19-20 First Look: Prior Lake
Best team in the state to not make the state tournament last year? Prior Lake. They finished 25-4 a year and have a pair of D1 talents leading the way again. Moving On: Robert Jones signed with Denver and is…
Best team in the state to not make the state tournament last year? Prior Lake. They finished 25-4 a year and have a pair of D1 talents leading the way again.
Moving On: Robert Jones signed with Denver and is now there getting ready for his freshman season, Sam Nissen signed with Truman State in May, and point guard Jakcyse Jacox, reserve big Carson Schoeller, shooter Colin O’Connor, Jake Veldman ,and reserve guard Nick Mullins all graduated with them. That’s seven of last year’s top nine players moving on. This is precisely why so many people think that despite the talents of Dawson Garcia, the Lakers won’t be able to improve on last season. I wouldn’t go that far.
Returning Starters: The Lakers don’t just return two starters, they return one of the elite players in the nation in Dawson Garcia, and a division one committed guard in Tyree Ihenacho (North Dakota) who was the fourth scoring option last year. Ihenacho is one of the most athletic players in the state, his jumper has improved, he’s spent time playing point guard this summer with Select, and he’s one of the best rebounding guards you will find. Then of course Dawson Garcia is a 28 point, 12 rebound per game talent that can play wherever you need him too because of his ball skill, agility, and low post game. The other thing about Garcia, he doesn’t have to play center for Prior Lake.
Reserves Playing a Bigger Role: Garcia can continue his role as a stretch four, as a wing, and in the post when needed because the Lakers have two more players returning that can play the five: 6-foot-8 sophomore Malcolm Jones, and 6-foot-7 senior Tyler Flaata. Jones played in some games later in the year and then followed that up with an excellent season for the D1 Minnesota 15s. He will be one of the better sophomores in the state plus he’ll be an up and coming prospect hitting lists of colleges around the country. Because of Robert Jones and Schoeller, Flaata only played a few minutes on varsity but trust us he can play.
There are also a couple forwards/wings that are ready for bigger roles at Prior Lake. That’s 6-foot-5 senior Austin Sommerville, and 6-foot-2 junior Kyle McCullough. Kyle found a varsity role for most of the year in 18-19 while Sommerville was mostly putting up numbers on JV.
Potentials from the JV: Malcolm Jones and Austin Sommerville mostly played JV last year and now they could potentially start (or be the first guy/guys off the bench). What this team needs more of is ball handlers/guard depth so Ihenacho and Garcia can be free to play several different roles during the game. Seniors Nathan Bach and DJ Doysen as well as junior Tommy Mestnik are the players to watch for in that role.