Spring Basketball in Full Swing During First Two April NCAA Evaluation Periods

Utah Pump-N-Run basketball completed a successful April tournament schedule with six teams competing in the Los Angeles Hoopfest April 19-21 and Las Vegas Spring Classic April 26-28.

Utah Pump-N-Run 16U

So far this April, the talk of the town has been Utah Pump-N-Run’s 16U Red Elite team. The team went 7-1 and won the Spring Classic championship in Las Vegas, defeating the nationally ranked Los Angeles Pump-N-Run Elite in the semi-finals and Arizona Power in the finals.

Both semi-final and final games were closely contested. In the win over Pump-N-Run Elite, 16U Red was down seven with two minutes remaining before a barrage of defensive stops led to 6’0 2015 G Gabe Colosimo sending the game into overtime with a layup. In overtime, 16U Red’s 6’5 2015 F Jarriesse Blackmon took over the game, scoring a 3-pointer and jump shot to propel the team to a 76-69 victory.

The championship game offered more of the same. The game had multiple lead changes and ties. At one point in the second half, 16U Red had fallen behind by five points yet at another point had led by six points. 16U Red lead 82-80 after a driving layup from Nathan Dow with 25 seconds remaining. Arizona Power struggled to get an open look; however, a corner jump shot tied the game with just 5 seconds to go. Without hesitation, 16U Red raced the ball back down the floor when Riley Court found himself about 30 feet from the basket and covered by two players. Court’s desperation shot hit nothing but net with :00 on the clock to give the team the championship in dramatic fashion.

16U Red’s guard line has shined this spring. 6’4 2015 G Malek Harwell, 6’3 2015 G Riley Court, and 6’0 2015 G Gabe Colosimo have risen to the challenge and are performing at high levels. The guard line is led by 3-year Utah Pump-N-Run player Harwell, who has logged multiple 20-point, 5-rebound, 5 assist games already this spring. Harwell has an offer from Utah State and significant interest from BYU, Colorado, and Utah. In addition to Harwell, the emergence of Riley Court as an effective combo guard has helped bring depth to the team. Court has multiple college coaches turning their heads. And, as mentioned above, in the championship game at the Spring Classic, he hit a 30-foot shot at the buzzer to win the game.

Rounding out the front line on 16U Red is 6’5 2015 F Jarriesee Blackmon (Layton), 6’5 2015 F Noah Togiai (Hunter), 6’6 2015 F Nathan Dow (Wasatch) and 6’7 2015 C Brayden Holker (Westlake). 6’4 2015 G Jake Lindsey (Olympus) and 6’2 2015 G Nathan Klekas (Elko, NV) are both key contributors that can play and guard multiple positions.

16U Black finished the spring with a 4-4 record with all of their losses being close games decided by eight points or less. After nice wins over San Diego All Stars PnR and Idaho Select, the 16U Black is ready to take the next step moving forward. The team is lead by 6’0 G Bosten Van Der Veur (Park City) and 6’1 G Bushmen Ebet (Kearns). Both guards are scoring double digits consistently with help from 6’0 G Tyler Lawrence (Tooele), 6’2 G Izzy Ballstaedt (Wasatch), and 6’1 G Buay Kuajian (Kearns). Wings like 6’5 F Brandon Warr (Highland), 6’5 F Tanner Melville (Timpanogos), 6’3 F Jesse Gillman (Wasatch), 6’5 F Sam Kingdon (Park City), 6’6 F Jared Holman (Bingham) and 6’3 F Mark Sumsion (Springville) give the 16U Black more athleticism than ever while 6’8 C Richard Harward (Orem) has made the single-biggest improvement in one year of any player in the 16U program.

Utah Pump-N-Run 17U

Utah Pump-N-Run 17U Red kicked off the spring season with good showings in both Los Angeles and Las Vegas tournaments. Each member of the team is playing good ball. The team has logged solid team wins against the always tough and talented Lakeshow (CA) as well as LA Rockfish (CA). During an elite team showcase at Hoopfest Los Angeles, the 17U Red ended 3-1.

