Posted On: 01/24/21 6:39 PM

With the second week of the season wrapped up, I take a look back at some of the top performers I was able to watch throughout the week!

Elvis Nnaji Elvis Nnaji 6'9" | PF Hopkins | 2022 State #149 Nation MN (6’8 2022 PF/C, Hopkins)- I was able to catch glimpses of Elvis’ improvements during the fall, but his game against Wayzata was the best I’ve seen him play to date. As an athletic 6’8 forward he did a really good job of defending ball screens on the perimeter, using his agility to move his feet to force the ball handler to retreat before hustling back on his man. He also was able to force a turnover before dribbling the length of the floor for a dunk. Offensively he showcased his improved jumper with a mid-range and three, and did a great job of floating off the ball and finding gaps in the defense to catch and then explode towards the rim. His ability to quickly elevate and then finish powerfully allow him to score at the rim with ease against size.

Muja Burton Muja Burton 6'4" | SF Columbia Heights | 2022 State MN (6’4 2022 W, Columbia Heights)- Columbia Heights has the look of a team that can make some noise in Class AAA, and Elvis Nnaji Elvis Nnaji 6'9" | PF Hopkins | 2022 State #149 Nation MN (6’8 2022 PF/C, Hopkins)- I was able to catch glimpses of Elvis’ improvements during the fall, but his game against Wayzata was the best I’ve seen him play to date. As an athletic 6’8 forward he did a really good job of defending ball screens on the perimeter, using his agility to move his feet to force the ball handler to retreat before hustling back on his man. He also was able to force a turnover before dribbling the length of the floor for a dunk. Offensively he showcased his improved jumper with a mid-range and three, and did a great job of floating off the ball and finding gaps in the defense to catch and then explode towards the rim. His ability to quickly elevate and then finish powerfully allow him to score at the rim with ease against size. Muja Burton Muja Burton 6'4" | SF Columbia Heights | 2022 State MN (6’4 2022 W, Columbia Heights)- Columbia Heights has the look of a team that can make some noise in Class AAA, and Muja Burton Muja Burton 6'4" | SF Columbia Heights | 2022 State MN ’s scoring ability will play a big role. In a win over Holy Angels, Muja put up a game high 20 points, despite not having his usual success from beyond the arc. Instead, Muja decided to take over around the rim, outworking everyone on the offensive glass leading to a handful of putback buckets. His off-ball movement also helped to open up opportunities to score, and I was impressed with his ability to remain balanced through contact to finish off a few tough attempts inside. Alonzo Dodd Alonzo Dodd 6'2" | PG South St Paul | 2022 State MN (6’2 2022 G, South St. Paul)- In a sloppy and physical game against Tartan, Alonzo once again used his grit and determination to help his team pull off a win in overtime. He’s incredibly shifty with the ball in his hands, using a lightning quick crossover before flying by his man to get into the paint. Despite how fast he attacks, Alonzo does a good job of staying under control to either draw contact and finish/earn free throws, or dump off a last second pass to his post players on the block. Despite missing some shots that he usually makes, Alonzo’s second jump allowed him to grab a handful of offensive rebounds leading to second chance baskets. Dodd also hit the game winner in overtime, finishing with his weak hand while drawing a foul and hitting the go-ahead free throw. Joshua Ola-Joseph Joshua Ola-Joseph 6'6" | SF Osseo | 2022 State MN (6’6 2022 SF, Osseo)- Josh Ola-Joseph continues to be one of the most dangerous players in the state around the rim. Against a tough Maple Grove team he excelled at absorbing contact with the left shoulder and then extending over the top with the right to finish at a high rate. At 6’6 he has extremely long arms and a quick burst to explode off the ground that allow him to match up against post players, but his improved handle and perimeter shot make it difficult to pick out a matchup for him. Josh also threw down an alley-oop off a baseline inbounds pass, and put in a strong performance on the glass. Carter Bjerke Carter Bjerke 6'8" | PF Wayzata | 2022 State MN (6’8 2022 PF, Wayzata)- One of the best shooters in the state despite standing at 6’8 with a strong frame, Carter Bjerke Carter Bjerke 6'8" | PF Wayzata | 2022 State MN showcased his inside-out game against a tough Hopkins squad. His ability to pass and relocate to find open space on the perimeter is rare for his size, and leads to a handful of open shots every game, and against Hopkins he was knocking them down at a high rate. Defensively he worked hard to slide his feet and walled up to block/contest shots while avoiding fouling. He finished with a game high 24 points on the night. Devin Newsome (6’2 2022 G, South St. Paul)- After transferring in from Fresno, California, Devin has been making an instant impact with South St. Paul. A skilled scorer, Devin proved capable of creating his own look off the dribble or running without the ball to find space from deep. He has a smooth shooting stroke from deep but also looked comfortable attacking the basket and scoring with a soft floater or going into contact and drawing a foul at the rim. As he continues to develop chemistry with his new team, Devin could become one of the most dangerous scorers in the St. Paul area. Xavier White Xavier White 6'7" | SF Hopkins | 2021 State MN (6’7 2021 W, Hopkins)- A late bloomer type of prospect, Xavier has the potential to put together a huge senior season after really emerging onto the scene as a junior. At 6’7 on the wing, Xavier simply outmatches anyone guarding him in terms of length, and combined with his high release point it makes it hard to contest his shots from three. Against Wazyata he was pulling up from deep, but also got to the rim for some crafty finishes. His length also allowed him to see/pass over his defender from the perimeter to find his cutting teammates for 6 assists. He finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds in the win.

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