Class 4A: Undefeated Champlin Park (16-0) features its terrific senior guard trio of J.T. Gibson, Marty Hill and Jeremy Johnson and a pair of high-impact sophomores in guard McKinley Wright and 6-8 forward Theo John. The Rebels have earned the No. 1 spot by virtue of victories over top-10 teams Hopkins, Apple Valley, Roseville and Armstrong. Apple Valley (15-1) has the metro’s best inside-outside pairing in 7-foot center Brock Bertram (15.3 points, 11.4 rebounds per game) and guard Gary Trent Jr. (team-leading 21.7 points per game). The Eagles would love to avenge their only loss. Don’t overlook: Eden Prairie, East Ridge, Cretin-Derham Hall.
Class 3A: Despite the graduation of Reid Travis and Geno Crandall, DeLaSalle (10-2) looks primed to become just the second team to win four straight state championships behind guard Jarvis Johnson and forward Sacar Anim, who’s enjoying a breakout season with a 26.4 point average. Don’t overlook: St. Paul Johnson.
Class 1A: With a convincing 80-51 rout of Maranatha on Saturday, Minneapolis North (14-3) — with just 126 students — showed its intent to win the program’s first state championship since 2003. All three of the Polars’ losses have come to Class 4A teams (Lakeville North, Chanhassen and Wayzata).
Metro player of the year candidates: My top three so far: 1. Gibson. 2. Anim. 3. Trent.