2012-13 Lake Conference Preview

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

Eden Prairie Eagles (2011-12 season 23-9, 4-4 Lake Conference, Tied 2nd)
The Eagles lose a couple of important pieces in shooter Sander Mohn (14 PPG) and post Jordan Peterson (9 PPG).  The backcourt is loaded with senior point guard Grant Shaeffer and Andre Wallace.  Shaeffer put on a performance for the ages in the state quarters vs Eastview last year.  39 of his 41 points in the 2nd half and OT.  That included 25 points in a row and the buzzer beater to force OT.  Junior Andre Wallace also returns and he's getting high D1 interest from places like Iowa State.  Wing Anthony Anderson, defensive stopper Grant Gordon and power forward Jack Cottrell also return.  Juniors Aaron Workin and Deidrick Hubbard give the Eagles a couple of option to man the post.

Edina Hornets (2011-12 season 19-10, 4-4 Lake Conference, Tied 2nd)
If there's another player who blew up more this summer than Graham Woodward I don't know who it is.  The point guard is the top returning scorer in the league at 20.2 PPG.  He just committed to Penn State.  Teammate Reggie Lynch also showed great improvement.  He'll man the middle and is a big time impact player blocking shots on the defensive end.  His offense has grown leaps and bounds in the last couple of years as well.  Mark Handberg, Dane Tueteberg and Nick Boone return as frontcourt bangers.  Marley Allison returns at a guard spot.  Flip Deberg's 13 points a night will be need to be replaced.

Hopkins Royals (2011-12 season 30-2, 8-0 Lake Conference, 1st)
3 year point guard and leader Siyani Chambers, main inside threat Zach Stahl, shooters Demetrius Martin and Nicholas Jorgenson all graduated.  That's the top 4 scorers who accounted for 60 points a night.  They also lose football star Andre McDonald.  Juniors Kamali Chambers (PG), Jake Wright (SG) and Stephon Sharpe (F) all saw time last year and should step right into the starting lineup. Senior Jamal Davis provides experience.  The 5th spot should be wide open.  Junior Treyvon Edwards, freshman star Amir Coffey and senior undersized post Philip Stribling should also see plenty of playing time. Robbinsdale Armstrong transfer Nobel Fahnbulleh also should make the rotation.  They'll be young but still very good.

Minnetonka Skippers (2011-12 season 19-9, 3-5 Lake Conference, 4th)
The Skippers lose 3 of their top 4 scorers. Post Latrell Love averaged 15+ and will be the most difficult piece to replace.  Tommy McDermott's 17+ and Joe Risinger's 11+ and defense will also need to be replaced.  Defenders Andrew Turnblad and Danny Burger also graduated.  Wisconsin commit Riley Dearring is the top returning player.  He averaged 14.5 PPG last year.  Sophomore Andrew Grosz and senior Grant Kellogg return at the guard spots.  Junior Luke Pettersen came on late last year as a shooter.  Junior Careino Gurley returns with his toughness.  Grant Steele and soph Evan Altenburg are candidates to man the inside but they don't provide the same scoring punch as Love.

Wayzata Trojans (2011-12 season 19-8, 1-7 Lake Conference, 5th)
The Trojans opened last season 16-0 before conference play got underway.  Then glue guy Brad Carlson missed time and center Chad Potas injured his knee.  They sent the Trojans on a downward spiral to a 3-8 finish.  Normally the Trojans lose a ton and then reload.  This year is a bit different as Wayzata returns 4 starters.  Carlson returns to unify the lineup.  Junior guard Kyle Kalivoda returns to run the offense.  On the wings, Zach Robertson who averaged 19 points a game and defensive stopper Drake Mjaanes are back.  Ben Joppa also returns up front.  Expect lanky Nick Eid and Sam Joiner to also see frontcourt time.

Predicted Order of Finish
  1. Hopkins
  2. Eden Prairie
  3. Edina
  4. Wayzata
  5. Minnetonka 
Conference Overview
Despite what records will tell you, there isn't much difference from 1 to 5.  Wouldn't be shocked to see all 5 of these teams in the top 10 at some point during the year.  I wouldn't see any conference game as a major upset.  Hopkins may be young but they're still as talented as anyone.  Eden Prairie will figure out their front line to go wtih a dynamite backcourt.  Woodward and Lynch will give Edina a chance in any game, but who joins them.  Wayzata will be tough defensively and have offensive punch with Zach Robertson.  Minnetonka can't be discounted either as they have 2 solid pieces in Riley Dearring and Andrew Grosz.

Conference MVP: Graham Woodward - Edina

Underclassmen to watch:  
Ben Boone, Max Lynch - Edina
Amir Coffey, Graham Hutson, John Warren - Hopkins
Andrew Grosz, Justin Moes, Evan Altenburg, Alec Synstellien - Minnetonka
Grant Long - Wayzata

Conference Games to Watch
  • Hopkins at Eden Prairie- January 31st
  • Edina at Eden Prairie - Feb 5th
  • Hopkins at Edina - Feb 12th
  • Eden Prairie at Hopkins  - Feb 19th
  • Eden Prairie at Edina - Feb 22nd
 Non-Conference Games to Watch
  • Eden Prairie at Minneapolis Washburn - Dec 4th
  • Hopkins vs Tartan - Dec 8th (Tipoff Classic at Minnetonka)
  • Eden Prairie vs Rice Lake (WI) - Dec 8th (Tipoff Classic at Minnetonka)
  • Edina vs Austin - Dec 8th (Tipoff Classic at Minnetonka)
  • Blake at Edina - Dec 14th
  • Hopkins at Apple Valley - Dec 18th
  • Robbinsdale Cooper at Hopkins - Jan 4th
  • Eden Prairie at St. Paul Johnson - Jan 10th
  • Eden Prairie at Cretin-Derham Hall - Jan 12th
  • Hopkins vs Blake - Jan 21st (MLK Day Classic at Minneapolis Henry)
  • Eden Prairie at De La Salle - Jan 26th
  • Edina vs St. Paul Johnson - Jan 26th (Super 60 Showcase at Heritage)
  • Hopkins vs De Pere (WI) - Feb 2nd (Border Battle at Prior Lake)

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