10-11 Classic Suburban Preview

Hard to believe its already time for another round of season previews.  As is tradition here, I begin with a look at the 11 metro area leagues in alphabetical order.  Thanks to conference realignment, that means the Classic Suburban goes first.  For a list of all the season previews, click here.

While there isn't the real powerhouse team of years past at the top, the top of the league still figures to have a strong group of teams.  The 3 traditional favorites (Sibley, Tartan, St. Thomas Academy) all should be there.  Can Mahtomedi and Hill-Murray, who both finished 1 game behind Tartan and St. Thomas Academy last season for 2nd, jump into that mix?  While 1 team won't run away expect 1 group of 5 good teams with 4 teams struggling at the bottom.

Henry Sibley Warriors (2009-10 season 25-7, 15-1 Conference, 1st)
No team in the league is hit harder by departures than the Warriors.  4 of the top 5 scorers including my league MVP last year Mike Rostampour and his college teammate Jordan Jackson are gone along with head coach Tom Dasovich who's now at Minnetonka.  Sibley won't fall off the deep end though.  Junior wing Dante Grant is the top returner after a breakout performance against Hopkins at the state tournament.  Defensive bulldog Bobby Wills and sophomore shooter Adam Huessner return at the guard spots.  Reserves Chris Bultena and the brothers Goldberg (Jake and Nick) move up to headline the frontline.  Longtime assistant Lernell James moves 1 spot down the bench to assume the head coach duties.

Hill-Murray Pioneers (2009-10 season 17-11, 10-6 Conference, tied 4th)
The Pioneers improved by 6 league wins last season under coach Dick Ghizoni.  This season with the league's top front line returning they have a chance to be a factor in the league race.  Forward Rob Daul is the league's top returning scorer after averaging 17.8 PPG last season.  Jim Remke is the other forward and double-figure scorer.  Big 6'9 Dave Simmet mans the middle.  Biggest question mark for the Pioneers is their guard play getting the ball to the forwards.  In their favor, the Pioneers upset Tartan twice last season.

Mahtomedi Zephyrs (2009-10 season 21-8, 10-6 Conference, tied 4th)
Big losses at Mahtomedi as well.  The guard trio of Bobby Sherwood, Ryan Redmond and Andre Arnett costs the Zephyrs 3 of their top 4 scorers.  Plenty of experience returns Junior sharpshooter Justin Pahl returns with brothers Andrew (junior) and Zach (sophomore) Lindquist who can also shoot it.  Add in the leading returning scorer, center Dane Schmid, and the Zephyrs figure to also have a say in the league race.

North Polars (2009-10 season 11-16, 6-10 Conference, tied 6th)
Its been 5 seasons since the Polars were .500 in the league and with the strength at the top of the league, I can't see them breaking that mark this season.  Guards Rex Johnson and Hunter Books give the Polars a nice tandem to work with.  Both averaged double figures last season.

Richfield Spartans (2009-10 season 13-15, 6-10 Conference, tied 6th)
Its a new era at Richfield with the departure of Coach Jim Dimick.  Assistant Omar McMillan takes over a fairly bare cupboard.  Leading scorer Jay Sewer graduated and he was the only double figure scorer the Spartans had.  Senior point guard Daron Garvis returns to man the ship with wings Lorenzo Evans and Darrien Johnson.  Lots of underclassmen did see time last year so there will be some experience.  Shawn Bear was the scorer for Team GetShook this summer, can he bring some of that firepower to the Spartan offense.

St. Thomas Academy Cadets (2009-10 season 16-11, 11-5 Conference, tied 2nd)
The top 3 scores, center Will Patt, forward Charlie Aslesen and guard Billy Chapman all graduate.  Junior wing Thomas Sjoberg is the top returnee.  There's also a nice group of seniors coming up along with Sjoberg in last year's top JV scorer Luke Marks, David Miller, Will Johnson and Luke Siegler.  Reloading and their defense will keep the Cadets in the league race.

Simley Spartans (2009-10 season 9-19, 2-14 Conference, 8th)
A long season last year for Simley and with the 3 top scorers departing, I don't see much changing.  Shinoby Yang averaged 8.6 PPG last season and is the leading returning scorer.

South St. Paul Packers (2009-10 season 7-20, 1-15 Conference, 9th)
Another team that loses a bunch of players.  No player averaged double-figures for the Packers last season.  Expect another long season.

Tartan Titans (2009-10 season 20-8, 11-5 Conference, tied 2nd)
The Titans have losses like athletic forward Manani Beavers, shooter Tim Lubke, guard Troy Klingsporn and defensive stopper Max Ryan just to name a few.  Plenty of returnees though to keep the Titans at the top of the league standings.  It starts with explosive sophomore point guard Darrion Strong.  Add in the Preiner twins (Drew and Luke) who are wings but saw lots of time at center last year.  Joel Awich who saw a big improvement this summer and Ryan Burns will see time in the middle.  Soph Xavier Hall could see some time in the Max Ryan stopper role.

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

Underclassmen to watch:  
Darrion Strong, Xavier Hall - Tartan
Adam Huessner, Nick Goldberg, Zach Haas - Henry Sibley
Zach Lindquist - Mahtomedi
Nick Valdvogel, Teddy Chapman - St. Thomas Academy

Games that will determine the conference title

  • Sibley at St. Thomas Academy - January 4th
  • Tartan at Hill-Murray - January 7th
  • St. Thomas Academy at Mahtomedi - January 7th
  • Tartan at Sibley - January 11th
  • St. Thomas Academy at Tartan - January 18th
  • Sibley at Mahtomedi - January 25th
  • St. Thomas Academy at Sibley - February 4th
  • Tartan at Mahtomedi - February 4th
  • Sibley at Tartan - February 15th
  • Tartan at St. Thomas Academy - February 18th
Non-Conference Games to Watch
  • Tartan vs Apple Valley - December 11th (Breakdown Tipoff Classic at Minnetonka)
  • Orono vs St. Thomas Academy- December 11th (Breakdown Tipoff Classic at Minnetonka)
  • Minneapolis Henry at St. Thomas Academy - Dec 14th
  • St. Thomas Academy at Cretin-Derham Hall - Dec 18th
  • Henry Sibley at Augsburg tournament - Dec 28-30
  • Rogers at Tartan - Dec 29 or 30 (possible matchup in Tartan Tournament)
  • St. Thomas Academy at Grand Rapids - Dec 29 or 30 (Grand Rapids Tournament)
  • Minnetonka at Tartan - January 27th

4 comments:

  1. I'm told that Justin Pahl is now at East Ridge instead of Mahtomedi.

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. Czar, have you given consideration to providing food updates for each of the buildings?

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  4. Food is a year to year thing so I do it game by game but you will see those as expected this season.

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