Posted On: 09/3/21 1:30 PM

What teams will have the best backcourts in Class AAA basketball this year?  Prep Hoops dives in now! 

South St. Paul (1).  The depth of guards the Packers is arguably the best in the state.  I’m not saying it’s the state’s best backcourt - although some may say that - what I am saying is the depth of guards is impressive.  Division one offered Alonzo Dodd Alonzo Dodd 6'2" | PG South St Paul | 2022 State MN is a do everything talent that leads the way.  Sharpshooter Devin Newsome Devin Newsome 6'1" | SG South St Paul | 2022 State MN is back after scoring 17 a game as a junior and he will improve.  Shawn West-Zimpel Shawn West-Zimpel 6'2" | SG South St. Paul | 2022 State MN had a great year with the Minnesota Heat after scoring 15 a game last winter.  Transfer Kaiden Moua Kaiden Moua 6'0" | PG South St. Paul | 2022 State MN comes to the Packers from St. Cloud Tech after running the Tigers offense.  And then you have twins Ramontay and Ramontre Harmon Ramontre Harmon 5'10" | PG South St Paul | 2022 State MN who played their role very well as juniors.  This is a deep and talented group. 

Totino-Grace (2).  Taison Chatman Taison Chatman 6'4" | PG Totino-Grace | 2023 State #19 Nation MN is one of the elite junior guards in the nation so that alone gives the TG Eagles a massive boost into the top guard group.  The Eagles have the ability to play huge meaning Alonzo Dodd Alonzo Dodd 6'2" | PG South St Paul | 2022 State MN is a do everything talent that leads the way.  Sharpshooter Devin Newsome Devin Newsome 6'1" | SG South St Paul | 2022 State MN is back after scoring 17 a game as a junior and he will improve.  Shawn West-Zimpel Shawn West-Zimpel 6'2" | SG South St. Paul | 2022 State MN had a great year with the Minnesota Heat after scoring 15 a game last winter.  Transfer Kaiden Moua Kaiden Moua 6'0" | PG South St. Paul | 2022 State MN comes to the Packers from St. Cloud Tech after running the Tigers offense.  And then you have twins Ramontay and Ramontre Harmon Ramontre Harmon 5'10" | PG South St Paul | 2022 State MN who played their role very well as juniors.  This is a deep and talented group.  Totino-Grace (2).  Taison Chatman Taison Chatman 6'4" | PG Totino-Grace | 2023 State #19 Nation MN is one of the elite junior guards in the nation so that alone gives the TG Eagles a massive boost into the top guard group.  The Eagles have the ability to play huge meaning Demarion Watson Demarion Watson 6'8" | SF Totino-Grace | 2022 State #77 Nation MN will play some two (likely starting as a 6’8 two) but we also have have him in the forwards group so that’s kind of a partial when it comes to this series of stories.  The other guards with Chatman will be RJ Spencer RJ Spencer 6'3" | SG Totino-Grace | 2022 State MN - who had another excellent spring/summer season - and up coming sophomore Zi’Yerre Stewart who is going to be very tough.   DeLaSalle (3).  Also very deep in the backcourt is the traditionally tough Islander program that always has tough guards.  Right behind the Packers, or maybe right with them as that argument can certainly be made - is the returning starting group of Nasir Whitlock Nasir Whitlock 6'1" | PG DeLaSalle | 2023 State MN , Casmir Chavis, and Amir Everett Amir Everett 6'0" | PG De La Salle | 2022 State MN .  Whitlock scored 13 a game last year and is a top ten junior.  Chavis is entering his sophomore year and he already has two seasons of varsity experience plus he is a top five area sophomore.  Everett was a defensive monster last winter but also showed everyone what he can do offensively this 17u season.  Everett and Kyle Johnson Kyle Johnson 6'2" | SG De La Salle | 2022 State MN both had quality spring/summers and will make the Islanders tough.  Throw in sophomore Randy McClendon Jr and Aiden Higgins and this is also a deep, versatile guard group.  Benilde-St. Margaret’s (4).  The teams at the top of this list have depth and the Red Knights certainly qualify.  Daniel Ijadimbola proved he was a division two level player this summer having a great year with Minnesota Select.  Maddox Alipate Maddox Alipate 6'1" | PG Benilde-St. Margaret's | 2022 State MN is tough and knows how to run a team as he has shown consistently with the Fury and last winter running with Ijadimbola.  When you add in transfer Ryan Warren Ryan Warren 6'3" | SG Benilde St Margaret | 2022 State MN who played well this summer and the defense of Chase Carter Chase Carter 6'7" | PF Minnehaha Academy | 2022 State MN , this is a really good group of guards.  Sam Best Sam Best 6'3" | SG Benilde-St. Margaret's | 2022 State MN will likely play the three but he may qualify here adding to the depth.  Mankato East (5).  The Cougars will be a top ten team in Class AAA and a state title contender.  A big reason for that will be their backcourt.  Jalen Hayes Jalen Hayes 6'1" | PG Mankato East | 2023 State MN is excellent with the ball in his hands and Sean Clement Sean Clement 6'3" | SG Mankato East | 2022 State MN will be a dependable senior shooter.  The question here is does BJ Omot BJ Omot 6'7" | SF Mankato East | 2022 State #163 Nation MN count?  