The conference previews continue today with the always tough Classic Lake Conference. The Minnetonka versus Hopkins battles should be hotly contested once again with both teams deep with talent starting the year ranked one and two in class AAAA. Also, Armstrong has a talented backcourt so they will be tough as well.
Preseason all-conference team...
Cole Stefan - Minnetonka
Tor Anderson - Minnetonka
Marquel Curtis - Armstrong
Marvin Singleton - Hopkins
D.J. Peterson - Hopkins
Predicted Order of Finish...
Top coaching records...
Ken Novak Jr. of Hopkins (598-118)
John Hedstrom of Minnetonka (279-139)
Greg Miller of Armstrong (188-173)
Pat Dorsey of Edina (153-117)
Mike Anderson of Wayzata (136-90)
Top returning scorers...
Cole Stefan, Minnetonka (18.9 ppg)
Marquel Curtis, Armstrong (16.4 ppg)
Andy Siedlitz, Armstrong (14.1 ppg)
Nick Latzke, Minnetonka (13.8 ppg)
Leonard Glass, Minnetonka (9.3 ppg)
David Weber, Armstrong (8.6 ppg)
Marvin Singleton, Hopkins (8.6 ppg)
Top senior prospect...Cole Stefan of Minnetonka
Top junior prospect...Joe Coleman of Hopkins
Top sophomore prospect...Siyani Chambers of Hopkins
Best individual player battle to see - backcourt...Cole Stefan of Tonka vs D.J. Peterson of Hopkins
Best individual player battle to see - frontcourt...Marvin Singleton of Hopkins vs Leonard Glass of Minnetonka
Most explosive player...Joe Coleman of Hopkins
Hope he's healthy...Eric Robertson of Wayzata
Don't forget about me!...Eric Robertson of Wayzata and the Edina Hornets program
Top shooter...Cole Stefan of Minnetonka and Andy Siedlitz of Armstrong
Rivalry game to see...Minnetonka vs. Hopkins
The best youngster...Riley Dearring of Hopkins
All breakout team...
Zach Stahl, Hopkins
Siyani Chambers, Hopkins
Eric Robertson, Wayzata
Chris Kroeten, Wayzata
Bradon Canova, Edina
Quoteables and Top players...
Edina (22-6, 5-3)
Ryan James on Edina:
"Don't mistake us picking Edina as last for us saying they are going to have a rough year. The Hornets have a little more returning than some realize. Brendan Canova is going to be a really going point for the Hornets the next two seasons and he does have something to work with. Edina will sprinkle in some seniors who should break out (Jake Stark and Stephen Asp) along with a few promising underclassmen. They may not win 22 games this year but they will still be tough as they lay the ground work for the next couple years."
Five to watch on the Hornets:
Stephen Asp, senior forward
Brendan Canova, junior point guard
Jake Stark, senior guard
David Gschenider, senior forward
CJ Johnson, sophomore guard
Biggest Loss: Will DeBerg
Hopkins (31-0, 8-0)
Siyani Chambers on Hopkins:
"We are looking good, we have a lot of talent and we are very versatile. We are a very young team so my only expectations are that we get better as a team and keep building up the team chemistry. I'm very excited to be part of the team and to go out each night and perform with my teammates and coaches."
Five to watch on the Royals:
Siyani Chambers, sophomore point guard
Joe Coleman, junior wing
D.J. Peterson, senior wing
Zach Stahl, sophomore wing
Marvin Singleton, junior forward
Biggest Loss: Royce White
Minnetonka (12-14, 0-8)
Coach John Hedstrom on the Tonka schedule:
"Our schedule is tough, we have 25 games and only ten at home. Having only five teams in our conference we are at the mercy of other schools to find 17 non-conference games. The way the games ended up we have 15 games in the middle of the season from December 19 through February 12 where we have one home game. We have to get the games when we can and not concern ourselves with home and away balance, it is simply the best we can do. We had played many of the Lake conference schools but this year with Chanhassen coming in they now have an even number of teams so 4-5 games were dropped form the schedule. We are playing Columbia Heights two times this year and they are not in our conference - we are playing Columbia Heights, Cooper, BSM, and Sping Lake Park all top teams in the North Suburban Conference. We have tough games as usual."
Five to watch on the Skippers:
Cole Stefan, senior shooting guard
Tor Anderson, senior point guard
Leonard Glass, senior wing
Nick Latzke, junior forward
Andrew Turnblad, sophomore post
Biggest Loss: Kyle Risinger
Robbinsdale Armstrong (13-15, 3-5)
Coach Greg Miller on Marquel Curtis:
"Marquel is a versatile player and we get him the ball in a variety of areas on the floor (Block, Elbow, Wing) and he can score from anywhere. His role will be similar on offense. On defense I expect him to be a stopper this year and to be a leader for our team along with our seniors. Marquel is a quiet guy but he needs to lead by example with his work ethic in practice and his hustle plays in games. He has worked very hard in the off season at improving his physique and his ball skills. He has developed a nice pull up jumper that will be difficult to stop. He still needs to improve his 3 point shooting, but that is mainly a confidence thing."
Five to watch on the Falcons:
Marquel Curtis, junior wing
Andy Siedlitz, senior two guard
David Weber, senior point guard
Joe Lewis, senior post
Michael Willman, junior
Biggest Loss: Damarius Cruz
Wayzata (21-7, 4-4)
The Breakdown on Wayzata:
"A school the size of Wayzata always reloads its athletic teams and that will likely be the case this year. There should be some growing pains though as the Trojans lost their top six scorers from the 2008-09 season. Chris Kroeten is the lone player from the rotation returning and there were some games last year where Chris didn't even see much time as the 7th man. Eric Robertson offers hope as the 6-foot-7 talent has a huge upside but he just can't seem to beat the injury bug. He played in only six games last year but should be the leading scorer as a junior. Eric can hit from the outside with regularity and he can also attack the rim with ferocious force."
Five to watch on the Trojans:
Eric Robertson, junior forward
Chris Kroeten, senior scoring guard
Chad Potas, sophomore forward
Aaron Roth, junior
Caleb Crockett, senior point guard
Biggest Loss: Jamar Franks