PJ Hoops is filled with talented players that perform together at a high level. Fresh off of a championship run at NHR State Tournament, they are a team that should be on everyone’s radar moving forward. PJ Hoops is managed…
PJ Hoops is filled with talented players that perform together at a high level. Fresh off of a championship run at NHR State Tournament, they are a team that should be on everyone’s radar moving forward. PJ Hoops is managed by Coach Buchanan, I was happy to touch base with him about his team of stock risers. Here is what he had to say.
What are your thoughts on how your team has competed thus far in circuit season? How have you prepared?
Our boys have had an excellent season thus far. We’re entering into the June high school break 33-1 with our only loss coming to the #1 ranked team in the country, Team Teague. We won all 3 of MadeHoops biggest tournaments as well as the NYBL Circuit Finals down in Atlanta. We have also earned some much deserved attention being ranked nationally by multiple outlets so that is pretty cool.
We pride ourselves on always being ready and prepared. It starts with practicing with purpose, detailed game planning and in-game adjustments. The boys team chemistry has really been difference making and fun to watch.
Which Prep Hoops Next event are you looking forward to most and why?
All of the Prep Hoops events we did this year were great. We don’t have any left after a couple late schedule changes but I’d say Prep Hoops Live was awesome in May. We played up 15u and beat some good squads then we were able to pickup that game against Team Teague.
Prep Hoops Next NHR State was also great last weekend because it was the only time we played our age (14u) here in Minnesota. The crowds were hyped and we got to take the best shot from every team and still come out on top as State Champs. The writing, scouting and exposure is always great.
What are your team strengths and areas that could use improvements?
We truly felt coming into this season with the squad we put together what we could be one of the best teams in the country so its been nice that these boys have been able to go out and show that. We feel like we have all the tools and pieces to make a run at being #1 overall. We have great size and length across the board from the post to the perimeter. Our speed and athleticism is overwhelming for a lot of teams and our toughness and physicality is designed to battle with the best teams from all over the nation. All that combined and we feel like top to bottom we have a more deep and complete team than anybody we face. Its tough to beat a squad that really plays 10/11 deep all game every game.
We continue to preach basketball IQ and the importance of knowing the game. We always want to improve on that, we want to be the smartest team in the country as well.
Please send a full roster and give a sentence or two on what each player brings to your team.
#0 Baboucarr Ann | @Babouann (twitter)
Tall guard with great size and elite athleticism. Can handle the ball and shoot the 3. Fantastic shot blocker and defender.
#1 Kamar Thomas | @Kamarthomas0 (twitter)
Lanky guard with good size and long arms. Scrappy defender all over the court, solid shooter, driver and good rebounder with nice bounce.
#2 Kobby Sambrew | @KobbySambrew (twitter)
Great size and physicality from post to wing. Endless motor, relentless rebounder and matchup nightmare.
#3 Trey Theis | @TheisTrey (twitter)
Just about 6’6″ and growing everyday. High IQ player. Great rebounder & defender. Inside out scorer with sky high potential.
#4 Malachi Hill | @MalachiHill000 (twitter)
One of the most complete PGs in the c/o 2027. High IQ coach on the floor. Big time motor and athleticism. Scorer, shooter, passer, defender.
#7 Blake Betton | @BettonBlake (twitter)
Tough athletic guard with good size. Excellent rebounder and defender, slasher and 3 level scorer with deep range.
#11 Jaylan Hynes | @hynes_jaylan (twitter)
True 2 way player and lockdown defender. Can score from anywhere and is one of the best rebounding guards in the country.
#13 Ty Schlagel | @TySchlagel (twitter)
6 ‘5 ” Big Guard with good handles and polished offensive bag. 3 level scorer, tough midrange game, and consistent deep ball. Also a good rebounder.
#23 AJ Taban | @iamajtabannnnn (twitter)
Big time inside out presence. Physical post player and defender with the mobility to defend and play wing, lead the fast break and shoot with soft touch.
#30 Conner Watts | @conner2027 (twitter)
Smart high IQ lead guard, always the most talkative on the court. Sneaky defender, good passer and 3 ball shooter.
#33 Aaron Buchanan Jr | @AaronBuchananJr
Has been out most of the season but is a very good shooter. Lead the team in total 3’s made last year. Good IQ, good help defender.
How does your roster stack up against last season’s roster? Any major changes?
We still have the same core roster we’ve had the past 4 seasons. We have always been good but this year we added 4 players and that really got us over the hump and took us to that next level. Baboucarr Ann, Conner Watts, Blake Betton and Ty Schlagel have been huge additions. Xaviahn Ivey (@XaviahnIvey) chose to do track and train this year but has still been apart of our team and was able to fill in and play when we had some injuries. Very talented guard and scorer.
What facet of the game do you want to improve on most going into next season?
Going into next season we just want to continue getting stronger physically. Our whole team plays up at the JV/Varsity level during the high school year and we know playing on the circuit next year we will need to come back ready and come back stronger to keep competing at this top level.
Who are your best returning players? Who are your best additions, if any?
Take your pick. On any given day we can be led by a different player. Anybody can be that spark or game changer we need. That’s what makes us so tough to beat. We have so many players that can step up. This roster is LOADED with high level Division 1 talent. Extremely special and hard working group.