MINNETONKA, Minn. – The annual Hopkins Tip Off Classic presented by Breakdown Sports took place on Saturday. With just about every top player and top team in the state of Minnesota in attendance, the stars were out in full force at Hopkins High School. Highlighting a tremendous day of hoops action, the nightcap between Champlin Park and Apple Valley did not disappoint as Dayton commit McKinley Wright was able to edge his counterpart, 2018 point guard Tre Jones for a key victory. Wisconsin bound Brad Davison was clutch as usual as his trey ball in the closing seconds was the difference for Maple Groves. Here’s a look at that and more from this past weekend’s event in Minnesota…
Trae Berhow – 2017 – SG – Watertown-Mayer
One of the prettiest shots in the Midwest, Berhow was impressive in a Saturday morning win over St. Charles. The Pepperdine commit exploded for a game-high 30 points, leading Watertown-Mayer to a rather comfortable victory. Berhow is a rise and fire sharpshooter that gets great elevation on his jumper, making it very hard to contest. If Berhow is left open, he’s very deadly. Berhow was able to knock down some contested looks as well, shaking the defense in the open floor and pulling up off the bounce. Sort of a lost art in today’s game, Berhow loves the mid-range and can live in that 15-17 foot range.
Brad Davison – 2017 – PG – Maple Grove
The Wisconsin commit didn’t have his best stuff, but Davison found ways to will Maple Grove to a victory. Fortunately for his team, Davison was able to step up in the waning moments, hitting the game-winning 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left. Davison had some uncharacteristic turnovers and was also frustrated by the lack of jumpers finding the bottom of the net, but when it was crunch time, he found ways to win. Davison got after it defensively, getting on the hardwood for loose balls and playing the passing lanes to spark his offense. He finished with a team-high 28 points in a win over De La Salle.
Matthew Hurt – 2019 – SF – Rochester John Marshall
With his team outmatched against a loaded Hopkins squad, Hurt held his own. The five-star sophomore went off for a game-high 30 points in the loss. It’s easy to see why so many top programs are chasing Hurt. A 6-foot-9, 200-pound forward, Hurt has a deep skill set. You can isolate him on the wing, put him in the pick n’ roll, run him off screens, and get him touches on the block. Perhaps most impressively, Hurt produces without much help around him. Constantly the center of attention, Hurt doesn’t get much space or time to work with when he gets the ball.
Tre Jones – 2018 – PG – Apple Valley
Shaking off a slow start, Jones turned it on in Saturday’s loss to Champlin Park. As usual, Jones could not be kept from the rim. He’s so smooth and so talented with the basketball in his hands that he’s often able to get anything he wants. With Marquette commit Theo John patrolling the paint, Jones didn’t shy away from challenging him at the rim, but also showed good awareness to pull up from mid-range and hit consistently. The defense often forced him to take jumpers and Jones stepped up and drilled two three-pointers as well. Jones did it all and finished with a triple-double on Saturday, totaling 28 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists.
Gabe Kalscheur – 2018 – SG – De La Salle
The junior sniper scored 22 of his game-high 29 points in the first half as De La Salle fell to Maple Grove. The 6-foot-4 wing used his size very well on the block and showcased a nice post game. Kalscheur made opposing guards uncomfortable with his ability to play with his back to the basket. When it was time to knock down shots from the perimeter, Kalscheur was able to rise and fire from the perimeter. More of a spot up shooter, Kalscheur looks to be improving on the go and hit some jumpers off the dribble on Saturday as well.
Daniel Oturu – 2018 – F/C – Cretin Derham Hall
A post prospect that just gets better and better every time I see him, Oturu has come a long way in the last year and a half. After his freshman season, Oturu appeared to have a high ceiling, but such a long way to go offensively. As a junior, he’s developed a whole new skillset. Oturu is comfortable scoring going away from the basket and showcased nice touch on his fade away jumper. Hit footwork continues to rapidly improve down on the block as well. Oturu can even put the ball on the deck and attack from the high post. A standout shot blocker, Oturu controlled the paint all game long in an overtime loss to Lakeville North. He also finished with 15 points despite battling foul trouble.
