2015-16 Suburban East Conference Preview

This is the 9th preview in my 2015-2016 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 (2014-15 season 25-4, 15-1 Conference, 1st)
Cretin-Derham Hall loses their 3 division 1 guys in Sam Neumann, Joe Rosga and Donnell Gresham.  They combined for 52 PPG last year.  Plus starting center Frank Delaney also graduated.  But the Raiders are more ready to reload than anyone in the league.  Sophomore Daniel Oturu takes over in the middle.  They are loaded on the with Jalan Ousley-Brown, Chris Perry and Jordan Ammons.  Point guard play and outside shooting are question marks.

East Ridge Raptors (2014-15 season 21-7, 11-5 Conference, Tied 3rd)
4 starters graduate including point guard Sid Tomes and 22 PPG.  Football star Seth Green transferred away so all starters need to be replaced.  Kyle Junker returns at center.  Tom Kelzenberg returns at a PF spot.  Luke Coquyt and junior Michael Virgin will see backcourt time.  Carter Dowdle and Sam Schiller should also see front court time.

Forest Lake Rangers (2014-15 season 11-16, 4-12 Conference, Tie 6th)
Forest Lake loses 6 members of their rotation.  That includes 19 PPG from wing Connor Knutson.  PG Noah Alm and 12 PPG returns to the lineup.  Forward Matt Wallner also returns to the starting lineup.  The rest of the rotation will be inexperienced.
   
Mounds View Mustangs (2014-15 season 19-8, 9-7 Conference, 5th)
4 starters including star forward Ryan Kaczynski need to be replaced.  Kaczynski had a big year averaging 23 PPG and 8 RPG.  Center Max Van De Werken averaged 13 PPG and his length will be missed.  Nate Albers averaged 14.7 PPG and is the lone returning starter.  Tyler Fairchild and Zeke Thompson return to the backcourt.  Luke Swenson will see time up front.  Juniors Nick McMillan and Brian Stone could also be contributors.

Park Wolfpack (2014-15 season 3-23, 2-14 Conference, 9th)
Leading scorer Anthony Juba needs to be replaced along with Bobby Winmill  Tolu Ogurinde and Brandon Alt provides returning scoring options.  Despite a down year in the league, hard to see the Wolfpack moving up.

Roseville Raiders (2014-15 season 24-6, 13-3 Conference, 2nd)
Former St. Paul Academy head coach Kevin McKenzie takes over the program.  He has to replace the top 6 scorers including PG Kobe Critchley, SG Mitch Poss and F Jesper Horsted who combined for 48.5 PPG.  Henry Bensen is the only notable returnee and he'll run the show.  Junior Dre Schwantes takes over inside duties.

Stillwater Ponies (2014-15 season 18-10, 11-5 Conference, Tied 3rd)
Coach Randy Jordan has to replace his 3 headed monster of Connor Gamble, Matt Anderson and Kyle McKinley.  They were worth almost 48 PPG last year.  Wings Wyatt Blinkhorn  and Isaiah Dobson return to the starting lineup. Adam Bruggers and Andrew Warren should see time at guard spots.  Joe Haggard is an option in the middle.

White Bear Lake Bears (2014-15 season 10-17, 4-12 Conference, Tied 6th)
The Bears need to replace the entire rotation.  Shooter Andy Lockwood and Jacob Olson are double figure scorers that depart.  Matt LeMay and Kevin May are a couple of guards who figure to see time.  Kyle Kanipes and Carter Kaun are others who should see rotation time.

Woodbury Royals (2014-15 season 6-21, 3-13 Conference, 8th)
Woodbury went to a youth movement last year.  With only 1 notable loss and a couple of juniors leading the way, the Royals look to move back up in the next 2 years.  Wing Jeremiah Coddon and guards Jake West and Michael Carter are all juniors and averaged double figures last year.  Colin Flanigan provides some height.  Sophomore Michael Jones provides depth on the wing.

Predicted Order of Finish
  1. Cretin-Derham Hall   
  2. Mounds View   
  3. Stillwater  
  4. East Ridge
  5. Roseville 
  6. Woodbury 
  7. Forest Lake
  8. White Bear Lake
  9. Park
Conference Overview:
Even more than the Metro East, the Suburban East was ravaged by graduation.  5 Division 1 players, 2 D1 football kids, a D2 football kid and 4 division 2 hoops players all left.  CDH has the most coming back so they have to still be the favorite.  After that, good luck figuring it out.  Mounds View's toughness I think serves them well.  Ditto that with Stillwater.  East Ridge and Roseville battle for the top half.  Woodbury has a lot coming back so they are better than the rest but can they jump into the top half?.  Forest Lake has more coming back than White Bear so put them up.  Park stays at the bottom as there's no compelling reason to move them up.

Conference MVP: Daniel Oturu - Cretin-Derham Hall

Underclassmen to watch:  
  • Daniel Oturu - Cretin-Derham Hall
  • Michael Jones - Woodbury 
  • Sam Schwartz, Austin Schochet - White Bear Lake
Conference Games to Watch
  • Mounds View at Cretin-Derham Hall - Jan 5th
  • Cretin-Derham Hall at Mounds View- Feb 9th
Non-Conference Games to Watch
  • St. Paul Johnson at Cretin-Derham Hall - Dec 5th
  • Cretin-Derham Hall at Minnetonka - Dec 12th (Breakdown Tipoff Classic) 
  • Eden Prairie vs Cretin-Derham Hall - Jan 19th (at U of St. Thomas)
  • Cretin-Derham Hall at Hopkins - Feb 3rd
  • De La Salle at Cretin-Derham Hall - Feb 13th

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