11-12 St. Paul City Preview

This is the 9th preview in my 2011-2012 season preview series.  In this preview, a look at the St. Paul City Conference.  For a list of all the season previews, click here.

There's Johnson and there's everybody else.  Like Washburn on the Minneapolis side, Johnson swept all 3 titles last season so the future is bright.  So you have them at the top.  Then the 2 other programs that return some talent next.  Then a down Como Park program and the annual bottom feeders in Humboldt and Harding bring up the rear.

Central Minutemen (2010-11 season 14-12, 7-3 Conference, 2nd)
The Minutemen lose their top scorer Martin Smith who manned the post for them last season.  Point guard Will McDonough is back though he's more of an Allen Iverson clone than a true point guard.  Montrell Williams gives them another scorer on the wing.  More of a slasher but a good enough shooter to respect.  Soph Marcus Taylor-Knighten is an athletic forward who was a key piece last season.  Forward Jones Green also returns.  Guard Diallo Powell transfered out.

Como Park Cougars (2010-11 season 11-12, 5-5 Conference, 4th)
The 6 of the top 7 scorers for the Cougars all depart, 4 to graduation and point guard Kaysh Shaw is now at Prairie Seeds. Von Pledger I'm told also won't be back.  The top 4 scorers were all double figure scorers.  Wyatt Johnson's role will expand.  Kieron Sauer comes up from JV and will some forward minutes for a small lineup

Harding Knights (2010-11 season 7-18, 1-9 Conference, Tied 5th)
The Knights lose 4 starters which includes 4 of their top 5 scorers.  Point guard Viseth Koumarn returns along with reserve guard David McClain.  Forward Earnell Barner is a 6'4 jumping jack who will have a highlight dunk or 2 during the year.  He had to play JV last year due to transfer rules.

Highland Park Scots (2010-11 season 17-10, 6-4 Conference, 3rd)
Quick quiz, who led the league in scoring last year?  Not a Johnson player believe it or not.  Lefty guard Ty'Shaun Williams averaged 19.6 PPG in the 10 league games last year.  A much improved shooter who flies under the radar.  Point guard Dion Bradley returns along with forward Nate Anderson.  Cordero Washington and Darrell Hill combined for 27 a night and will need to be replaced.

Humboldt Hawks (2010-11 season 8-16, 1-9 Conference, Tied 5th)
The Hawks lost most of their rotation.  That includes double figure scores Julian Luster and Dashwan Wright. 2 rotation players return, Chase Luster and junior Dominique Khammarath.  Both averaged 6+ points a game last season.  The roster has no size so expect a very guard oriented system.

Johnson Governors (2010-11 season 25-4, 10-0 Conference, 1st)
The Govs come into the season with a 44 game conference winning streak.  With 2 wins to open the league season that would give them the 2nd longest league winning streak in conference history.  Wing Roosevelt Scott and point guard Estan Tyler are 2 major losses.  Center Chris Smith-Bond and backup guard Anthony Lee also depart.  Missouri St signee Marcus Marshall leads the way from his guard slot.  He's averaged 16.5 PPG and should approach 20 this season.  He's a really tough cover especially when his shot heats up.  Quashingm Smith and Jalen Albritton return on the wings.  Shelby Ashford is an inside banger and Waylon Johnson gives them a long athletic post who fits the style well.

Predicted Order of Finish
  1. Johnson
  2. Central
  3. Highland Park
  4. Como Park
  5. Humboldt
  6. Harding
Conference MVP: Marcus Marshall - Johnson

Underclassmen to watch:  
  • Marcus Taylor-Knighten, Felix Taylor Jr - Central
  • Victor Yusef, Isaiah Brower, Darius Schumann - Highland Park
  • Malik Menifee, Peirre Contell - Johnson
Games that will determine the conference title
  • Johnson at Highland Park - Feb 6th
  • Johnson at Central -Feb 21st
Non-Conference Games to Watch
  • Central at Woodbury - Dec 6th
  • Tartan at Central - Dec 13th
  • Johnson at Roseville- Dec 20th
  • Johnson at Best Buy Holiday Classic (Augsburg) - Dec 28-30th
  • Eden Prairie at Johnson - Jan 10th
  • Johnson vs Whitefish Bay Dominican, WI - Jan 14th (Midwest Players Classic in La Crosse, WI)
  • Hopkins at Johnson - Jan 20th (East Metro Showcase)


  1. Harding last?...kenny davis khiry moore deric moffitt?

  2. well looks as if you were a little off. HArding is 3rd in the conference, and have been in close games with Central (lose by 1) and Johnson (lost by 6)

  3. I'll admit Harding has been much better than I expected. Como losing a ton didn't hurt the cause and I'm surprised at Highland not being better. But the Harding crew has definitely improved from last year.


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