Summer 2017 All-State – Class of 2020
08/10/2017, 10:15am CDT
By Grant McGinnis
These are the brightest 2020 stars from the AAU summer season
It's not easy picking the best of the best after a great summer of AAU ball. There are so many worthy players, so many athletes who improved and made an impact for their teams. Then there are the kids who vaulted out of the shadows and into the spotlight. We've done our best to identify the top performers from the Class of 2020 but we have certainly left out some good ones. Sorry but that's how it works.
Now before you scan the list and say to yourself, "Hey, she's not a point guard!" or "What the heck, she is definitely a center," I will ask for your indulgence. In today's game, kids play multiple positions and it's not always easy to identify what position is their most prominent. That's easier with point guards and centers, of course, but not so simple for the others. So we fudged a little. Alani Pettis of E1T1, for example, played pretty much every position for whatever squad she was on (and she was on more than one) but when you watch her she plays like a power forward, so that's where we put her. Enough said. Here are the best of the best based on their performance in summer of 2017.
Center – Liza Karlen, 6'2", North Tartan 10th EYBL (St. Paul Central)
Is Liza really only going to be a sophomore? When kids play up a year, and dominate while doing it, we tend to forget which grade they are actually in. Karlen is a force to be reckoned with. She pounds the boards, owns the paint, and can knock down shots anywhere you want her to. Liza is enormous, but her hands are soft and her touch is excellent. At 28 points per game last winter, she can also score.
Power forward – TeTe Danso, 6', North Tartan 9th (Simley)
TeTe may be the most intriguing prospect in the Class of 2020, and her improvement over the past year is impressive. Danso is a great defender, who combines physical play, outstanding quickness and a nice first step. Her leaping ability makes her as effective as much taller players, and her sense of timing on rebounds is impeccable. Danso was great all summer and getting better.
Small forward – Alyssa Ustby, 6', Fury 2020 Blue (Rochester Lourdes)
It's hard to describe Ustby. She's very long. She's very athletic. She has a very high basketball IQ. She can play four different positions and is an impossible matchup for most opponents. Alyssa was very good when she was 5'8" or 5'9" but at 6 feet tall, she is an unstoppable weapon for the Fury. With an enormous wingspan, deceptive quickness and a quiet kind of intensity, Alyssa is among 2020's very best.
Point guard – Paige Bueckers, 5'11", North Tartan 9th (Hopkins)
She's the best player in the state. She's one of the top three 2020 players in the country. She is the leader of the 2017 AAU Team of the Year. And she was an impact player for Team USA. North Tartan Coach Tara Starks calls her a wizard on the floor. Hopkins Coach Brian Cosgriff says she may end up as the best high school player in Minnesota history. Enough said.
Shooting guard – Lauren Jensen, 5'9", North Tartan 9th (Lakeville North)
Lauren had a tremendous freshman year at Lakeville North, and only the cruelty of the basketball gods kept her from being a state tournament hero. This summer she was even better, a quiet leader with outstanding skills. Jensen is one of the state's premier shooters with great form and even greater range. She is composed, moves the ball effortlessly and makes everyone around her better.
Center – Emily Russo, 5'11", Stars 9th Antl (New Prague)
Minnesota Stars Antl was a lot better this summer. Why? With apologies to the other new arrivals, it was the impact of Emily Russo. She is a big, powerful forward who knows how to use her body to great advantage. One of the best rebounders around, Emily plays with poise and maturity beyond her years.
Power forward – Ysaria Chevre, 5'11", Fury 2020 Blue (Tartan HS)
Perhaps the best physical defender in the class of 2020, Ysaria has been punishing opponents at both ends of the floor for some time now. A top 10 player in the class of 2020, Chevre has made nice strides with her offensive game, too.
Small forward – Mallory Brake, 6', North Tartan 9th (Hastings)
A key ingredient in the North Tartan 9th recipe for success, Mallory combines nice size and length with the skills of a point guard and a high basketball IQ. She loves to take the ball to the rim and crash the boards, but this summer looked for her jump shot a little more frequently with positive results.
Point guard – Molly Mogenson, 5'9", Fury 2020 Blue (Farmington)
Molly offers a nice combination of strength, quickness and aggression at the point. She pushes the pace, scoring a lot at the rim and in transition. She's also a warrior who plays with a blue collar mentality and fights for every inch. One of the premiere on-ball defenders in the state.
Shooting guard – Cianna Selbitschka, 5'10", Heat 9th Hinck (North Branch)
Cianna may be our breakout player of the summer. The premiere asset on Bill Hinck’s Minnesota Heat squad, Selbitschka is a pure athlete, an exceptionally strong perimeter defender and defensive rebounder, and has very nice touch on the offensive end of the floor. A rising star for sure.
Center – Lyndsey Becher, 6'1", Heat 9th Hinck (Moundsview)
Becher is long and lean and doesn't look particularly strong. Looks can be deceiving. She's mobile, has nice footwork, and offers a variety of offensive moves in the paint. Consistently good all summer.
Power forward – Alani Pettis, 5'9", E1T1 (Minneapolis North)
If Pettis was three inches taller there would be no doubt she is a power forward. She regularly gets to the rim through contact and knows how to finish. Alani can score and score and score some more.
Small forward – Jasmine Smiley, 5'8", E1T1 (Wayzata)
Yes, Jasmine plays more at the 2 than the 3 but we had to put her somewhere – she has been that good. The backbone of an impressive E1T1 squad, this Wayzata talent does it all and she does it very well.
Point guard – Rayvn Miles, 5'6", Fury 2020 Blue (Simley)
Rayvn has always been good. This summer the rising star from Simley has been great. Miles is a playmaker and ball-handler who distributes very effectively and scores from everywhere.
Shooting guard – Zhane Thompson, 5'6", E1T1 (Burnsville)
E1T1 had a great summer in no small part to this hyper-quick, super-athletic 1 who pushes the pace and penetrates at will. Thompson got to the free throw line often this summer and made opponents pay.
Center – Natalie Mazurek, 6'1", Fury 2020 Blue (Eden Prairie)
Lanky post joined the strong Fury 2020 Blue team this summer and made the most of the opportunity. Natalie is deceptively quick, she's surprisingly agile, she can get to the basket without much difficulty, and she knows how to finish. That's a nice combo.
Power forward – Patience Williams, 6'1", E1T1 (Fridley)
We have been patient waiting for Patience to be all that she can be, and this summer you could sense that she is on the verge of a breakthrough. Williams has always been incredibly athletic, and now she's figuring out how to be a great basketball player. When it all comes together, look out!
Small forward – Kalena Myers, 5'5", E1T1 (Apple Valley)
Kalena was a key cog in the E1T1 machine, an unsung hero who can play any position and do the little things that help her team win basketball games. A lightning quick defender and a superior ball hawk, Myers does an excellent job of getting into passing lanes for deflections and steals.
Point guard – Abby Schulte, 5'10", Crossfire Jorgenson (Maple Grove)
This super athletic talent took over as Maple Grove's point guard midway through last season, established herself as a great prospect, and never looked back all summer. She runs like a gazelle, and is a terrific distributor who can also drive to the hoop and knock it down from outside.
Shooting guard – Grace Elander, 5'8', E1T1 (Holy Family)
With six players on our 2020 squad, the girls of E1T1 proved you don't have to play for one of the big clubs to get the recognition you deserve. Grace is a nice ball handler and an exceptional shooter who plays with confidence. Watch out this winter because Grace's time may have arrived.