Posted On: 10/7/18 10:30 AM
Must Be Replaced: Sawyer Kenney, Josh Hollaar, Cameron Blazek, Hyatt Martineau
Kenney was the fulcrum of the Spartans’ offense, averaging 16.8 points and 6.8 rebounds. His ability to create his own offense inside, as well as get to the free throw line, were valuable for a team that lacked a lot of pure shot-creators. Martineau averaged 10 points per game, knocking down nearly 40 percent of his 3-point attempts while doling out three assists per game. Blazek and Hollaar didn’t produce a lot in terms of points, but providing meaningful minutes in the rotation.
Returning Starters: Keaton Hoeg, Carson Critchley
Hoeg is one of the top returning guards in the league after putting up 14 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game as a junior. He’ll need to improve his efficiency for the Spartans to take a big step forward but he’s got the ability to create his own shot and with more guard talent around him, there’s a chance he could put up big numbers. Critchley averaged 9.2 points a night as a sophomore, knocking down 37 percent of his 3-pointers.
Stepping Into New Roles: Cayden Rickard, Blayne Anderson, Carter Peratt
The big addition for the Spartans is Cayden Rickard who transferred over from Moorhead High School. Rickard was a rotation guy for Moorhead as a sophomore and immediately becomes on the top ball handlers for Fargo North. Blayne Anderson can provide some athleticism in the frontcourt as he was one of the team’s better rebounders last year. He struggled to finish but if he can improve on his efficiency in his upperclass years, he’ll be a valuable contributor. Carter Peratt was a spot minute guy last year and should see a big increase in minutes this winter.
The Future: Jacob Brosius, Alijah Armstrong
The Spartans will have a rotation mostly consisting of juniors and seniors but Brosius and Armstrong are two of the better sophomores in the state and should see big minutes as well. Brosius has the size and athleticism to make an impact on the wing while Armstrong should be able to come along as a backup to Hoeg and Rickard.
The Spartans only won eight games last year but with the guard talent that they can put on the floor, they should surpass that mark fairly easily this winter. Hoeg, Critchley and Rickard may not be the biggest guys, but they’ll be able to stress teams on the offensive end of the floor. If Critchley and Anderson make that typical sophomore-to-junior jump and Brosius and Armstrong provide valuable minutes in smaller roles, the Spartans have a chance to compete for a top-four league finish.