10-11 South Suburban Preview

This is the 8th preview in my 2010-2011 season preview series.  In this preview, we go from north to south with a look at the South Suburban Conference.  For a list of all the season previews, click here.

It may not be the Lake Conference in name, but its all the same teams and the same ridiculously tough league schedule.  4 teams at the top with tons of talent back, a fast rising program right behind them and an up and coming team moving up the back of the pack.  The top of the league could be the best race around.  Difficult race to pick as Lakeville South matches up well with Eastview but didn't fare as well against Apple Valley.  Records below are for last year's Lake Conference standings except for Prior Lake's Missota record.

Apple Valley Eagles (2009-10 season 20-8, 16-6 Conference, 2nd)
The 2nd leading scorer in the league returns.  That's William and Mary commit Thomas Schalk.  But of course the Eagles revolve around freshman point guard Tyus Jones.  The Eagles are a different team when he's on the floor.  Gavin Bronson and Josh Johnson also return.  Shooter Dustin Fronk and guard Harry Sonie are youngsters to watch.

Bloomington Jefferson Jaguars (2009-10 season 7-18, 5-17 Conference, 10th)
With their ugly slowdown style, they can steal a game like they did against Apple Valley at home and at Eastview last year.  8 of the 18 losses were by 5 points or less.  Guard Marcus Alipate averaged 17.8 PPG last season and is the top returner.  Matt Hovila is the other returner of note.  Sophomore post Reggie Lynch is making a rapid rise.

Bloomington Kennedy Eagles (2009-10 season 6-21, 4-18 Conference, 11th)
Coach Jared Nuness is gone to take a job at Baylor.  Also gone are the top 4 scorers from last season including guard Deron Murphy.  DeShun Patterson comes over from Jefferson to be one of the top players.  A long season on the horizon.

Burnsville Blaze (2009-10 season 11-16, 8-14 Conference, 9th)
The top 2 scorers Jeff Fallat and Jack Ghizoni are gone.  CJ Smith is the top returner after a nice summer with the Minnesota Magic Elite.

Eagan Wildcats (2009-10 season 16-11, 12-10 Conference, tied 6th)
Here's a team that would make a run in most other leagues.  Adam Carl is gone but most everyone else is back.  Jameson Parsons is a sharpshooting guard at 21.2 a night and can go off at anytime.  Ben Sicoli returns to run the point.  Matt Hentges is a bruising forward.  Shea Mandli is a versatile post.  Leading rebounder Eric Wittenburg is also back.

Eastview Lightning (2009-10 season 18-12, 14-8 Conference, tied 4th)
The most loaded team in the league.  Don't let last year's record fool you and the loss of point guard Vinard Birch fool you. Once Joey King became eligible the Lightning went on an 11-2 team with the 2 losses by 3 points to Sibley at state and 4 points at Apple Valley in a game that could have gone either way.  King averaged more than 16 a night.  Shane McSparron and Frank Veldman are a pair of athletic wings.  Soph Ben Oberfeld gives them an inside presence along with DeLaSalle transfer Sam Burt.  Darin Haugh and Oshari Arnett are guards who saw varsity time last season.  Point guard play will be key.

Lakeville North Panthers (2009-10 season 18-10, 14-8 Conference, tied 4th)
The high octane guard duo of Dajon Newell and Devon Knopke is gone.  Alex Moore is the top returnee along with guard Al Erickson. 

Lakeville South Cougars (2009-10 season 20-9, 15-7 Conference, 3rd)
Another group that is loaded and they are built for this season.  Forward Alex Richter topped the league in scoring last year at 22.9 a night.  He returns along with point guard Riley West.  The other top 2 scorers are inside and both return.  That's active Jon Christensen and Spencer Pankonin.

Prior Lake Lakers (2009-10 season 3-24, 2-12 Conference, 8th)
And now a look at the finest southern resort in The Kingdom (wasn't fair to call it Siberia so I've had a change of heart).  3-24 in the relatively down Missota and the top scorer Jake Bolks at 12.6 a night is gone along with Ryan Boegeman and Andrew Dale.  Boo hoo.  Kyle Repinski and Jack Harrison return.  But new coach Alex Focke has some reinforcements coming. 7 footer Carson Shanks comes over from Eastview.  6'8 soph Jeff Probert and freshman point guard Jon Sabaski are also on the way up.

Rosemount Irish (2009-10 season 14-13, 11-11 Conference, 8th)
17.9 PPG from forward Zach Vraa is gone along with 11.4 from guard Toriano Tatum.  And Matt Larson may be focusing on football.  Center Justin Larson also graduated.  Help is on the way as Rosemount has a couple of quality classes on the way.  Leading the way will be 6'7 junior Matt Nelson.  He's on everybody's AAU radar.

Predicted Order of Finish
  1. Eastview
  2. Apple Valley
  3. Lakeville South
  4. Eagan
  5. Bloomington Jefferson 
  6. Lakeville North  
  7. Rosemount
  8. Prior Lake
  9. Burnsville
  10. Bloomington Kennedy
Conference MVP: Joey King - Eastview

Underclassmen to watch:  
Tyus Jones, Dustin Fronk, Harry Sonie - Apple Valley
Reggie Lynch - Bloomington Jefferson
Ben Oberfeld - Eastview
Jon Sabaski, Carson Shanks, Jeff Probert - Prior Lake

Games that will determine the conference title
  • Lakeville South at Apple Valley - Jan 7th
  • Apple Valley at Eastview - Jan 14th 
  • Eastview at Lakeville South - Jan 25th
  • Lakeville South at Eagan - Jan 28th
  • Eastview at Eagan - Feb 4th
  • Apple Valley at Lakeville South - Feb 8th
  • Eastview at Apple Valley - Feb 15th
  • Apple Valley at Eagan - Feb 18th
  • Lakeville South at Eastview - Feb 25th
Non-Conference Games to Watch
  • St. Paul Johnson at Lakeville South - Dec 3rd
  • Duluth East at Eastview - Dec 3rd
  • Eastview vs Waconia - Dec 11th (Breakdown Tipoff Classic)
  • Apple Valley vs Tartan - Dec 11th (Breakdown Tipoff Classic)
  • Apple Valley at Chaska - Dec 14th
  • Hopkins at Lakeville South - Dec 14th
  • Apple Valley at Eden Prairie - Dec 17th
  • Apple Valley at Granite City Classic Tournament- Dec 28th-30th (St. Cloud Apollo)
  • Shakopee at Lakeville South - Dec 29th (Projected Lakeville Rotary championship)
  • Eastview at Midwest Players Classic - Jan 15th (La Crosse, WI)

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