Midwest Players Classic Preview
Matt Thomas leads No. 1 ranked Onalaska
Matt Thomas leads No. 1 ranked Onalaska

Posted Jan 13, 2012


The second annual Midwest Players Classic held at the La Crosse Center this Saturday features some of the best teams from Wisconsin and Minnesota. CollegeBasketballNews.com will be at the event with recaps of the games and all the latest recruiting news. Check www.collegebasketballnews.com for recaps of the Midwest Players Classic or #collegebbnews on Twitter.

Midwest Players Classic Schedule
Saturday, January 14, 2012
At La Crosse Center
10:45 a.m. – Austin, Minn. (7-2) vs. Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau (8-0)
12:30 p.m. – Owatonna, Minn. (9-1) vs. Onalaska (9-1)
2:15 p.m. – St. Paul Johnson (4-4) vs. Whitefish Bay Dominican (7-1)
4:00 p.m. – Roseville, Minn. (8-2) vs. Milwaukee Riverside (7-2)
5:45 p.m. – Eastview, Minn. (10-0) vs. Madison Memorial (10-0)
7:30 p.m. – La Crosse Aquinas (5-5) vs. Kaukauna (10-1)

Austin is ranked No. 9 in Class 3A and is off to a 7-2 start this season. The Packers are led 6-foot-8 junior Tom Aaase, who is averaging 11.0 points and 7.8 rebounds and cousin 6-foot-5 junior Joe Aase, who adds 11.5 points and 5.0 rebounds. Zach Wessels, a 6-foot-2 sophomore, is an outstanding outside threat who leads the team in scoring 12.9 points per contest.

Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau is ranked fourth in Division III. They are led by 6-foot-4 guard Riley Bambenek, who signed with Winona State. He is averaging a team-best 20.9 points per game. Six-foot-two junior Tim Wagner is averaging 16.6 points and 6-foot-5 senior Chris Johnson adds 11.6 points per game.

Owatonna are currently ranked No. 9 in Class 4A and are 9-1. The Huskies are a perimeter-dominated team, led by senior 6-foot-1 guard Drew Osmundson, who is averaging a team-best 18.6 points per game. Quentin Smith, a 6-foot-1 senior adds 12.5 points and 6-foot senior Ryan Emanuelson scored 9.9 points per game.

Onalaska is currently ranked No. 1 in Wisconsin’s Division 2. The Hilltoppers are led by 6-foot-4 shooting guard Matt Thomas, who is one of the top juniors in the state of Wisconsin. Thomas, who is drawing nine Division I scholarship offers, is averaging 22.3 points per game. He has scored in double figures in all ten games and has 20 or more points in eight of ten contests. Nick Arenz, a 6-foot-8 big man, signed with Wisconsin Green Bay in the fall. He suffered an anterior cruciate ligament tear last January. Arenz, who is not 100% yet, is averaging 12.0 points per game.

St. Paul Johnson finished runner-up in the recent Best Buy Holiday Classic. The 2010 Class AAA state champions are led by Missouri State signee Marcus Marshall, who is one of the state’s top guards and is averaging 21.0 points per game. Wayland Johnson II adds 13.8 points. The Governors are a deep team that likes to press and run.

Whitefish Bay Dominican is ranked No. 1 in Division 4 schools with a 7-1 record. Their lone loss was to Germantown, the top team in Division I. They are led by 6-foot-3 senior guard Jamall Taylor, who is averaging 20.8 points per game. He has a scholarship offer from Holy Cross. Junior 6-foot-3 point guard Duane Wilson adds 19.9 points per contest. He has offers from Iowa, Marquette, Memphis, Missouri, Tennessee and Virginia Tech. Freshman 6-foot-9 center Diamond Stone scores 12.2 points per game. He is one of the Midwest’s top players in the Class of 2015. Six-foot-3 senior guard Breon Jordan added 10.8 points per game.

Roseville is off to an 8-2 start. The Raiders have four double figure scorers, led by junior outside shooter Mackenzie Johnson, who is averaging a team-best 17.7 points per game. Senior Emeche Wells, an All-State wide receiver, adds 13.0 points per game. Juniors Jordan Burich and Logan Brown chips in 11.8 and 10.8 points per contest.

Riverside is ranked #5 in Division I as they are off to a 7-2 start after a loss Thursday night to crosstown rival Milwaukee King. The Tigers are led by 5-foot-10 guards Shomari and Bakari Triggs, who are averaging 16.8 and 14.4 points per game, respectively. Six-foot-five senior Jalen Currie is averaging 13.0 points per game. D’Andre Downey, a 6-foot-8 junior forward, joined the team for their game against King. He has scholarship offers from Minnesota and Wisconsin Green Bay.

Eastview is ranked No. 1 in Class AAAA and is off to a 10-0 start. The Lightning are led by Drake signee Joey King, who is averaging 27.3 points per game. The 6-foot-9 forward has scored in double figures in all ten games and has four games of 30 or more points. Six-foot-9 junior Ben Oberfeld adds 12.5 points and senior point guard Darin Haugh is averaging 12.2 points per contest.

Defending Division I state champion Madison Memorial is 10-0 and ranked No. 2 in the state. The spartans have four double figure scorers, led by Cleveland State signee Junior Lomomba, a 6-foot-5 forward, who is averaging 16.8 points per game. Six-foot-4 junior Jester Weah averages 12.1 points, 6-foot-5 senior Jamar Morris adds 12.0 and 6-foot-4 senior Ngijol Songolo chips in with 11.2 points per game. Six-foot-1 junior point guard Brendan Ortiz adds 9.0 points and is a good floor general.

La Crosse Aquinas is the defending Division 3 state champions. Unfortunately, they have been bitten by the injury bug this season. Wisconsin commit Bronson Koenig is out four to six weeks with a thumb injury. The junior is averaging 20.7 points per game. The Blugolds are also without Mike Conway, who averaged 10.0 points last season. The two-sport standout is out for the year with a knee injury.

Kaukauna is currently 10-1 and ranked No. 7 in Division 2. The Galloping Ghosts (you have to love that nickname) are led by 6-foot-5 Jason Miller, who is averaging a team-best 14.9 points per game. Six-foot-5 center Kyle Schuh adds 11.7 points and 5-foot-10 guard Riley Vander Wyst is averaging 10.3 points per game.


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