Gopher Targets in the Minnesota State Tournament: 3/31
March Madness isn't just for college hoops! On March 31st, the Minnesota State High School League State Tournament kicked off, and several Gopher targets were amongst those participating.
In the 4:00pm game, the Wayzata Trojans and 2022 four-star wing Camden Heide took on Duluth East
Right on it's tail at 4:30, Minnehaha Academy and their talented squad of high-majors headlined by the nations best player in 2021 Chet Holmgren, Minnesota's top ranked 2022 prospect in four-star Prince Aligbe, Tennessee State commit Hercy Miller, and more took on Byron and Rivals150 forward Ahjany Lee.
Then at 7:00, Cretin Derham Hall and the state's top point guard, 2022 four-star Tre Holloman faced off against the Rosemount Irish.
Let's run down what we saw from Gopher prospects throughout the day:
Cam Heide impresses me in a few different ways. The first is how smooth he is with the basketball in his hands. He's such a threat off the catch, and his first step is long and explosive. The distance and separation he creates off it is is deceptive, and very tough for the defense to stay in front of.
Another way I'm impressed by Heide is his clear ability to fit into an offense and use his game the best way he knows how. He's a capable ball-handler, but he has talented teammates that can initiate and let him do his thing when the time comes. Things are rarely forced with him, and that allows him to play his game, which is shooting and attacking the basket off the catch.
Heide finished the game as the teams second leading scorer with 15 points, but he had to miss most of the second half due to leg cramps, according to the Star Tribune's MN Basketball Hub.
In the first half, Chet Holmgren was a monster. By my count, he recorded a 20 point 10 rebound double-double while blocking multiple shots, and shooting at a very high clip. He showed off his range, ability to bring the ball up the court and initiate the offense, and proved that he is perhaps the best rim protector in the country.
All of that can be shown in the clip below.
In the second half, Holmgren slowed down a bit on the offensive end and let some of his teammates be the ones to take on the scoring load. Part of this was because he was tasked with defending Byron's Ahjany Lee, who majorly slowed down in the second half with Holmgren checking him.
Prince Aligbe is another guy that just lets the game come to him. He has a nice jumpshot, and his length allows him to defend taller defenders, while his quickness and athleticism enables him to lock onto guards as well. He's someone that will be able to switch 1-4 at the next level at times, and for sure will be asked to switch 1-3.
Aligbe finished with 9 points on rather low volume shooting, but affected the game with his length, getting steals and blocks on defense, grabbing rebounds, and even dishing out a few assists.
His touch from the line was spotty, I believe he was 3/6, but he was efficient from the field. He had a one dribble pull-up from the wing that was really smooth. I'm looking forward to seeing him next year with more volume when Holmgren and Miller move on.
Alright, not a Gopher target, but I needed to include something about Hercy Miller. The Tennessee State commit was clutch down the stretch, and finished tied with Holmgren as the games leading scorer with 21 points.
Several times he was asked to isolate late and get the job done while Byron was on a run, and he took care of business. I think TSU got a really good guard that is tough as nails. A straight dog of a competitor who I believe is going to be very good in the Ohio Valley Conference.
I saw Lee a few times over the summer, and it was clear he'd made strides in his game offensively. His length, quick leaping ability, and developing touch on the offensive end has allowed him to catapult into the Rivals150 and get a recent offer from the Kansas Jayhawks and coach Bill Self.
What I saw from Lee yesterday was encouraging. Why? Because he got better again. His comfort spot is in the midpost where he can rise above almost any defender and knock down shots at nice efficiency. See the video below for an example of what I would call his bread and butter right now.
Where he is developing his game is on the perimeter. He's an improving ball-handler, and has changed from more a 4, to a hybrid wing. Or at least, that's the way he plays. I was critical of his lack of physicality this summer, and I think that's still fair, but the way he's developed his game has made me question if he's going to be a 4 or a 3 at the next level.
His ball-handling is improved, although far from polished, and he has confident in his jumpshot that looks a bit more smooth and lost the hitch at the top of his jump that I saw from him this summer. He's going to be extremely intriguing to watch going forward because of one thing. He keeps getting better.
I'm extremely high on Tre Holloman. If it were up to me, I would have him rated as the best player in the state. That being said, last night was not Holloman's best performance, and the game as a whole was a site for sore eyes. Holloman finished with 13 points in a 41-40 win that ended with a Cretin free throw with 0.2 seconds left on the clock.
The two-sport four-star creates everything for his team, and I mean everything. Almost ever possession he's either the one shooting it, or the one passing to the shooter. If the person he passes it to doesn't put up the shot, often times the ball goes back to Holloman's hands.
He looked frustrated much of the night, and that can be attributed to his own, and his teammates lack of shot making. He still made enough plays down the stretch to get things done with his team, but it was far from the Tre Holloman performance I've grown accustomed to over the years.