Tyus Jones leads 7-1 Apple Valley against Cooper
The Minnesota Timberwolves Shootout held Saturday at the Target Center has one of the strongest fields in recent memory. The Minnesota Timberwolves Shootout alumni includes 22 participants who have played in the NBA and hundred of college players. This year’s event include three talented in-state performers who are ranked among the top 30 players in the country in the Class of 2014.
9:00 AM Lakeview Christian vs. Onalaska (WI)
Lakeview Christian (6-4)
The Lions are led by Anders Broman, the State’s all-time leading scorer with over 4,000 points in his career. Lakeville Christian advanced to the Class A state tournament last season, losing to eventual champion Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa in the first round and finished 25-6. Broman, who signed with South Dakota State, averaged 43.7 points per game last year and scored 1311 points, the single-season state record. He is averaging 41.0 points per contest this season. Young brother, Bjorn Broman, a sophomore, is an excellent passer who adds 20.5 points per game. Senior Josh Plys is another outstanding three-point threat for a team that relies on their outside shooting.
The Hilltoppers are making their third straight appearance in the Timberwolves Shootout. They defeated Benilde St. Margaret’s in 2011, but fell to Apple Valley 66-64 last season. That was their lone loss of the season as they bounced back to win the Wisconsin Division II title as they finished 27-1. They are led by Iowa State recruit Matt Thomas, who averaged 21.3 points per game last season and has increased that to 27.8 points this year. The Hilltoppers must replace 6-foot-8 center Nick Arenz, who is a freshman at Green Bay and find another scoring option to take some of the pressure off Thomas. No other player averages more than eight points per game.
11:00 AM De La Salle vs. Blue Valley Northwest (KS)
De La Salle (5-0)
The Islanders won the 2012 Class AAA state title. They are led by junior Reid Travis, who is ranked #29 in the Class of 2014 by ESPN. He had 20 points and 18 rebounds in the state title win over Washburn and had 57 points and 36 rebounds in the three games. Travis is off to an excellent start this season, scoring 30 points in his first five games. He has already received a scholarship offer from Minnesota and the outstanding quarterback has a football offer from Boston College. Senior outside shooter Luke Scott adds 15.5 points per game. Sophomore point guard Jarvis Johnson already has scholarship offers from Iowa State, Northern Iowa and Creighton.
Blue Valley Northwest (KS)
The Huskies defeated fellow Timberwolves Shootout participant West Des Moines Valley 55-51 in the Heartland Shootout last month. They have been the Kansas 6A runner-up the past three years and finished 23-2 last season. The Huskies start five juniors, led by Iowa State recruit Clayton Custer, who is already the team’s all-time leading scorer. He scored 32 points in the state championship game and averaged 18 points and 4.6 assists per game last year. Six-foot-three Ben Richardson and Vince Fritz, the son of head coach Ed Fritz, are key offensive players for the Huskies.
1:00 PM Roseville vs. West Des Moines Valley (IA)
The Raiders are making their second appearance in the Timberwolves Shootout after having defeating Viborg 68-66 in 2011. They have a balanced attack with four double figure scorers. Their top three scorers are seniors, led by outside shooter Mackenzie Johnson with a 20.0 points per game average. Six-foot-6 center Jordan Burich adds 12.7 points per game, while Logan Brown contributes 12.5 points. Jacques Perra is averaging 10.2 points per game. Sophomore point guard Kobe Critchley adds 8.0 points.
West Des Moines Valley (IA) (6-3)
The Tigers are led by Iowa signee Peter Jok, who scored a game-high 31 points in the loss to fellow Timberwolves Shootout participant Blue Valley Northwest 55-51 in the Heartland Shootout last month. Jok, who has battled injuries the past two seasons, has carried a bigger offensive load with the graduation loss of Kale Abrahamson. Valley hits more three-pointers per game (8.75) than any team in the state. The Tigers have good size with six players taller than 6-foot-5, including 6-foot-5 forward Clint Boffeli, who averaged 10.9 points per game last season, 6-foot-8 center Cale Truhlsen and 6-foot-6 forward Wesley Brown, a transfer from Texas. Point guard Tyus Mason is an experienced floor general. The Tigers finished 18-6 last year and advanced to the quarterfinal round of the 4A state tournament last season. They are coached by former Iowa Hawkeye standout guard Jeff Horner.
3:00 PM Apple Valley vs. Robbinsdale Cooper
Apple Valley (7-1)
The Eagles are making their third straight Timberwolves Shootout. They return four starters from a 23-6 team that lost to Eastview in the Section 3AAAA finals and are led by ESPN’s number one player in the Class of 2014, Tyus Jones. The talented point guard has been a starter since he was in eighth grade. He is averaging 22.3 points per game. Apple Valley showed that they are not a one-man team as they recently defeated perennial power Hopkins, despite Jones playing just five minutes due to back spasms. Senior Dustin Fronk, who is one of the state’s top three-point threats, is averaging 17.0 points per game. Dennis Austin, who adds 12.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, is an effective inside scorer, despite a lack of size. Six-foot-ten freshman center Brock Bertram is a strong inside presence who is averaging 12.2 points and 7.6 rebounds.
Robbinsdale Cooper (4-4)
Cooper is led by junior guard Rashad Vaughn, who is ranked #10 in the Class of 2014 by ESPN. Vaughn is averaging 28.0 points per game and scored 51 in a recent loss to Marantha. Senior Lavar McCullough adds 14.4 points and junior Darrious Denson contributes 12.8 points per game. Billy Kellogg, a standout senior running back, averages 9.4 points.
Previews written and provided by Chris Monter of College Basketball News. Check College Basketball News for recaps of the Timberwolves Shootout or on Twitter @Collegebbnews.