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Preview: Wisconsin Playground Club 16U UAA

By Ritchie A. Davis, 04/12/19, 5:15PM CDT


Preview: Wisconsin Playground Club 16U UAA

#1 Sam Kick, 6-1, Guard, Class of 2021, Onalaska -- Extremely skilled backcourt player who can pass, shoot and dribble ... Earned honorable mention all-league honors in the Mississippi Valley Conference as a freshman and sophomore ... Averaged 7.0 ppg for coach Craig Kowal and the Hilltoppers ... "Sam is a very skilled kid that can play either guard spot for our team. He is a very cerebral player and has a fabulous feel for the game. We expect Sam to have the ball in his hands quite a bit for our team and I have complete confidence in his decision making abilities in regards to our squad. Sam is like a sponge and applies concepts and ideas that many of our players don’t yet seem to grasp well. Sam has really improved a lot the past month since we have begun practicing. He has been coached very well by the staff at Onalaska."

#2 Hayden Doyle, 6-0, Guard, Class of 2020, Brookfield East -- Solid player in virtually every aspect of the game ... Plays both ends of the court at a high level ... A starter as a sophomore for a Brookfield East squad that went 20-5 under coach Joe Rux ... Averaged 9.4 points per game for the Spartans in 2018-19. ... "Hayden Philip Doyle is our team leader and has been since the very first practice. He’s a natural leader who is mentally tough and plays with a tremendous amount of energy. His competitiveness and want to win each possession is starting to carry over to other members of our team. Hayden is able to score the ball well both from the mid range and also from beyond the arc. I have also liked his determination to get to the rim much more this spring. I am really excited for Hayden this season as I believe he will take a big step towards becoming the player that he desires to be. He always seems to be in the right place and our staff can tell he has been very well coached by the staff at Brookfield East."

#3 Mason Dopirak, 6-0, Guard, Class of 2021, Manitowoc Lincoln -- Extremely accurate long-distance shooter who led Manitowoc Lincoln in scoring as a sophomore at 23.1 points per game ... First-team all-league selection in the Fox River Classic Conference ... Scored a career-high 40 points in a 71-61 win over Ashwaubenon ... "Mason is a 4.0 student and a gym rat. He will play both guard spots for our team this season. He has put in a ton of time on his game and it shows. His ability to shoot the basketball is well known throughout northeastern Wisconsin and the lakeshore. Mason’s ability to stretch the defense is a big asset for our squad as it will open up some things for Adam, Cade, Victor and the rest of our players. Mason is a willing passer and defender. Mason’s defensive toughness and understanding of our team concepts has drastically improved the past two weeks."

#4 Cael McGee, 6-1, Guard, Class of 2021, Stoughton -- Solid defender and athlete who can get to the basket ... Averaged 10.0 points per game as a sophomore for the varsity squad at Stoughton ... Scored a career-high 31 points in a victory over Janesville Parker ... "Cael is the toughest kid on our team. He’s also one of our very best defenders. I love his intensity and his willingness to do many of the things most players choose not to do. He has been one of our best on-the-ball defenders and will be called upon at some point to slow down some of the better players we will see this season with the schedule we play. Cael understands what he does well and what he needs to continue to work on. He is starting to get more comfortable in our system and that will help him along with our team experience some success this season."

#5 Cameron Palesse, 6-5, Guard, Class of 2021, Waukesha West -- Versatile backcourt prospect who can play either guard position ... Earned first-team all-Classic Eight Conference honors as a sophomore after averaging 17.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists ... Helped Waukesha West to a 22-4 record and the league championship in 2018-19 ... "Cam will have the ball in his hands a lot for our squad. I just love his competitiveness and his drive to get better and improve. He works very hard and is a much better one-on-one defender that I had originally anticipated. His court vision and ability to rebound from the point-guard spot are huge assets to our team. Our players enjoy being on the floor with Cam because they know he will get them the ball in good spots. Cameron’s ability to score in a variety of ways at the point-guard position is a valuable asset to our club. His understanding of when to be more assertive on the offensive end rather that facilitating has been a pleasure to watch thus far. Cam is a very determined young man and has set some huge goals for himself and our team this spring. I’m really excited for Cam’s basketball future."

#6 Brayden Dailey, 6-6, Wing, Class of 2021, Cuba City -- Averaged 21.3 points per game as a freshman at Mineral Point and earned first-team all-league honors in the Southwest Wisconsin Activities League ... Good perimeter shooter with excellent length ... Can score off the dribble, from the foul line and outside the three-point arc ... "Brayden is a 4.0 student who always seems happy and enjoys learning. He is so long. His length is such a huge asset for him and I can’t recall a player at the 16U level in our program the past couple of decades that plays the passing lanes as well as he does. Clearly, Brayden can score in a variety of ways and seems to usually make the right play. He is easily one of the best scorers not only in the Class of 2021, but in the entire state of Wisconsin regardless of class. His unselfishness hasn’t gone unnoticed early on by his teammates. I’ve really been pleased by Brayden’s ability to rebound from the wing as we are going to need him to be very productive in that regard within the Under Armour Association."

