Posted On: 04/20/19 7:03 PM
The 17U quarter-finals at the #HardworkSznKickoff matched several standouts with Fury Zurn beating Omaha Elite, SD Attack defeating HIT, and The Factory moving on with an impressive victory. Prep Hoops breaks down the top headlines.
Get in on Max Early!
Six-foot-9 Max Murrell of Millard North and Team Factory 17s had a solid junior year averaging 11.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.3 blocks per game scoring on 64 percent of his shots from the field and 71 percent from the foul line. Murrell has taken steps since the end of the high school season and they’ve been clear on Saturday.
Murrell scored 20 in a second round win over Inspired Athletics and then scored 23 points on 10 of 12 field goal shooting with five boards and three blocks against Mentality Minnesota in the quarters. Murrell made a pair of threes comfortably setting his feet as a big on the perimeter and completing the possession. Max also caught on the right wing, ball faked his man off balance, and then attacked with a left hand dribble beating not only his defender, but Murrell beat the help defense to the rim.
The result was one of three dunks that Murrell produced (the other two were moving actively off ball to produce) vs Mentality. Defensively Murrell blocked three shots and made the deep post miserable for opposing bigs. Max’s timing as a shot blocker/shot contester was outstanding and he moved his feet to keep everybody in front with arms up.
UMKC is the first division one school to offer Murrell a scholarship and they were smart in getting ahead of the competition. There will be competition though. Murrell told Prep Hoops today that Princeton, Cornell, Colgate, and Indiana State are also calling with anticipation of seeing Max next week in the open period.
Another Day, Another Top Nathan Heise Performance
We are only three weeks into the 17 and Under season but already it feels like Minnesota Fury/Lake City High School guard Nathan Heise has had three months worth of big game performances. Omaha Elite pressured the Fury Zurn squad into mistakes but Heise calmed the situation with patience and excellent decision making.
Heise scored 16 points on 5 of 11 attempts that included perfect foul shooting and three makes at the arc. With Heise there was also five assists and five boards chased down. Late in the game with Omaha Elite refusing to go away, Heise broke the press and scored a contested tear drop as well as hit a crucial three extending the lead.
The Fury is currently 6-1 on the season and each game the most consistent player in powder blue has been their lead guard. As a 16u shooter Nathan Heise was good, as a 17u point guard Nathan Heise has been outstanding.
A Modern Legend
Eden Prairie’s second leading scorer this year was John Henry, a 6-foot-5/6-foot-6 forward that made nearly 50 percent of his field goals and 41 plus percent of his shots at the arc. Today for the Minnesota Fury, Henry made all his foul shots, three buckets at the arc, and also vaulted to the rim over athletic Omaha Elite defenders for an And1 completion.
Henry is a unique prospect that has a pretty shooting touch in a big frame for a three man. With good form and the percentages to go with it, Henry is a specialist but there’s more to him than the touch. He grabbed nine boards in a big win over Omaha Elite and defends in position.
2020 forward Teegan Evers of Huron led his school with 17.8 points per game and also grabbed 6.7 rebounds as a junior. Evers scored 35 points for the Magic in two Saturday games and produced those numbers in a variety of ways.
The Fury are one of the best teams in Minnesota but they weren’t able to consistently defend the 6-foot-4 Evers. Teegan put the ball on the deck and also set his feet to complete shots from the perimeter. If Evers is able to consistently produce against a team full of scholarship players from Minnesota, he’s capable of playing college basketball at a solid level.
Hardwork Region Notes
Six-foot-9 Fury/Edina big Jacob Hutson was the best big in low post position all day. Hutson’s low post fight moved defenders three feet away from each deep block. Hutson physically pivoted to finishes and he completed shots at a high percentage in both Saturday afternoon games.
Brady Williams (6-foot-6 forward from Fury and Dover-Eyota) is one of the better passers on the wing that we’ve seen. Brady has a great feel for the halfcourt offense and how he fits within it. Williams has shown a solid perimeter touch, finished physically, and is now creating for others.
With the game on the line against Omaha Elite, Ryan Samuelson knocked out three triples and scored 11 points. Samuelson’s biggest contribution was the late game makes.
The Fury size couldn’t move with 6-foot-4 forward Rashawn McNeal-Lee of Omaha Elite leading to 18 points on seven of nine shooting, four of four foul shooting, and nine boards too. McNeal-Lee was too quick for any opposing Fury forward or center to keep off the o-glass.
Ty Griggs is a 6-foot guard from Omaha Elite who hit three late triples. Griggs scored his 17 (five boards and five assists too) on six of eight field goals continuing the high percentage shooting he provided Omaha South as a junior (51%).
Six-foot-three Wal Chuol of Omaha Elite scored 18 points on seven of 16 shooting. He was the toughest player for the Fury to deal with from start to finish. Chuol had a first half buzzer beater and his dribble attack had to be stopped by a second defender every time.
Louis Fidler of Team Factory used some of the best ball handling separation abilities we saw from any forward. His first move shifted the defense and the second move fried them. Fidler also has a burst that defenders were expecting and he used it for 20 points against Mentality.
A shooter that can score in bunches, that is Curtis Jones. Jones (of Mentality Minnesota and CDH) must be located the second he crosses halfcourt by the initial defender and help defenders have to be vocal in support. Jones scored 23 points in the morning game and then hit four threes and grabbed seven boards against Team Factory.
Kobe Busch knocked out five threes in a big quarterfinal win over HIT out of Illinois. HIT has multiple players receiving scholarship looks but none of them could contest a Busch shot with success.