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Star Tribune early season top 10 teams, players to watch

By JIM PAULSEN, Star Tribune, 12/04/19, 7:00PM CST


Check out who's on the list as the 2019-20 season gets rolling.

Hopkins guard Kerwin Walton (12) has 23 Division I offers. Photo: ANTHONY SOUFFLE • anthony.souffle@startribune.com

Metro top players

1. Jalen Suggs, Minnehaha Academy, 6-5, sr., G: Enough talent to do anything he wants on the court.

2. Dawson Garcia, Prior Lake, 6-11, sr., F: Marquette signee seen as a potential NBA lottery pick.

3. Chet Holmgren, Minnehaha Academy, 7-0, jr., F: No player in the country has had his reputation grow more quickly.

4. Dain Dainja, Park Center, 6-9, sr., PF: A double-double machine in points and rebounds. Baylor-bound.

5. Kerwin Walton, Hopkins, 6-4, sr., SG: Elite three-point shooter who can stretch defenses. Has 23 Division I offers.

6. Ben Carlson, East Ridge, 6-9, sr., PF: Tough and hard-nosed with a knack for rebounding. Signed with Wisconsin.

7. Steven Crowl, Eastview, 6-11, sr., C: Polished and savvy in the post, tough to stop. Another future Badger.

8. Tre Holloman, Cretin-Derham Hall, 6-3, soph., PG: Creates and scores off the dribble and defends with tenacity.

9. Prince Aligbe, Minnehaha Academy, 6-6, soph., PF: Tireless worker and tough rebounder with a developing shot.

10. Jacob Hutson, Edina, 6-10, sr., C: Can finish at the rim and hit from the perimeter. Headed to Loyola of Chicago.

Others of note: Camden Heide, Wayzata, so; J’Vonne Hadley, Cretin-Derham Hall, sr.; Drake Dobbs, Eden Prairie, sr.


Metro top 10 teams

1. Minnehaha Academy (3A): The most talented team in the state.

2. Eden Prairie: It’s the third season together for seniors Drake Dobbs, Austin Andrews, Connor Christensen and John Henry.

3. Park Center: Baylor-signee Dain Dainja is a 6-9 force with a great handle.

4. Wayzata: Sophomore 6-6 guard Camden Heide already has Division I offers from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Purdue, Nebraska and California.

5. Hopkins: The reputation of sharpshooting guard Kerwin Walton blew up during summer ball.

6. Cretin-Derham Hall: The addition of pure scorer J’Vonne Hadley, a transfer from Mahtomedi, alongside guard Tre Holloman makes the Raiders dangerous.

7. Shakopee: All three of the Sabers’ top scorers from a year ago are back: Charles Katona, Will Cordes and Caleb Druvenga.

8. Eastview: 6-11 Steven Crowl is the big name, but keep an eye on athletic forwards Tate Machacek and Ryan Thissen.

9. East Ridge: The Raptors lost both Browns — Courtney to graduation, Kendall to a prep school — but power forward Ben Carlson (Wisconsin) and guard Kendall Blue soften those losses.

10. Prior Lake: Two Division I-bound stars in Dawson Garcia (Marquette) and Tyree Ihenacho (North Dakota). How will Tyler Flaata and Malcolm Jones handle bigger roles?


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