Some observations from the 14th annual Rick Majerus Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook Shootout, held Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Buuck Fieldhouse on the campus of Concordia University in Mequon:
Five Individual Standouts
Brayden Dailey, 6-5, Soph., G, Mineral Point
Dailey was the player who had fans in the hallways talking after strong performances against Milwaukee Academy of Science and Brookfield Academy. Dailey's length, bounce, skill and ability to make three-point shots were highly impressive in both contests for the Pointers. Ranked as one of the state's premier class of 2021 collegiate prospects, Dailey did nothing but improve his stock with the many collegiate recruiters in attendance for the event. He finished with 27 points in an 84-78 win over Milwaukee Academy of Science and added 31 in a 61-59 loss to Brookfield Academy. Dailey finished with nine made three-point baskets over the two contests and is averaging 21.4 ppg for coach Dan Burreson.
Cole Nau, 6-3, G, Sr., Brookfield Central
The Hillsdale College (NCAA Division II) recruit was sensational for Brookfield Central in its convincing 78-68 victory over Martin Luther, a game which attracted the largest crowd of the 2018 Rick Majerus WBY Shootout. A smooth, smart and skilled combination guard, Nau knocked down four three-point shots, made all nine of his foul shots and finished with a game-high 27 points. Nau scored 19 of his points in the second half as the Lancers slowly but surely pulled away from a 35-31 halftime lead over Martin Luther. Nau, his younger brother, Ben Nau, and senior Gage Malensek form perhaps the state's top backcourt trio as all three are capable defenders, solid scorers and unselfish performers for coach Dan Wandrey.
Jacob Ognacevic, 6-7, F, Jr., Sheboygan Lutheran
College coaches at the NCAA Division I level were out in droves to watch Ognacevic, one of the fastest rising class of 2020 prospects in Wisconsin. An extremely productive and consistent forward who can hurt defenses from the perimeter, off the bounce and in the paint, Ognacevic helped Sheboygan Lutheran to wins over St. Thomas More and St. Mary's Springs, finishing with 32 points, 18 rebounds and 4 blocked shots against St. Mary's Springs, while adding 32 points and 18 rebounds in the win over St. Thomas More. Ognacevic is averaging 31.1 ppg and 15.6 rpg for Sheboygan Lutheran, the state's top-ranked WIAA Division 5 squad that improved to 10-0 on the campaign.
Will Pytleski, 6-3, F, Sr., Green Bay Southwest
Some players just have a nose for the ball and a penchant for making big plays at crunch time. Pytleski definitely is one of those guys. He was simply outstanding at Concordia, both on defense and scoring when the Trojans needed a basket. A four-year varsity performer for coach John Polkowski at Green Bay Southwest, Pytleski scored a career-high 36 points in the Trojans' 75-64 win over Wisconsin Lutheran, and then contributed 24 points in a hard-fought 47-45 win over Oshkosh West. Pytleski was a demon on the glass despite being just 6-foot-3, and his ability to score off the dribble gave opponents fits as Southwest improved to 8-0.
David Skogman, 6-10, F, Sr., Waukesha West
Skogman is a huge presence on both sides of the floor for Waukesha West, one of Wisconsin's top WIAA Division 1 teams. His ability to block and alter shots, score in the paint and from the perimeter, and run the floor while consistently working for post-up position were evident in the Wolverines' wins over Onalaska and Milwaukee Lutheran. In a pair of extremely competitive games against quality opponents, Skogman finished with 13 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocked shots in a 62-58 win over Onalaska, and then added 25 points in a 77-69 win over Milwaukee Lutheran. The state's top uncommitted class of 2019 prospect, Skogman's ability to make things difficult for opponents because of his offensive versatility figures to make the Wolverines one of the teams to beat come March.
