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Tip Off Classic preview: Duluth East vs. Prior Lake

By Ryan James, Breakdown Sports USA, 12/03/12, 12:00PM CST


11:15 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 8 at Minnetonka East gym


Programs in completely different places, that’s Duluth East and Prior Lake.

The Greyhounds have a new coaching staff, Akolda Manyang is at a prep school (this game was originally put together with the idea of pitting him against Carson Shanks), and they are basically starting over.

Prior Lake is in year three of the coach Alex Focke era led by a strong and sizeable senior core along with junior scorer Jon Sobaski. This is the year the Lakers have been building towards for a run at the state title and their combination of size, shooting, and experience could get them there.

Key Matchup

Shaq Coleman vs. Jon Sobaski: Both averaged in that 13-14 points per game area last year and both will be the offensive catalyst for their team’s this year. Sobaski is a jet quick guard capable of pulling up to drain in a heartbeat. Coleman is a physical and active defender who ranks with the state’s best on that end although he’s going to need a lot of that energy to score too.


Why Prior Lake will win:

  • The Lakers’ senior class of Carson Shanks, Jeff Probert, Noah Scanlon, Alex Spanton, and Nick Hart is huge, strong, and experienced. They should completely dominate the glass plus force Duluth East to shoot mostly from the perimeter.
  • Prior Lake is a top ten team in state with two division one basketball players in their line-up and three scholarship level kids overall. Too talented

Why Duluth East will win:

  • People really don’t know what Shaq Coleman is capable of. He didn’t play AAU basketball and last year he scored almost 14 points a game while playing with Manyang, Johnny Woodard, and Taylor Stafford, all of whom are D1 caliber talents. Coleman scored almost 14 a game with limited shot attempts. What’s he going to do when he’s the main guy? Could be huge numbers.
  • Nobody knows what to expect from East. They have a new staff, a new system, and in terms of their players it’s very possible that the role guys from last year excel in new roles this season.

Our Prediction: Prior Lake


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