2011-12 Lake Conference Preview

This is the second preview in my 2011-2012 season preview series.  In this preview, a look at the Lake Conference.  For a list of all the season previews, click here.

Lots of losses in the Lake with Eden Prairie losing almost everything, Hopkins losing their top 2 kids to D1, Minnetonka's top scorer is gone and Wayzata loses a bunch.  But the league race should be as interesting as its been in a while.  Minnetonka has a bunch of new faces, Eden Prairie still has tons of young talent and Hopkins still has 2 D1 stars, good young talent and 3 straight state titles.  As always with the bottom of this league don't be fooled.  They end up being better than league record indicates and this year there's no bad team.

Eden Prairie Eagles (2010-11 season 27-5, 7-1 Lake Conference, tied 1st)
Huge losses for the Eagles after they pulled the big time upset over Hopkins last year.  9 of the top 10 players are gone.  That includes shooter and defender Grant Soderburg, forward Conner Nord and athletic wing Dylan Stewart.  But don't feel sorry for the Eagles as there's plenty of talent coming.  Lefty Grant Schaeffer will take over at the point.  6'7" lefty Jordan Peterson will man the middle. The main returning player is shooting guard Sander Mohn at 7.9 PPG.  Soph Andre Wallace should play a much bigger role as well.  Junior Jack Cottrell will see minutes inside as well.  The Eagles will still be pretty good but I think they're a year away.

Edina Hornets (2010-11 season 18-10, 2-6 Classic Lake Conference, 4th)
Edina returns 3 of their top 4 scorers.  That includes the 2 double figure scorers Flip Deberg (12.4 PPG) at forward and junior point guard Graham Woodward (11.8 PPG).  Juniors Marley Allison (guard) and post Mark Handberg should see increased roles.  After a 9 game winning streak at mid-season, the Hornets lost 7 of their last 9 against a tough schedule (mostly league games and then Chaska in the tournament to end their season)

Hopkins Royals (2010-11 season 31-1, 7-1 Classic Lake Conference, tied 1st)
Hopkins comes off the three peat looking for four.  Point guard Siyani Chambers (Harvard commit) and forward Zach Stahl (Lehigh commit) are the top returnees.  Nick Jorgensen returns on the wing as a 3 point shooter.  Guards Demetrius Martin, Jamal Davis and Jake Wright all return as well.  Not much size and they will miss the overpowering inside presence of Marvin Singleton (UNI) and athleticism of Joe Coleman.  That duo averaged 38+ PPG last year.

Minnetonka Skippers (2010-11 season 4-23, 0-8 Classic Lake Conference, 5th)
The Skippers will have an entirely new look this season as 4 players who weren't on the roster last year will likely see big minutes.  Post Latrell Love comes over from Minneapolis Henry and is a crafty inside scorer.  Guard Grant Kellogg comes from Benilde-St. Margaret's and wing Riley Dearring comes over from DeLaSalle.  Forward Mike Fernando will be eligible after sitting out last year as a transfer from Eden Prairie.  Add those returnees to PG Tommy McDermott (14.1 PPG), frosh guard Andrew Grosz, wing Malcolm Moore and post Andrew Turnblad.  Forward Joe Risinger will be a glue player for them.  15 points a game from lefty wing Nick Latzke will need to be replaced.  So I see the Skippers one of the state's bigger turnaround stories.

Wayzata Trojans (2010-11 season 21-8, 4-4 Classic Lake Conference, 3rd)
The losses at Wayzata are heavy with the 3 leading scorers gone.  4 of the 5 starters and 5 of the top 7 are gone.  That includes star 6'7 wing Eric Robertson and his 20 PPG.  The returning starter is his younger brother Zach Robertson.  He averaged 10.5 PPG last year.  Junior Drake Mjaanes and senior Colin Nugent are the other experience returnees at the guard spots.  6'6" Nick Eid should see a much expanded role.  Ben Joppa will also see front court minutes.

Predicted Order of Finish
  1. Hopkins
  2. Minnetonka
  3. Eden Prairie
  4. Edina
  5. Wayzata
Conference MVP: Siyani Chambers - Hopkins

Underclassmen to watch:  
Jake Wright, Kamali Chambers, Stephon Sharp, Graham Hutson - Hopkins
Ben Boone, Max Lynch- Edina
Anthony Anderson, Andre Wallace - Eden Prairie
Andrew Grosz, Grant Steele- Minnetonka
Kyle Kalivoda - Wayzata

Games that will determine the conference title
  • Hopkins at Eden Prairie- January 31st
  • Eden Prairie at Minnetonka - February 3rd
  • Minnetonka at Hopkins - February 6th
  • Eden Prairie at Hopkins - Febraury 17th
  • Minnetonka at Eden Prairie - February 21st
  • Hopkins at Minnetonka - February 24th
 Non-Conference Games to Watch
  • Braham at Hopkins - Dec 3rd (Girls Breakdown Tipoff)
  • Eden Prairie at Apple Valley - Dec 6th
  • Hopkins vs Cretin-Derham Hall - Dec 10th (Breakdown Tipoff Classic at Minnetonka)
  • Lakeville North at Eden Prairie - Dec 20th
  • Minnetonka at Benilde-St. Margaret's - Dec 20th
  • Hopkins and Minnetonka in Best Buy Holiday Classic (Augsburg) - Dec 28-30th
  • Eden Prairie holiday tournament - Dec 27 and 29th
  • Holy Family at Minnetonka - Jan 5th
  • Hopkins vs Sioux City East - Jan 7th (TWolves Shootout)
  • Eden Prairie at St. Paul Johnson - Jan 10th
  • Cretin-Derham Hall at Eden Prairie - Jan 14th
  • DeLaSalle at Eden Prairie - Jan 17th
  • Hopkins at St. Paul Johnson - Jan 20th (East Metro Showcase)
  • Hopkins vs Milwaukee Riverside - Jan 21st (East Metro Showcase)
  • Hopkins at Robbinsdale Cooper - Feb 11th

    1 comment:

    1. How about an article about how much greater the Golden Gophers would be if Tubby could recruit like Novak? What Hopkins gets away with is just criminal, and everyone in the state just turns their heads and lets it go. It is about time for the MSHSL or stop up and do something about it.

      ReplyDelete

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