Nathan Reuvers – 2017 – PF – Lakeville North
Reuvers is just a perfect fit for Wisconsin. A stretch forward who can be deadly in the pick n’ roll game, Reuvers is expected to see the floor immediately in Madison next season. He took 28 shots in Saturday’s win over Cretin-Derham Hall, but finished with a game-high 36 points. Reuvers drilled open jumpers and showcased his ability to drive past opposing bigs from the perimeter. Perhaps most impressively, Reuvers was a monster defensively and on the glass. He notched a double-double by halftime and blocked six shots.
Jalen Suggs – 2020 – SG – Minnehaha Academy
He’s come up through the NY2LA Sports GNBA circuit as a middle school standout and he continues to prove he’s worthy of the hype. Suggs is the real deal and the things he can do with the basketball in his hands are simply ridiculous for his age. Against a good Minneapolis North team, Suggs went for 32 points. His outside shot wasn’t falling, but even against some pretty good senior defenders, Suggs found ways to create space and get looks. When Suggs attacks the rim, you almost can’t believe he’s a freshman. He has the strength and athleticism of an upperclassmen and can make special plays in the air. A sure-fire high caliber talent, Suggs will be choosing from some of the nation’s best programs here in a few years.
Race Thompson – 2018 – PF – Robbinsdale Armstrong
There’s a lot to like about Thompson. A 6-foot-8, 200-pound forward, Thompson can handle and shoot the ball like a guard. In fact, Tartan defended him with perimeter players in order to take his versatility away. Facing constant double teams, Thompson finished with a game-high 24 points. He heated up late to pull Robbinsdale Armstrong close down the stretch. Thompson can play a point forward role and bring the ball up the floor. Thompson will be a major mismatch problem at the next level with his ability to take defenders off the dribble, shoot from the outside, and play with his back to the basket.
McKinley Wright – 2017 – PG – Champlin Park
This is a very good get for Dayton. Wright is a terrific scoring guard that is so dynamic with the ball in his hands. Constantly pushing the tempo, Wright finished with a team-high 27 points. He was also responsible for a handful of assists, just hitting the defense with crisp, on-time passes before they could react. Wright is a terrific mid-range scorer. His blend of strength and speed makes it easy to get create good looks off the bounce. If he chooses to attack the rim, Wright has terrific touch and can float the ball over the top of the defense. For 36 minutes, Wright just wouldn’t let up on Saturday. His motor runs at 100 percent all game long.
Ishmael El-Amin – 2017 – PG – Hopkins
A player I’ve thought has been undervalued, El-Amin showed why Ball State is getting a steal. The dynamic floor general was in complete control throughout during a blowout victory over Rochester John Marshall. Scoring 22 points in short order, El-Amin got whatever he wanted. He blew past defenders in the open floor and when he couldn’t get to the rack, hit mid-range jumpers with ease. Also a terrific passer, El-Amin set his teammates up for easy baskets, leading to Saturday’s rout.
Burt Hedstrom – 2017 – G/F – Minnetonka
Hedstrom powered Minnetonka in the first half. The lefty shot the ball very well from downtown. Hedstrom scored a game-high 22 points, including the game-winning free throws, leading Minnetonka to a close win over North St. Paul Saturday morning. Hedstrom buried a number of open triples and showed the ability to take the ball strong to the hole. Defensively, Hedstrom plays bigger than his 6-foot-4 frame and isn’t afraid to muscle opponents underneath the basket and work the glass. A unique talent that can take on the job of primary scorer or role player, Hedstrom has plenty of value to his team.
