2014-15 Suburban East Conference Preview

This is the 7th preview in my 2014-2015 season preview series.  In this preview, a look at the Suburban East Conference.  For a list of all the season previews and how they were generated, click here.

Cretin-Derham Hall Raiders (2013-14 season 24-8, 15-3 Conference, 2nd)
The Raiders slayed the dragon known as Apple Valley and then were a JP Macura bomb away from the state championship game.  3 Division 1 level perimeter players all return after averaging double figures.  Sam Neumann put up almost 20 a night.  He torched Roseville for 45 and blew up for 39 and 9 triples at the Timberwolves Shootout.  He'll attend Montana State.  Point Guard Donnell Gresham will attend Northeastern.  He averaged 12.1 PPG and took his game to another level down the stretch of last season.  Glue guy Joe Rosga was good for 17+ per game.  Frank Delaney saw time inside.  Add in the possible interior return of Ohio State football commit JaShon Cornell after taking last year off and you have a contender for the state title.

East Ridge Raptors (2013-14 season 23-5, 16-2 Conference, 1st)
Despite seeing their entire front line go down with injuries, the Raptors still won the league title.  That forced some young guys into the lineup and that experience will pay off this year with a senior laden lineup.  Guard Sid Tomes leads the way at 16 points a night.  Sleeper Freddie Gillespie should be back from a knee injury suffered during the offseason to man the middle.  Football star Seth Green also returns and should be a bigger factor.  Bobby Remke and Bobby Franks will see time up front.  Colin Masgai will see time in the backcourt.

Forest Lake Rangers (2013-14 season 7-20, 3-15 Conference, 9th)
The Rangers return 6 of their top 8 scorers.  Guard Matt Degendorfer's 15 PPG will need to be replaced.  Lefty wing Connor Knutson also averaged 15 PPG and is the top option.  Junior guard Noah Alm will see time in his 3rd varsity season.  Fellow guard Toby Boyer also returns.  Avery Morse provides some size. 
Mounds View Mustangs (2013-14 season 22-6, 13-5 Conference, 4th)
Star forward Ryan Kaczynski is the top returning scorer in the league at 22.2 per game.  He's a physical forward who can play inside or out and a quality rebounder too.  Mounds View will have to replace their next 5 scorers from a very balanced lineup.  But there is depth.  Guard Hunter Sorenson and wing Nate Albers both saw time last year.  They also have big Max van de Werken to work the middle

Park Wolfpack (2013-14 season 3-23, 0-18 Conference, 10th)
Park currently is suffering through a stretch where they are 2-97 in league play over the last 5+ seasons.  Former St. Bernard's coach Ed Cassidy returns to the high school ranks after a brief break.  But for a program in serious rebuilding mode and for him not being a build it from the ground up type, I find the hiring very strange. No double figure scorers return so there's not much to work with.

Roseville Raiders (2013-14 season 13-14, 10-8 Conference, 5th)
Roseville will try to rebound from a season where they didn't reach lofty expectations.  Starting in January they finished the season on a 5-10 stretch.  3 of the 4 top scorers return.  That includes guard duo of Kobe Critchley and Kyler Briggity along with leading scorer Jesper Horsted up front.  That trio combined for 37 PPG last year.  Quinn Johnson, Joh Farmer and Henry Benson provide quality perimeter depth.  Look for Josh Christiansen to fill the front court.

Stillwater Ponies (2013-14 season 13-15, 8-10 Conference, 6th)
Stillwater loses double figure scorer Nick Ogren and defender Brian Branch.  Junior Wyatt Blinkhorn will step into the defensive role.  The top 3 double figure scores do return and provide a great base to build off of.  Albany commit Kyle McKinley mans the middle at 12.1 PPG and is a shot blocking presence on defense.  Matt Anderson is a bulldozing forward at almost 14 per night.  Connor Gamble had a great summer knocking down shots from everywhere.  He put up almost 15 a night.  The Ponies need to find a ballhandling option to get Gamble off the ball where he can focus on scoring.

