2015-16 Minneapolis City Preview

This is the 6th preview in my 2015-2016 season preview series.  Week 2 of the 6 week series starts with a look at the Minneapolis City Conference.  For a list of all the season previews, click here.

Edison Tommies (2014-15 season 3-23, 0-12 Conference, 7th)
Head coach Anthony Hines struggled thru his first year.  But you could see a definite culture change in the program.  There was definitely an extra enthusiasm that showed.  Andre Brown needs to be replaced.  But there are a few returning pieces to work with in Travis Moore, Ronald Britton and Joevon Abram.

North Polars (2014-15 season 24-7, 11-1 Conference, 1st)
The Polars lose in and out of the lineup post Randy Mathews and guard DJ Hunter (transfer to Champlin Park).  After 2 years of youth, most of the rotation is now upperclassmen and its state or bust.  Seniors Tyler Johnson and Jamil Jackson are 2 double figure scorers coming back.  Junior wing Isaac Johnson averaged 15.5 PPG. Soph post Odell Wilson returns for his 3rd varsity year and averaged 10.3 PPG and 6.7 RPG. Juniors Philip Scott and Jaquan Sanders-Smith provide great depth.  The talent is there but their mental state is the biggest question after losing most of their big games over the last 2 season.

Patrick Henry Patriots (2014-15 season 14-14, 6-6 Conference, 4th)
Henry returns a ton on the frontline.  Plus they add a couple of transfers in forwards Lamar Wood and Markest Brown (8.9 PPG at Richfield).  Julian Jackson leads that crew at 14.6 PPG coming back.  Demetrius Edwards-Brown is a shifty lefty who provides scoring punch at 14.4 PPG on the wing.  Junior Savion Scott is another capable wing scorer.  Starting PG Jacarius Ford averaged 15.2 PPG and Stephen Kennedy was a ballhandler and defender.  Replacing those 2 will go a long way in determining the Patriots season.

Roosevelt Teddies (2014-15 season 25-5, 9-3 Conference, 2nd)
What a season for the Teddies moving up to 25 wins before losing a heartbreaker in the 4AA section final.  Over 35 PPG from the guard tandem of Arione Farrar and London Cobbs needs to be replaced.  Elijah Hannah returns with 13.5 PPG and should be the top option.  Lefty Martez Rodgers will take over the point.  Devon Hannah moves up from JV to be the 3rd option.  Size will once again be an issue.

South Tigers (2014-15 season 12-16, 5-7 Conference, 5th)
Payton Bowdry returns to the lineup after leading the team in scoring at 14.4 PPG.  Michael Harris is the other returning starter.  Other double figure scorers Taron Myers and Kyle Lumbar need to be replaced.  Jarrod Beard, Elerson Smith and Cory Johnson should be other rotation options.

Southwest Lakers (2014-15 season 5-22, 3-9 Conference, 6th)
Greg Boone comes over from the sophomore job at Richfield to lead the Lakers program.  He has a ton to replace as the top 4 scorers, including 3 double figure guys, have graduated.  That accounted for 51+ PPG.  Junior forward Brennan Hawkins averaged 8 PPG and 5.8 RPG and should see a much expanded role this year.  Guard Johnny Sykes will be an option averaging 8.6 PPG.  Ash Mkali and Seydi Ba return to the rotation.

Washburn Millers (2014-15 season 20-9, 8-4 Conference, 3rd)
The Millers need to replace their 3 double figure scorers from last year.  That includes wings Evan Shepherd and JoBreil Powell along with PG Kevin Gleason.  They combined for 45 PPG last year.  Cortez Adams and Fortay Johnson return at a guard spots.  7 footer Charlie Irmiger returns in the middle along with power forward Noah Burke.

Predicted Order of Finish
  1. North
  2. Roosevelt  
  3. Henry
  4. Washburn   
  5. South
  6. Southwest
  7. Edison
Conference Overview
North is loaded and again they are the clear favorite.  The will be for the near future too as the varsity and JV both won the league last year.  Roosevelt will have perimeter players, Henry will have bigs, Washburn has a couple pieces coming back.  I think they all battle for the rest of the spots in the top half.  Roosevelt played North the toughest last year.  I'll give them the nod for the 2 spot.  South gets the nod for 5 thanks to Payton Bowdry and Joe Hyser.  Southwest loses a ton but the current group of seniors did win the city as freshmen.  I would not be surprised if they gave South a run for 5th.  Edison is still rebuilding.

Conference MVP: Tyler Johnson - North

Underclassmen to watch:  
  • Odell Wilson Jr, Tayler Johnson- North
  • Krystian Toliver - South
  • Christian Kelly, Isaac Lotz - Washburn
Conference Games to Watch
  • Roosevelt at North - Dec 18th
  • North at Henry - Jan 12th
  • North at Roosevelt - Feb 1st 
  • Twin Cities Game - Feb 20th (at St. Paul champion)
Non-Conference Games to Watch
  • Roosevelt vs St. Croix Lutheran - Dec 5th (Southside Showcase at MTS)
  • St. Croix Lutheran at North - Dec 8th
  • North vs TBD - Dec 12th (Breakdown Tipoff at Minnetonka)
  • Roosevelt at Hopkins - Dec 15th
  • North vs Pebblebrook (GA) - Dec 19th (at St. Paul Johnson Winter Showcase) 
  • Tartan at Roosevelt - Dec 22nd
  • North vs Champlin Park - Dec 29th (Granite City at St. Cloud Apollo)
  • Minnehaha at North - Jan 16th
  • Hopkins at North - Jan 19th
  • Wayzata at North - Jan 25th 
  • Roosevelt at Brooklyn Center - Jan 28th 
  • Minnesota Transitions at Roosevelt - Feb 9th
  • Roosevelt at Heritage - Feb 16th

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