2016-17 Section 4AAA Preview

This is the 18th preview in my 2016-2017 season preview series.  We move to week 5 of this 6 week series.  We start with the 1st of 2 remaining metro sections in class AAA before moving to all of the class AAAA sections.  In this preview, a look at section 4AAA.  For a list of all the season previews and how they are generated, click here.

Section 4AAA (8 teams)
Defending Champion: Fridley

Predicted Seeding
  1. Mahtomedi 
  2. Columbia Heights
  3. Totino-Grace
  4. St. Anthony
  5. St. Paul Johnson
  6. Fridley
  7. St. Paul Como Park
  8. Hill-Murray
This section is a surprisingly deep one.  Johnson is a traditional powerhouse here and could win the St. Paul City.  But the Governors and the rest of the St. Paul City are down and I see them not getting a home game.  Their battle with St. Anthony for that last home game should be interesting as St. Anthony has another cupcake non-conference schedule.  Johnson on the other hand has their usually tough non-conference schedule.  Section games for St. Anthony vs Columbia Heights and on the road at Mahtomedi, both in February, will loom large for seeding.  Willie Braziel has already done it once at Heights and he has a talented group of juniors to work with.  Their game with Mahtomedi right after New Years could determine the top seed.  Totino-Grace will be battle tested by the tough Northwest Suburban West Division and they are as talented as anybody in the section.  That will knock down their seed.  The bottom 3 drop off dramatically.  Fridley has to replace lots of talent.  Como Park and Hill-Murray are in rebuild mode.

Sleeper: St. Paul Johnson.  Painful to say this about the Govs but in this section its true.  Their JV squad won the city last year so there are some guys who could step up and make them a tough out after a season of experience.

Section Winner: Totino-Grace.  They have a go to guy in the front court in Rocky Kreuser, plus a quality backcourt that has experience.  Columbia Heights in the 1st year of a new (although familiar) coach and young is too much to ask.  Mahtomedi burned me last year so while they have as good a chance as anyone, I can't pick them again.  But I would love to see a Rocky Kreuser vs Parker Fox matchup for a section title.

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