Minnesota Timberwolves Shootout Preview

Rodney Williams

The Minnesota Timberwolves Shootout features six games as many of the top teams in Minnesota will play on the Target Center court Saturday. The Minnesota teams finished just 2-4 last year for the second straight year after going 4-2 and 4-1 the previous two seasons. Sixteen future NBA players and over 160 major Division I players have played in the Shootout.

10:00 Cloquet vs. Pelican Rapids
12:00 Osseo vs. Sioux Falls Roosevelt (SD)
2:00 Sibley vs. Madison Memorial (WI)
4:00 Hopkins vs. Lake Geneva Badger (WI)
6:00 Robbinsdale Cooper vs. Eden Prairie
8:00 St. Cloud Tech vs. Manitowoc Roncalli (WI)


10:00 Cloquet vs. Pelican Rapids
The first game of the day matches out-state teams in Class AAA and Class AA that have talented big men.

Cloquet finished 15-12 last season as Chad Calcaterra, a 6-foot-10, 225-pound junior big man, was hampered with a stress fracture in his foot. Calcaterra received a scholarship offer from Minnesota before his sophomore year and also has offers from Northern Iowa, North Dakota State, Wisconsin-Green Bay, Colorado and Colorado State and is hearing from Stanford, North Carolina State, Iowa and Marquette. Calcaterra averaged 10 points, 10 rebounds and four assists per game last year as a sophomore. Five-foot-10 junior guard Peter LaCourse added 10 points per game.

The Lumberjacks are 3-5 this season after losing to Blake 60-54 in the final of the Cloquet Tournament. They have won of their last four games, including a 79-45 win over Proctor in which Calcaterra scored 29 points. He scored 45 points in their earlier 89-87 loss to Virginia.

Pelican Rapids finished 22-8 last season, losing to Crosby-Ironton 74-62 in the section finals. The Vikings return 12 seniors and are led by Eric Shulstad, a 6-foot-6 big man who averaged 16.4 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.

The Vikings are off to a 7-0 start this season as they have dominated their competition. They have outscored their opponents by an average of 80.4 points per game to 42.7 and they have not had a game closer than 21 points all season.

12:00 Osseo vs. Sioux Falls Roosevelt (SD)
The second contest matches two of the Midwest's top big men.

Osseo finished 28-1 last season, losing to rival Robbinsdale Cooper 60-59 in the section finals. The Orioles are led by Sam Dower, a 6-foot-9 senior who signed with Gonzaga. Dower saw his stock rise with a strong showing this summer with the Net Gain Sports AAU program and picked the WCC power over interest from Marquette, Minnesota, California and George Mason. He averaged 13.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per game and scored in double figures in 23 of 29 games this past season, including a 23-point and 10-rebound effort versus Coon Rapids. Dower is a skilled left-handed big man who has made great strides in the past year. The Orioles were dominant with just four games within 10 points as they outscored their opponents 76.0 points to 54.8 last year. However, they had serious graduation loss as they must replace leading scorer Carrington Tankson (San Jacinto CC), Dan Brown (a two-sport standout who is at Division II Augsburg) and 7-foot center Zach Peterson (Division II Minnesota State-Moorhead).

This year, the Orioles are off to a 5-1 start, having won their last five games after dropping the season opener to Henry Sibley. Osseo won the Granite City Classic as Dower was named the tournament MVP. He is averaging 24 points per game and is averaging double figure rebounding numbers. Aaron Anderson, a 5-foot-10 junior transfer from Hopkins is averaging 11.3 points per game, He was named to the Granite City Classic All-Tournament team.

Sioux Falls Roosevelt finished 18-7 with a sixth place in the South Dakota Class AA State Tournament. They are led by Cody Larson, a 6-foot-8, 225-pound junior forward, who committed to Iowa. Larson averaged 9.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game as a sophomore. He finished with eleven points and eight rebounds in their 56-48 playoff loss to Yankton as current Gopher Colton Iverson scored 27 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in the win. Six-foot-8 center Jared Bartling gives the Rough Riders' some needed frontcourt size.

