10-11 Independents and the Rest Preview

This is the 12th preview in my 2010-2011 season preview series.  In this preview, a look at the metro area independents and then some bonus thoughts on the Wright County and Mississippi 8 Conferences.  For a list of all the season previews, click here.

CHOF Lions (2009-10 season 6-16)
Junior center Tyler Strandlund is your prototype class A 1 man band.  He's good for 20 and 10 every night.  Guards Tate Piepkorn and Adam Rohlf return.  They'll be improved but beyond Strandlund, they'll struggle to score.

Minnesota Transitions Wolves (2009-10 season 30-3)
The defending class A state champions lose the state's all-time leading scorer Kevin Noreen and his 36.5 points and 16.4 rebounds per game.  With his size no longer in the middle, expect the Wolves to go back to their old Loyola Marymount ways.  Younger brother Kyle returns and is the glue that will hold the team together as he will do a bit of everything for them.  After averaging 19.2 PPG last season, don't be shocked if he comes close to 30 this season.  It wouldn't be crazy to see him average a triple-double either.  Dynamic scorer Rodney Owens returns on the other wing and should also have a large season.  Forward Devonte Harvey can fill it up in a hurry too. Expect the starters to play big minutes as beyond those 3, the roster is thin.

PACT Panthers (2009-10 season 22-7)
The Panthers lose most of their rotation including forward Austin Rink.  He averaged 18.3 points a game last season.  Sophomore Drew Zieroth is the top returner at 6.9 PPG a night.  Senior Jordan Szabla is another returnee of note.  In a rebuilding year, they've downgraded the non-MCAA section of their schedule accordingly.

Prairie Seeds Academy comes on the scene this year. They have enough athletes to be competitive against their mostly charter school schedule.

Former Big Lake coach Steve De Los Reyes relaunches the program at Spectrum after it didn't play varsity last year. 

Games to Watch
  • Duluth East vs MTS - Dec 11th (Breakdown Tipoff Classic)
  • Lakeview Christian at CHOF - Dec 11th
  • Braham at CHOF - Dec 16th
  • MTS at Springfield - Dec 20th
  • Park Christian at CHOF - Jan 14th
  • CHOF at MTS - Feb 10th
  • MTS at St. Paul Johnson - Feb 22nd
  • MTS at Eden Prairie - Feb 25th
  • CHOF at Maranatha - Mar 1st
  • MTS at Stephen-Argyle - Mar 4th
Wright County Conference Thoughts
Some really good talent in the league with lots of players back.  The battle at the top remains the same with Orono and Waconia set to have a pair of epic battles again this season (1/4 at Waconia, 2/8 at Orono).  Waconia loses forward Danny Fischbach but the development of Alex Schmitt and Wylie Ferron should over come that.  My gut tells me to take Orono since 9 of their top 10 return.  However, with Shelby Moats inside and the guard duo of Bronson Scheff and Ben Kortuem returning for a 3rd year with 2 league titles, I have to take Waconia until beaten.  I think these teams split like last year and Orono's reliance on outside shooting and opposing bigs to rebound means they get upset in a game.  Plenty of bigs in the league as well which isn't good for Orono's small lineup.  Mike Yahnke and 18 a night return at Delano.  Expect a big year inside from James Fort at Annandale.  Nate Kratch is a versatile lefty forward at Watertown-Mayer.  They need to replace 14 a night from Tyler Schmidt but most of the rotation returns. 

Mississippi 8 Conference Thoughts
Rogers is my team to beat in the league with their top 2 scorers Trevor Morlick on the wing and post Rory Donovan returning.  RJ Dean returns at the point.  Center Michael Schreiber returns.  Forward Josh Turnquist had a big summer for 43 Hoops and is a nice complement to their inside play.  Trevor Berkley is another wing who should see time.  Buffalo loses their top 2 scorers in Aaron Duske and guard Brent Kettenacker.  Sharpshooter Andy Ortmann returns as the top scorer.  Soph Ethan Freer and Kennan Brown return to the rotation.  At St. Michael-Albertville, athletic forward Joe Carpenter returns along with guard Michael Wiese.  Like Buffalo, they are well-coached and hard-nosed defensively.  Expect those 2 to be in the top half.  On the northern side of the league you've got shooters.  Junior Ted Lutterman leads the way at Cambridge-Isanti.  Zimmerman's backcourt of Brandon Giese and Blake Ehley (especially Giese) can fill it up in a hurry.  Those 2 with 5 juniors who saw plenty of time last year should allow the Thunder to make the top half.  Big Lake will have a say in that with much of their rotation back.  Center Anthony Saavedra (including goggles) and point guard Michael Stevens are the top players back for another year.  Post Damien Reinke will lead Becker but they'll have to find a way to replace athletic forward Michael Lindsay's 17 points a night.  Center Kevin Flesch will lead Monticello.  Zimmerman, Princeton and possibly Becker all leave the league after the season to form a new conference very similar to the old Rum River (read about the realignment possibilities here)

    1 comment:

    1. Athony Saavedra is no longer with Big Lake he's playing for Monticello now.

      ReplyDelete

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