09-10 Classic Suburban Preview

Henry Sibley coach
Tom Dasovich

This is the 2nd preview in my metro area season previews series. In this installment, a look at the Classic Suburban Conference. To access all of the previews in the series, view the season preview page here.

Another league that, besides Henry Sibley, doesn't have size but does have quality perimeter play. The usual suspects at the top with a couple of teams trying to break through to the top tier.

Henry Sibley Warriors (2008 season 27-3, 16-0 Conference)
Expectations are high with the return of bigs Mike Rostampour and Jake Kreuser plus the addition of athletic guard Jordan Jackson from Como Park. Rostampour is an absolute beast inside and he's always going 100 mph. Jake Goldberg will be an interior backup. Jimmy Ryan returns at a guard spot. Soph Dante Grant is a player to follow for the future. Biggest keys are Rostampour staying out of the foul trouble that he's known for and Jackson. Jackson's athleticism is his biggest strength and his biggest fault. He'll gamble on defense and on offense he'll force shots, but he can make them. He may score a ton of points, but he'll needs plenty of shots to do it and that will take the ball out of Rostampour and Kreuser's hands inside. Balancing Jackson's shots with Rostampour's will be one of coach Dasovich's biggest tasks. Does Jimmy Ryan man the point and Jackson is off the ball or does Jackson play the point? I see those as year long issues. Look for teams to try and take the ball out of Jackson's hands and force Sibley to make outside shots.

Hill-Murray Pioneers (2008 season 11-17, 4-12 Conference)
The Pioneers got off to a 6-0 start before the roof caved in for a 5-17 finish, but even those 11 wins were deceiving as there wasn't a quality win among them. 4 of the top 6 return including junior forward Rob Daul who had a very nice summer for the MN Heat 16s. The bruising forward will be expected to carry the scoring load again this season. Senior Tim Markoe will be another player with expectations. Coach Dick Ghizoni is one of the more underrated coaches out there. Is this is the year that the Pioneers make a run at getting back in the top half of the league?

Mahtomedi Zephyrs
(2008 season 17-12, 8-8 Conference)
The Zephyrs only return 2 players of note from last season as they lose a big senior class. Guard Bobby Sherwood is the leading returning scorer and will have to carry a big load. Guard Andre Arnett is the only other returner of note. Experience will be a major factor.

North Polars
(2008 season 14-13, 6-10 Conference)
Gerard Coury takes over in North St. Paul which probably means the end of the Princeton offense, much to my dismay. He has a couple of pieces to work with. Junior guard Rex Johnson is the leading returning scorer and can knock down shots. 6'6" senior Nathan Schouvilller will man the middle and Kyle Whyte returns at a forward spot. They'll be improved but I can't see them improving on last year's 6th place finish.

Richfield Spartans
(2008 season 16-11, 10-6 Conference)
Guard turned power forward Renard Robinson and guard Philip Freeman depart. That leaves the backcourt to Jay Sewer who I thought would breakout last season, so I have to pick him again this year. There is experience back with Corey Fitzgerald, Jared Etienne and Ben Webster. Backup point guard Daron Garvis returns along with sophomore Darrien Johnson. Once again another guard oriented lineup but without a great rebounding guard like Robinson was. But they defend for coach Jim Dimick.

St. Thomas Academy Cadets (2008 season 18-10, 11-5 Conference)
Leading scorer and sharpshooter Mike Fitzgerald is gone to Air Force. Billy Chapman and Charlie Aslesen return. Chapman is a solid shooter and tough defender. Will Patt provides size in the middle. As always expect methodical offense and tough defense from the Cadets. I'll also be keeping an eye junior Chase Bowersox and seniors Andrew Alexander and Isaac Rinehart.

Simley Spartans
(2008 season 9-18, 3-13 Conference)
The Spartans were 5-4 with a nice win over St. Michael-Albertville in their own Christmas tournament for their only good win of the year, but then the calendar changed and the record was 4-14 the rest of the way. The top 4 scorers, including 17 ppg from guard Thomas Sims, are gone. Senior Andrew Ewing will have to step up.

South St. Paul Packers
(2008 season 4-23, 1-15 Conference)
Matt Fletcher takes over for Kent Getzlaff who tried every bit of smoke and mirrors he could find and still only managed 4 wins. Top players Joe Chudars and Brandon Strickland have gradutated. Expect another very long season for the Packers.

Tartan Titans (2008 season 24-5, 13-3 Conference)
The loss of Marc Sonnen looms large at the point guard spot. But there are plenty of outside players to go around. Manani Beavers will man a wing spot and get the assignment shutting down top offensive threats around the league. Versatile juniors Drew and Luke Preiner will see big time at the wings and ball handing spots. Senior Tim Lubke is a knockdown shooter. Troy Klingsporn will be another ball handler. Add in Max Ryan as a defender. Charlie Buchmayer is the only real interior player. No individual dynamic scorer but as a group they have a ton of shooters. With one of the best coaches around in Mark Klingsporn, they'll be rock solid on both ends.

Predicted Order of Finish
  1. Tartan
  2. Henry Sibley
  3. St. Thomas Academy
  4. Richfield
  5. Hill-Murray
  6. Mahtomedi
  7. North
  8. Simley
  9. South St. Paul
Conference MVP: Mike Rostampour - Henry Sibley

Breakout/Surprise Player: Jay Sewer - Richfield

Games that will determine the conference title

  • Sibley at Tartan - January 12th
  • Tartan at St. Thomas Academy - January 19th
  • Sibley at St. Thomas Academy - February 5th
  • Tartan at Sibley - February 16th
Non-Conference Games to Watch
  • Tartan vs Hopkins - December 12th (Breakdown Tipoff Classic at Minnetonka)
  • Sibley vs Cloquet - December 12th (Breakdown Tipoff Classic at Minnetonka)
  • Sibley at Minnetonka (projected) - December 19th (Minnetonka tournament)
  • Sibley in Augsburg tournament - December 28th-30th
  • Sibley in Timberwolves Shootout - January 9th
  • Tartan at Little Falls - February 20th
I had a chance to ask Henry Sibley coach Tom Dasovich some questions about his Warriors and the Classic Suburban. Minnesota Preps subscribers can read that interview here.

Tom Dasovich photo courtesy of MNPhotoNet.net

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