2016-17 Minneapolis City Preview

This is the 7th preview in my 2016-2017 season preview series.  Week 2 of the 6 week series stays in the city with a look at the Minneapolis City Conference.  For a list of all the season previews, click here.

Edison Tommies (2015-16 season 1-24, 0-12 Conference, 7th)
The Tommies ended up forfeiting the last month of their season.  Monteff Dixon takes over as the new head coach.  They played a bunch of young kids last year so they'll still struggle.  Larrion Davis is a notable returnee.

FAIR Falcons (2015-16 season 5-18, 5-6 TCIS 4th)
Now that FAIR is under the Minneapolis schools umbrella, they join the Minneapolis City Conference.  Former Prairie Seeds and Metro School College Prep head coach Tim Williams takes over the program.  Juniors Dameon Jones and Treavon Nystrom lead the way.

North Polars (2015-16 season 29-5, 11-1 Conference, 1st, Class A State Champion)
The defending class A state champs lose the dynamic trio of Tyler Johnson, Jamil Jackson and Patrick Dembley.  They combined for 45 PPG.  But coach Larry McKenzie's cupboard isn't bare.  Isaac Johnson and 14.9 PPG returns on the wing.  12.2 PPG from junior center Odell Wilson is back in the middle.  Guards JaQuan Sanders-Smith and Tayler Johnson return along with a loaded JV squad.

Patrick Henry Patriots (2015-16 season 20-8, 9-3 Conference, 2nd)
Forward Julian Jackson (21.3 PPG) and guard Demetress Edwards-Brown (12.4 PPG) have graduated.  The Patriots still have a ton coming back.  Lamar Wood is a long lanky interior player.  Savion Scott and Jordan Lynn both averaged double figures in the backcourt last year.  That trio plus quality reserves makes them one of the better teams in AAA.

Roosevelt Teddies (2015-16 season 17-12, 5-7 Conference, Tie 4th)
Coach Rob Mestas has to replace his 2 top 2 scorers.  That's Elijah Hannah (17.4 PPG) and Martez Rodgers (14.2 PPG).  Devon Hannah is the top returning scorer at 8.6 PPG.  Junior Devon Wade-Henderson added 8.3 PPG.  Soph Luke Barnes will look to be a front line contributor.

South Tigers (2015-16 season 14-13, 7-5 Conference, 3rd)
Most of the rotation is gone from a squad that had some very nice wins last year.  That included wins over Johnson, Edina and Minnehaha along with a league win over Henry.  Jalan Jones and Malachi Lossow should step up into starting roles.

Southwest Lakers (2015-16 season 6-20, 5-7 Conference, Tie 4th)
The Lakers have to replace 2 of their top 3 scorers.  They do return forward Brennan Hawkins and 11.7 PPG.  Stretch forward Niko Polydorou returns after averaging 7.5 PPG.  Caine Knuckles will see time at the point.

Washburn Millers (2015-16 season 10-15, 5-7 Conference, Tie 4th)
7 foot center Charlie Irmiger and his 11.8 PPG have departed along with Fortay Johnson.  Plenty of guards return with Terrell Adams, Cortez Adams and Issac Lotz all returning to the lineup.  Brandon Charles is the main returning size.

Predicted Order of Finish
  1. North
  2. Henry
  3. Roosevelt  
  4. Washburn   
  5. Southwest 
  6. South
  7. Edison
  8. FAIR
Conference Overview
North and Henry are the best 2 teams in the league and expect them to be highly ranked all year in A and AAA respectively.  Their matchups this season should be as high level as they've been in long time.  Roosevelt and Washburn make up the next tier.  Roosevelt here in a coin flip.  Southwest and South make up the next level.  I like Brennan Hawkins more than any returnee at South so I take the Lakers there.  Edison and FAIR bring up the rear after rough seasons last year.

Conference MVP: Isaac Johnson - North


Underclassmen to watch:  
  • Eli Campbell, Nasir El-Amin - North
  • Luke Barnes, Bilal Rainey- Roosevelt
Conference Games to Watch
  • Henry at North - Jan 6th
  • North at Henry - Feb 7th
  • Twin Cities Game - Mar 4th (at Minneapolis champion)
Non-Conference Games to Watch
  • North vs Apple Valley - Dec 3rd (Breakdown Girls TipOff Classic at Hopkins)
  • North vs Minnehaha - Dec 10th (Breakdown TipOff Classic at Hopkins)
  • Henry vs Marshall - Dec 10th (Breakdown TipOff Classic at Hopkins)
  • North at Hopkins - Dec 17th
  • Henry vs Orono - Dec 22nd (Hamline Tourney)
  • Hopkins at Henry - Jan 16th (MLK Classic)
  • Delano at Henry - Feb 21st

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