Best Buy Augsburg Classic Preview

The Best Buy Augsburg Classic features some of Minnesota top teams and players along with three outstanding out-state squads. The tournament, which starts Monday, features defending state champion and current #1 Hopkins, preseason third ranked Henry Sibley, Class AAA #1 ranked St. Paul Johnson and perhaps the number one eighth grader in the country. will cover all the action.

Monday December 28 (Quarterfinals)
4 pm St. Louis Park vs St. Paul Johnson
6 pm Henry Sibley vs Chicago Julian
8 pm Hopkins ve Milwaukee Marshall

Tuesday December 29
2 pm Loser SLP/Johnson vs Loser Sibley/Julian
4 pm Loser Hopkins/Marshall vs Mpls Roosevelt
6 pm Winner SLP/Johnson vs Winner Sibley Julian
8 pm Winner Hopkins/Marshall vs Christian Faith Academy

Wednesday December 30
1 pm 7th place
3 pm 5th place
5 pm 3rd place
7pm Championship

St. Louis Park
The Orioles are hoping to bounce back from a 6-20 season, which saw them losing 13 of their last 14 games. They are off to a 2-4 start under first year head coach Micah Watkins. The Orioles are led by Alex Koch, who is averaging 19.8 points per game after averaging 20.4 points as a junior. Junior point guard Aaron Ziman, who is contributing 12.0 points per contest, is an outstanding floor general with good passing skills.

St. Paul Johnson
The Governors return three starters and a top reserve from a 26-5 team that finished third in the Class AAA Tournament. They are off to a 6-0 start and won their first four games by an average of 25.2 points per game. The Governors are led by junior point guard Estan Tyler, who is averaging 15.0 points per game and sophomore Marcus Marshall, who is adding 13 points per contest. They are deep team with eight players scoring five or more points per game and their trapping defense makes up for their lack of size with no player on the roster over 6-foot-5.

Henry Sibley
The Warriors finished 27-3 last season, losing to the Wisconsin state champion Madison Memorial and Minnesota Class AAAA champ Hopkins in the regular season. They were the second seed in the Class AAAA state tournament, but were upset by Bloomington Jefferson 60-56 in the first round. The Warriors started the season ranked #3 in Class AAAA and are 3-2, losing to two undefeated teams in early season play. Lafayette signee Jake Kreuser and forward Mike Rostampour are being asked to carry the scoring load this season with the graduation losses of Wisconsin signee Mike Bruesewitz (17.4 points per game), Valparaiso signee Chris Halvorsen (14.9) and Division II Concordia St. Paul signee Maurice Hernandez (14.2). Kreuser, who scored a career-high 21 points against #1 Hopkins is averaging 9.6 points per game and Rostampour is adding 12.6 points. They are the only returnees among the top seven scorers from last year, but transfer Jordan Jackson, who averaged 16.3 points per game at St. Paul Como Park, is providing offense in the backcourt with his 14.4 points per game. Senior outside shooter Jimmy Ryan (6.2) and sophomore Dontae Gray (9.6) added some scoring punch.

The Royals won the Class AAAA state title last year as they finished 31-0. Hopkins, which also won the 2005 and 2006 titles, had a starting lineup dominated by Division I-caliber players in Royce White, who signed with Minnesota, Trent Lockett (Arizona State), Mike Broghammer (Notre Dame) and Raymond Cowels, (Santa Clara). Point guard Marcus Williams signed with North Dakota State and plans to play both football and basketball in college. However, the cupboard is far from bare as the younger players got plenty of chances to play together since Hopkins won by an average of over 25 points per game and they were ranked #1 in the preseason polls. The Royals have shown little sign of slipping this season as they are off to a 5-0 start and have won by an average of 15.8 points. Joe Coleman, whose brother Dan played at Minnesota, scored 43 points in the season opening win over Minneapolis Henry and is averaging 28.4 points per game. Junior Marvin Singleton is a strong inside player, who is averaging 19.4 points. Versatile senior D.J. Peterson, who has three Division I offers, is the third double figure scorer with 10.4 points per game. Sophomore point guard Siyani Chambers is an excellent floor general. Ninth grader Riley Dearring and Zach Stahl are emerging talents for the Royals. This year's Hopkins team is not a deep as the 2008-09 edition, but they seemed poised to try for a second straight state title.

Minneapolis Roosevelt
The Teddies finished 6-22 and return just three players from last year's team. They are to a 1-3 start, led by junior Calvin Jenkins, who has scored in double figures in all four games and is averaging 18.3 points per game. Senior James Smith is adding 12.3 points per game and junior Karl Wiley chips in with 7.5 points.

Chicago Julian
The Jaguars are currently off to a 4-4 start this season under first year head coach Loren Jackson. They have four double figure scorers and a good mixture of frontcourt size and backcourt scoring. The Jaguars have a balanced attack with four double figure scorers. Senior lefty Walter Lemon has attracted plenty of mid major offers. Junior guard Phillip Greene is one of the Midwest top backcourt performers in the Class 0f 2011. Lemon and Greene are both transfers from Chicago Fenger. Six-foot-seven junior big men Xzavier Ottman and Jamari Taylor give the team plenty of inside punch. Coach Jackson said his team is getting better defensively and helped each other offensively.

Milwaukee Marshall
The Eagles finished 18-5 last season, but must replace their top scorer Chauncey Williams, who averaged 16.9 points per game. They are off to a 1-1 start this year. The Eagles are led by Alfreeman Flowers, a 6-foot-5 senior who is leading the team with 12.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Aristede Bratchett, a 6-foot guard adds twelve points per game and point guard Antone Moore leads the team in assists.

Christian Faith Academy
Christian Faith Academy is coached by Ro Russell, who lead the Grassroots Canada team to the 2008 adidas Super 64 title and a spot in the Best Buy Summer Classic Final Four in Bloomington this summer. The team, which is off to a 6-2 start features some of the top young Canadian talent, They are led in scoring by 6-foot-6 eighth grader Andrew Wiggins, who is averaging 18 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Wiggins, who is considered by some observers as the top player in the Class of 2014, comes from an athletic family. His father Mitchell Wggins, was a first round pick in the 1984 NBA Draft after a standout career at Florida State and played six years in the NBA, averaging 10.0 points per game. His mother, Marita Payne, was a twenty-one time NCAA All-American and she went on to win two silver medals for the United States at the 1984 Olympic Games in the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 meter relay for the Canadian national team. She won a total of four NCAA Championships in individual events and four more with Florida State relay teams. Six-foot-9 junior Braeden Anderson is averaging 15.5 points per game and a team best nine rebounds. Byron Rhymes, a 5-foot-11 American senior point guard, is averaging 14 points and 6-foot-8 junior Kevin Thomas, who ranked among the top 100 player in the class, is adding 10.2 points per game. Russell said that his team's strength is their size and length. They often change their defense to throw off opposing teams.

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