag was in that deep senior-laden rotation. Now he’s graduated and will play catch footballs at UND.