Weekly 360 Windmill, Jan 4th 2016

The new year begins with a new edition of the Weekly 360 Windmill.  As always a look back on the week that was and the week ahead

What did we learn from the holiday events?
We've learned that there's enough data for the 1st edition of the 2015-16 CzarPI.   Read it here.  The strength of schedule difference between Apple Valley and Hopkins explains why Apple Valley stays on top despite the head to head loss.  Hopkins will close that as they get into league play but I wouldn't be shocked to see Apple Valley keep the top slot.

5 of the top 13 in AAA CzarPI are from section 6 (and 6 of the top 20).  Only the other end of the spectrum, 6 of the 8 teams in 3AAA ranked 40th or worse.  Section 8AAA with 3 of the top 5 was a real eye-opener though. 

Maple Grove played Apple Valley tough before losing in St. Cloud before handling a very good Iowa City West team in the TWolves Shootout.  Tywhon Pickford has been a difference maker on both ends for the Crimson.  I'm now willing to put them in the same group as Apple Valley and Hopkins at the top of AAAA.

We knew the Metro East would be down due to the ton of graduation losses, but only 3 teams are above 500.  The bottom 5 are a combined 18-44, ouch.  Simley has had Jack Stensgard miss time due to injury.  Hill-Murray has been turnover prone . 3 of Mahtomedi's 4 losses are by a combined 10 points though.

St. Paul Johnson saw their top guy Andre Smith injure a hand in the Augsburg tourney.  What impact does that have on Johnson's start of St. Paul City play this week.  He'll have close to a month before Johnson visits Central, then the home rematch is the final Thursday of the regular season.

Chaska knocks off Eden Prairie and Shakopee to win the Eden Prairie tourney.  The 9-3 Hawks now have high quality wins over Eastview, Eden Prairie, Lakeville North and Shakopee.

Woodbury goes down to Rochester and impressively knocks off ranked Rushford-Peterson and Rochester John Marshall.  The Royals are 10-2 with the only losses to Shakopee and a late loss to Cretin-Derham Hall.

Week 8 Look Ahead
4 teams stick out for me this week, #7AAAA Osseo, Benilde-St. Margaret's, #4AAAA Shakopee and Mounds View.    We'll learn about these teams this week.
  • Osseo is 10-0 taking care of a soft schedule.  The Orioles visit #9AAAA Armstrong and #5AAAA Champlin Park this week.  That's the only meeting with Champlin Park until a possible section matchup.
  • Benilde-St. Margaret's hosts Chaska and visits Bloomington Jefferson this week.  Those are 3 of the top teams in the Metro West along with St. Louis Park.  The Red Knights are already a game back of Chaska and Chaska already has a win over Jefferson.  
  • Shakopee visits both Lakeville schools this week.  Jack Sorenson coming off a 41 point night in a win at Tartan for Lakeville South.  Lakeville North and Shakopee are undefeated in South Suburban play along with Apple Valley.
  • Mounds View visits Cretin-Derham Hall in a battle of Suburban East unbeatens.  Then they host upstart Woodbury at the end of the week. 
Tuesday is loaded with a full slate of high-impact conference games.
  • #10AAAA Chaska at Benilde-St. Margaret's
  • #4AAAA Shakopee at Lakeville South
  • #7AAAA Osseo at #9AAAA Armstrong
  • #8AAA Totino-Grace at #3AAAA Maple Grove
  • Fridley at #2AA St. Croix Lutheran
  • Mounds View at Cretin-Derham Hall
Plus a couple of Tuesday non-conference showdowns
  • #1AAA De La Salle at Eden Prairie
  • #6AAA Waconia at #1AAAA Hopkins
Thursday Notable Games
  • #7AAAA Osseo at #5AAAA Champlin Park
  • Minneapolis Washburn at #1A Minneapolis North
  • St. Paul Central at #5AA Minnehaha
  • Minnetonka at #9AAA Minneapolis Henry
Friday Notable Games
  • Shakopee at Lakeville North 
  • Benilde-St. Margaret's at Jefferson
  • Delano at Waconia (Wright County opener for both and big for 6AAA seeding)
  • Woodbury at Mounds View
Top Saturday games on the local schedule are Hermantown at Mahtomedi in the afternoon and the rescheduled Johnson at Cretin-Derham Hall game at night.

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