I was able to see some of the top talent in class AAAA show out this past week in a pair of exciting matchups. Here were seven prospects who stuck out to me and out performed the rest. Hopkins (64)…
I was able to see some of the top talent in class AAAA show out this past week in a pair of exciting matchups. Here were seven prospects who stuck out to me and out performed the rest.
Hopkins (64) vs Wayzata (89):
Jackson’s sky-high potential was on display in Tuesday’s win over #3 Hopkins. His shots were not falling early, but when he connected with his first three-pointer, he stayed hot for the entirety of the game. With the combination of his length and quick release, it was very difficult for the defense to get a quality contest on his shot when he pulled up. He specialized in catch and shoot situations, always looking set and under control. The junior forward also had a pull-up mid-range jumper on the baseline making it look super smooth. McAndrew had some finishes inside as well, including a two-handed dunk in transition. Jackson finished the win with a game-high 27 points and proved exactly why he is a top-5 ranked junior in Minnesota.
Wayzata looked very tough in their win over Hopkins and Hayden was doing a little bit of everything. He scored 13 points, knocking down 3 three-pointers, including a step back shot to lead his team on a scoring run to start the second half. He was constantly getting around defenders with his quickness, then kicking out to teammates for good looks from beyond the arc. Tibbits really impressed commanding this Trojan offense and was also a hound on defense, forcing mistakes for opponents.
Despite the loss, Jayden was doing all he could to try and keep the Royals in the game. He looked very good creating shots for himself, blowing by defenders to get to the basket where he would then go to his deep bag of ways to get a bucket. I saw multiple aggressive finishes at the rim, a soft-touch floater, and some pull-up jump shots in the mid-range and from beyond the arc. Moore looked to be battling through some bumps and bruises, but ultimately turned in a nice performance. The freshman is averaging 22.2 points per game so far this season for 11-3 Hopkins.
Jake had a huge second half to help close out the win over Hopkins. The senior took advantage of the defense crashing down on players attacking the rim, leaving him with several open three-point looks. He did not waste these opportunities, as he sank 3 threes in the second half. He also had a nice back cut and finish, catching his defender sleeping. After a slow start, Wayzata is rolling and finds themselves on a ten game win streak. They look like true state title contenders once again.
Chanhassen (88) vs Chaska (77):
Maxwell’s ability to facilitate for his team took over this game and most of Chan’s baskets he was scoring himself or finding a teammate for an open look. He is arguably the quickest player in the state and was constantly blowing by defenders on his way to the paint. When he gets there, he can make a tough finish at the basket or hang in the air and make a picture-perfect pass to a teammate. Woods was also causing problems for opponents on defense, applying pressure on ball handlers all game. He finished Friday night’s win with 20 points and a number of assists.
Riley has been on a scoring hot streak as of late and that did not slow down in the win over Chaska. He scored the majority of his points at the basket, doing this in a multitude of different ways. He ran in transition very well, finishing at the rim at full speed with either hand. He had many drives to the basket, absorbing contact and converting the tough finish. The sophomore guard is a knockdown three-point shooter as well and made the defense pay for leaving him open for a clutch second half shot. He has great mechanics and everything looks smooth when he gets his shot off. Johnson finished with 22 points on Friday after dropping 33 in Tuesday’s win over Orono.
I still cannot believe Tyler is only an 8th grader when I am watching him play. He has ball handling abilities well beyond his years and did a great job conducting the Chaska offense. He played in Friday’s big game with no fear and was going at opponents on both ends of the floor early. He caused a few turnovers and had a huge block in transition. Offensively, he was getting to the basket very well, finishing through contact and drawing fouls. Forrest is a special prospect and I cannot wait to see his growth as a player these next couple years.