2012-13 South Suburban Preview

This is the 9th preview in my 2012-13 Season Preview Series.  In this preview, a look at the South Suburban Conference.  For a list of all the season previews, click here.

Apple Valley Eagles (2011-12 season 23-6, 14-4 Conference, 3rd)
There are 3 players back from last year's all conference teams.  The Eagles have 2 of them in Dustin Fronk and some point guard named Tyus Jones who is supposed to be OK.  He averaged almost 29 a night, Fronk almost 16 a night.  Guard Harry Sonie, Forward Dennis Austin, quality shooters Robert Tobroxon and Chris Laymon all return.  They add Diedrick Hubbard from Eden Prairie and Frosh star Brock Bertram to the front line.  That gives them size to cure the last year's achilles' heel.  Definitely on the short list of state title contenders.

Bloomington Jefferson Jaguars (2011-12 season 5-21, 2-16 Conference, 9th)
6 of the top 8 scorers depart for the Jags.  Junior Matt Rosen and senior Brian Fritzlar are the top returnees.  Soph Tommy Gathje will likely move up and contribute inside.  Their unwatchable style will keep them in games but won't show up in the win column.

Bloomington Kennedy Eagles (2011-12 season 11-17, 7-11 Conference, Tied 6th)
New coach Reggie Perkins takes over after a very successful run at Minneapolis Washburn.  He'll have an athletic squad to work with.  Double figure scorer Jumah'ri Turner is one of many wing pieces available.  Dejon Davis comes over from Washburn as a solid shooter and defender.  Travon Hearns provides length inside.  Guards Darrian Pittman and Rico Gunn need to be replaced.  Juniors CJ Lewis and Robert Parker could also see time in the rotation.

Burnsville Blaze (2011-12 season 1-25, 1-17 Conference, 10th)
4 of the top 5 scorers depart from the Blaze.  Guards Adam Saba and Eli Rogers look to step in along with soph forward Brett Shepley.  Still can't see them jumping out of the conference cellar.

Eagan Wildcats (2011-12 season 15-13, 10-8 Conference, Tied 4th)
The Wildcats have to replace most of the roster.  Guard Nick Sabatke and post Shea Mandli are the biggest losses.  Forward Michael Gorder will lead the way.  Mark Woodcock gives a body inside.  Soph GT Johnson projects to be a factor in their rotation by end of the season.

Eastview Lightning (2011-12 season 28-2, 17-1 Conference, Tied 1st)
The Lightning lose all but 1 piece of the rotation.  That includes forward Joey King's 24 PPG and point guard Darin Haugh who was the glue.  Center Ben Oberfeld remains for another year before heading off to Bucknell.  He's the 3rd player back from the all-conference team and also made the all-defensive team.  All the offensive will go through him.  Mark Dwyer is another option.  Ryan Wessell will also join the rotation.  They'll be hard-nosed defensively as always but where will the points come from?

Lakeville North Panthers (2011-12 season 30-2, 17-1 Conference, Tied 1st)
Speaking of everything graduating, that also applies to Lakeville North.  Tyler Flack is off to South Dakota along with frontliners Brett Rasmussen and Ryan Saarela.  A ton of backcourt experience exits as well.  The backcourt will still be solid though with Grant Erickson and Kyrell Newell seeing lots of time last year.  Sharpshooter JP Macura would have played for most teams last year.  Expect him to lead the team in scoring this year.  Bronson Bruneau gives them a presence inside.

Lakeville South Cougars (2011-12 season 12-15, 7-11 Conference, Tied 6th)
The Cougars lose 4 of their top 5 scorers including double figure scoring from forwards Nick Sanborn and Matt Heller. Jordan Johnson averaged over 8 per game last year and should lead this season.  Guard Corey Larson is the other returnee of note.

Prior Lake Lakers (2011-12 season 15-13, 10-8 Conference, Tied 4th)
The Lakers return their dynamic duo of 7 footer Carson Shanks and point guard Jon Sobaski.  Sobaski topped the team at 13 points a game last season.  The shooting of Evan Kotchevar will be missed.  Noah Scanlon provides another backcourt option.  The front court is deep with Jeff Probert and Nick Hart seeing lots of time last year.  

Rosemount Irish (2011-12 season 11-16, 5-13 Conference, 8th)
The Irish lose 4 of their top 6. That includes all conference forward Matt Nelson and 16+ points a night.  Brandon Forcier also is gone from the frontline.  The backcourt will be solid with point guard Garrett Goetz and Cole Northwick.  The 2 juniors are the top returning scorers.  They need to find front line help.

Predicted Order of Finish
  1. Apple Valley
  2. Prior Lake  
  3. Lakeville North  
  4. Bloomington Kennedy 
  5. Eastview
  6. Rosemount 
  7. Eagan
  8. Lakeville South
  9. Bloomington Jefferson
  10. Burnsville
Conference Overview:
Apple Valley looks like a machine right now and that goes all the way back to winning the Pacesetter in August.  They are my preseason #1.  Prior Lake gave them all they wanted last year in 2 losses.  With a star point guard and quality big, have to take them 2nd.   Jefferson and Burnsville take up the bottom spots.  Lakeville North has guard strength and a presence inside, I like them 3rd.  Kennedy's up and down style gives them a chance to be disruptive.  Eastview's defense keeps them in the middle.  That's also true of Rosemount's guards. The league isn't a juggernaut but still as good as any around.

Conference MVP: Tyus Jones - Apple Valley

Underclassmen to watch: 
  • GT Johnson - Eagan
  • Tommy Gathje - Bloomington Jefferson
  • Brett Shepley - Burnsville
  • Logan Halvorson - Rosemount
Conference Games to Watch
  • Prior Lake at Apple Valley - Jan 25th 
  • Apple Valley at Prior Lake - Feb 26th
Non-Conference Games to Watch
  • Apple Valley at St. Louis Park - Dec 4th
  • Cretin-Derham Hall at Prior Lake - Dec 6th
  • Apple Valley vs Park Center - Dec 8th (Tipoff Classic at Minnetonka)
  • Waconia at Prior Lake - Dec 11th
  • Eden Prairie at Prior Lake - Dec 14th
  • Hopkins at Apple Valley  - Dec 18th
  • Apple Valley vs Osseo - Dec 29th (Granite City Classic)
  • Apple Valley vs Cooper - Jan 5th (Timberwolves Shootout)
  • Apple Valley vs Madison Memorial - Feb 2nd (Border Battle at Prior Lake)
  • Rice Lake, WI at Prior Lake - Feb 2nd (Border Battle)


  1. Will the Czar be previewing concessions this year?

  2. Previews are serious business. There will be plenty of concessions talk when that time comes.


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