The Rough Riders are off to a 2-1 start this season with good scoring balance. Grant Wynia is averaging 16.5 points per game, including a six three-pointer effort versus Sturgis. Larson is averaging 15.5 points and Bartling is adding 13.5 points per contest.

2:00 Sibley vs. Madison Memorial (WI)
This game matches two of the top teams from Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Henry Sibley, who finished runner-up in Class AAAA and was 26-6 last season, has plenty of size. The Warriors return three of their top five scorers and are ranked as the #2 team in the state. The Warriors have one of the top frontcourts in the state with Wisconsin signee Mike Bruesewitz (14.5 points per game), Valparaiso signee Chris Halvorsen (11.7), 6-foot-7 junior Mike Rostampour, who has offers from North Dakota State and Wisconsin Milwaukee and 6-foot-11 junior center Jake Kreuser, who has an offer from Santa Clara (5.3). They also return sharpshooter Maurice Hernandez (11.9), but must replace the leadership of graduated guards Noah Kaiser (9.4) and Peter Leslie (13.7).

The Warriors are off to a 7-0 start this season, having just won the Bethel Tournament. They are outscoring their opponents by 16.2 points per game. Bruesewitz, who was the Bethel Tournament MVP, is leading the team with 20.3 points per game. He scored 35 points in their semifinal win over Maple Grove. Hernandez is averaging 16.0 points and Halvorsen is adding 13.9 points. Juniors Rostampour and Kreuser are averaging 8.0 points and 6.4 points per game, respectively.

Madison Memorial finished 23-3 last season, losing in the state championship game. Jeronne Maymon, a 6-6, 230-pound forward who signed with Marquette, was named the state's Associated Press Player of the Year. He averaged 21.0 points and 11.7 rebounds per outing as a junior. Maymon is on pace to break the school's all time records in both scoring and rebounding. Junior guard Vander Blue, who averaged 12.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game, has already committed to Wisconsin. Junior Lomomba, a 6-foot-4 freshman and Tre Creamer, a 6-foot-3 junior supply an offensive spark.

The Spartans are off to a 5-0 start this season. Blue is leading the team with 16.8 points per game and Maymon is adding 16.4 points. Lomomba is contributing 12.6 points and Creamer adds 8.5 points per contest.

4:00 Hopkins vs. Lake Geneva Badger (WI)
The fourth game features the #1 team ranked in the Midwest.

Hopkins, who was ranked #22 in the USA Today preseason rankings, is the odds-on-favorite to win the Class AAAA state title. The Royals, who finished 27-2, losing to eventual state champions and crosstown rival Minnetonka in the section finals. The two split games in the regular season. Hopkins, who won the 2005 and 2006 title, has seven Division I caliber players and added transfer Royce White, who signed with Minnesota. They also have Division players Trent Lockett, who is headed to Arizona State, Mike Broghammer, who inked with Notre Dame and Raymond Cowels, who is signed to Santa Clara. Point guard Marcus Williams is getting looks for both football and basketball, while junior D. J. Peterson has offers from North Dakota State, Baylor and Wisconsin Green Bay and Marvin Singleton, a 6-foot-4 sophomore, is one of the top players in the Class of 2011.

The Royals are off to a 7-0 start this season, having won all three games in the recent Anoka Tournament. They have shown great balance with nine players, averaging eight or more points per game. Cowels is leading the team with 13.7 points per game; followed by Lockett (12.4), White (12), Williams (10.0), Broghammer (9.4), Singleton (9.1), senior outside threat Moses Sundufu ( 8.6), Peterson (8.0) and sophomore Joe Coleman (8.0). The Royals are currently ranked #20 by USA Today, #22 in the ESPN RISE FAB 50 boys' basketball rankings and #10 by MaxxAthlete High School Top 25.

Lake Geneva Badger finished 18-6 last year, losing to Madison Memorial in the state tournament. However, they lost All-State honorable mention choice Jimmy Merritt, who averaged 16.9 points per game. The defending Lakeshore Conference champions are led by 5-foot-11 junior Justin Bowers, 6-foot-4 senior Austin Gaugert and 6-foot senior Braden Tice.

