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Tre Jones, Jalen Suggs face each other in nationally televised game

By Star Tribune, 12/07/17, 12:31AM CST


Thursday night, it's Apple Valley vs. Minnehaha Academy in ESPN’s sold-out GEICO High School Showcase.

Apple Valley guard Tre Jones, left, and Minnehaha Academy's Jalen Suggs.

What: The game kicks off ESPN’s GEICO High School Showcase series, an 11-game slate designed to spotlight some of the top high school boys’ basketball talent in the country.


Tickets: The game is sold out. The school gym holds about 1,600 people.

Why: Defending Class 4A champion Apple Valley features Tre Jones, a senior guard ranked in the top 10 nationally in the Class of 2018 by three different sources: No. 7 (Rivals.com), No. 8 (247 Sports) and No. 10 (ESPN). Jones, who signed with Duke last month, is ranked the top point guard by all three. … Minnehaha Academy, the 2017 Class 2A champion, is led by sophomore Jalen Suggs, considered the top point guard and either the No. 3 or No. 4 overall recruit, depending on the recruiting service, in the Class of 2020.

Apple Valley scouting report: Luke Martens, a 6-4 senior guard, has a soft touch around the basket and a hard nose on defense. The Eagles are deep and do the little things — take charges, go hard after loose balls, block out — that win games. Jones makes it all go — a consummate leader who does everything well and is not fazed by the spotlight.

Minnehaha Academy scouting report: Suggs is a veteran point guard despite being just a sophomore. He knows when to score and when to create, and is mentally tough. Teammate JaVonni Bickham, a 6-6 forward, is athletic enough to play facing the basket but strong enough to be effective down low. Guards Kaden Johnson and Terry Lockett, both sophomores, and senior Lorenzo Smith each possess a different skill set, making the Redhawks tough to defend.

History: Jones says he’s never played a game against Suggs, but Suggs said he recalls a head-to-head matchup as a seventh-grader.

Jones on Suggs: “He’s a great player. Guys like that, who can score in many ways, you have to make it difficult for him and hopefully wear him down.”

Suggs on Jones: “There’s not much you can do to rattle him. You just have to try to stay in front of him and keep him out of the lane, where he’s able to kick the ball out to his shooters.”


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