Minneapolis/St. Paul – The 17th annual Timberwolves Shootout will be held Saturday, Jan. 5 at the Target Center with four games featuring top-ranked high school teams. The Shootout will feature eight of Minnesota’s top boys basketball programs along with two of the top college prospects.
The Timberwolves Shootout has attracted some of the best basketball talent from all over the country. Through the years, 24 future NBA players have participated in the Shootout, including Timberwolves All-Star forward Kevin Love along with Jrue Holiday and All-Star Josh Smith. In additional, more than 200 participants proceeded to play Division I college basketball. This year’s Timberwolves Shootout will bring in many players expected to play in Division I college basketball programs.
The Shootout’s first game (9:00 a.m.) features Onalaska (Wisconsin) Hilltoppers against Minnesota’s Lakeview Christian Lions. Onalaska is making their third straight appearance in the Timberwolves Shootout. They defeated Benilde St. Margaret’s in 2011, but fell to Apple Valley 66-64 last season. That was their lone loss of the season as they bounced back to win the Wisconsin Division II title as they finished 27-1. They are led by Iowa State recruitMatt Thomas, who averaged 21.3 points per game last season and has increased that to 29 points this year. The Lions are led by Andre Broman, the state’s all-time leading scorer with over 4,000 points in his career, Bjorn Broman, a sophomore, who is an excellent passer and adds 20.5 points per game and senior Josh Plys who is an outstanding three-point threat. Lakeville Christian advanced to the Class A state tournament last season, losing to eventual champion Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa in the first round and finished 25-6. Andre Broman signed with South Dakota State and is averaging 41.0 points per contest this season.
The Blue Valley Northwest (Kansas) Huskies and De La Salle Islanders will face off in the second game at 11:00 a.m. The Huskies have been the Kansas 6A runner-up the past three years and finished 23-2 last season. The Huskies start five juniors, led by Iowa State recruit Clayton Custer, who is already the team’s all-time leading scorer. He scored 32 points in the state championship game and averaged 18 points and 4.6 assists per game last year. The De La Salle Islanders won the 2012 Class AAA state title. They are led by junior Reid Travis, who is ranked #29 in the class of 2014 by ESPN. He had 20 points and 18 rebounds in the state title win over Washburn and had 57 points and 36 rebounds in the three games. Travis scored 30 points in both of his first two games this season. Senior outside shooter Luke Scott adds 15.5 points per game.
The third game of the day (1:00 p.m.) will feature an Iowa-Minnesota border battle, pitting Iowa’s West Des Moines Valley Tigers against the RosevilleRaiders. The Tigers are led by Iowa signee Peter Pok, who scored a game-high 31 points in a loss to fellow Timberwolves Shootout participant Blue Valley Northwest 55-51 in the Heartland Shootout last month. The Tigers finished 18-6 last year and advanced to the quarterfinal round of the 4A state tournament last season. The Raiders are making their second appearance in the Timberwolves Shootout after having defeated Viborg 68-66 in 2011. They have a balanced attack with four double-figure scorers. Their top three scorers are seniors, led by outside shooter Mackenzie Johnson who is averaging 20.0 points per game.
The local matchup of the two best players in the class of 2014, Apple Valley’s Tyus Jones and Robbinsdale Cooper’s Rashad Vaughn, is sure to be one of the most exciting games to be seen at the Shootout. Jones is the top-ranked player nationally in 2014 according to ESPN, and Vaughn is a few slots behind at 10 overall, rated as the top shooting guard. The Apple Valley Eagles are making their third straight Timberwolves Shootout apperance. They return four starters from the 23-6 team that lost to Eastview in the Section 3AAAA Finals. Jones has been a starter since he was in eighth grade. He is averaging 22.3 points per game. Vaughn is averaging 28.0 points per game and scored 51 points for Robbinsdale Cooper in a recent loss to Marantha. Cooper senior Lavar McCullough adds 14.4 points and junior Darrious Denson contributes 12.8 points per game.
Tickets for all four contests are available for $15 at the Target Center box office on the day of the Shootout. The ticket is good for the entire day and also includes a free ticket to the Timberwolves vs. Portland game that night at 7 p.m.!
2013 Timberwolves Shootout Schedule
9:00 a.m. Lakeview Christian vs. Onalaska (WI)
11:00 a.m. De La Salle vs. Blue Valley Northwest (KS)
1:00 p.m. Roseville vs. West Des Moines Valley (IA)
3:00 p.m. Apple Valley vs. Robbinsdale Cooper