Posted On: 11/2/21 1:24 PM

The Panthers went 13-7 last year in what was somewhat of a transition year as talented youth entered their line-up.  This season?  Lakeville North will be contenders again.  

Key Wins in 20-21 (13-7)  Farmington, Rosemount, Prior Lake, Lakeville South, Eastview, Eagan

Oops: Rosemount, Prior Lake, Shakopee, Lakeville South, Eastview

Moving On:  Leading scorer Will Blascziek is now at Augsburg after a stellar senior year, Cooper Laufenburger is playing for Eau Claire after his all conference senior season, and all league honorable mention guard Noah Nephew has graduated as well.   Throw in Matt Miller and Sam McWell graduating and you have a big group of guards/wings that must be replaced. 

Returning Starters (1):    Nolan Winter Nolan Winter 6'9" | PF Lakeville North | 2023 State #139 Nation MN started most of last season as a sophomore earning all league league honors scoring 10/11 a game.  Winter’s local emergence over the winter progressed into a national emergence at the 16u level, at the MBCA camp, and performing in front of college coaches at team camps.  Winter is a 6’9 skilled forward that has become a top 100 level national prospect.  

Reserves Playing a Bigger Role: The Panthers had three really good young players coming off the bench in support: 6’6 sophomore forward Nolan Winter Nolan Winter 6'9" | PF Lakeville North | 2023 State #139 Nation MN started most of last season as a sophomore earning all league league honors scoring 10/11 a game.  Winter’s local emergence over the winter progressed into a national emergence at the 16u level, at the MBCA camp, and performing in front of college coaches at team camps.  Winter is a 6’9 skilled forward that has become a top 100 level national prospect.   Reserves Playing a Bigger Role: The Panthers had three really good young players coming off the bench in support: 6’6 sophomore forward Jack Robison Jack Robison 6'6" | PF Lakeville North | 2024 State MN , 6’1 senior guard R’Moni Warner, and 6’5 junior wing Hudson Vaith Hudson Vaith 6'5" | SG Lakeville North | 2023 State MN .   All three will play an even bigger role this year.  Robison is one of the best sophomores in the country as his lefty shooting stroke is already coveted by Big Ten schools.  Warner is a good shooter, smart passer, and solid defender, he will be a senior leader.  And Vaith.  Hudson is a big skilled wing that can create offense and he’s a better defender than given credit for as well.   Potentials from the JV:     Michael McDonald Michael McDonald 6'2" | SF Lakeville North | 2022 MN and Brayden Manning are hard working 6’2/6’3 senior forwards that played some on varsity here and there last year (some in tight games, some in blowouts).  They also played on the junior varsity as well.  Both will add depth and toughness to the varsity this year.   I believe, I don’t know, but I believe JT Thornton JT Thornton 6'4" | SF Lakeville North | 2023 State MN and Jace Hernandez Jace Hernandez 6'8" | PF Lakeville North | 2023 State MN played JV as sophomores and Will Drake played as a junior.  Thornton and Hernandez had outstanding 16u seasons with WOTN and Minnesota Select respectively.  Thornton is a hard working 6’4 wing with good potential and an athletic ability that nobody else on this roster has.  Hernandez is a hard working 6’8 frontcourt player that will allow Robison and Winter to be the skilled wings they are while Jace does a lot of the bruising items in the paint (Winter will of course play that role as well).  Drake will needed for depth in the backcourt.  Final Thoughts:  The Panthers are a top ten level team and a contender.  What would make them a true contender is a guard stepping up and handling the ball handling duties in a way that can push this team to a higher level.  There are a lot of very talented players and/or prospects on this team and this is a program that knows how to develop talent.  Expectations are high and the talent level is higher. 

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