Five Emerging Prospects
Max Kunnert, 6-3, WG, Soph., Brookfield Academy
The son of former UW-Oshkosh star Ric Kunnert, Max Kunnert is beginning to make a name for himself with his strong play for coach Pat Clarey at Brookfield Academy. Kunnert was simply outstanding in leading the Blue Knights to a pulsating 61-59 win over Mineral Point. He guarded Mineral Point junior sharpshooter Isaac Lindsey (6-3) and limited the future NCAA Division I player to just 13 points and a single three-point basket. Offensively, Kunnert finished with 24 points and made several beautiful mid-range pull-up jump shots. And then, with the game tied at 59 and the final seconds of regulation time ticking off the clock, Kunnert took the ball on the left side of the floor, took a few dribbles to get over to the right side of the court and then rose up for a 15-foot jump shot that swished through the net as the final horn sounded, giving the Blue Knights the triumph.
Nolan Dahmen, 6-6, F, Jr., Kettle Moraine
Kettle Moraine came into the WBY Shootout with just a 2-5 record, but the Lasers righted the ship after posting wins over New Berlin West and Milwaukee Marquette. Dahmen's strong play in the post was a big reason Kettle Moraine got the two much-needed wins. He used his size, physical strength and aggressiveness around the basket to totally dominate New Berlin West as he scored a career-best 27 points. He added 10 big points in the lane in the Lasers' impressive 62-56 win over Marquette. Dahmen's ability to score around the basket is huge for Kettle Moraine as it takes some offensive pressure off senior guard Nate Jenkins.
Chris Bready, 6-4, G/F, Sr., Waukesha West
There is definitely a buzz going around pertaining to the strong play of Bready, one of the state's more under-the-radar prospects. His size, strength and shooting ability helped the Wolverines' post two wins in the WBY Shootout. Bready is an accurate long-distance shooter, but he can also get to the hoop off the dribble and earn trips to the foul line. Bready has a college-ready body for a wing guard and figures to get plenty of looks from schools at the NCAA Division I and II levels over the next couple of months as the Wolverines attempt to win the Classic Eight Conference crown under coach Don LaValle.
Aidan Flynn, 6-5, F, Jr., Milwaukee Marquette
Though Flynn's Marquette squad came up short against Kettle Moraine, the talented 6-foot-5 forward was impressive for coach Casey Kowalewski and the Hilltoppers. His seemed to get to the basket almost at will and did an excellent job of finishing through contact. He also knocked down two three-point shots en route to scoring a team-high 20 points. Flynn's strong play this season is major reason why the Hilltoppers are off to a strong start with a 4-2 record, including a Greater Metro Conference win over Brookfield East.
Carson Arenz, 6-4, G/F, Jr., Onalaska
It's always fun to watch a good shooter get it going and that is exactly what Arenz did for Onalaska in the Hilltoppers' 62-58 loss to Waukesha West in one of the top games of the 2018 WBY Shootout. After a slow start, Arenz got it going in a big-time way as the Hilltoppers stayed within striking distance of the Wolverines for the entire contest. He finished with 25 points, made four shots from outside the arc and connected on all seven of his foul shots. Arenz has good size and can play the two-guard and small-forward positions. He is averaging a team-high 17.4 ppg while helping coach Craig Kowal's squad to an 8-1 record.
Five Class of 2021 and 2022 Prospects To Remember
Cam Palesse, 6-4, G, Soph., Waukesha West -- Palesse is making the transition from role player to starting point guard for one of the state's top teams, and he is doing it exceptionally well. He was outstanding in helping the Wolverines hold off hard charging Milwaukee Lutheran, finishing with 20 points in a 77-69 triumph. He also netted 15 points and handled the ball well in a 62-58 win over Onalaska. Palesse's ability to get where he wants on the court because of his size and aggressiveness, coupled with his passing and ability to score, make him one of the state's top class of 2021 prospects.
Ben Nau, 6-1, G, Soph., Brookfield Central
Nau is a bit different than his older brother, Cole, is that he is super aggressive on the offensive end of the court. Not that he forces shots or tries to do too much because that is definitely not the case. But if he has a clean look at the basket, he is going to let fly with three-point shots. And he has shot the ball well all season for the Lancers. He had 12 points for Brookfield Central in its win over Martin Luther.
