The Holiday break from school brings some serious hoops all throughout the country. Given the fact that student athletes are on break, there are endless events throughout the nation that offer fans, scouts, and college coaches alike the opportunity to watch some high level hoops all under one roof. While many teams opt to play in national events, the state of Minnesota’s archaic travel rule (high school teams are only allowed to play games within 250 miles of their school’s address) has created a longstanding culture of outstanding local holiday tournaments. Enter the Concordia St. Paul Holiday Classic.
Given the fact that Minnesota only has two D-1 programs (University of Minnesota and St. Thomas), the D-2 culture is very strong in the far north. Concordia St. Paul offers a gorgeous Gangelhoff Center that offers more than many low D-1 facilities do. Head coach Matt Fletcher, assistant Nick Perrin, and the rest of the staff do an outstanding job of putting together not just elite high school programs, but a myriad of intriguing college prospects together for the two day event.
Here are a few of the standouts from the 2023 Concordia St. Paul Holiday Classic:
Chiang Ring, 6’9, PF/C, Park Center (MN), 2024The best unsigned senior in the state of Minnesota showed why he’s also a hot commodity in the Midwest, dropping 27 points, 11 rebounds, and 9 blocks vs Minnetonka. Ring is such an interesting prospect because he is a new age big with great timing as a shot blocker, the range to contain defensively on the perimeter, and showed a ton of promise as a 3-point shooter. Holding a dozen D1 offers, Ring has already been on campus at New Mexico and still will be taking more visits in the spring.
Jayden Daisy, 6’5, SF, Benilde St. Margaret’s (MN), 2024One of the better unsigned seniors in the state of Minnesota, Daisy certainly lived up to the hype at the CSP Holiday Classic. The long armed senior used his length to defend a multitude of positions, posted up smaller defenders, and was tough to stop as a straight line driver. Doubling as a 6-foot-5 wide receiver, the future is bright for the Howard Pulley wing with whichever sport that he chooses to play.
Casmir Chavis, 6’3, PG, Park Center (MN), 2024The best point guard in the state of Minnesota showed it yet again at the Concordia St. Paul Holiday Classic, dropping 24 points and 7 assists in a dog fight against Minnetonka. “Cash” can simply get into the lane at will, is an elite finisher with creativity at the rack, and is arguably the best on ball defender in the backcourt in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Heading to Washington next year, Chavis’ explosiveness on both ends and ability to put pressure on the rock will allow him to receive minutes from day one.
Isaac Asuma, 6’3, PG/SG, Cherry HS (MN), 2024The leader of the back to back defending Minnesota A champs played to his reputation, showing the massive potential that he has as a two-way guard. Asuma used his length to create a ton of deflections, showed off an improved first step, and played above the rim on both ends of the floor. Already signed with Minnesota, Gophers head coach Ben Johnson was in the building to check out his future combo guard throughout the event.
Jaleel Donley, 6’2, PG, Benilde St. Margaret’s (MN), 2025Perhaps the fastest player end to end in the state of Minnesota, Donley changed the game on both ends with his blazing speed at the CSP Holiday Classic. The lefty is an absolute blur in transition, is a superb passer with both hands, and uses his freakish athleticism to consistently finish above the rim over the top of the defense. Still wide open in terms of his recruitment, Minnesota’s best junior guard is beginning to receive high major interest and should continue to running with Howard Pulley in the EYBL.
Jordan Cain, 6’3, SG, Minnetonka HS (MN), 2024Another one of the better unsigned guys left on the board, Cain is the absolute model of productivity and consistency for an outstanding Minnetonka team. Cain is an elite cutter, is absolutely fearless attacking the rim (especially going right), and is continually improving as a jump shooter. Toss in the fact that he is a big time defender and it’s easy to see why there’s so much intrigue surrounding Cain for the late signing period.
Owen Waldoch, 6’6, PF, Forest Lake HS (MN), 2024In one of the bigger upsets of the event, Forest Lake knocked off back to back state champion Cherry in the opening game of Thursday’s play at Concordia St. Paul, and much of that was due to the play of Owen Waldoch. Waldoch has good footwork, a really nice touch facing the basket, and shows promise as a facilitator from the power forward spot. Heading to host Concordia St. Paul, the new age forward will have the potential to make an immediate impact with his inside/out play.
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