Posted On: 10/22/18 4:58 PM
The Breakdown Fall League is a who’s who of teams and talent this fall and we went by the event to see some of the action.
One. Tommy Chatman Jr of Park Center once again showed why he is one of the state’s top available talents yesterday when the Pirates played Champlin Park and Wayzata. The games were at times ugly but it was another example of the combo guard game of Chatman that is as smooth as they come. Against the Pirates, Chatman’s ability to turn the corner on the screen to produce or to hit Dain Dainja moving off the screen was nearly unstoppable. Another memorable play was the breakdown of a top Wayzata defender leading to a pretty finger roll before the defense could react. Chatman is so good in transition, outstanding within an offense that moves the ball where he can pick the defense apart, and the touch off a dribble is gorgeous. Schools that are looking for a player that can produce at both guard spots should get a look at TC soon.
Two. When it comes to being a stock riser, it’s not always about production on a day, sometimes it’s the maturity of a player physically combined with performance. Detavious Frierson is a player that really grabbed my attention. “DT” looks a tad taller, his frame has become that of a 6-foot-5 explosive athlete (so he’s filled out more), and his production yesterday was not only entertaining but constant with high percentage finishes. An athlete like this is rare and the 2020 wing could have a massive season.
Three. The Eden Prairie Eagles start the year as one of the leading candidates to win the state title. EP’s 2020 junior class is deep with size, high IQ players, shooters, and most everything else. What didn’t the group have? An explosive wing forward. That problem may be solved by 6-foot-6 2020 wing Ariel Bland who is long, and very explosive. Bland is from the Twin Cities but was down in South Carolina as an underclassmen. Ariel was with the Eagles during some of the summer events and now looks to be a new ingredient to a top team.
Four. Cretin-Derham Hall is really a new team. Outside of Western Illinois committed shooter Jaeden King, and the minutes that Amari Carter played off the bench last year, this is a new team building a new chemistry. Transfer Trejuan Holloman was sitting yesterday and others on the team missed for baseball and football reasons, but still this team was able to play well against good teams. King certainly took on the role of go-to scorer while Curtis Jones did a nice job of scoring in the space opposite of Jaeden.
Five. It’s weird but I took a lot from the half I watched of JM vs Prior Lake. For one, it’s fall league and it needs to be treated as such. Nothing can be taken away from these games accept players getting their legs back and a feel for playing with one another again. Also, the Dawson Garcia vs Matthew Hurt action was really fun, but JM switched out five for five meaning the JM JV kids were playing Prior Lake regulars so again, only so much you can take. When they did play though, Matthew Hurt made a few jumpers over the contesting 6-foot-10 reach of Dawson Garcia and it was incredible how a player of Dawson’s size didn’t alter anything about Matthew’s form, his demeanor, or the result. And Dawson, watching him you see a guy that gets more skilled and a bit more aggressive on his attack every day.