Cretin-Derham Hall Raiders (2015-16 season 20-8, 14-2 Conference, Tied 1st)
The Raiders return most of their lineup. Wings Jordan Ammons and Chris Perry need to be replaced. Braham transfer Ryan Larson fills the point guard spot. Forward Daniel Oturu returns after leading the team in scoring at 16.8 PPG. Jake Prince, Ray Sean Treadwell and Deland Phillips return on the perimeter. Griffin Gamble also returns in a shooters role.
East Ridge Raptors (2015-16 season 15-12, 9-7 Conference, Tie 4th)
2 double figure scorers graduate. Shooting guard Nick Christenson is the top scoring returnee at 10.2 PPG. Soph Courtney Brown also returns and will be a much bigger part of the offense. Lefty forward Zach Bennett also returns to the rotation. The size of Tom Kelzenberg and Kyle Junker inside will be missed.
Forest Lake Rangers (2015-16 season 16-13, 9-7 Conference, Tie 4th)
Leading scorer Noah Alm (17 PPG) has graduated. Jake Larson (11.7 PPG) figures to fill some of his scoring. Mitch Jerde and soph John Schrader return to the starting lineup. Jack Breitbach returns as an interior option. Juniors Thad Ball and Connor Hale look to join the backcourt rotation.
Mounds View Mustangs (2015-16 season 22-7, 12-4 Conference, 3rd)
The Mustangs have 2 major pieces to replace as part of losing most of the rotation. That's star Nate Albers (24.8 PPG) and wing Zeke Thompson (13.3 PPG). Shooting guard Nick McMillan (10.5 PPG) figures to pick up a big chunk of that scoring. Nate Varberg is the main other option returning to the rotation. Brian Stone should step into an interior role.
Park Wolfpack (2015-16 season 10-17, 2-14 Conference, 8th)
Leading scorers Brandon Alt and Brendan Beaulieu both averaged double figures last year and return to the lineup. Soph Charlie Gorres also returns to the rotation. Michael Griffin and Tolu Ogunrinde are 2 notable guys who need to be replaced.
Roseville Raiders (2015-16 season 7-20, 4-12 Conference, 7th)
Roseville enters the season on a 9 game losing streak. 3 starters depart including Henry Bensen. Leading scorers Terrell James (10.5 PPG) and Joe Wright return. They have a group of seniors who saw plenty of time last year but limited scoring punch. Roseville was the 2nd lowest scoring team in AAAA at 49.9 PPG.
Stillwater Ponies (2015-16 season 13-14, 7-9 Conference, 6th)
Former Hill-Murray head coach Brady Hannigan takes over for the Ponies. He has to replace wings Isaiah Dobson and Wyatt Blinkhorn who combined for 33 PPG. Adam Bruggers also needs to be replaced inside. Shooting guard Manny Jingco and forward Joe Haggard return to the starting lineup. Devontae Hatcher provides another inside option. Soph Nick Shikenjanski is a point guard option.
White Bear Lake Bears (2015-16 season 4-23, 1-15 Conference, 9th)
Like Roseville, the Bears also struggled to score last year (1 more total point than Roseville). The top 2 scorers have departed but only combined for 16.3 PPG. Soph Sam Schwartz is the top returning scorer at 7.5 PPG. Junior Austin Schochet was right behind him at 7.1 PPG. Junior Blake Charles leads the front line.
Woodbury Royals (2015-16 season 24-4, 14-2 Conference, Tie 1st)
You knew Woodbury would be better last year but a jump from 6 wins to 24 wins, even in a down year for the Suburban East, was beyond expectations. This year will be no surprise. 5 of the top 6 scorers including a very talented perimeter trio of Jeremiah Coddon, Jake West and junior Michael Jones. They all averaged double figures and combined for over 40 PPG. Ike Thilgen (6.8 PPG) provides depth as a shooter. Nate Bursch returns as the main size after the graduation of Collin Flanagan.
Predicted Order of Finish
- Cretin-Derham Hall
- Mounds View
- Forest Lake
- East Ridge
- White Bear Lake
At the top its a big time battle between Cretin-Derham Hall and Woodbury. Woodbury struggled to handle Daniel Oturu last year. That's still a problem this year. Then a significant dropoff to the next 4. Pick this group any way you wish. Each has a couple of players coming back. Then its another dropoff to the bottom 3.
Conference MVP: Daniel Oturu - Cretin-Derham Hall
Underclassmen to watch:
- Courtney Brown - East Ridge
- John Schrader, Hunter Damon - Forest Lake
- Charlie Gorres - Park
- Yohanes Gebeyehu - Roseville
- Nick Shikenjanski - Stillwater
- Sam Schwartz - White Bear Lake
- Woodbury at Cretin-Derham Hall - Jan 20th
- Cretin-Derham Hall at Woodbury - Feb 24th
- Cretin-Derham Hall vs Lakeville North - Dec 10th (Breakdown Tipoff Classic at Hopkins)
- Woodbury vs Chaska - Dec 10th (Breakdown Tipoff Classic at Hopkins)
- Cretin-Derham Hall at Apple Valley - Dec 13th
- Lakeville North at Woodbury - Dec 22nd
- Cretin-Derham Hall vs Stevens Point - Jan 28th (Border Battle at Apple Valley)
- Cretin-Derham Hall at De La Salle - Feb 11th
- Woodbury at Hopkins - Feb 18th (Breakdown Community Clash)
- Cretin-Derham Hall vs Iowa City West - Feb 18th (Breakdown Community Clash at Hopkins)