The spring AAU season gets going this weekend with an event in Merrillville, IL (I would assume others as well). In a change from last year, coaches are allowed to be out on the road for a week or two in April, beginning the weekend of April 20-22. The majority of the teams playing in Merrillville are Chicago-/Illinois-based, then next weekend the NY2LA group is hosting an event at Homestead. That event should have a number of prospects who have had interest from UW. There are actually three events going on in Minneapolis the weekend of April 20-22, so there should be quite a few college coaches floating around the Twin Cities that weekend. Here is what I can find about UW recruits/prospects and what their schedules look like this spring:
-Bronson Koenig (Wisconsin Swing 17U) – Bronson made the switch from the Wisconsin Playground Warriors to the Swing this year, and it looks like they will have a very nice squad. In addition to Koenig, three Easy Troy kids (Nate Dodge and the 6’9” Prahl twins) joined the team, as did 2014 wing TJ Schlundt Nick Fuller and Luke Fischer are back with the team again this spring/summer. The Swing will be at the NY2LA events the weekends of April 6-8 in Milwaukee and April 20-22 in Minneapolis, then some other Midwestern events the rest of April and May. I believe there is another NY2LA event at Homestead the weekend of May 18-20.
-Semi Ojeleye (Mo Kan Elite 17U) – Semi plays for a Nike team, which means most of their events are part of the Nike-only circuit (EYBL). Those events are generally outside the midwest, though the first EYBL event this year is in Minneapolis the weekend of April 20-22. I am really hoping Semi is playing that weekend, as I’d like to see him play a little bit.
-Kyle Washington (Howard Pulley 17U) – Kyle’s team is also an EBYL team, so they will be at many of the same events as the Mo Kan Elite. They will certainly be in the EBYL event April 20-22, then the Howard Pulley group also hosts a smaller event in Minneapolis the weekend of May 4-6. With Washington at prep school this year, I am not sure how many spring events he will play in with the Howard Pulley team, but I am hoping he makes at least the two Minneapolis events.
-Matt Thomas (Wisconsin Playmakers 17U) – Matt is back with the Playmakers squad that had a really solid spring/summer last year. He is certainly the headliner, but Tobi Hegner and Turner Botz are also mid-major prospects. The Playmakers will be at the April 6-8 and May 18-20 NY2LA at Homestead, as well as the NY2LA event in Minneapolis April 20-22. They are also playing a smaller event in St. Cloud, MN the weekend of April 13-15. That event is primarily Minnesota-based teams, save for the Howard Pulley teams.
-Kevon Looney (Milwaukee Running Rebels 17U) – Looney played up with the 17U team last spring/summer (up two age levels), so I assume he will be with that team again this year. I have not been able to locate a schedule for them, but I know they played in most or all of the NY2LA events last year. Based on that, I would guess they are at the Homestead events in early April and early May, and I’m hoping it means they are in Minneapolis in mid-April.
-There are certainly a number of prospect on Illinois-based teams who have received at least some level of interest from the UW staff. The Mac Irvin Fire teams, which are a part of the Nike EBYL circuit, are probably the highest profile teams with national prospects like Jabari Parker and Jahlil Okafor. I believe 2013 forward Gavin Schilling is part of this program. They are a part of the event in Merrillville this weekend, then I would assume their schedule would largely follow the Nike circuit, so they should be in Minneapolis later in April. I am pretty sure that 2013 forward Alex Foster plays with the Meanstreets program, which is another Nike team. Paul White and Paul Turner, both of whom are 2014 forwards will a UW offer, were a part of the Ferrari program last year, but I am not sure that program exists anymore. Amanze Egekeze plays for an AAU program (Illinois Wolves) that seems to really do things the right way (see linked article below about the Wolves program). Egekeze is a 2014 forward so he is presumably on the 16U Wolves team with Keita Bates-Diop, another versatile, talented 2014 forward. Forward Nate Taphorn is a part of the Wolves 17U team, and I would guess there are others in the program who have gotten interest from UW.
-UW has also looked at several Minnesota kids, with Rashad Vaughn being the best of those prospects. Though he’s 2014, he plays up with the 17U Net Gain team, which will be playing in the Minneapolis NY2LA event April 20-22. They are probably at Homestead this coming weekend as well. Pump n Run probably has the best group of teams among Minnesota-based teams this year, with several of their kids getting looks from UW. Reid Travis and Paul Friendshuh are both 2014 forwards UW has looked at, but I am not sure they will be on the same PNR team. I have heard that Travis will be on the 17U team, while 2015 guard Jarvis Johnson will be on the 16U team with Friendshuh. The 15U team would include 2015 forward Henry Ellensen and 2015 guard Marshawn Wilson. The PNR teams will be at the St. Cloud event, and they host their own event the weekend of April 20-22. That event may be over-shadowed by the Nike and NY2LA events, both of which appear to have better fields.
-There are also a few kids from Iowa who have drawn some interest from UW. 2013 big Ted Friedman has been to Madison a couple times. I believe he plays on the Kingdom Hoops 17U team, which will likely be at Homestead and in Minneapolis for the NY2LA events, and hopefully the Pulley event in May. I get confused by the Iowa AAU programs, but I believe 2013 Peter Jok is also in the Kingdom Hoops program. 2014 forward Seth Bonifas plays with the Iowa Barnstormers. I have not been able to find a 2012 schedule for the Barnstormers yet.
-Last, but certainly not least, I do not know what AAU program Diamond Stone is with. I am hoping he plays with one of the more UW-friendly programs.