Minneapolis/St. Paul – For the 18th year, top-ranked high school teams from Minnesota and the Midwest will square off at the annual Timberwolves Shootout on Saturday, Jan. 4 at Target Center. This year’s Shootout includes some of the nation’s top college prospects including Apple Valley’s Tyus Jones, DeLaSalle’s Reid Travis and Chicago St. Rita’s Victor Law and Charles Matthews.
Through the years, 26 future NBA players have participated in the Shootout, including All-Stars Kevin Love, Jrue Holiday and Josh Smith. In addition, more than 200 participants proceeded to play Division I college basketball.
Fans who have a ticket to watch the Timberwolves vs. Oklahoma City game at 7 p.m. on Jan. 4, get into the Shootout for free. Otherwise, tickets to watch all four contests are available for $15 at the Target Center box office on the day of the Shootout.
The Shootout’s first game (9:15 a.m.) features the Grand Rapids Thunderhawks against the LakevilleNorth Panthers. Lakeville North finished 23-7 last season, losing to Park Center in overtime in the first round of the Class 4A state tournament. The Panthers are led by J.P. Macura, an Xavier recruit who is averaging 37.4 ppg this season. Grand Rapids finished 20-10 last season, losing to Marshall in the first round of the Class 3A state tournament. The Thunderhawks are led by junior Alex Illikainen, who is on track to end his high school career as the state’s all-time leading rebounder. Considered one of the top prospects in the state for 2015, the 6-foot-9 center has offers from several top Division I schools.
The Cretin-Derham Hall Raiders and Bettendorf (Iowa) Bulldogs will face off in the second game at 11 a.m. The Raiders finished last season 14-14, falling to Apple Valley in sectional semifinals. Junior Sam Neumann, a 6-foot-6 wing is considered one of the top outside threats in the Midwest, averaging 20 ppg this season. Bettendorf finished 25-1 last season, losing to Iowa City West in the Class 4A state championship game. The Bulldogs are currently ranked second in the state behind two-time state champion Iowa City West. Key players for Bettendorf are Cole Clearman, who signed with Division II Missouri Western, and Kendall Jacks, who is committed to Division II Wayne State.
The third game of the day (12:45 p.m.) will feature the DeLaSalle Islanders vs. the St. Rita (IL) Mustangs. DeLaSalle finished the 2012-13 season 29-1, winning their second straight Class 3A title. They have four returning starters including senior Reid Travis, who will play at Stanford. Last season Travis averaged 26.1 ppg and was the 2013 Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year. The team’s roster includes multiple standout players who have been offered college scholarships. Seniors James Lawson and Geno Crandall will play for Sioux Falls and North Dakota, respectively, and juniors Jarvis Johnson and Sacar Anim are receiving several scholarship offers from Division I schools. Chicago St. Rita finished 19-9 last season. The Mustangs are led by Victor Law, a Northwestern signee who is ranked #66 by ESPN in the Class of 2014 and junior Charles Matthews, who is ranked #11 in the 2015 class and has received offers from Duke, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan State and Ohio State.
The final matchup of the shootout is the Apple Valley Eagles vs. Blue Valley Northwest (KS) Huskies at2:30 p.m. Apple Valley finished 31-1 last season, winning the Class 4A tournament over Park Center. The team is led by Tyus Jones, a national standout who has signed with Duke. Ranked as the #4 senior in the country by ESPN, Jones is averaging 28.8 ppg this season. Blue Valley Northwest went undefeated last season at 25-0, winning the Kansas 6A state title. The team returned all five starters including Clayton Custer, an Iowa State signee and two-time first team Class 6A selectee.
2014 Timberwolves Shootout Schedule
9:15 a.m. Lakeville North vs. Grand Rapids
11 a.m. Cretin-Derham Hall vs. Bettendorf (IA)
12:45 p.m. DeLaSalle vs. St. Rita (IL)
2:30 p.m. Apple Valley vs. Blue Valley Northwest (KS)