Club GBB Out & About: First Impressions from Seeding Sunday Games


I was back at Jefferson court 2 on Sunday to witness the right to be the number one seed two weeks from now. It was a very good day to be from North Tartan as they went 4-1 in the games I charted. It was grad years 2022 through 2026 on court 2 and NT took the top four ages. The closest contest came at the 2024 year. The only blemish came at 2026 with MN Stars Hill (formerly Tayler Hill Elite) spoiling the pentagon sweep.


I will delve into these results in more detail on Monday.

This was all about the number one seed on Sunday.

2026: MN Stars Hill 47, North Tartan 7th Nike 36

2025: North Tartan 14U Nike 53, MN Fury 2025 Blue 46

2024: North Tartan 15U Nike 44, MN Fury 2024 UAA 39

2023: North Tartan 16U EYBL 44, MN Stars Hersch 10th 29

2022: North Tartan 17U EYBL 54, Metro Stars 2022 3SSB 36

The final state tournament action takes place May 21-23. If tradition holds 57% of the teams that won today will finish on top two Sundays from now. Do not be surprised if the opponents are different (again 57%).



Leakage…..Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’…. into the future…. no coach really understands how to adjust to a running clock (used until the last 3 minutes of the game). Games are 22 minute halves in the older division, 20 in the younger. Losing teams inflicted their own pain by substituting too frequently with players sauntering in and trudging out. Free throws are the worst. I would recommend that teams utilize their time outs to save 40 seconds of evaporated time. Every time a trailing coach would argue with an official over something that does not really matter there is leakage. If I were a team that is ahead, I would sub one player every dead ball to preserve that lead.

Death by a thousand back cuts… This is how MN Fury upended two time defending champion MN Stars Borowicz. The Fury utilized back cut after back cut in the first half to build up their lead. If they were not back cutting, then it was pen (& lay up) or pitch (for 3). Body control on defense with lunges did not help the cause.

Time and score…..Players do not understand that a ten point lead does not require a 3 attempt with 5 minutes left in the game, not to mention at 4, 3, 2 or 1 minute. Yes, you are open, but it is not the primary consideration to shoot. There is no shot clock. What is your consideration is to maximize your chance to win. When teams hold a lead and are trying to run out the clock they play keep away with inevitable long passes to stationary receivers. Players need to come to the ball on the run. Too often I see players with the ball drowning with two defenders on them and no one coming to rescue them on offense. Yes, players may be open, but they are invisible if the ball cannot see them.

90 foot fouls…..why put a player at the line when they are in absolute no danger to inflict damage on the scoreboard?

Decision making…..  spin dribbles when faced with d pressure seem to be the go to move for ball handlers. Vision, knowing where every player is on the floor is vital—both offensively and defensively. In the next game you attend pay attention to the player that turns their head the most. The best players frequently turn, turn, turn. Most players catch, look, decide & go. The best look, decide, catch & go. This is a matter of fractions of seconds, but fractions are a differentiator. The best are more aware.

Not hustling after a turnover…..defensively now a disadvantage when you pout and hang your head.

Bullies……too often in my life I have watched younger teams dominate because they have physically matured faster than other players/teams. They quit getting better (most of the time) with better meaning technical skills and tactical understanding. Smaller players must learn to keep up and battle. Eventually they mature and the physical advantage is neutralized, especially if the early maturers fail to increase in height.

The best……too often this is a one sided equation. And it is visual. A quick scan of the body and everyone falls in love. Sometimes that love is misplaced. The tools do not necessarily follow. Movement patterns could put them in danger of injury at worst, or taking off balance chance on both offense and defense negating the supposed physical superiority they are perceived to have. What matters quite a bit is the TNT—-technical & tactical differences. Technical work is hard, structured goal oriented work away from the limelight—-shooting with specifics in mind; tactical is an advanced understanding the game (think Paige Bueckers). The most important five inches may be between the ears. Of course, everyone wants the player that looks like they have been chiseled out of granite. Some players that do not fit the Hollywood type casting are left by the wayside.

Where have all the big players gone…..the 6-0+ players seem to be vanishing. At the younger ages the bigs are forced to have their foot nailed to the block. They barely touch the ball. As a result, they gravitate to other sports like volleyball. Volleyball players have grown in the past few years. Basketball players heights have shrunk.  I saw players that should be perimeter players (and will be once they move on to collegiate play) forced to reside in the paint.


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