Omot will certainly handle and/or push the ball a lot so I have to say yes.  That said, Omot is a huge part of why the Cougar forward group will be ranked high as he will be guarding bigger players so we have to give it about partial credit in the backcourt group.   Columbia Heights (6).  The Hylanders will send two returning starters and because they have the ability to play huge if Spencer Alvarez Spencer Alvarez 6'6" | PF Columbia Heights | 2022 State MN is back after the injury, they could put Hassan Kamara Hassan Kamara 6'4" | SG Columbia Heights | 2022 State MN as a two guard with Terrence Brown Terrence Brown 6'0" | PG Columbia Heights | 2022 State MN back at the one.  Kamara had an excellent junior year showing everybody he is a better shooter than they know and of course he defends and scores. Brown handles the ball and distributes but can score himself.  The wild card is what the young guards are ready to do as they will need to be the reserve depth (unless the Hylanders go with Kamara and Burton as the three and the four in which case one of the young guards would start).  Those young guards are Leavale Hicks Leavale Hicks 5'7" | PG Columbia Heights | 2023 MN and Jency Davis.  Mahtomedi (7).  It’s tough to know what the Zephyrs have for depth in the backcourt so they may not have as many guards as some of these others, but they may not need too many with Will Underwood Will Underwood 6'3" | SG Mahtomedi | 2023 State MN and Owen Carlson Owen Carlson 6'3" | PG Mahtomedi | 2023 State MN on the court.  These 6’2/6’3 explosive players led the team in scoring last year and are getting better every day.  Carlson had an awesome summer with Minnesota Chill while Underwood was among the metro big school scoring leaders at 24 a game last winter.  Alexandria (8).  One of the better point guards in the state is Kris Hoskins but because he is a football commit I think he gets look past a bit.  This speedster led his team to the title game and is back as a senior.  Also returning is Myles Sansted, the fourth leading scorer for Alex.  Add in experienced depth in Wyatt Odland and Carter Steffensmeier and this is a team with a backcourt that can make noise once again.  Austin (9).  The Packers have this cycle that few teams do.  They have up and comers that start to shine, they have guys that move from up and comers to solid regulars, and they have regulars that become some of the best players in the Big Nine and often times in all of Class AAA basketball.  The star is Emanuel Manyuon who scored 20 a game last year.  The next up talent is Cham Okey Cham Okey 6'2" | SG Austin | 2023 State MN who is coming off a great summer with the Lightning.  The veteran is Gage Manahan.   Mound-Westonka (10).  The White Hawks win games with toughness and great team basketball.  Their guards usually lead the way and that won’t change this winter.  Jason Spaeth Jason Spaeth 6'2" | SG Mound-Westonka | 2022 State MN should have an excellent senior season while Jack Eberhart Jack Eberhart 6'3" | SG Mound-Westonka | 2022 State MN and Jake Dallman Jake Dallman 6'2" | SF Mound-Westonka | 2022 State MN are both capable of being double figure producers and all around intelligent players.  More Orono.  Another team that is well equipped for a four guard attack is the Orono Spartans.  Isaiah Hagen Isaiah Hagen 6'3" | PG Orono | 2023 State MN is skilled and growing to the point that he can be the big ball handler or the slashing wing.  Kyle Kallenbach Kyle Kallenbach 6'0" | PG Orono | 2023 State MN is a versatile ball handler, Sebastian Loder Sebastian Loder 6'2" | SG Orono | 2022 State MN can shoot with the best of them, and Cohen Kellogg Cohen Kellogg 6'0" | PG Orono | 2022 State MN is a quality playmaker that transferred over from Minnetonka.  There are a lot of different things Orono can do with these four guards plus there is Jacob Farrell Jacob Farrell 6'2" | SG Orono | 2022 State MN who often plays wing but at 6’2 is certainly in that guard category as well.  Excellent group of five right there. Hibbing.  Ayden McDonald Ayden McDonald 6'4" | PG Hibbing | 2022 State MN is an all state player that pushes his team on this list immediately.  There is little back from Hibbing experience wise but keep an eye on Hayden Verhel Hayden Verhel 6'0" | SF Hibbing | 2022 MN who came off the bench last season.  McDonald could have a massive number of triple doubles this year.  Richfield.  The Spartans lost some good players to graduation but don’t start looking past them.  I think Mitchel January is going to have a big time senior season as a scorer plus Jaylen Hollins Jaylen Hollins 5'8" | PG Richfield | 2023 State MN and Jaedyn Patterson seem primed to move from reserves to key components as the Spartans go for a third straight section title.  Byron.  Isaac Dearborn Isaac Dearborn 6'0" | PG Byron | 2023 State MN and Trent DeCook Trent DeCook 6'2" | SG Byron | 2022 State MN are now two of the three featured players at Byron and both will get much bigger roles for a Bears team that will contend in 1AAA.  Dearborn and DeCook are skilled and experienced, now they will be the main options/playmakers. 

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