D1 Minnesota was back in action yesterday at the Summer Classic in Chaska, Minnesota with a host of programs in attendance. They pulled out a 83-60 victory and it was 2019 Matthew Hurt who stood the tallest.
5 Star Freshman
Matthew Hurt of Rochester, Minnesota is in rare company. At 6-foot-9 and 15 years old he’s leading one of the elite 17 and under AAU clubs in the nation in scoring in rebounding (a team that has four nationally ranked seniors-to-be) including today’s 19 point performance.
How talented is Hurt? Talented enough that Thad Matta flew to Minnesota, drove 30 minutes west, watched Hurt for just over a half hour, a scholarship offer was confirmed, and he was back on the plane. Already this month Hurt’s family has had conversations with John Calipari, Jon Scheyer of Duke, and Roy Williams of North Carolina.
Today coaches from Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa State, Oregon, Virginia, and Wisconsin joined Thad Matta in watching Hurt put up 19 points against Grassroots Minnesota in an 83-60 victory. Hurt’s go to move is his left handed attack with a pull-up over the length of just about any player and between that, strong effort putbacks and catch and hit in rhythm treys you have three of his four more consistent finishes.
The other? The two hand throw down viciously over whatever opponent. Hurt scored nine field goals and five of them were aggressive two hand dunks. People look at Matthew and think skill beyond his years, court IQ, and length. But what they also need to start recognizing is that Matthew is a lot more explosive than given credit for. Not only was he throwing down today, but Hurt was throwing down game after game in South Carolina last week too. It’s just another part of Hurt’s game that makes him one of the nation’s best.
Do it the Wright Way
What is the Wright Way as in the McKinley Wright way? It’s all out effort, all out full court push. Three times Grassroots Minnesota put up an airball today and three times Wright swopped in under it to start a break when many thought the ball was about to hit the end line. Wright collected and dashed three times for scores in this way. They were three of his eleven rebounds for the game.
Standing in the coaches section watching Wright was Ben Johnson of Minnesota, Tom Ostrom of Dayton, Darrin Horn of Texas, and Neill Berry of Iowa State. McKinley gave them an open floor dunk, a jumper, and several free throws for his nine points and another seven assists most of which were the result of his pace push.
What stood out more than anything today though was Wright’s ball pressure defense. Wright was given the task of defending Jaquan Sanders-Smith who was recently offered by Youngstown State. Sanders-Smith and Wright had some verbal exchanges which likely motivated the D1 guard to stop Sanders-Smith from making his first eight attempts and Wright’s relentless lateral explosive steps stopped JaQuan from his usual corner turn. It was the definition of a lockdown effort allowing only two makes.
Jericho with the highlight
Four star talent Jericho Sims drew a crowd of Minnesota, Oregon, Ohio State, Dayton, Texas, Iowa State, Nebraska, Kansas State, and others to Chaska, Minnesota on Friday and what they will forever recall is 2016 big Max Curran taking about four steps at Sims and trying to make a highlight. Curran, a bouncy talent himself, wanted to go over the top of Sims. Not today.
Sims used his ridiculous length and extreme bounce to meet Curran a foot above the rim and he nearly bruised Johnson of Minnesota and Ostrom of Dayton with the velocity of the swat. It was one of five block Sims had to go with eight boards and four field goals as the D1 Minnesota power forward continues to work to consistency. The offensive highlight of the day, besides the two springy dunks, was the Sims led break where he pushed the ball across halfcourt and left a pass for a Goanar Mar score.
- Race Thompson drew many of the same coaches to his earlier game. The 2018 had 11 rebounds fighting for everything like his father Darrell Thompson used to fight for yards as a Green Bay Packer first round draft pick and the all time leading rusher for Minnesota.
- With his father Khalid EL-Amin watching close, Ishmael El-Amin knocked out three treys and then got the rest of his 14 in transition. Ishmael is one of the best transition players in the Midwest and the consistency of his three-point stroke continues to improve.
- Six-foot-9 Max Curran scored a game high 21 including four three-pointers against D1 Minnesota. Curran has range to his jumper in addition to a quick bouncing effort on the glass. He’s a guy that can be an active off-ball finisher above the rim and he can face up an opposing big on the arc comfortably. He’s a 2016 that is still looking for a program.
- Need a shooter? The number one prospect in South Dakota is Matt Cartwright today put on a shooting display hitting five treys and scoring 27. What was just as impressive as the beautiful touch from the arc was his active off ball scores moving within several sets to catch and finish.