2018-19 TCAC Division 2 Preview

This is the second preview in the 2018-2019 season preview series.  The 6 week preview series moves along with a preview of Division 2 of the Twin Cities Athletic Conference.  Lots of turnover between the divisions this season so it isn't abundantly clear which is which so I will just label them A and B.  For a list of all the season previews and how they are done, click here.

These teams will all play each other but it breaks down into 2 subdivisions.  Each team plays their fellow subdivision teams twice with a single crossover game against the other subdivision.  That means a total league schedule of 16 games for these teams.  Not sure how those crossover games will count for purposes of league standings.  For the TCAC tourney, all of these teams (possibly without Shattuck-St. Mary's) will play together.  Its scheduled as a 2 day tourney for both division 1 and 2 so I expect the usual groupings of 4 with the highest seed hosting opening night.  Then all the finals on the 4 courts at Cristo Rey on championship Saturday if its done as in recent seasons.  Metro Schools College Prep is no longer in the league.  Learning For Leadership was closed during the offseason when it was not reauthorized due to poor academic performance.  Hiawatha Collegiate was in the league last year but after I wrote the previews.  Lakes International Language Academy adds varsity basketball this year and joins the league as well.

Division 2A

Avail Academy Valor (2017-18 season 15-10, 11-1 TCAC D3, 1st)
This is the school formerly known as Calvin Christian in Fridley.  Leading scorer Jaedan Schaap is a big loss but they have the next 6 players in their rotation coming back.  That includes a big front line with leading returning scorer Hans Dykstra and junior Kaleb Swensen.  Frosh Josiah Schaap looks to pick up some of the scoring lost.

Groves Academy Griffins (2017-18 season 10-16, 3-9 TCAC D2, 6th)
High scoring guard Malik Bodden and 23.2 PPG graduated.  He's the biggest loss from the roation.  Forward Max Bilcik averaged 17.6 PPG and almost 10 rebounds to lead the returnees.  Senior Larry Mohamed will look to fill Bodden's spot in the backcourt.  Nick Maiers gives them more size with Bilcik up front.

North Lakes Academy Huskies (2017-18 season 13-14, 8-4 TCAC D3, 3rd)
The Huskies lose 5 seniors to graduation.  Guard Cole Donelan and Ethan Crandell are 2 of the notable returnees.  They lost their size guys on the front line.  The schedule is favorable as 5 of the 6 cross-division games are at home.

Lakes International Language Academy Dragons (N/A, no varsity program)
LILA is a charter school in Forest Lake.  This will be their 3rd school year with grades 9-12.  I believe their program was JV only last year.  With it being only year 3 of the high school side of things, expect lots of youth and possibly no seniors.  The girls program will combine with natural rival North Lakes.  The teams could have their 1st official varsity meeting in the North Lakes holiday tourney.

Liberty Classical Academy Lions (2017-18 season 13-13, 6-6 TCAC D2, 4th)
Juniors Ben Horn (about 20 PPG) and Graham Pelton form a nice duo for the Lions.  Peter Klarr is an important loss up front.  Guard Noah Nelson along with Klarr averaged double digits and is lost to graduation.

Shattuck St. Mary's Sabers (2017-18 season 5-6, 5-5 TCAC D3, 4th)
SSM returns 4 of their top 5 scorers.  That includes double figure scorers Jared Hodge and Matt Cooper.  Peter Xiong and Jadon Antwi also return to the rotation.  Their home game with Calvin Christian on the final night of league play could be for the top seed in the TCAC D2 tournament.

Division 2B

Academy for Sciences and Agriculture Eagles (2017-18 season 8-18, 4-8 TCAC D3, 5th)
AFSA played 5 underclassmen in a 9 man rotation last year.  That gives new coach Steve Lange some experience to work with.  Junior DeAndre Mason and soph Adam Labrie are 2 of those names that will lead the way this season.  Both are ball handlers and scorers for the Eagles.  Other scoring punch will need to be found.  Only 2 seniors depart from the rotation.

Chesterton Academy Knights  (2017-18 season 6-14, 3-7 TCAC D3, 6th)
No information available

Hiawatha Colliegiate Wolves (2017-18 season 0-18, 0-12 TCAC D3, 7th)
The south Minneapolis charter school moves to a brand new building this year.  Not sure it will help the record though.

Hmong Academy Warriors (2017-18 season 11-8, 9-3 TCAC D3, 2nd)
The Warriors spent last season on the road while their new facility was being built.  They return home this year.

Math and Science Academy Dragons (2017-18 season 1-22, 0-12 TCAC D2, 7th)
The Dragons have their 3rd head coach in 3 years as Jamey Strand comes over from AFSA.  No double figures scorers in a long season.  They have some experience coming back but it could be a rough year.

Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf Trojans (2017-18 season 9-10, 5-7 TCAC D2, 5th)
MSAD loses 4 top scorers.  That includes 20+ PPG from Juan Salgado.  Forward Ryan Stumbo leads the returnees.

Predicted Order of Finish - Division 2A
  1. Avail
  2. Shattuck-St. Mary's
  3. Liberty Classical
  4. Groves
  5. North Lakes
  6. Lakes International Language Academy
Division 2A Overview
I think Shattuck-St. Mary's is dangerous here but even without Jaeden Schaap I think Avail has enough to outlast them.  Liberty and Groves have dangerous duos that will need to produce.  North Lakes can't say any of that so they get the 5 slot.  LILA with no team last year by default starts at the bottom.

Predicted Order of Finish - Division 2B
  1. AFSA
  2. Hmong Academy
  3. Chesterton
  4. MSAD
  5. Math and Science
  6. Hiawatha Collegiate
Division 2B Overview
Another year where I didn't see any of these teams.  The bottom of this is going to be ugly.  The bottom 2 combined for 1 win last year and MSAD loses their top 4.  Chesterton went 3-1 against AFSA last year with the loss by 3 at AFSA.  Hmong Academy has had a nice couple of years so I'll take them 2nd.  AFSA with plenty returning so I take them at the top. 

Conference MVP: Hans Dykstra - Avail

Underclassmen to watch: 
  • Adam Labrie, Mycah Hernandez - AFSA
  • Josiah Schapp, Josh Kroeze, Evan Olstad - Avail
  • Donovan Bradshaw - Groves
  • Kyu Yang - Hmong
  • Will Krisko, Dylan Goff, Anthony Kamel, Eli Harrison  - Math and Science
  • Matthew Ogunsemi - Shattuck-St. Mary's
Conference Games to Watch
  • Shattuck-St. Mary's at Avail - Jan 8th
  • Hmong Academy at AFSA - Feb 1st
  • Avail at AFSA - Feb 8th 
  • AFSA at Hmong Academy - Feb 12th
  • Avail at Shattuck-St. Mary's - Feb 26th
  • TCAC Tournament Championships - Mar 2nd
Non-Conference Games to Watch
  • Avail at Christian Life - Jan 8th (likely to change)

1 comment:

  1. Max Bilcik is now at Benilde-St. Margaret's instead of Groves


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