A big-name coach takes over in Eden Prairie in Faith Johnson Patterson, whose teams at Minneapolis North and DeLaSalle have won eight state tournaments in her 20 years of coaching. Can she work her magic at Eden Prairie, a perennial sports power whose teams have lost 10 games in each of the last two seasons?
Can Eden Prairie break into the ranks of the metro area's elite teams? Can it happen as soon as this season? Can anyone stop Hopkins from repeating as 4A champion? Could it be Park Center, which has won the last two 3A titles and is moving up to compete in the state's largest class?
Park Center celebrated its 3A title in March.
If you could build a team around the five top players in the metro area, who would be on it? Our preseason Dream Team is headed by Nia Hollie of Hopkins, a versatile 6-foot-1 guard who sparked Hopkins to the 4A title and will be headed to Michigan State.
Nia Holley averaged 18.3 points per game in the 2015 state tournament.
And here's another list of 10 players to watch from metro schools large and small. The list includes Andrayah Adams of St. Paul Como Park, who averaged almost 30 points per game as a junior and is headed to St. John's in New York, and Meghan Mandel, a 6-foot-4 center from Orono who plans to play college basketball for Marquette.
Andrayah Adams scored 29.8 points per game for Como Park in 2014-15.
Our metro top 10 is topped by neighboring Lake Conference powers Hopkins and Minnetonka. Who are the other elite teams in the area as the season starts?