Alex Conover of Prep Hoops

Minnesota State Tournament Preview: Gopher perspective

Minnesota committed Daniel Oturu and his Cretin-Derham Hall Raiders play Gopher guard target Tre Jones and Apple Valley tomorrow in the first day of the state tournament. GI gets Gopher fans ready for four days of State Tournament Hoops.

top 2018s Head to Head.

Future Minnesota Gopher Daniel Oturu leads a group of excellent juniors to state with a 21-8 record.  The Raiders start four juniors and a sophomore so they had some tough early season losses but now they are playing some of their best basketball having went through the toughest road to state of any Class AAAA team (North St. Paul, East Ridge, and Tartan).

Oturu led the state in rebounding and blocked shots this year grabbing over 16 rebounds a contest and blocking 157 attempts in 25 games.  He also averaged 19.6 points per game shooting 68.7 percent from the floor and 68 percent from the foul line.  Along with him is Ryan Larson (13.7 points and 10.8 assists a game), Jake Prince (12.2 points and 6.3 boards), and sophomore Jaeden King (10 points a game).

Point guard Tre Jones will likely try and challenge Oturu a few times like he did in early December when Apple Valley beat CDH 79-51.  Jones had 27 points on 11 of 17 shooting plus nine boards and five assists.  Oturu had 11 points, a ridiculous 25 rebounds, five blocks, but also eight turnovers. 

Jones is scoring 23.3 points per game this year shooting 55 percent on his 15 attempts a game plus 80 percent at the foul line and 37.6 percent at the arc.  Jones averages 7.4 assists and a shade under ten boards a game plus 3.5 steals. Five Eagles scored between 7 and 10 a game led by junior Luke Martens and his 10.5 a contest.

You can expect Richard Pitino, Ben Johnson, and likely others to be front and center for each of the Apple Valley and CDH games.

DeLaSalle Shooter.

Another player Minnesota will likely watch three times closely is offered shooting guard Gabe Kalscheur. Gabe is a junior that Minnesota offered last summer.  His DeLaSalle Islander team is a heavy favorite to win their sixth straight state championship.

Gabe is averaging 17.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 2.2 steals a contest.  He’s shooting 45.6 percent from the floor this season on 12-13 shots a game.  Kalscheur has made 36.3 percent of his three point attempts.

Leading the Islanders is George Mason signed Goanar Mar who puts up 20.7 points and 9.2 rebounds a game shooting 46 percent from the floor and 42.2 percent from the three-point arc.  Sophomore point guard Tyrell Terry is averaging 8.1 points and 4.5 assists a game.  Terry has been a Gopher guest at games a couple times this year.

The Badger Duo.

As expected future Badgers Nathan Reuvers and Brad Davison have brought their teams to the state tournament once again (Lakeville North and Maple Grove respectively).   Despite being the two seed at state Maple Grove got the draw against the only team with a losing record (Andover) so they will have it much easier than North.   The Panthers are the four seed and play five seed Wayzata who is playing at state for the first time since 1959.

Brad Davison is all time Maple Grove leader in points, assists, steals, free throws made, threes made, charges taken, and wins (94) and is over 2,200 points for his career.  Davison led his team in points (24.9), assists (7.9) and steals (4.6) plus grabbed 7.6 boards a game.

Nathan Reuvers is the second all-time leading scorer in school history plus the all- time leading rebounder, all time leading shot blocker, and averages 25.5 points a game with 12.3 rebounds.  Reuvers shot 60 percent from the field this year.

Young Star at State.

Minnehaha Academy freshman phenom Jalen Suggs pushed his young Redhawks team to a 23-5 record and a state tournament appearance.  Suggs already has a Minnesota Gopher offer among several other schools. He scored his 1,000th point in early January of this season.

In 22 games played this year Jalen averaged 21.7 points a game with 7.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 3.5 steals.  Suggs shot 49 percent from the floor, 32 percent at the arc, and 72 percent at the foul line.

The Redhawks start a couple other freshman in Terry Lockett and Kaden Johnson who have both been guests of Minnesota at Williams Arena this year.  Lockett, a point guard, averaged a dozen points a game while Johnson, a wing, scored nine a game.  Up front D-1 offered JaVonni Bickham has given the Redhawks 14.9 points and 9.3 rebounds a game.

Champlin Park.  One of the Best, Ever?

The Rebels are undefeated and have pretty much controlled every team in state they’ve played including Apple Valley, Maple Grove, Hopkins, DeLaSalle, and many others.  The next question is, are they one of the greatest teams in the state ever?

Their depth doesn’t have the name talent that Hopkins of 2009 did but this Rebels team dominates teams like those Royals were able to.  They have the leading candidate for Player of the Year in McKinley Wright who has signed at Dayton.  Wright gives them 23 points, eight rebounds, and 7.6 assists a game.

Around Wright on the wing the Rebels have one of the state’s elite defenders in Marcus Hill (11 points and 6 rebounds a game), an amazing group of shooters in Brian Smith (13 a game), Josiah Strong (9.5 a game), and Bennett Otto, plus worker DJ Hunter (8 a game) and size. 

That size is Marquette bound Theo John who puts up 14 points, 8.6 rebounds, and five blocks a contest.  If they ever have foul issues they can go to Chris Davis who doesn’t play much but is still a top 100 prospect in the state at 6-foot-8.

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