The True Sleepers of Minnesota High School Basketball: The South Metro

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Posted On: 11/26/18 4:57 PM

Today at Prep Hoops Minnesota we continue the “True Sleepers Series” in the state of Minnesota.  Guys that are truly under the radar. The South Metro is next!

Again student athletes, if you play for a top 5/6 17u program in Minnesota, have earned all conference honors, AND have played a big role for one of the more recognized high schools in Minnesota, you aren’t a sleeper!  It may make you feel better and it may motivate you to call yourself that, but these are the real sleepers in the South Metro!

Sam Bardwell of Burnsville.  The Blaze have two really good players back in Josh Kamara and Marcus Shepley that can handle a lot of the scoring but a team needs a leader and a worker who can score some but lead with their play in many other ways as well.  That is Sam Bardwell, a player that worked his way to respect as a junior.

Eli Lone Tree of Henry Sibley. Bigger expectations are present for the Warriors with Ty Zubulake and Malik Spearman-Tschida leading the way but Eli Lone Tree is another key part to why the Warriors should build on their 9-18 record.  Eli provided 9 points, three boards, and four assists a game as a junior and now as a senior leader an even better season is expected. 

Ben Kozemzak of Eagan.  With 9-10 points per game last year and a level of effort that few can match, the 6-foot-3 wing quietly had a strong year earning all conference honors while his team struggled.  It’s hard to tell if Ben can lead Eagan to the year he hopes to but one thing is for certain, Ben will bring all the effort he can. 

Conner Krenos of Chaska.  A 6-foot-1 guard that has developed into more of a combo guard because his ball handling has improved, Krenos is a leader, and he of course can shoot the ball at a high level.  Krenos scored in double figures on average last season and a big year is expected in 2018-19. 

Hunter Nielson of New Prague.  Hunter did well playing with WOTN this year drawing some college attention but as far as known names go Hunter isn’t quite what it should be.  Nielson is a 6-foot-6 worker with length and a lot of potential.  If New Prague comes together after all the coaches they’ve had (Nielson, Tyler Kemp, and Nathan Brusseau is a nice senior core) they could make a lot of noise.  And Hunter will be a key factor. 

Isaac Rabaey of Hastings.  The 6-foot-7 senior gave the Raiders almost 11 points and nearly seven rebounds a game as a high energy junior.  Low post skills and range on his jumper are getting better, but more importantly Isaac is one of several quality returning players at Hastings that could make them the surprise of the season.  

Matt Schlottmann of Hastings.  Schlottmann continues to grow and grow putting two more inches on his frame since last season.  Matt shoots the ball consistently with range which is why he scored in double figures last year plus Matt does a lot of things efficiently in the Hastings system.