In Las Vegas, 17U Red won their first two games but was eliminated from bracket play by rival and eventual tournament champion Los Angeles Pump-N-Run Elite (CA) in an intense game that ended 49-52. The elimination was particularly difficult to stomach for 17U Red head coach Todd Phillips because the team shot a dire 2-18 from 3-point land. And, to add insult to injury (no pun intended), 6’3 2013 G Conner Toolson (Lone Peak) went down with an ankle injury with nearly nine minutes left in the second half. With Toolson out of the game, 2013 guards 6’3 Hayden Schenck (Weber) and 6’3 2014 Geno Luzcando took over scoring responsibilities getting in the paint at will down the stretch. Unfortunately, the team couldn’t quite find its outside touch, which has been its strength all season. Pump-N-Run Elite held on to win the exciting third round tournament game.

17U Red’s team of guards has already proven to be very dynamic players on the spring basketball circuit. Toolson is perhaps one of the most unknown Division 1 talents in the west. He’s already found tremendous success at the high school level, playing with BYU basketball commits Nick Emery, TJ Haws and Eric Mika. According to Coach Phillips, “Conner Toolson has been a catalyst in making plays, scoring, and defending in April play. Make no mistake that Conner is more than capable of playing at the next level and is extremely talented.” Toolson plans to serve an LDS Mission for two years beginning this summer.

In addition to Toolson, guards Hayden Schenck, 6’1 2013 G Jake Miles (Morgan), and 6’3 2014 G Jake Connor (Highland) has played very well this spring. In one game, Schenck logged 13 assists and was virtually unstoppable. Miles has found similar success. He is an aggressive player with a quick shot release, and has already turned some heads this spring. Connor has been a deep threat hitting back-to-back threes in numerous games to start key offensive runs for the team.

2A state tournament champion & MVP Geno Luzcando (Wasatch Academy) is running the point position for 17U Red. A native of Chile, Luzcando has been quick to adapt to a higher level of competition and has significant potential at the next level. 17U Red coaches are working with Luzcando on a daily basis to increase his range and become a more consistent shooter. Luzcando’s feel for the game is uncanny, and with a more consistent shot, he could be a very good player at the next level.

17U Red bigs have been very active and mobile and have done a great job defending some really good opposing bigs. 6’8 2014 F Tyler Rawson (American Fork), 6’9 2014 F Mike Hibbert (Layton), 6’7 2013 F Dayon Goodman (Kearns) and 6’9 2013 C Jordan Jones have patrolled the paint and been strong on the glass. Both Jones and Goodman are coming off wonderful high school seasons. Goodman had multiple 20 point, 10 rebound games he scored more than 25 points four times and collected more than 15 rebounds four times this season.

Rawson and Hibbert are learning how to play together and have the potential to be a very effective duo because both have high skill level and can stretch the floor. Rawson holds an offer from Southern Utah University and is an extremely lanky defender that gets a hand on everything.

17U Black has put together a respectable record after multiple competitive games in April. The emergence of 6’2 2014 PG Trevor Hill (Alta) has been a bright surprise for many college coaches. Already on the radar of some, the lanky, athletic guard has been more assertive this spring and has done a better job creating for others and scoring the ball, particularly in pick and roll situations.

“Hill has unlimited potential,” said his coach Landon Cosby. “Our main objective with Trevor this season is to push him to play with confidence, be assertive and always play aggressive.” In addition, Hill has limited his turnovers against severe defensive pressure, proving he has the potential to run the point at the next level.

Hill’s Alta High School teammate 6’5 2014 F Landon Albrecht has made some big plays for the team, including hitting crucial three’s at key times in the game. Albrecht is known for playing hard and isn’t afraid to get scrappy. 6’4 2014 F Ryan Pauley (Judge Memorial) has had several good scoring games, scoring both inside and outside. His consistent toughness in games has been a bright spot for the team.

Other players contributing to team success on 17U Black are 6’0 2014 G Lyle Sutton (Madison, ID), 6’2 2014 G Daylor Youngblood (Bingham), 6’4 2014 F Alec Monson (Olympus), 6’4 2014 F Taylor Larsen (American Fork), and 6’5 2014 F Carson Cutler (West Jordan).

Utah Pump-N-Run 15U

15U Red, competing in both Las Vegas and Los Angeles in April, has been competitive in almost every game so far this year. The team has found early success behind the 3-point arc, hitting eight 3’s in one game and multiple 3’s in other games in April.

Leading the team so far this season is 6’2 2016 G Joey Andrews (Riverton). Andrews is an efficient offensive player with a knack for scoring in multiple areas on the floor. But the best part of Andrews’ game so far this spring might just be his defense. His 15U coach Jared Casper, “Joey is starting to learn that he can take over games on the defensive end too. He is a bigger guard with long arms, so he’s able to use that length to get steals and deflections.”