The Badgers are off to a 2-4 start this season. Tice is leading the team with 16.7 points perv game and Bowers is adding 11.6 points.

6:00 Robbinsdale Cooper vs. Eden Prairie
The fifth contest features two Division I signees and two of the top local teams.

Robbinsdale Cooper returns all five starters from a team that finished 23-9 and had a fourth place in the Class AAAA State Tournament. They upset Osseo in the section finals, giving the Orioles their only loss of the season. The Hawks are paced by Rodney Williams Jr., a 6-foot-6, 185-pound forward who is one of the top players in the state as well as one of the country's top athlete. Williams Jr., who signed with hometown Minnesota, averaged 21.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.1 blocked shots and 2.4 assists per game. They also return inside scorer Joe Bright (14.8 points per game), Kenquane Brown (7.1) and backcourt players Freddie Burton (4.9) and Quincy Bethea (10.3).

The Hawks have dominated their competition, winning by an average of 22 points per game and only one games decided by less than 16 points. Cooper has had excellent balance with four double figure scorers, led by Williams with 17.8 points per game. Bright is adding 14.8 points, Brown averages 13.6 and outside shooter Bethea is contributing 13.2 points.

Eden Prairie finished 19-9 record, losing to Bloomington Kennedy in the Section II second-round playoffs. The Eagles are led by Ethan Wragge, a 6-foot-6 senior forward has signed with Creighton. Wragge averaged 16.0 points per game last season. He scored in double figures in 22 of 28 games and had eight games of 20 or more points, including a season-high 27 points in their playoff loss to Bloomington Kennedy. Brett Ervin, a 6-foot-5 junior forward, has started to attract recruiting interest from schools such as Wichita State, Davidson, Oregon State, Northern Iowa, North Dakota State and Valparaiso. Ervin averaged 9.5 points per game as a sophomore, averaging in double figures in 15 of 26 games with a season-high 21 points against Burnsville. Guards Mark and Timmy Miller provide outside shooting and leadership in the backcourt.

The Eagles are off to a 6-2 start after finishing second in the Bethel Tournament. They are led by frontcourt players Wragge (16.8 points per game) and Ervin (15.0). Guards Timmy Miller (10.3), Marc Miller (9.0) and Brendan Gay (8.1) provide outside scoring.

8:00 St. Cloud Tech vs. Manitowoc Roncalli (WI)
The final game matches teams that made state tournament appearance last year.

St. Cloud Tech finished 29-3 last season with a third place finish in the Class AAAA State Tournament. The Tigers, which return four starters, are led by Nate Wolters, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from St. Cloud (MN) Tech, who will wait until the spring signing period to make his college choice. Wolters was named first team All-Central Lakes last season and scored his 1,000th career point as the Tigers defeated Robbinsdale Cooper 84-71 in the Class 4A third-place game. Wolters led all scorers with 22 points in the game. Wolters played for the Minnesota Comets Elite AAU team this spring and summer and helped lead his St. Cloud Tech team to a final four appearance in the Gopher State Prep Showcase. He averaged 19.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. Alex Hanks, a 6-foot-2 junior guard who averaged 16 points and 5.2 rebounds per game and 6-foot-3 senior Tyson Eurle, who added 10.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game provide a scoring punch.

The Tigers are off to a 6-0 start this season as they are outscoring their opposition by 24.2 points per game.

Manitowoc Roncalli finished 23-2 last season and has posted a 96-6 mark the past four years. The Jets lost to Iola-Scandinavia 67-64 in the state tournament. They are led by Ben Stelzer, a 6-foot sophomore guard, who averaged 11.3 points per game last year and 6-foot-2 Jake Ledvina, who added 6.3 points. Stelzer scored 36 points in the season opener, making eight of nine three-pointers.

The Jets are off to a 4-1 start as Stelzer is averaging 22.2 points per game. Ledvina is averaging 10.8 points and Adam Koss is chipping in ten points per game.

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