08-09 Northwest Suburban Preview

This is the 8th installment in the 08-09 Season Preview series. If you missed any of the 1st 7 previews, you can use the Section and Conference Previews page to go back and read them. In this installment, we stay in the north metro and look at the Northwest Suburban Conference.

Osseo Orioles (2007 Season 28-1, 18-0)
The Orioles lose 4 starters but Gonzaga commit Sam Dower returns up front along with point guard DJ Phillips. Hopkins transfer Aaron Anderson and Kyle Mason will also man the backcourt. Jayvin Reynolds is a dirty work player up front on the glass. If they slow the game down, they should be one of the best defensive squads in the metro with Dower behind the defensive prowess of their guards and Reynolds to clean the glass. They'll need to find someone to make outside shots to open up Dower inside.

Champlin Park Rebels (2007 Season 15-12, 12-6)
Jasper Duberry returns as a primary ballhandler. Last year's point guard Zerrick Fuller may or may not be back. Wing Scott Theisen comes back as one of the best perimeter shooters around. He had 11 triples in a game against Elk River last year. They'll be small with Kyle Zimmerman and Josh Pella as their top big players.

Blaine Bengals (2007 Season 13-15, 10-8)
The Bengals lose Kyle Kreklow to Delano, but they have enough talent to compete with anyone in the league. The high-scoring forward duo of Dylan Rodriguez and Billy Giddings returns. Sophomore Dan Robel and junior Jesse Briggity return to man the point. Last year's record and early playoff exit were a disappointment. Can they put all the pieces together this season?

Elk River Elks (2007 Season 17-11, 10-8)
The Elks need to replace shooter Blaise Davis along with forwards Ben Ford and Eric Voltzke. Jack Gavin returns to run the point.

Maple Grove Crimson (2007 Season 15-12, 10-8)
The Crimson lose 1 nice post presence, Jordan Nelson, but still return one of the top posts in the league, Josh Pedretti. Matt Christenson and Alex Geisenhoff are 2 other seniors who should see plenty of varsity minutes.

Park Center Pirates (2007 Season 12-15, 8-10)
Their high scoring guards Mark Cooper and Christian Taber are gone. Voltare Nalls will be the man to lead the way this season.

Coon Rapids Cardinals (2007 Season 11-17, 7-11)
Boris Brnic and Donta Hampton are the noteworthy losses for Coon Rapids. Ben Baker and Blair Townsend will lead the way. Baker can put up points in a hurry so the Cardinals can be dangerous on any given night.

Andover Huskies (2007 Season 9-18, 6-12)
After a string of good seasons, rough times fell on the Huskies last season. Senior Brett Tester brings his 16 points and 7 rebounds per game back to the lineup.

Centennial Cougars (2007 Season 8-19, 6-12)
The Cougars added 5 wins to the win column last season and look to make another jump this season. They had a nice summer and have looked good in the Concordia fall league. Junior guard Tony Gerding returns to the starting lineup for the 3rd straight year. Patrick Ecklund and Anthony Adams also return.

Anoka Tornadoes (2007 Season 6-21, 3-15)
Kyle Boughner and Drew Kramer are important losses. Bernie Ward is the lone returnee of note. They'll look to a large number of returning youngsters for improvement.

Predicted Order of Finish

  1. Osseo
  2. Champlin Park
  3. Blaine
  4. Maple Grove
  5. Elk River
  6. Centennial
  7. Coon Rapids
  8. Park Center
  9. Andover
  10. Anoka
Player of the Year: Sam Dower - Osseo

Games that will determine the conference title
  • Osseo at Blaine - January 6th
  • Champlin Park at Blaine - January 13th
  • Champlin Park at Osseo - January 15th
  • Blaine at Osseo - February 10th
  • Osseo at Champlin Park - February 13th
  • Blaine at Champlin Park - February 17th
Non-Conference Games to Watch
  • Osseo at Henry Sibley - December 9th
  • Minnetonka at Champlin Park - December 12th
  • Blaine at Minnetonka - December 19th
  • Osseo vs Minneapolis Washburn- December 30th (projected Granite City semifinal at St. Cloud Apollo)
  • Osseo vs Sioux Falls Roosevelt - January 3rd (Timberwolves Shootout)
  • Robbinsdale Armstrong at Blaine - January 31st

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