2013-14 St. Paul City Preview

This is the 10th preview in my 2012-2013 season preview series.  To end week 2 of the series, a look at the St. Paul City Conference.  For a list of all the season previews and how they are generated, click here.

Central Minutemen (2012-13 season 19-10, 10-2 Conference, 3rd)
Central had the most talented team in the league last season and that will be true this year as well.  That talent allowed them to break the 55 game conference win streak of Johnson.  3 All-Conference players from that team return.   Guard Felix Taylor Jr, high flying wing Rayeon Williams give the Minutemen a very talented backcourt.  Forward Markus Taylor-Knighten anchors the frontcourt.  Kalu Abosi is another one of the 6 players returning to the rotation.  Center Malik Durant-Haines will be missed inside.  The JV and Freshmen squads won the city last season.

Como Park Cougars (2012-13 season 6-20, 4-8 Conference, Tied 4th)
The Cougars lose 4 of their top 5 scorers.  Honorable mention performer Peter Schrader returns after averaging over 8 per game.  Ampa Garubanda and Bryon Shaw are guard options.

Harding Knights (2012-13 season 9-17, 4-8 Conference, Tied 4th)
The Knights have to replace one of the league's top scorers, Kenny Reed.  The 2 other double-figure scorers are gone as well  The trio combined for almost 50 points per night.  The team will be led by a group of juniors.  Guard Donovon Adesoro is the top returning scorer at just over 5 per game.  Malik Samuel, Raydell Greenhill and Ismael Kamara all return.  Size will be an issue.

Highland Park Scots (2012-13 season 17-11, 10-2 Conference, 2nd)
For the 2nd time in 3 years the Scots featured a lefty guard who led the league in scoring.  Dion Bradley's 28.3 PPG in league games was an all-time record for the conference.  That was much needed for a very small lineup.  That will be true again this year.  Isaiah Brower will lead the way.  Adrain Miller, Emanuel Murphy and Kwashon Collins-Westlund all return as well.

Humboldt Hawks (2012-13 season 13-15, 4-8 Conference, Tied 4th)
Leading scorer Leo Wade and 17 points night.  Also gone is Malique-Adams-Virnig and his double figures each night.  Darious Miller and Demond Dawson lead the way.  Junior Tyler Hayes also returns to the rotation.  Yet another team in the league desperate for size.

Johnson Governors (2012-13 season 22-9, 11-1 Conference, 1st)
Vern Simmons took his squad to another conference title and state appearance.  Dynamic junior Jalen Mobley returns as a goto scorer.  Peirre Conwell also averaged over 15 a game from his forward spot.  Both were all-conference performers.  Mitchell McDonald and Sedrick Clark return as well.  Expect the Govs to continue to play a ton of guys and find role players.  The intangibles of Quashingm Smith-Pugh will be missed.

Washington Eagles (2012-13 season 3-19, 0-12 Conference, 7th)
Center Kahnen Gbojueh is the only loss from last year but he was their top player.  Da'Vonte Adams leads the way.  Tau Hyatte and Robby Sanders also return to the rotation.  Soph Xavier Walden also comes back.

Predicted Order of Finish
  1. Johnson
  2. Central
  3. Highland Park
  4. Harding
  5. Como Park
  6. Humboldt
  7. Washington
Conference Overview:
Central is the most talented but talent hasn't translated into big game results there.   Until they prove they can win at Johnson, my pick is the Govs.  Highland Park is too well coached and has enough returning to be clearly above everybody else.  The bottom 4 will beat up on each other but otherwise struggle to find wins.

Conference MVP: Jalen Mobley - Johnson

Underclassmen to watch: 
  • Sam Gubbrud, Jamal Galato - Central.
  • Xavier Walden - Washington
Conference Games to Watch
  • Central at Johnson - Jan 7th
  • Johnson at Central -Jan 31st
Non-Conference Games to Watch
  • Central at Hill-Murray - Dec 3rd
  • Johnson at Roseville - Dec 6th
  • Totino-Grace at Central - Dec 10th
  • Johnson at Eden Prairie - Dec 14th
  • Twin Cities Game - Feb 22nd (St. Paul Champion)

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