Armani Jones, 5-7, PG, Frosh., Milwaukee Academy of Science -- Do not let his size fool you. Jones can flat-out play. He has a very tight handle on the ball, makes huge shots, gets to the rim and sets up his teammates while also playing strong on-the-ball defense. Jones finished with 33 points in Milwaukee Academy of Science's 78-75 win over Kettle Moraine Lutheran, and then contributed 19 points in an 84-78 loss to Mineral Point. In the game against Mineral Point, Jones spotted up for a three-point basket with just under a minute left that he made to give MAS a brief lead.
Casey Verhagen, 5-11, PG, Frosh, Sheboygan Lutheran -- Verhagen sets the table for Sheboygan Lutheran thanks to his quickness, speed, aggressiveness and ability to keep his head up in transition while tossing accurate passes to his teammates. The son of Sheboygan Lutheran coach Nick Verhagen, Casey Verhagen had 12 assists in each of the Crusaders' victories while also scoring and rebounding at a solid level. His ability to keep defenses back pedaling is a major reason why the Crusaders are 10-0 and ranked No. 1 among WIAA Division 5 programs in the most recent WisSports.net Coaches Poll.
Gavin McGrath, 6-9, F/C, Soph., Onalaska
McGrath isn't a huge offensive threat at this point in his development, but he is capable of scoring in the lane. Moreover, he uses his size and competitive nature to challenge opponents around the basket. A more than capable defender who does not back down from a challenge, McGrath held his own against Waukesha West senior David Skogman (6-10) in their head-to-head matchup.
Others who played well ...
Delvin Barnstable, 6-0, Sr., Sheboygan Lutheran
Ian Behringer, 6-2, Sr., Manitowoc Roncalli
John Bunks, 6-4, Jr., Appleton Xavier
Larry Canady, 6-3, Sr., Racine Park
Trequan Carrington, 5-10, Sr., Martin Luther
Micah Causey, 5-6, Frosh., St. Thomas More
Aidan Clarey, 6-1, Jr., Brookfield Academy
Nobal Days, 6-9, Sr., Racine Park
Hayden Doyle, 6-0, Soph., Brookfield East
Henry Egan, 6-0, Sr., Appleton Xavier
Ace Evans, 6-2, Sr., Martin Luther
Bryson Felder, 6-0, Sr., Wisconsin Lutheran
Aidan Flynn, 6-5, Jr., Milwaukee Marquette
Caleb Fuller, 6-3, Jr., Oshkosh West
Myreon Gant, 6-1, Sr., Milwaukee Messmer
Noah Glembin, 6-2, Sr., St. Thomas More
Amani Glosson, 6-5, Jr., Milwaukee Academy of Science
Graden Grabowski, 6-3, Sr., Sheboygan Lutheran
Demonta Hudson, 5-10, Sr., Racine Park
Brooklyn Jagers, 6-2, Sr., Brown Deer
Nate Jenkins, 6-3, Sr., Kettle Moraine
Xzavier Jones, 6-5, Sr., Martin Luther
Chombi Lambert, 5-9, Sr., Manitowoc Roncalli
Tony Lancaste, 6-3, Sr., Oshkosh West
Jason Larson, 6-5, Sr., Mount Horeb
Riley Letourneau, 6-4, Sr., Brookfield East
Matthew LeVene, 6-2, Sr., Manitowoc Roncalli
Isaac Lindsey, 6-4, Jr., Mineral Point
Evan Lischka, 6-2, Sr., Manitowoc Lutheran
AJ Makinen, 6-0, Sr., Muskego
Gage Malensek, 6-0, Sr., Brookfield Central
Rocky Martinez Jr., 6-4, Sr., Waukesha West
Gunnar Nortman, 6-2, Sr., Mount Horeb
Logan Ohm, 6-0, Sr., Kettle Moraine
Cade Osborn, 6-1, Sr., Eau Claire Regis
Aidan Ottery, 6-2, Soph., St. Mary's Springs
Nick Otto, 6-4, Sr., Appleton Xavier
Michael Poker, 6-0, Jr., Brookfield East
Jonah Rindfleisch, 6-4, Soph., Wisconsin Lutheran
Abe Rocksvold, 6-4, Jr., Eau Claire Regis
Elijah Rosario, 6-3, Sr., Greenfield
Reyshan Sprewer, 5-9, Jr., Pius XI Catholic
Carnell Stevens, 5-7, Soph., Milwaukee Vincent
Lucas Stieber, 6-2, Sr., Green Bay Southwest
