Posted On: 09/17/18 9:13 PM

It’s always fun to get out to the Top 250 Expo. Even after a spring and summer full of hoops, we get to see guys’ progress and improvement on the hardwood in another setting before their school seasons. It’s also a great chance to get acclimated to the new freshmen and sophomores that are just about to make their mark on the high school scene.

Before I get into my notes, I want to make sure I link to a Google Drive folder with all of the headshots and best game photos from the event

Now let’s talk about some of the guys whose play caught my eye behind the lens. It’s very different watching hoops while also taking photos, but some things you can’t help but notice.

Sam Nissen, Prior Lake guard (2019) — Sam was a spark for a top-level AAU team in Fury Wilde all summer, and he brings the same energy each time he plays. St. John’s was watching him intently as a main target along with fellow suitors Augsburg and Jamestown. Sam is shaping up to be a high-level D3 recruit who could sneak up to D2.

Miles Mendes, Farmington forward (2019) — A staple of Fury’s second team, Miles’ game has been improving quickly to match his physical play and size. He holds a D1 juco offer from Lake Region State and will be playing for more this winter.

Dane Zimmer, Hopkins forward (2019) — D2 programs like Moorhead watched Zimmer closely as he finished everything in sight with confidence. He has added muscle and will be a key cog on yet another very talented Hopkins team.

Tommy Chatman, Park Center wing (2019) — A calm demeanor and a killer mentality, Chatman’s smooth game manifested in turnaround Js, clean finishes around the hoop and a thunder dunk in the open floor of the all-star game. Word is that Northern State and Winona State are near the top of his recruitment.

Tariq Henry, Osseo wing (2020) — I was ready to sound the “SLEEPER ALERT” siren after watching Tariq run the floor with 110% effort and convert fast break finishes by simply out-hustling. A transfer from Rogers, Henry is eligible for varsity as a junior and looks to be another hard-playing piece for Tim Theisen. 

Qentrell Douglas

Jared Rainey, Maple Grove PG (2019) — Rainey tore up AAU this year with Heat Nelson and continued to tactically dissect defenders at the expo. As a good student with a high GPA, I could see him landing at a high-academic D3.

J’Vonne Hadley, Mahtomedi wing (2020) — It was my first time watching this long athlete, who showed off his size at about 6-foot-4 and was elevating to simply drop the ball into the hoop. Keep your eyes on this kid, he has a ton of athletic potential. I am very interested.

Barnabas Preble, Concordia Academy wing (2019) — Preble has been a staple of past expos and is always solid. I love his consistency and the IQ that he brings each year, and now he’s showing off a bit of physicality. Recruit this senior and get a quality piece who knows how to play.

James Sommer, Cristo Rey guard (2020) — James is always a competitor who brings fire. He’s energetic and aggressive with a sharp pull-up. I’m looking for him to make a big jump forward this year for the Pumas alongside quality young talent.

Will Cordes, Shakopee guard (2020) — Here’s a sleeper guard who came out burning the nets with his jumper. Cordes is well-built and ripped several threes to get the event started. 

Julian Hutchinson, Burnsville PG (2019) — Julian didn’t have to travel far for the expo, which was hosted at his own school. He’s an absolute spark plug who hustles harder than almost anybody. He’s scrappy and creative and plays with confidence.

Carson Schoeller, Prior Lake center (2019) — Hey MIACs! The big man playing behind Robert Jones and Dawson Garcia at Prior Lake is pretty good, too. Give him a look as a 6-foot-8 versatile kid who did well at our event.

Simeon Sharp, St. Paul Harding wing (2020) — Raw but athletic wing who is just coming into his own after a growth spurt. Watch for him with Jovan Christian this winter.

Qentrell Douglas, Brooklyn Center guard (2019) — With several teammates transferring out, Qentrell will be a major senior influence for a BC team stocked with young talent. I liked what I saw from Douglas at the Expo and look forward to tracking him this winter.

Cooper Olson, Champlin Park forward (2020) — The 6-foot-5 forward has gained muscle and takes the ball inside with authority. He’ll be a nice piece for Champlin for the next two years. 

Domenik Block, Park Cottage Grove (2019) — We’ve written quite a bit about Dom in the last week, but I’ll just echo what others have said in that he’s a slippery guard with surprising bounce. He and Gorres should help Park make a decent surge this year. Most D3s should be on this kid.