09-10 Suburban East Preview

This is the 9th preview in my metro area season previews series. In this installment, I take a look at the Suburban East Conference. To access all of the previews in the series, view the season preview page here.

Top to bottom the Suburban East may be as tough as any league. There's firepower at the top and even as you go down the league, almost everyone seems to have a player that you have to really prepare for.

Cretin-Derham Hall Raiders (2008 season 13-14, 9-7 Conference)
They were one of the more disappointing teams in the metro last year. But they return everyone including monster Seantrel Henderson in the middle, Clay Horne and Elliot Owusu at the forwards with Gus Gehlen and Raijon Kelly in the backcourt. Sean Kopp and Jake Frey will provide depth. Sophomore point guard Cortez Tillman may see time as backup point guard, but I'd like to see them keep him down on JV with fellow soph stars Taylor Montero and CJ Neumann to build for 2 great seasons starting next year. What's strange is that everytime I saw CDH last year (start, middle and end of the year) they were better when Henderson wasn't on the floor. They have as much talent returning as anyone and could have a big year, but I'm not sold. I think they disappoint again this year.

East Ridge Raptors (New School)
The Suburban East welcomes the Raptors who as with any new school will be young and undermanned. Hard to know what they'll have from Woodbury or Park. Expect a long season.

Forest Lake Rangers
(2008 season 20-9, 10-6 Conference)
Now for a team that I have high hopes for. Forward Zach Riedeman returns as a do everything player for them. Doug Sewall is a banger inside but very effective. Sam Miller and junior Phil Hegseth return after seeing big minutes last year. They'll need to replace the shooting of Griffin Lentsch. With their open-post motion, they are a bear to defend and just wear you down.

Hastings Raiders (2008 season 11-16, 6-10 Conference)
Hastings doubled the win total last year and 2 of the top 3 scorers return. That includes Shane Monjeau. Nick Gmiterko and Michael Hill also return. They played most everyone tough last year so they'll look to duplicate last season.

Mounds View Mustangs (2008 season 20-7, 14-2 Conference)
The Mustangs lose almost all of their rotation including a nice trio of DJ Carroll, Justin Harding and Greg Anderson. Jordan Van Eps is the top returnee. Junior guard Blake Anderson and senior center Mitch Porter look to be major contributors this year as well.

Park Wolfpack (2008 season 7-19, 3-13 Conference)
Post Andy Voigt and point guard Cody Hofmann were the top 2 scorers and they're gone. Craig Brown is a solid but unspectacular wing and he's back. Soph Marcus Jones saw varsity time last year. Senior Drew Benson also returns inside.

Roseville Raiders (2008 season 12-16, 9-7 Conference)
Star Mike Muscala is gone to Bucknell but there are nice pieces returning. David Stanley will man the point. David Michaelson is the shooting guard. Junior Lucas Brown is the star forward. Sam Peterson will see time in the middle. Youngster Emeche Wells is one to watch.

Stillwater Ponies (2008 season 16-12, 10-6 Conference)
Here's another group that was very young last year and everybody is back. A twist this year as coach Randy Jordan comes down from St. Cloud Tech to take over the program. Unlike CDH, the Ponies finished strong at 12-3 (with 3 wins over CDH in that stretch). Big Ryan Duxbury returns in the middle with Paul Franklin at the point. Miles Heller fills the 4 spot but he got hurt playing football so his health could be a question. Alex Oman returns as the top shooter. Jake Malwitz, Jesse George and junior Paxton Harvieux all saw notable minutes last season.

White Bear Lake Bears (2008 season 9-18, 3-13 Conference)
The loss of versatile forward Mitch Fiereck to Northern State hurts but soph Eric Gebeke could step into that role. Power forward Spencer Cummings returns and he was last season's leading scorer. David Rademacher returns to run the point. Expect soph Josh Tismer and junior Vidal Vance to also see plenty of backcourt time this season.

Woodbury Royals (2008 season 13-15, 8-8 Conference)
Point guard Ernest Dorsett, shooter Bo Schiffler and post Sam Swanson are all gone. All that remains is forward Nick Quicksell. He led them in scoring last year. Tanner Pearson will be at a guard spot. David Smith should see time in the middle.

Predicted Order of Finish
  1. Forest Lake
  2. Stillwater
  3. Cretin-Derham Hall
  4. Mounds View
  5. Hastings
  6. Roseville
  7. White Bear Lake
  8. Woodbury
  9. Park
  10. East Ridge
Conference MVP: Zach Riedeman - Forest Lake

Breakout/Surprise Player: Jordan Van Eps - Mounds View

Games that will determine the regular season conference title

  • Stillwater at Forest Lake - January 5th
  • Forest Lake at Cretin-Derham Hall - January 8th
  • Stillwater at Cretin-Derham Hall - January 26th
  • Forest Lake at Stillwater - February 9th
  • Cretin-Derham Hall at Forest Lake - February 12th
  • Cretin-Derham Hall at Stillwater - March 2nd
Non-Conference Games to Watch
  • Duluth East at Forest Lake - December 12th
  • Champlin Park vs Cretin-Derham Hall - December 12th (Breakdown Tipoff Classic at Minnetonka)
  • Stillwater at St. Paul Johnson - December 15th
  • Forest Lake at Granite City Classic in St. Cloud - Dec 28-30th
  • Cretin-Derham Hall at Eden Prairie - January 2nd
  • Stillwater vs Eau Claire North - January 23rd (Border Battle at Eau Claire Memorial)
  • Forest Lake at Eau Claire Memorial - January 23rd (Border Battle)
  • De La Salle at Cretin-Derham Hall - February 20th
I had a chance to ask Roseville coach Bartt Pierce some questions about the Raiders and the Suburban East Conference. Minnesota Preps subscribers can read that interview here.

Photo courtesy of MNPhotoNet.net

3 comments:

  1. There is no way that Forest Lake will finish first. Look out for Woodbury who finished had a JV conference record of 15-1 as a surprise team

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you madskills. I didn't see Woodbury's JVs last year, but with that record, I'll agree that there's no way they finish 8th.

    I admit I went out on a limb with Forest Lake (chalk picks would be too easy). But they were impressive this summer and execute really well.

    Stillwater's kids I thought would have a bigger summer with the Heat. So that tempered my enthusiam on them.

    CDH's disappointing year last year dropped them. But Horne had flashes during the summer and Owusu improved greatly.

    Neither of those 2 teams at the top would surprise me.

    ReplyDelete
  3. CDH is at least 8 players deep this year, all of which know how to compete. CDH will be the team to beat this year.

    I wouldn't be surprised if they're the top team.

    ReplyDelete

Have a different take than mine? You can provide your take here.