5’9 2016 G Julian Blackmon (Layton), 5’10 2016 G Braxton Coon (Alta) and 6’3 2016 G/F Brody Childs (American Fork) have also significantly contributed on the offensive and defensive end’s this season. Coon has done a fantastic job controlling the offense and pushing tempo off of rebounds and forced turnovers along with Childs, who in one game bombed four 3-pointers and has shot extremely well from the field overall.

Blackmon is perhaps the most intriguing prospect in the 15U program; his brother, Jarriesse plays for 16U Red and is 6’5. Julian stands at 5’9 now, but is widely expected to grow as he matures. Blackmon is fun to watch with a motor that never stops. A speedster with great handles, he flies all over the floor and is a blur in transition.

Other players on 16U Red contributing to team success are 6’2 2016 G Miles Keller, who scored a team high 16 points while routinely guarding the opposing team’s best player during the last game in Los Angeles. 6’1 2016 G Maizen Fausett (Westlake) and 5’7 2016 G Ryde Casper (Orem) have also contributed.

15U Red bigs 6’5 2016 F Rick Schmidt (Highland) and 6’4 2016 Keegan Coon (Alta) are improving every game and learning how to compete in a up-tempo, more athletic brand of basketball on the summer circuit. Many coaches have an eye on Schmidt to see how he progresses this spring. At a lanky 6’5, Schmidt has good footwork around the basket and can stretch the floor to the 3. Schmidt’s rebounding has consistently improved each game, and he has become the team’s leading rebounder throughout the spring. Coon has proven to be a solid defender in the post, and provides the toughness in the post that has made the 15U Red team a solid defensive unit.

15U Red has missed the services of tough-minded point guard 5’10 2016 G Stockton Christensen (Jordan). He has not played this season due to injury (broken jaw), but is expected to return soon.

15U Black has had a difficult round of tournaments in early April, but the team is improving as the players learn how to compete at higher levels and share the ball. Unfortunately for the team, 6’8 2016 C Beau Roundy (Emery) went down with a fractured tibial tubercle (where the tendon meets the bone in the front of the knee). This type of injury is common for kids near the end of a growth spurt. Roundy has grown two inches in the last two months. He’ll be out at least eight weeks and is targeting a return to the team in early July.

Leading 15U Black so far this year is 5’11 2016 G Ryan Lambson (Highland) and 6’2 2016 G Aaron Sperry (Pleasant Grove). Lambson recently scored 32 points in one game. Sperry has been very good in multiple areas, including handling pressure and providing consistent scoring. Sperry also hit a game winning 3-pointer in Los Angeles after breaking free from a defender.

Other players on 15U Black are Neema Namdar (Alta), Zach Laursen (Wasatch), Kyle Wildeboer (Timpview), Zack Boudreaux (Skyline), Lual Arok (Murray), Eian Brightwell (Highland) and Brevin Elscholz (Grantsville).

Other Utah Pump-N-Run Teams Competing in April

Utah Pump-N-Run’s 13U team made it to the championship game in the Las Vegas Grand Opening tournament this past weekend but wasn’t able to get a win in a close game down the stretch. Competing in their first official travel tournament this year, the team showed early that they’ll be a competitive bunch leading into the summer. The team includes Erik Farias, Skylar Case, Oscar Maxfield, Kayden Milburn, Andy Cotter, Jaidon Larry and Ryan Potter. The team also includes Moa Hemuli, a name that might sound familiar to those who follow University of Utah football. Moa’s older brother, Latu is a senior defensive tackle at the University of Utah and also alum of Utah Pump-N-Run.

Utah Pump-N-Run’s 12U team is off to an incredible start this spring. They breezed through the Las Vegas Grand Opening tournament, winning each game by an average margin of more than 20 points. Up next, the team will compete at the All Under One Roof tournament in Reno, which is widely regarded as one of the top youth tournaments in the country. They will also compete in Las Vegas during the final week in July. The team includes Rylan Jones, Nico Mannion, Cash Fulton, Landon Brenchly, Mason Falslev, Carter Berish, KO Fisher, Brig Willard and Jeremy Dowdell.

Utah Pump-N-Run’s 14U team did not compete in April, but will attend two tournaments in May.