St. Mary’s Raheem Anthony shows Division III an NBA look
Thanks for checking out Basketball Across Minnesota, my weekly look at some of the state’s best hoops stories, from preps to pros. —Marcus Fuller
. . .
The similarities between Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards and St. Mary’s star Raheem Anthony are hard to ignore. They are both athletic, 6-foot-4, 220-pound, powerfully built guards who dominate opponents to score in groups.
They are both from the class of 2019 in high school. Their full games are almost mirror images at their respective levels; they can rack up 30 or 40 points in a game and just as easily fill the stat sheet with rebounds and assists.
Edwards, also known as “Ant-Man”, is probably the most exciting Minnesota State basketball player you’ve heard of, as he plays in the NBA.
Anthony, described by some as the little college version of Ant-Man, is arguably the most exciting Minnesota basketball player you’ve never heard of. It evolves in Division III.
Anthony is used to being compared to Edwards and knows why.
“The build and my level of athleticism,” Anthony said. “People have told me that. A lot of my game is physical, and I’m pretty quick with my first step, which they don’t expect.”
Chicago native Anthony leads the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in points (24.5) and assists (5.0), but he’s also third in rebounds (9.3) and shooting 44% at from three points.
Winona-based St. Mary’s set a program record with an eight-game winning streak that recently ended with a loss at Macalester, but Anthony responded with his second 41-point game of the season on Saturday in a victory against Concordia. He shot 14 for 19 from the field and 10 for 10 from the free throw line and added eight rebounds and eight assists with zero turnovers in 40 minutes.
“I’m excited when I play against another good team,” Anthony said. “It just gives me a chance to show what I can do. I play any position of [point guard to center].”
His most exciting performance this season came on a trip home. In an 83-82 win over North Park on Dec. 30 in Chicago, he drilled a buzzer-beater winner in half-court to cap his first night 40 points and also had 14 rebounds. The ball was returned to him with 3.1 seconds left.
“In training we have situation drills, so my coach always puts the ball in my hands and prays that I can get things moving,” Anthony said. “Usually I can cover the whole court in five seconds. Once I realized I didn’t have enough time, I stopped a little before half-court, shot and ran. maintained my follow.”
It was the second half-court buzzer-beater of Anthony’s career. He also drilled one at DePaul College Prep, which he led to third place in the Illinois Class 3A State Tournament as a senior in 2019.
How did he end up playing DIII ball in Minnesota State? He followed his older brother, Kareem, to St. Mary’s. They were teammates for two seasons, and last season led the program to its first playoff berth in 35 years.
“I feel like the crowd is excited to come see me play,” he said. “Basketball is a team sport, however, and we have some very good players too.”
Passionate athlete of both sports
Earlier this month, Bloomington Jefferson two-sport junior Daniel Freitag paid an unofficial visit to PJ Fleck’s Gophers, and the conversation included a familiar speech he’s heard from several schools recruiting him: He can play basketball and football in college.
Notre Dame offered him a football scholarship last week. The Irish also said they would try to get him into the basketball team. Just like the Gophers, Baylor, Iowa State, Iowa and Nebraska, among others.
“We talked about it to see if it’s something I want to do or not,” Freitag said of playing two sports in college. “I’m definitely looking to increase that [basketball] listing. It’s not a matter of ego. It never hurts to have options.”
As that tough decision awaits, the 6-1 guard and wide receiver have been racking up some viral basketball highlights this winter, including averaging nearly 27 points for the Jaguars.
Bright Future Hoops Girls
Crosby-Ironton’s Tori Oehrlein, who led the state with 29.8 points per game Wednesday, was the first eighth-grade girl to hit the 1,000 career point mark. Now she’s in ninth grade and rapidly heading towards 2,000.
Oehrlein’s most impressive 5-11 stat line this season was a 41-point, 15-rebound, 15-steal effort against Aitkin, but his record stands at 46 points. She also grabbed 20 or more rebounds three times.
As dominant as Oehrlein has been, another ninth-grader has her sights set on the state scoring title. Providence Academy’s Maddyn Greenway is averaging 29.7 points in 13 games. His status as one of Minnesota’s most exciting young prospects will be on display Saturday against No. 1 Class 4A Hopkins in the Community Clash at St. Michael-Albertville High School.
Five Fuller’s Bullets
Scored 44 points on eight 3-pointers in a Saturday win over Houston. He became the first player in team history with at least 40 points, three rebounds, three assists, three steals, and three blocks in the game.
Liv McGill, Hopkins
The undefeated Royals don’t play many close games, but McGill was key to maintaining that perfect record when they scored 17 points in a 57-50 Jan. 17 win over Wayzata.
Rose Micheaux, Gopher
The second 6-2 helped Lindsay Whalen’s team earn its second Big Ten victory of the season against Penn State with a career-high 31 points and 14 rebounds on Jan. 18 at State College.
JJ Ware, Park Center
The 6-6 junior forward leads the best men’s team in the state in scoring. He scored 25 points on Jan. 20 against Armstrong and 21 points on Jan. 23 against Holy Family. The Pirates are 13-0.
Caleb Williams, Macalester
In a 75-72 win over Saint Mary’s on January 18, Williams scored 24 points, including the game-winning three-pointer with less than four seconds left. He’s averaged 28 points in his last three games, including 35 in Wednesday’s win over Hamline.
75 — Minneapolis North’s winning streak in Minneapolis City Conference games ended Jan. 18 when Minneapolis Southwest won 89-85 behind Liam Farniok’s 31 points.
40 – Single-game point mark recently achieved by Boden Kapke of Holy Family, Tameron Ferguson of St. Cloud Tech, Nas Whitlock of DeLaSalle, Maddyn Greenway of Providence Academy and Tessa Johnson of St. Michael-Albertville.
Basketball Across Minnesota will be published weekly on starttribune.com. Don’t be a stranger on Twitter after reading, because discussing these stories makes them even more fun to share. Thanks Mark (@Marcus_R_Fuller on Twitter)
startribune Gt Itly