Owen Stieber, 5-7, Soph., Green Bay Southwest
Jacob Stoltz, 5-11, Jr., Kettle Moraine Lutheran
Tyrell Stuttley, 6-4, Jr., Onalaska
Kaliem Taylor, 6-2, Jr., Milwaukee Academy of Science
Karter Thomas, 6-0, Jr., Oshkosh West
Javeon Tolliver, 6-0, Jr., Milwaukee Lutheran
Mark Wade, 5-10, Soph., Brown Deer
Mitchell Waechter, 6-3, Sr., St. Mary's Springs
Jourdan Weddle, 6-2, Jr., Milwaukee Lutheran
Eric Williams, 6-2, Sr., St. Thomas More
JP Wolterstorff, 6-4, Soph., Eau Claire Regis
Owen Ziegler, 6-1, Jr., Mount Horeb
Rick Majerus MVP Plaques
The Majerus Family Foundation purchased Most Valuable Player plaques for each of the 27 games played at the WBY Shootout. The following players were selected as game MVPs:
Game 1: Sheboygan Lutheran 78, St. Mary's Springs 67. MVP: Jacob Ognacevic, Sheboygan Lutheran, 35 points
Game 2: Eau Claire Regis 58, Manitowoc Lutheran 52. MVP: JP Wolterstorff, Regis, 16 points
Game 3: Manitowoc Roncalli 64, Catholic Memorial 30. MVP: Chombi Lambert, Roncalli, 32 points
Game 4: Manitowoc Lutheran 78, Kettle Moraine Lutheran 74. MVP: Armani Jones, Milwaukee Academy of Science, 33 points
Game 5: Oshkosh West 87, Brown Deer 70. MVP: Karter Thomas, Oshkosh West, 35 points
Game 6: Green Bay Southwest 75, Wisconsin Lutheran 64. MVP: Will Pytleski, Green Bay Southwest, 36 points
Game 7: Kettle Moraine 75, New Berlin West 45. MVP: Nolan Dahmen, Kettle Moraine, 27 points
Game 8: Brookfield Central 75, Martin Luther 68. MVP: Cole Nau, Brookfield Central, 26 points
Game 9: Milwaukee Lutheran 70, Mount Horeb 64. MVP: Javeon Tolliver, Milwaukee Lutheran, 16 points
Game 10: Eau Claire Regis 64, Milwaukee Messmer 55. MVP: Cade Osborn, Regis, 22 points
Game 11: Brookfield Academy 67, Manitowoc Lutheran 48. MVP: Aidan Clarey, Brookfield Academy, 17 points
Game 12: Sheboygan Lutheran 81, St. Thomas More 62. MVP: Delvin Barnstable, Sheboygan Lutheran, 15 points
Game 13: Appleton Xavier 78, Milwaukee Pius XI Catholic 62. MVP: Nick Otto, Xavier, 27 points
Game 14: Green Bay Southwest 47, Oshkosh West 45. MVP: Will Pytleski, Green Bay Southwest, 24 points
Game 15: Mineral Point 84, Milwaukee Academy of Science 78. MVP: Brayden Dailey, Mineral Point, 27 points
Game 16: Waukesha West 62, Onalaska 58. MVP: Chris Bready, Waukesha West, 16 points
Game 17: Racine Park 67, Mount Horeb 64. MVP: Larry Canady, Racine Park, 24 points
Game 18: Muskego 66, Greenfield 55. MVP: AJ Makinen, Muskego, 19 points
Game 19: Manitowoc Roncalli 89, Milwaukee Messmer 47. MVP: Ian Behringer, Roncalli, 25 points
Game 20: Brookfield Academy 61, Mineral Point 59. MVP: Max Kunnert, Brookfield Academy, 24 points
Game 21: St. Thomas More 52, St. Mary's Springs 51. MVP: Noah Glembin, St. Thomas More, 21 points
Game 22: Appleton Xavier 69, Kettle Moraine Lutheran 65. MVP: Henry Egan, Xavier, 16 points
Game 23: Kettle Moraine 62, Milwaukee Marquette 56. MVP: Nate Jenkins, Kettle Moraine, 19 points
Game 24: Onalaska 75, Milwaukee Vincent 48. MVP: Jonathan Flanagan, Onalaska, 17 points
Game 25: Wisconsin Lutheran 56, Muskego 52. MVP: Bryson Felder, Wisconsin Lutheran, 16 points
Game 26: Brookfield East 62, Martin Luther 49. MVP: Riley Letourneau, Brookfield East, 18 points
Game 27: Waukesha West 77, Milwaukee Lutheran 69. MVP: David Skogman, Waukesha West, 25 points
State Championship Outlook
Over the past seven seasons, 22 of 35 eventual WIAA state champions competed in December at the Rick Majerus WBY Shootout.