#7 Victor Desmond, 6-5, Wing, Class of 2021, Onalaska -- Key reserve as a sophomore for the varsity squad at Onalaska ... Averaged 4.0 points per game and brings plenty of athleticism and hustle to the Hilltoppers' lineup ... "Vic has grown and gotten significantly stronger the past eight months. His toughness will be crucial to our team's ability to defend and rebound on the UA circuit. He practices hard and we have seen improvement on both ends as he continues to grasp our team concepts and ideas. Victor’s ability to rebound and bring energy will determine our success in some games. I love his attitude as he comes to every single practice wanting to learn and improve. He has been coached very well by the staff at Onalaska."

#8 Grant Flory, 6-5, Wing, Class of 2021, Neenah -- Missed the entire high school season due to a torn ACL, but hopes to return to the court in the near future ... Aggressive, strong and skilled wing prospect who averaged 10.7 points for the varsity squad at Neenah as a freshman ... "Grant is very strong and can get to the rim against many defenders. He also is fairly consistent outside the arc. Grant had to sit out this past high school season with a significant injury so I am enjoying seeing him slowly work his way back into drills and practice. At this point in time, I am unsure when he will be able to join us for games as we want to handle things with extreme caution. I look forward to seeing Grant back on the floor sometime soon."

#9 Adam Larson, 6-8, Forward, Class of 2021, Fennimore -- Long, skilled wing forward prospect with very good shooting range ... Needs to add strength and weight to his frame, but can really knock down perimeter shots and block and/or alter shots in the lane ... Averaged 17.5 points per game as a sophomore while helping Fennimore to a 20-5 record under his coach and father, Troy Larson ... First-team all-Southwest Wisconsin Activities League performer as a sophomore ... "Adam is a very skilled shooter for being a typical stretch four and it is what he does best. Yet, I also believe Adam now realizes how well he does in the other areas will help contribute not only to our success, but also the success of his high school team in Fennimore. Adam is a pleaser and will honestly do anything we ask of him. He is polite and always willing to help his teammates. I’ve been pleased with his improvement on the defensive end as I believe he is finally realizing that his length can be so disruptive in a variety of ways. Offensively, we are asking a little more from Adam then what most would but I believe is capable of contributing to our team in so many ways."

#11 Cade Meyer, 6-8, Forward, Class of 2021, Monroe -- Emerging wing prospect with very good length and athleticism ... Recently high jumped 6-feet, 9-inches in track and field ... Played for the varsity squad at Black Hawk as a freshman before opting to transfer to Monroe for his sophomore season ... Average 11.2 points per game as a starter for the Monroe varsity team in 2018-19 ... Father, Craig Meyer, played at Loyola University in Chicago ... "Cade has been a pleasant surprise since the start of practice.  His upside is tremendous and once he fully realizes just how good he can be, his game will open up many things for him. He is very athletic and his athleticism and bounce allow him to have a positive impact on the game for our team on both ends. While he rebounds the basketball at a high level, his ability to rebound out of his area is so important to our team. He shoots the ball well beyond 15 feet, yet it’s been his willingness to score and rebound in the lane that will allow him to play on a scholarship at the next level. I am beyond excited to see where Cade is at on August 1."

#12 Gavin McGrath, 6-10, Forward, Class of 2021, Onalaska -- Developing big man who runs the floor, can score from mid range and in the post and does a good job challenging shots ... Averaged 6.6 points and 6.8 rebounds as a sophomore for the varsity squad at Onalaska ... Earned second-team all-league honors in the Mississippi Valley Conference in 2018-19 ... "Gavin is a young man who has improved tremendously over the past two years. His offensive game has expanded to where he can comfortably make 15-to-17 foot jump shots and he can score effectively in the lane. Defensively, he gives our team a rim protector and another presence on the interior against some of the bigger teams we are going to play in the Under Armour Association. We expect Gavin to take another step this season and I am excited to watch his progress."

#13 Jake Martin, 7-0, Center, Class of 2021, Whitewater -- Massive post prospect who averaged 14.4 points and 7.9 rebounds per game for Whitewater as a sophomore ... Scored a career-high 30 points in a game against Clinton ... Shot 61 percent from the field as a sophomore ... "Jake is absolutely huge. There haven’t been many varsity basketball players in our state the past 25 years standing 7 feet tall and weighing 325 pounds. Jake is a willing learner and has shown improvement the first four weeks of practice and I hope we see some of that carry over to games.  Jake might be the nicest 7-foot kid playing basketball in the Midwest. On the court we want to see him play with more of a chip on his shoulder and a little more nasty. Jake knows he has a chance to play this game for awhile but it’s all about dedication and sacrifice for him. Jake’s teammates also want him to succeed. I enjoy working with Jake."

Team Notes (from coach Ritchie Davis): "This group really enjoys playing together. They are excited about the opportunity in front of them to represent Wisconsin in the Under Armour Association. We will also be competing on the Prep Hoops Circuit. It’s a group that will improve throughout the year while embracing all of the vast challenges that our schedule presents.  Our ability to defend, rebound and take care of the basketball will likely result in how successful we are this season. WE not ME has been this team’s motto and their willingness to play for one another makes the entire experience fun. This group has a purpose and I too am excited to be along for the ride with them."