Posted On: 07/10/21 8:13 AM

With college coaches everywhere and top teams from around the country, The Platform has been as advertised, a platform for players to to showcase themselves.  Who from Minnesota has stepped up?

Mekhi Collins Mekhi Collins 6'5" | SF Mankato West | 2022 State MN of Minnesota Fury (Mankato West, 2022).  Judah Nation is an athletic team from Florida that does a lot of isolation and there were a lot of players from multiple teams that couldn’t move with their one on one separation stuff.  Collins – a high major offered football player – was one that could move with them.  Not only that, Collins was one of the few that could get free to complete shot attempts or get fouled, leading to his 4 of 5 shooting both from the field and from the foul line.  He was also the player denying the ball to the OWE scorer late in the game in the Fury late night comeback victory.  Collins separated himself on Friday with his physical ability to produce against high level athletes. 

Camden Holter Camden Holter 6'3" | SG Minneapolis Southwest | 2022 State MN of Minnesota Fury Narum (Minneapolis Southwest, 2022).  Holter led the Fury to an early morning victory and he did it in an eye opening way. First Holter caught fire from the three point line hitting three early triples and helping the Fury get out to a double figure lead.  Then it was Holter’s passing ability that really caught my attention.  The transition lead for scores was timed perfectly with the right feeds on the break and Holter’s ability to move the ball after getting a dribble or two inside the arc was high quality.  Scored 19 and was a constant threat. 

Daniel Ijadimbola of Minnesota Select (Benilde-St. Margaret’s, 2022). Ijadimbola is torching players this summer and that continued against one of the best independent teams from California, BTI.  Teams are stepping on the floor and matching up with Select worried about the main ball handler and worried about the most athletic guy from the warm-ups.  This summer the ball then goes to Ijadimbola, and the defender that picked the 6’3 BSM guard simply can’t keep Daniel in front.  Daniel’s combination of dribble separation and leverage grab on the turn continues to put weary defenders at a disadvantage.  Then Daniel follows that with an excellent read:  hit the one hand runner in the limited space, take another dribble and get to a quick pull, or use the late arriving help to his advantage and score at the cup.  Versus BTI Daniel did all of that for his 19 points on 9 of 14 shooting. 

Buom Jock Buom Jock 6'5" | SF Mankato West | 2022 State MN of D1 Minnesota Prospects (Mankato West, 2022).  Facing one of the top teams from Arkansas, Buom went head to head with other explosive 6-foot-5 forwards, and outplayed them with 16 points and four rebounds.  What separated the 6-foot-5 Buom Jock Buom Jock 6'5" | SF Mankato West | 2022 State MN ? His physicality.  Jock went at other players of similar agility and was simply more aggressive in getting to his production.  He was 7 of 11 from the floor going to the cup for five scores on balance and then he added a pair of threes (something the Arkansas players his size don’t have in their game).  Great start for Buom. 

Kobe Kirk Kobe Kirk 6'3" | SG Mounds View | 2022 State MN of Minnesota Heat Grow (Mounds View, 2022).  No Minnesota player exploded on Friday like Kobe Kirk Kobe Kirk 6'3" | SG Mounds View | 2022 State MN did.  We’ve all seen Kirk get excited and show off that quick release with deep range. Yesterday Kobe did it to a group from Colorado, only this time it was 11 points in one minute!  It was as if Reggie Miller was in the Garden, only it was Kobe in the Convention Center!  Eleven points in one minute including two deep threes, and when I mean deep I mean a guy must be nuts for thinking he can make it from there, and Kirk did!  In all it was a 33 point explosion from one of the most explosive shooters in Minnesota. Kobe scored a combined 54 points in two games Friday.  

Ahjany Lee Ahjany Lee 6'9" | PF Byron | 2022 State #115 Nation MN of D1 Minnesota Prospects (Byron, 2022).  Lee’s second half vs the Arkansas Wings is exactly why Ben Johnson of Minnesota was there.  It was exactly why head coach Jon Tauer and Gameli Ahelegbe were there in the front row (Lee visited UST recently).  Ahjany caught at the top of the key and had to of hit 11 plus feet at the top of his leap before throwing down the most physical, aggressive one hand slam of the day.  It was as if all of Lee’s anger in life was put together in one play.  And then Ahjany followed that with three more aggressive scores at the rim and a big second half of rebounding getting to 11 points and eight boards.  Arkansas had nobody that could stop Ahjany when he put all his efforts into rebounding and finishing in the paint.  He was unstoppable in half two when he went and got the paint touches. 

Pharrel Payne Pharrel Payne 6'8" | C Park Of Cottage Grove | 2022 State #98 Nation MN of Minnesota Select (Park of Cottage Grove, 2022).  With the guards picking BTI apart the main responsibility for Payne was to dominate the boards.  Payne went head to head with a division one longer power forward, and outworked him for 14 rebounds.  Throw in three blocks and five finishes and it was a double-double in front of Ben Johnson of Minnesota, Brad Underwood of Illinois, Kyle Green of Iowa State, and a host of mids hoping that the high majors on other floor don’t notice the 6-foot-9, 230 pound low post monster a court away. 

Makuei Riek Makuei Riek 6'5" | SF Rochester Mayo | 2022 State MN of Minnesota Heat (Rochester Mayo, 2022). When the game was on the line against Buddy Buckets Bahamas (the Bahamas 17u national team) Riek used the high ball screen, crossed a guy over, and shot over the top of a long help defender to make the game clinching pull-up jumper.  He then went back the other way and blocked a shot at the rim to preserve the victory.  Riek is a talented 6’6 wing with a ceiling, and he might just be the wild card of this class because the potential is quite high. 

 

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