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Posted On: 09/24/18 4:57 PM
Time to rank the backcourts in Minnesota. Talent, depth, where is the deepest group of guards? NHR breaks it down.
DeLaSalle. For starters Tyrell Terry is the top true lead guard in the state of Minnesota. The Stanford commit leads the way but there is so much with him. Kameron Givens is a player we think that will break out and Julian Wright is solid as well. There will be fights for time though. Park Center transfer Amir Whitlock is a top 50 junior and Andrew Irvin is a nice player in that class as well. Cade Haskins will likely be a small forward on this team at 6-foot-5 but he is a shooting guard (and one of the state’s best sophomore shooters). Add in KeJuan White from the sophomore guard and another sleeper that could have a breakout year in Semaj Hart and you can see what the Islanders are such a heavy favorite this winter.
Cretin-Derham Hall. Really? After all the seniors that have been lost? Oh Yes. This group has the state’s best freshman player in Trejuan Holloman (and he will rank with the best in America at this point next year) coming over from Minneapolis North to pair with Jaeden King, one of the top shooters in the state and a Western Illinois committed senior. They will join Minneapolis South transfer Curtis Jones, a junior that scored 17-18 a contest in the city last year. Depth will come from sophomore Tristan Lee, wing Amari Carter who at 6-foot-5 may have to play some four, but is a three, and junior Enoch Griffin.
Hopkins. The Royals lost Blaise Beauchamp but there was a quick replacement when Jalen Dearring transferred from Minnetonka bringing his 17 points per game to the Hopkins line-up. Then on the wing there is nationally ranked top 150 junior Kerwin Walton and his high major offers (Baylor, Purdue, Kansas State) and another Minnetonka transfer in Andy Stafford who will play the three (and maybe some at the four when Zeke and Dane sit). In the form of depth is a strong sophomore pair in Andre Gray and Jalen Tremel as well as guys coming up from the JV that have some varsity time, like Andrew Dahnke.
Park Center. The Pirates will have guards coming at teams in waves. Tommy Chatman Jr is the highest rated prospect and right behind him/next to him is Khari Broadway. These two spent their off-season playing 17u ball together and are both top 20 level talents in the senior class. Then you add in Manny Tamba, a fellow senior, and David Ijadimbola and that’s a group that could be a four guard set or a heavy rotation of four players in three spots. For depth there is Josh Lewis and Josh Brown. We saw Cameron Vaughn listed as Park Center this summer as well. If he indeed transferred from Cooper that makes this group even deeper.
Wayzata. The Trojans spent year after year missing the state tournament, and then Jacob Beeninga came along. The Minnesota State-Moorhead commit is a top 10-12 player in the state and a constant winner/competitor. Luke Paulson is another returning starter that simply can’t be looked past as he is a double figure scorer and a top defender. Senior Connor Hale, sophomore Eddie Beeninga, senior Keaton Heide on the wing, and sophomore Kody Williams make this a really deep group.
Champlin Park. The Rebels are a deep team. Juwan Grant looks to be the ball handler which is a positive thing and fell junior TJ Moberg is there to back him up. Where the Rebels really grab your attention is on the wing. Augustana committed Bennett Otto is one of the better shooters in the state and Jacob Johnson may be one of the best seniors who played JV last year that you will find. Jared Walter is another strong player adding depth and of course Kato Seley will play on the wing although he is so strong he could play some four as well.
Minnehaha Academy. We don’t need to go deep on names here. Jalen Suggs is one of the elite combo guards anywhere in the nation regardless of class. He has two state titles as does running mate Kaden Johnson who plays the three for this team that has a talented frontcourt. The depth is seniors Bennett Theisen and Siegel Howard as well as freshman Donovan Smith.
Waseca. Ryan Dufault and Malik Willingham will be one of the top starting duos in all of Minnesota. Willingham is a big number guy and Dufault a top sophomore lead guard. This pair is the reason that the Jays are a top five team coming into Class AAA. Then on the wing senior Matt Olsen and sophomore Kyreese Willingham, one of the will play small forward and the other could if needed.
Minneapolis North. How does a team lose Tayler Johnson, Trejuan Holloman, and Zion Sanford, and still sit in a very good spot? Willie Wilson is one of the state’s best freshmen players and he is varsity experienced. There there are very good seniors in Nasir El-Amin and Eli Campbell. Both are tough players that can playmake. Add in Omar Brown who can play the three with some of the best D in the state and you have a top group.
Tartan. We aren’t sure how deep the Titans backcourt will be (don’t know much about what’s coming up from the JV or freshmen team) but we do know that Idaho State committed Antwan Kimmons and top junior Joseph Kearney have the potential to be a 40 a night pair. Then there’s Dante Aganmwonyi at forward likely to play a couple spots as a senior.