Seven of the top performers from the three games I’ve seen so far this week! I watched Minnehaha defeat Patrick Henry, Minneapolis North take down Hiawatha Collegiate, and STMA beat Burnsville in a close game. Jeremiah Johnson 73 State 15…
Seven of the top performers from the three games I’ve seen so far this week! I watched Minnehaha defeat Patrick Henry, Minneapolis North take down Hiawatha Collegiate, and STMA beat Burnsville in a close game.
As just a sophomore, Jeremiah has one of the best mid-range jumpers I’ve seen all season. Any time he got a bit of space from around 15 feet, he was going to pull-up and likely knock down a shot with his high arcing jumper. Did a nice job of curling off screens, and with his defender trailing taking one more dribble into space before elevating for his shot. There was also a play that saw Burnsville with a wide open fast break, but Jeremiah hustled to get back and his presence just behind the player caused a missed dunk. Those two points were crucial in a one possession game. Jeremiah also stepped in to take a charge in the first half, and was all-around solid on the defensive end.
Jerome made it look effortless in a big win over Patrick Henry. In transition he was incredibly quick, beating everyone up the floor for a handful of wide open lay-ups. He seems to just effortlessly glide around the floor, able to get to just about any spot he wants to off the dribble. Had a period in the game where he didn’t seem to be able to miss as he helped Minnehaha build up a big lead. Does a nice job of passing the ball ahead in transition opportunities, and is a nice drive-and-kick passer. Finished with 25 points to continue his productive junior season.
Zashon has stepped into a huge role for North this winter, and on Tuesday night he got off to a hot start. For the first bucket of the game he drove to the hoop for a tough baseline finish through contact, and shortly after turned a steal into an open dunk. Over the next couple of minutes he picked up another steals and turned it into assist, and then pulled up for a three from the wing. In North’s full-court press Zashon seemed to be everywhere tipping passes and trapping opposing players to help force turnovers. Rich has incredible body control to finish off otherwise tough attempts at the basket, and is a high effort defender who can guard bigger than his size.
Had it not been for their free throw struggles in the second half, Hiawatha would have had a good chance to push this game down to the wire, if not win it. A big reason why was the scoring ability and toughness on the glass of Romelle. I talked about Jeremiah Johnson Jeremiah Johnson 6’0″ | SG STMA | 2025 State MN ‘s mid-range ability, and Romelle’s is right up there. He was excellent at catching at the high post or top of the key, facing up, and then elevating into a 15 foot jumper if his defender was sagging off. Because of how strong and physical he is, he can bully most guards around the basket. This caused North to guard him with size, and Romelle utilized his quickness to get into space and just knock down the open jumper repeatedly. On the glass he’s quick to find a body to boxout, and has strong hands to secure the ball. Finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds against the Class AA power.
When Burnsville’s offense started to stall in the second half, JT was the one keeping them in the game with some clutch buckets. He changes speeds incredibly well at 6’4, with a hesitation into a crossover that can leave his defender in his dust. So good at getting to the rim and finishing in a variety of ways, but also showed he can stretch the floor as he knocked down two clutch 3’s in the second half. Explosive athlete who came out of nowhere for an impressive put-back dunk early in the game.
Patrick Henry lost by a big margin to Minnehaha, but I thought Eban showed some nice stuff for his team. He’s a shifty guard with good court vision who was finding success getting into the paint against an athletic Minnehaha team. The finishes weren’t always there, but I thought Eban did a good job of drawing in a help-side defender and then dumping it off to one of his bigs around the rim for a high percentage look. When scoring on his own he was stretching the floor with his shooting range. Quick release with the ability to hit off the catch or dribble.
The opposing defense just didn’t have an answer for Rolyns in the paint. Some teams might have a guy who can match his height, and some might have someone with the strength to match him, but rarely will you find someone with that combination of size and power that Rolyns has. Rolyns can catch on the block and just over power his man as he backs him down into deep position before finishing. He’s also very light on his feet with the ability to step out, face up, and then beat his man off the dribble to get to the rim. Rolyns was running the floor hard in transition and picked up a dunk in the process. Defensively he makes it extremely hard to get an entry into the post, and he has strong hands to catch and secure rebounds. Finished with 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 steals in the big win.