• NY2LA Weekend Tourney Highlighted AAU Season

    MEQUON - The regular season in high school hoops ended about three weeks ago with the state championships in Wisconsin. Now the next phase of offseason high school basketball began with the NY2LA AAU circuit that took place in numerous states this past weekend.

    When some of the most sought-after prep ballers in the country invaded the Milwaukee area, you couldn't help but go to Homestead High School and see how Wisconsin's best matched up against teams from Illinois, Iowa, California and Kentucky. The action was non-stop, especially in the 16U and 17U games.

    Some observations I took from watching my first ever AAU tournament included the 4 minutes that each team had to warm up to keep the tournament moving and the fast pace of the game. There were plenty of college assistant coaches on hand to check out the action and look at which players are on their radar to focus on.

    In the back of the old Homestead gym on court 5, I watched Kevon Looney of Milwaukee Hamilton, who made second team all-state. His game reminds me of Kevin Durant. He can find ways to score, whether it's on a three-pointer, a drive to the basket or being creative in drawing fouls and going to the line.

    I think Looney should be playing with a better AAU team than the Running Rebels. He was so-so on his free-throws against the Illinois Wolves. Someone from Marquette was in attendance watching him, but he did okay for himself. I don't think Looney would be a good fit for the Golden Eagles because he might have to mix it up in the paint in the brutal Big East Conference. What Looney needs, if he's capable of doing it, is to put some more weight on his 6-foot-7 frame.

    Deonte Burton, another Marquette recruit, didn't stand out too much on a weak TP Elite team that lost to the CIA Bounce in overtime last Friday in that same gym. Even though AAU ball can include some sloppy play, Burton may not be the best at dribbling the ball against defensive pressure. To me, he's good at driving to the basket against a man-to-man defense without a double team.

    The last game I saw there started around 10:00 p.m. The Wisconsin Swing with Luke Fischer was undersized against the Mac Irvin Fire out of Chicago. The Fire had some Division 1 talent on their roster along with size and quicknesss. Fischer tried to bang down low with some of the beefy guys on the Fire but couldn't. And it helped that they had at least five players 6-5 or over.

    Fischer sat most of the first half of the game against the Fire. It was a shame because I really wanted to see him do more than take a couple of fade-away shots. He's wants to go to Indiana and the Big Ten. They do bang in that league. Fischer might end up playing against one of those beefy guys on the Fire, especially if any of those three big guys, all over 230 pounds, end up at Illinois or Michigan State, for example. It's no secret that Fischer needs to bulk up.

    The NY2LA AAU tournament circuit will feature more action in this area throughout the summer and fall. That would give local high school ballers plenty of time to keep their game sharp and get plenty of looks from colleges who are jockeying in position in hopes to reach out to a prospect or two.