12-13 Tri-Metro Preview

This is the 12th preview in my 2012-2013 season preview series.  In this preview, a look at the Tri-Metro Conference.  For a list of all the season previews, click here.

Blake Bears (2011-12 season 24-4, 15-1 Conference, Tied 1st West)
The Bears jumped up into the elite of class AAA last season.  This season all the stars return.  Wing Kebu Johnson is returns for his 5th season.  He was the top scorer at 16.7 per night.  JR Bascom is long and and elite defender on the other wing.  Junior point guard John Veil also averaged double figures.  Forward Blaine Crawford broke out late last season and will be a major inside factor.  But he's best known for his debate skills so you won't win that argument.

Breck Mustangs (2011-12 season 11-15, 6-10 Conference, 5th West)
The rebuilding process continues for coach Matt McCollister.  His sophomore class will once again play a major role.  Mo Lawal is a guard who can score in a hurry, he averaged 13 a game last year.  Wing Will Culliton averaged 12 a night.  Graydon Kulick is expected to return from a back injury.  The 4 member of that sophomore group Kwaku Bodom played in 25 games last year.  Senior Tilyn Hollis returns after leading the team with 13.7 points per game.

Brooklyn Center Centaurs (2011-12 season 6-21, 3-13 Conference, 6th West)
The Centaurs have plenty of players back from last season with Deandre Bell, Jacob Catteledge and Travonte Marshall all returning.  That returns their top scorers.  The lineup always seems to change, can they add stability this season?

Concordia Academy Beacons (2011-12 season 16-14, 8-8 Conference, 3rd East)
Top scorer Zach Osmundson, forward Joshua Falk and guard Christan Koehn all need to be replaced.  Lanky Jared Schneidermann and David Paulson are a pair of seniors who will anchor the front line.  Guard Alex Galloway is the top returning guard.  Look for junior Austin Moldenhauer to step into the point guard role.

De La Salle Islanders (2011-12 season 26-5, 15-1 Conference, Tied 1st West)
The defending state AAA champion Islanders return one of the most talented lineups in the state.  Top 50 national forward Reid Travis averaged 20 a night and is a force inside.  Luke Scott is one of the state's best shooting guards.  Soph Jarvis Johnson returns to run the point full time.  James Lawson is another big body up front.  Shawn Fitzgibbons was a solid scorer early in the year before missing the last month or so of the season.

Minnehaha Academy Redhawks (2011-12 season 15-13, 8-8 Conference, 3rd West)
The Redhawks were poised for a big season with all but 1 player returning, then came the news that almost 23 PPG from guard Gerald McCarver transfered to Coon Rapids.  Forward Kaharri Carter should see his 13+ a night go up.  Thomas Gedion is another front court option.  Guards Jesse Johnson and Evan Taddonio also return.  

Mounds Park Academy Panthers (2011-12 season 2-24, 0-16 Conference, 6th East)
The Panthers will play a limited schedule this season and not be in conference play.  They will still participate in the end of season tourney (more on that below).

Providence Academy Lions (2011-12 season 13-14, 7-9 Conference, 4th West)
The Lions had a solid inaugural season in the Tri-Metro and won the most games in school history.  Only 1 piece departs from a team that had 4 double figure scorers.  Ben Ratliff was the leading scorer at 16.6 a game.  He returns up front with Eric Richelsen   Jackson Canfield and Joe Heck will anchor the perimeter play.  Freshman Matt Richelsen will see an increased role

St. Agnes Aggies (2011-12 season 9-19, 3-13 Conference, 5th East)
The Aggies will have to replace the athletic forward duo of Antonio McGhee and leading scorer Dakari Davison.  Junior guard Nick Turch averaged just under 12 PPG. Senior guards Jordan Delaney and Nick Bennett return after a combined 15 PPG last season.  Jack Fossand is the only returning size.

St. Anthony Huskies (2011-12 season 21-7, 13-3 Conference, 1st East)
Forward Anthony Brama averaged almost 23 a game.  Guard Dustin Iannazzo averaged just under 19 a game.  Those will be 2 difficult players to replace.  Point guard Nick Kampa is the top returning scorer at 7.8 PPG.  Tim Rubbelke is the other returnee of note.  Mike Studer will step into a spot on the front line. 