This time around, the best bets for potentially winning a state championship at the Kohl Center in Madison come March include Brookfield Central, Brookfield East, Racine Park and Waukesha West in Division 1; Green Bay Southwest, Mount Horeb and Onalaska in Division 2; Brookfield Academy and Martin Luther in Division 3; Mineral Point and Roncalli in Division 4; and Sheboygan Lutheran in Division 5.
Scholarship Award Winners
Congratulations to the following 8 senior student-athletes who were awarded scholarships from the Majerus Family Foundation at the 14th annual Rick Majerus WBY Shootout:
Jack Cooney, Brookfield Central
Connor Kolb, Brookfield Central
Matthew LeVene, Manitowoc Roncalli
Evan Lischka, Manitowoc Lutheran
Matthew Monaco, St. Thomas More
Dylan Pierce, Mount Horeb
Ivan Rojo, St. Thomas More
Ezra Tucker, St. Mary's Springs
Final Thoughts ...
* Thanks to the Majerus Family Foundation for providing Majerus WBY Shootout T-shirts to all participating players and workers.
* Thanks to the Majerus Family Foundation for the scholarship program that awarded $5,000 scholarships to eight student-athletes from participating schools.
* Thanks to the Majerus Family Foundation for the Rick Majerus MVP plaques for each of the contests.
* Thanks to the athletic administration and men’s basketball program at Concordia University in Mequon for again providing outstanding facilities and support for the Rick Majerus WBY Shootout. Special thanks to Concordia head coach Shawn Cassidy and assistant coach Dan Mueller for all their help.
* Thanks to the athletic department, administration, parents and basketball coaches at St. Thomas More High School for serving as the host school for the WBY Shootout.
* Thanks to all the workers and volunteers from St. Thomas More who annually help to make the WBY Shootout one of the premier events in the state.
* Thanks to the fans who attended the WBY Shootout and again supported the greatest game in the country – high school basketball.
* Thanks to the players, coaches, fans and parents of all 32 participating teams.
* Thanks to all my family members who continue to give up their time to help run the event.
* Thanks to Aurora Sports Health for providing training services throughout the 27 games.
* Thanks to the outstanding officials who worked the games at the WBY Shootout. The three-man crews once again did an outstanding job.
* Thanks to our announcers -- Kent Korth and Jim Ganzer -- along with the clock operators and official scorers -- Joe Kershasky, Vince Sciano, Mike Goodwin, Matt Goodwin, Steve Kotze and Dan Pfeifer.
* Thanks to Brian Roebke, the official photographer of the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook.
* Thanks to Sarah Hill for designing the game program, and thanks to Hannah Braun for designing the T-shirts for the Majerus WBY Shootout.
* Thanks to WSSP (1250-AM) and sports insider Mike McGivern for providing media support throughout the Majerus WBY Shootout.
* Next year's dates -- December 26-27-28 at Concordia.
Tag(s): WBY Shootout