Jordan Horn – 2017 – G – Tartan
Horn was special in Saturday’s win over Robbinsdale Armstrong. The Sienna commit took over the game at times and was unstoppable with the ball in his hands. En route to a team-high 23 points, Horn simply broke down the defense at will with the ball in his hands. He mixed things up with triples, mid-range jumpers, and drives to the rim. The defense had no answer for Horn, who made winning plays down the stretch to help Tartan survive.
Isaac Johnson – 2017 – G/F – Minneapolis North
Western Illinois is getting a good one here. Perhaps overshadowed on a stacked Howard Pulley team during the travel season, Johnson has a lot of value at the next level. The 6-foot-3 senior can be a defensive stopper, a sniper, or a player that does the dirty work. Johnson was everywhere during North’s win over Minnehaha Academy. He made things difficult on their talented guards and also showed the ability to create his own shot. Known more as a spot up shooter, Johnson was able to score off the bounce, knocking down a number of difficult shots en route to 22 points on Saturday.
Goodnews Kpegeol – 2018 – SG – North St. Paul
When Kpegeol gets going, he can be very tough to stop. Kpegeol become a nightmare when he’s hitting his outside shot. An explosive, 6-foot-5 wing, Kpegeol is a creative finisher around the rim that can just seemingly float in midair. Kpegeol has improved his handles and ability to take defenders off the dribble. He struggled to finish at times, but was impressive with his ability to dodge defenders in the air and use extra effort to avoid a block. Kpegeol had a big second half and finished with 19 points, but North St. Paul fell to Minnetonka in the opener.
Ryan Larson – 2018 – PG – Cretin Derham Hall
A kid we’ve talked about time and time again, but is still looking for his first offer, Larson was terrific once more in a loss to Lakeville North. He’s undersized, but Larson has tons of game. Larson finished with a team-high 18 points on Saturday. A jet in the open floor, Larson can get coast-to-coast. He didn’t display it much from the point guard position, but off the ball, he can be a deadly shooter. Larson also has terrific vision. When he gets into the teeth of the defense, he’ll more often than not make a play. Getting some mid-major looks, Larson has already proved himself against quality competition with Howard Pulley. Look for him to continue to do that this spring.
Tywhon Pickford – 2018 – G/F – Maple Grove
Pickford stepped up big time for Maple Grove in their win over De La Salle. The junior came up with 21 points, carrying the load most of the way. With Davison not having his best stuff, Pickford was huge for Maple Grove. He got hot early, knocking down a couple of triples. The 6-foot-4 wing was unconscious at times from downtown and wasn’t fazed by a hand in his face. A lengthy, athletic wing, Pickford is also a standout defender. Pickford moves well laterally and is tough to score on.
Odell Wilson – 2018 – PF – Minneapolis North
A kid we saw break out last spring, Wilson dominated Minnehaha Academy in the paint. Facing a small team, the 6-foot-6, 190-pound junior just ate the opposition alive on the block and the offensive glass. Wilson finished with a team-high 26 points on Saturday. He’s got some skills and can score going to either hand. Wilson moves well for his frame and get off the floor following a miss quickly.
Goodnews Kpegeol is receiving interest from Milwaukee, South Dakota, Denver, and Nebraska-Omaha.
Jalen Suggs has offers from Iowa, Baylor, Minnesota, Iowa State, Georgia Tech, UNLV, Marquette, and others. He listed Wake Forest and Wisconsin as schools showing interest.
Race Thompson has offers from Arizona State, Creighton, Minnesota, Iowa State, Nebraska, Kansas State, Marquette, and others. Wisconsin, Baylor, Michigan, Michigan State, and others are showing interest.
Matthew Hurt holds offers from Kansas, Louisville, North Carolina, Arizona, UCLA, Ohio State, Florida, and more. Kentucky, Duke, Michigan State, and others have been showing interest.
Daniel Oturu has offers from Kansas, Minnesota, Providence, Creighton, Memphis, Nebraska, and others. Indiana, Wisconsin, Purdue, Texas, Xavier, Butler, Michigan State, and others are also involved.