The Dakota XII Conference contains some of the best talent in the state and this year from top to bottom the league is once again very tough. This year's 2016 class of seniors in the Dakota XII includes last year's league MVP Ty Hoglund and overall four first team all league players from a year ago.
Returning Starters. Chris Kropuenske (5-9, PG, 12), Thatcher Schlup (6-1, SF, 12), Logan Busch (6-5, C, 12)
Returning Bench Players. Hunter Bergland (6-0, SG, 12), Brandon O’Connell (5’10, SG, 11),
New Talent. Jonah Larson (6’5, PF, 10), Seth Huot (6’4, PF, 11), Peter Cruz (G, 10), Caleb Carnes (6’2, PF, 10)
Thoughts. A four win team last year that brings back three starters, three from the bench, and has a nice sophomore class ready to support. Logan Busch alone around the basket will get them some more wins but he should have more support this year.
Returning Starters. Alex DeJong (6’3, PF, 11), Sam Peterson (6’2, PG, 12), Jake Peterson (6’0, SG, 11), Andrea Elcock (6’5, C, 12)
Returning Bench Players. Christian Beachler (6’5, PF, 10),
New Talent. Ian Vlk (6’1, SG, 11), Spencer Osborne (6’2, PF, 11)
Thoughts. They lost their top player Anders Peterson but really bring back a lot as there wasn’t that much senior contribution after their all conference player. DeJong and Peterson are underrated kids in the PHD rankings plus there is some decent size on this team. Can the team take the next step? Our gut says they will be similar but gain experience and be good late, and have a really good next season.
Returning Starters. Tyler Johnson (5’9, PG, 12), Robert Rosenquist (5’10, G, 11), John Prochello (6’6, C, 11), Luke Schmitt (G, 11)
Returning Bench Players. Tanner Smith (10), Cole Bergmann (10), Jayse Kittler (11), Jack McCabe (10), Bennett Chesterman (11)
New Talent. Austin Carter (10), Jack Graves (10)
Thoughts. With four upperclassmen total on their roster the Panthers won a third of their games and bring back all their all league players led by Johnson, now a senior, and Rosenquist. They will still be a bit young with few senior contributors but the Panthers have a lot of junior talent plus a big 2018 class that will have guys battling each other all year for some time.
Returning Starters. Ty Hoglund (6-2, PG, 12)
Returning Bench Players. Sheldon Siemonsma (6-2, SG, 11), Tanner Heim (6’3, F, 11), Sam White (6-2, F, 12)
New Talent. Jeffrey Schuch (6-3, F, 10), Carson Rentz (6-0, PG, 10), Mason Schmidt (6-4, F, 10), Mason Peter (6’2, F, 11)
Thoughts. We wrestle back and forth about how good the Quarriers will be because they did lose four senior starters including first team all league player Zane Schumacher. They also only had Huglund and White as juniors last year so there is little experience back with six from the rotation graduating. That said, we are big fans of Dakota XII MVP Ty Hoglund, we feel Siemonsma will slide right into a huge role without much issue because he is coming off a great summer, and there is a lot of sophomore and junior talent. There will be some lumps but at the end of the year we see them challenging again.
Elk Point Jefferson
Returning Starters. Aaron Koupal (6-1, G, 11), Michael Murphy (6-1, G, 12)
Returning Bench Players. Connor Henze (6’6, PF, 12), Preston Fejfar (5-10, PG, 10), Christian Smith (PF, 12), Jared Merkley (6-3, SG, 10)
New Talent. Preston Kollbaum (6-1, G, 10), Alex Grashoff (6-4, F, 10)
Thoughts. They were about a .500 team last year but lost three senior starters. Murphy, Henzie, Koupal, and Fejfar are a nice group though so we can see them improving by three or four games which is better but maybe not quite enough to move the needle to up on the trending part.
Returning Starters. Tanner Burg (5-10, PG, 12), Taner Denhoed (6-4, SF, 12)
Returning Bench Players. Mason Leighton (6-0, PG, 11), Brodie Frederiksen (5-8, PG, 12), Marcus Vander Bosch (6-1, SG, 11), Brayden Gilbert (PF, 12), Justin Tucek (SG, 12)
New Talent. Jaden Janke (6’0, PG, 10), Jaxon Janke (6’0, G, 10), Aaron Fiegen (6’5, PF, 10), Austin Lohsandt (6’7, C, 11), Riley Janke (6’1, SG, 11)
Thoughts. First team all league Danny Klosterman is gone. Second team all league Carter Kasuke is gone. Hunter Robson is gone. So why do we have them so high? The Bulldogs have a quality coach in Michael Ricke, they bring back a ton of talented experience, and we like what they have coming up especially the Jankes. Not to mention Taner Denhoed is back and ready to roll.