White Bear Lake Bears (2013-14 season 11-16, 7-11 Conference, 7th)
White Bear Lake needs to replace lefty scorer Tanner Hinck and his 22.4 PPG (2nd in the league).  The next 3 scorers are back to provide some punch.  Trey Anderson and Andy Lockwood work the outside.  Connor Bosch will work in the inside.

Woodbury Royals (2013-14 season 20-9, 14-4 Conference, 3rd)
Former South St. Paul head coach Kent Getzlaff takes over the program.  The cupboard is fairly bare as all 5 starters and almost all of the rotation need to be replaced.  That includes the league's leading scorer Matt Ambriz and almost 26 PPG.  Forward Ben Rizzardi  (13 PPG) and wing Isaiah Coddon (14.2 PPG) are also major losses.

Predicted Order of Finish

  1. Cretin-Derham Hall   
  2. East Ridge
  3. Stillwater 
  4. Roseville 
  5. Mounds View 
  6. Woodbury 
  7. Forest Lake
  8. White Bear Lake
  9. Park
Conference Overview:
Hastings moves to the new Metro East Conference so that means Park is guaranteed to move up 1 spot.  On the other side, CDH is the clear favorite.  After that, the next 4 teams all have good pieces coming back.  I could put them in just about any order.  East Ridge gets the nod because of the depth playing last year and getting it done.  Stillwater took the last 2 from Roseville so I'll move the Ponies up.  Roseville and Mounds View split so call that a coin flip for 4th.  I'm betting on Woodbury's ability to rebuild to stay in a group with Forest Lake and White Bear Lake.

Conference MVP: Sam Neumann - Cretin-Derham Hall

Underclassmen to watch:  

  • Daniel Oturo - Cretin-Derham Hall
  • Devin Adams - Roseville
  • Michael Jones, David Alston, Jeremiah Coddon, Jake West - Woodbury
Conference Games to Watch
  • Stillwater at Cretin-Derham Hall - Dec 4th
  • Roseville at East Ridge - Jan 6th
  • Cretin-Derham Hall at East Ridge - Jan 13th
  • East Ridge at Stillwater - Jan 16th
  • Cretin-Derham Hall at Roseville - Jan 16th
  • Roseville at Mounds View - Jan 20th
  • Cretin-Derham Hall at Stillwater - Jan 20th
  • Roseville at Stillwater - Jan 27th
  • East Ridge at Roseville - Feb 10th
  • East Ridge at Cretin-Derham Hall - Feb 17th
  • Roseville at Cretin-Derham Hall - Feb 20th
  • Stillwater at East Ridge - Feb 20th
Non-Conference Games to Watch
  • Chanhassen at East Ridge - Nov 22nd
  • Roseville vs Armstrong - Dec 13th (Breakdown Tipoff at Minnetonka)
  • Stillwater vs Eden Prairie - Dec 13th (Breakdown Tipoff at Minnetonka)
  • Cretin-Derham Hall vs Champlin Park - Dec 13th (Breakdown Tipoff at Minnetonka)
  • St. Thomas Academy at Cretin-Derham Hall - Dec 23rd
  • Hopkins at Cretin-Derham Hall - Jan 6th
  • Cretin-Derham Hall vs TBD - Jan 10th (Timberwolves Shootout)
  • East Ridge vs Minnetonka - Jan 19th (MLK Classic at Minneapolis Henry)
  • St. Paul Central at Roseville - Feb 6th
  • Stevens Point (WI) at Cretin-Derham Hall - Feb 7th (Border Battle)
  • Cretin-Derham Hall at De La Salle - Feb 14th

1 comment:

  1. Trey Anderson (White Bear) will most likely miss the basketball season too after suffering a torn ACL and meniscus in football practice the week before the start of the season


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