Rarely has there been as much boys’ basketball talent in Minnesota as there is this season, and much of that talent is playing in Minneapolis and its western suburbs. Three of the four state champions from last season reside in the west metro: Hopkins in Class 4A, DeLaSalle in 3A and Minneapolis North in 1A. All are considered favorites to repeat, and this season Minnehaha Academy is one of the favorites in 2A. The Redhawks feature the spectacular pairing of forward Javonni Bickham and guard Jalen Suggs, playing their third year together. Bickham is a junior while Suggs is a freshman who already has received a scholarship offer from Minnesota, among others.
Senior dream team (colleges they signed with in parentheses): Jericho Sims, Cristo Rey, 6-9, F (Texas); Brad Davison, Maple Grove, 6-3, G (Wisconsin); Goanar Mar, DeLaSalle, 6-7, F (George Mason); Isaac Johnson, Mpls. North, 6-4, G (Western Illinois); Myles Hanson, Chaska, 6-5, F (Columbia).
Five junior jewels: Javonni Bickham, Minnehaha Academy, 6-6, F; Gabe Kalscheur, DeLaSalle, 6-1, G; Calvin Wishart, Delano, 6-1, G; Jarvis Thomas, Orono, 6-7, F; Race Thompson, Armstrong, 6-7, F.
Five breakout underclassmen: Jalen Suggs, Minnehaha Academy, 6-1, fr., G; Nasir El-Amin, Mpls. North, 6-0, so., G; Blaise Beauchamp, Hopkins, 6-0, 8th, G; Drake Dobbs, Eden Prairie, 5-10, fr., G; David Roddy, Breck, 6-3, so., F.
Five on top: Hopkins (4A); Maple Grove (4A); DeLaSalle (3A); Mpls. North (1A); Minnehaha Academy (2A)
Five dark horses: Chaska (4A); Eden Prairie (4A); Orono (3A); Delano (3A); Mpls. Henry (3A).
Five must-see matchups: Dec. 10 – Mpls. North vs. Minnehaha Academy at Hopkins, 12:45 p.m.; Dec. 17 – Minneapolis North at Hopkins, 1 p.m.; Jan. 26 – Champlin Park at Hopkins, 7 p.m.; Feb. 6 – Champlin Park at Maple Grove, 7 p.m.; Feb. 11 – Cretin-Derham Hall at DeLaSalle, 7 p.m.