2011-12 Minneapolis City Preview

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

The league breaks into fairly easy parts.  Washburn is the favorite.  South and Henry have more talent returning than the rest of the pack.  Roosevelt and North will be undermanned but should still see some wins against Southwest and Edison. The entire North side (Edison, Henry, North) will have new coaches so that adds an extra dimension.

Edison Tommies (2010-11 season 3-23, 0-12 Conference, 7th)
Edison comes into the season on a 26 game conference losing streak.  New coach Kennan Shelton takes over the task of rebuilding the program and is familiar with the city.  Marcus Nolen was the only double figure scorer at 19 PPG and he's gone.  The rest of the roster returns including Josh Perez (8.5 PPG) and sophs Marques Gray (7.9 PPG) and Joseph Anderson who saw big minutes last year.

North Polars (2010-11 season 14-12, 9-3 Conference, 3rd)
New coach Jeremy Miller takes over the storied Polars program.  Initially he won't have much to work with.  Guard Charles Smith transferred to Washburn and wings Delshawn and Shondel Strickland are now at Holy Angels.  Star guard Malik El-Amin graduated so the cupboard is pretty bare.  Lee Gaines is a lanky interior player who can run the floor and block shots.  Jaylin Dubose returns at a guard spot.

Patrick Henry Patriots (2010-11 season 10-17, 4-8 Conference, 5th)
The once powerhouse Henry program hit rock bottom last year with a horrible 4-8 league finish.  That included their first loss in forever to league bottom feeder Southwest and culminated with a season ending fight during sections against Columbia Heights.  A coaching search is currently in progress and there's plenty of talent to work with.  Deonte Blakemore, Shawn Atkins and Darius Hill (broke out as a soph last year) are all wing scorers and forward Tim Gill is a big body who can play inside or out.  Wunell Beard returns to run the point.  Latrell Love gave them 18+ on the post last year but left for Minnetonka.  That leaves most of the offense on the outside.  Matt Robinson gives them a worker inside.  They have the talent to be very good, but last year's result showed they can also implode.

Roosevelt Teddies (2010-11 season 14-13, 5-7 Conference, 4th)
The Teddies lose one of the league's best players in wing Calvin Jenkins (18.5 PPG) as part of their top 4 scorers graduation.  Guard Brandon Strickland should be the goto guy with big numbers this season after 5.8 PPG last season.  Look for another year where one of most underrated coaches around, Dennis Stockmo, will be undermanned but will manage to steal a few games.  The move from weak section 4AA to a tough section 6AAA doesn't bode well.

South Tigers (2010-11 season 13-13, 10-2 Conference, 2nd)
South loses interior presence Mohamed Mohamed and 13 PPG and his backup Peter Goldstein.  But they return plenty at the guard spots including Carnell Sheppard and 17.6 PPG from the 2 guard slot.  He's really a point guard but with all their other small guards, he plays the 2 for them.  Andre Burton and Isaiah Wilson return to provide more scoring punch.

Southwest Lakers (2010-11 season 8-19, 3-9 Conference, 6th)
Southwest loses 4 of their top 5 scorers including guard Ayrton Scott and forwards Matt St. Anthony and Rodney Pierce-Tyler.    That added up to 38 points a night.  Patrick England (5.9 PPG) and Will Kalberg-Taylor (7.3 PPG) saw big minutes last year and look to pick up the slack.

Washburn Millers (2010-11 season 21-6, 11-1 Conference, 1st)
Washburn swept all 3 titles (Frosh, JV and Varsity) in the city last year so they have to be the prohibitive favorite.   17.6 PPG from Clarence Thomas on the wing and 12.9 PPG from worker Cedric Chappell inside is lost but no worries for this squad.  Junior Nick Anderson returns to run the point as very good pure point guard.  Shooter Dwight Anderson averaged 16.1 PPG.  Joseph Doby will man in the inside.  Myles Shephard-Anderson and Jerry Pratt return on the wing.

Predicted Order of Finish
  1. Washburn
  2. Henry 
  3. South
  4. North
  5. Roosevelt
  6. Southwest
  7. Edison
Conference MVP: Dwight Anderson - Washburn

Underclassmen to watch:  
Marques Gray, Joseph Anderson - Edison
Kenley Farrow - South
Jeff Jones, Quinton Garvis - Washburn

Games that will determine the conference title
  • South at Washburn - Dec 20th
  • Henry at Washburn - Jan 13th
  • Henry at South - Jan 19th
  • Washburn at South - Feb 2nd
  • Washburn at Henry - Feb 16th
  • South at Henry - Feb 21st
Non-Conference Games to Watch
  • Robbinsdale Cooper at Henry - Dec 17th
  • Henry at Best Buy Holiday Classic (Augsburg) - Dec 28-30th
  • Washburn at Lakeville North -  Dec 30th (projected title game at Lakeville North tourney)
  • Washburn at Duluth East - Jan 21st
  • South vs Robbinsdale Cooper - Jan 28th (Washburn showcase)
  • Twin Cities Game (St. Paul Site) - Mar 3rd

4 comments:

  1. Please try not to forget about senior guard Harry Smith and junior Brian Givens.Both saw big minutes last year and both can easily be in the type 5 in scoring

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  2. What about the Kennedy vs. Washburn game on December 16th? Sure to be a good battle.

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  3. Edison also just got Junior transfer Brendan Bechthold that was out last winter with a wrist injury but played up for magic superfriends in the spring, he is a deadly three point shooter and could create alot of offense for the tommies this season

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  4. I'm Thinking Henry is going to take the Conference and Washburn #2. With Patrick Henry's Backcourt, Shawn Atkins and Darius Hill and Tim Gill and Mat Robinson in the front court; Henry might raise some eyebrows this year

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