St. Croix Lutheran Crusaders (2011-12 season 24-7, 12-4 Conference, 2nd East)
The Crusaders coming off an impressive season that resulted in a trip to the state tournament.  5 players averaged double figures.  Leading scorer Cody Sticha returns with 13 points per game.  Guard Jackson Goplen averaged 12.4 PPG and will anchor the backcourt.  Wing Wesley Tucker, shooter Mark Lawrence and forward Mark Olson are double figure scorers that need to be replaced.  Tyler Wood and Lincoln Hochmuth should also see time.

St. Paul Academy Spartans (2011-12 season 12-17, 6-10 Conference, 4th East)
The Spartans look to take a step forward this season.  They return their backcourt of Spencer Egly at the point and leading scorer Josh Gray at the 2.  Dalante Peyton is one of the top freshmen in the state.  He was the 2nd leading scorer at 10.7 a game last season.  Harrisen Egly and center Steve Olson also return to the lineup.

Predicted Order of Finish
  1. DeLaSalle
  2. Blake  
  3. St. Croix Lutheran  
  4. Providence Academy   
  5. Breck  
  6. St. Paul Academy 
  7. St. Anthony
  8. Minnehaha 
  9. Concordia Academy
  10. Brooklyn Center
  11. St. Agnes  
Conference MVP: Reid Travis - De La Salle 

Conference Overview:
A year of change in the Tri-Metro.  The schedule moves from a divisional schedule to the old MCAA model.  Its a 1 game round robin with everybody, no divisions.  The top 8 will then play a 3 game tournament for bragging rights.  The bottom 3 + Mounds Park Academy will fill out their schedules with a round robin group of 3 friendship games.  The league is looking to move the championship day games to a local MIAC school in the near future.

De La Salle is absolutely stacked and the prohibitive favorite to repeat as the class AAA champions.  Blake will once again be a top 5 AAA team.  Brooklyn Center and St. Agnes will have long seasons.  The middle of the league from 3 to 9 is going to be a fight.  With only 1 chance against a team, every game has bigger meaning.  St. Croix Lutheran gets a nod based on last year's performance.  Providence beat Breck who beat SPA who played St. Anthony tough.  I can't drop a Dave Bratland team lower than 7.  Minnehaha is more talented than 8th but where do you put them?  Concordia is better than 9th but I can't find a reason to move them up.

Underclassmen to watch:  
Dalante Payton - St. Paul Academy
Will Culliton, Mo Lawal - Breck
Jarvis Johnson, Sacar Anim - DeLaSalle
Matt Richelsen - Providence
Roger Moore Jr - Concordia

Conference Games to Watch
  • De La Salle at Blake - Feb 12th
  • Tri-Metro Championship - Mar 1st
Non-Conference Games to Watch
  • Blake at Chaska - Dec 4th
  • Blake vs Lakeview Christian - Dec 8th (Tipoff Classic at Minnetonka)
  • Blake at Edina - Dec 14th
  • Park Center at De La Salle - Jan 3rd
  • De La Salle vs Blue Valley NW (KS) - Jan 5th (Timberwolves Shootout)
  • Holy Angels at Blake - Jan 8th
  • Blake vs Hopkins - Jan 21st (MLK Day Classic at Minneapolis Henry)
  • Eden Prairie at De La Salle - Jan 26th
  • De La Salle vs Appleton West (WI) - Feb 2nd (Border Battle at Prior Lake)
  • Cretin-Derham Hall at De La Salle - Feb 16th
  • Richfield at Blake - Feb 16th

4 comments:

  1. Heard that De La Salle had a game scheduled with national power Findlay Prep. Can that be confirmed?

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  2. They were originally scheduled to play Findlay in the Mike Miller Classic at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD over Christmas. Their schedule on the Tri-Metro site still lists that but the Mike Miller Classic site lists a game against a team out of New York (Our Savior New American) and no Findlay Prep.

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. What about Returner Charlie Kennelly from Concordia Academy, he was a big role during the season and huge part of why they made a run to the Section Finals.

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