2016-17 TCAC Divisions B and C Preview

This is the second preview in the 2016-2017 season preview series.  The 6 week preview series moves along with a 2 for 1 preview of Division B and Division C of the Twin Cities Athletic Conference.  For a list of all the season previews and how they are done, click here.

Division B

Calvin Christian Cougars (2015-16 season 15-13, 5-7 EMAC, 8th)
Top player Nathan Mateer graduates after being on the all-EMAC 2nd team.  Alex Meybaum gives the Cougars long presence in the middle.  Jaedan Schaap and Brad Mateer should carry the offense.

Christian Life Academy Hawks (2015-16 season 7-16, 6-6 EMAC, 7th)
Christian Life has to replace 4 seniors including leading scorer Jakson Griffith.  Caleb Kurz and soph Caleb Carlson are a small backcourt that can shoot it.  They're the only 2 returning players who averaged more than 3.3 PPG.  Luke Swelland returns as the only real size.

Groves Academy Griffins (2015-16 season 10-12, 4-10 TCIS, 6th)
Leading scorer Robert Plourde and Anthony Giere depart.  That leaves 1 player who scored more than 3.5 points a game.  That's junior guard Malik Bodden.  Martin Schmitz provides size inside.

Learning for Leadership Mustangs (2015-16 season 12-15, 5-8 TCIS, 5th)
The Mustangs return 2 juniors who averaged double figures last season.  That's Kafi Abdi at 15.8 PPG and Badrudin Aden at at 10.2 PPG.  Arafat Hassan's 12 PPG needs to be replaced.  The lineup is small with no one over 6'2" returning.

Liberty Classical Academy Lions (2015-16 season 10-14, 4-8 EMAC, 9th)
2nd team all-EMAC forward Nate Bliss returns.  The Lions also return 3 others starters.  They'll have to replace guard Jacob Grill. But that's their only loss as the entire bench returns.  Luke Hill and Peter Klarr will have to pick up the slack for Grill's offense.

Math & Science Academy Dragons (2015-16 season 16-7, 9-4 TCIS, 3rd)
The Dragons have to replace the offense of Ryan Roeker.  Andrew Jeyachandran and Brian Smith are the top returnees.

Nova Classical Academy Knights (2015-16 season 13-13, 7-5 EMAC, 6th)
The twin towers of Alex and Peter Tritabaugh graduate leaving a gap inside.  Talented junior Isaiah Boudreaux leads the way.  Jeremiah Rodgers returns after being a 3rd team all-EMAC selection.  Soph Mathieu LaFrambois and Noah Olson also return to the lineup.

Division C

Academy for Sciences &Agriculture Eagles (2015-16 season 6-18, 1-11 Conference, 12th)
The Eagles return 5 of their top 6 scorers.  Junior James Wilfong topped the list at 9.4 PPG and soph Cole Walker.  4 of their 6 wins last year were over teams in this division.

Chesterton Academy  (2015-16 season 0-16)
Chesterton only had 1 senior and 1 junior on the roster last season.  That would explain a winless season.  The new league and schedule will help them play teams more consistently on their level.

Hmong Academy Warriors (2015-16 season 2-15, 0-12 EMAC, 13th)
Hmong Academy has to replace 3 seniors.  Chinou Vang is a top returnee.  Both wins were over teams in this division.

Metro Schools College Prep (2015-16 season 0-12, 0-11 TCIS, 8th)
This crew suffered blowout losses all season before ending their season early in mid-February.

North Lakes Academy Huskies (2015-16 season 4-22, 2-10 EMAC, 11th)
The Huskies have to replace Noah Nei and Kyle Spillman.  Seniors Connor Peters and David Christopherson are 2 top returning players.

St. Paul Prep/High School for Recording Arts Falcons (2015-16 season 2-17, 2-10 TCIS, 7th)
9 seniors need to be replaced.  Throw that and last year's record out the window.  Athletic forward Aaron Gill has transferred in to HSRA.  He's a high flying dunking machine who should dominate this division.

Shattuck St. Mary's Sabers (2015-16 season 4-8, 3-8 Conference, 10th)
The senior trio of Shane Hoben, Wesley Sun and Kevin Du graduated.  Justin Kang, Parker Reddig and Shakir Abdul return to the lineup.  Kang was a top scorer last year.  Reddig and Abdul will have to pick up some of the offense of the graduated senior trio.

Predicted Order of Finish - Division B
  1. Math & Science Academy
  2. Nova Classical Academy
  3. Christian Life Academy
  4. Liberty Classical Academy
  5. Learning for Leadership
  6. Calvin Christian
  7. Groves Academy
Division B Overview
This division should be pretty competitive.  I like the couple of returnees for Math & Science.  Nova has enough returning to hold on to the 2nd spot.  Christian Life and Liberty could make a run at them.  The bottom 3 are very close to each other but I think there's a gap between them and the top 4.  Learning for Leadership split with Calvin Christian last year and had 2 close wins over Groves before losing to them in a 4A pigtail game.  The winner of this division will be the 8th team in the championship bracket of the conference tournament.  The other 6 will join the top 2 from Division C for the 2nd group of 8 bracket.  As to the remainder, Shattuck-St. Mary's traditionally has not played the conference tournament so the remaining teams may play round robin for their 3 games.

Predicted Order of Finish - Division C
  1. St. Paul Prep/HSRA
  2. Shattuck-St. Mary's
  3. Academy for Sciences & Agriculture
  4. North Lakes
  5. Hmong Academy
  6. Chesterton Academy
  7. Metro Schools College Prep
Division C Overview
Aaron Gill is enough on his own to win this division.  Beyond that, its a group of teams that will make up the weakest conference in the state.  Shattuck-St. Mary's has enough to hold off AFSA for 2nd.  Between AFSA having a lot coming back and North Lakes losses, I'll swap their EMAC finish from last year. But both still finish above Hmong Academy.  Hmong defeated Chesterton to make me pick them for 5th.  Toss the coin between the 2 winless squads for last.  The bottom 4 teams here will be amongst the worst in all of class A despite some potentially deceptive records due to beating up on each other.  But that will still be better than many of the blowouts these teams have been subject to in the past.

Conference MVPs: 
  • Division B:  Isaiah Boudreaux - Nova Classical Academy
  • Division C: Aaron Gill - St. Paul Prep/HSRA
Underclassmen to watch: 
  • Cole Walker - AFSA
  • Hans Dykstra - Calvin Christian
  • Caleb Carlson - Christian Life 
  • Max Bilcik - Groves Academy
  • Ryan Grill - Liberty Classical Academy
  • Ethan Crandell - North Lakes Academy
  • Mathieu LaFrambois, Shae Nelson - Nova Classical Academy
Conference Games to Watch
  • Math & Science at Nova - Jan 10th
  • Nova at Math & Science - Feb 3rd
  • TCAC Tournament Championship at Nova - Mar 4th
Non-Conference Games to Watch
  • None

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