Hidden Gems: South Suburban
As the season approaches, preview content begins to escalate for the 2019-20 hoops campaign. We’ll continue this series called Hidden Gems by naming one sleeper prospect from each team, conference by conference. Who is poised for a big season with…
As the season approaches, preview content begins to escalate for the 2019-20 hoops campaign.
We’ll continue this series called Hidden Gems by naming one sleeper prospect from each team, conference by conference. Who is poised for a big season with new responsibilities? NHR details an up-and-comer from every angle, today in the South Suburban.
Apple Valley: Noah Friedt, 6-3 SF, Jr. The 6-21 record of the Eagles last season, while not the AV norm, allowed for some development of young players without the pressure of high expectations statewide. Friedt reaped benefits as a sophomore, playing valuable minutes in 25 games and scoring upwards of seven points per. He will take an even bigger role this season, using his size and strength on the wing to bully opponents to the rim.
Burnsville: Daniel Rosenber, 6-4 F, Sr. Lots of senior leadership and production depart for the Blaze. Rosenber comes back as head honcho having averaged 13 a game last season, and his length paired with strong improvements offensively this summer could yield big results for a team that almost made the State Tournament a year ago.
Eagan: Finn O’Malley, 6-0 G, Sr. A new coach and momentum to build on after a better-than-expected 2018-19 bodes well for the Wildcats, who also can take advantage of a relatively down year in the South Suburban. O’Malley emerged this summer with the Fury as a gritty scorer, mixing it up in the paint and getting crafty with floaters and pull up jumpers. He’ll make for a great partner with returning backcourt mate Kurt Ohlhues. They’ll orchestrate another balanced offensive attack.
Eastview: Zach Spann, 6-5 F, Jr. The known quantities of Steven Crowl and Tate Machacek in the frontcourt will be hard enough for opponents to deal with. Add Spann into the mix as a change of pace, transition machine combo forward and there could be some deadly combinations to tinker with. Spann’s leaping ability is second to none and he has the tools to be a wing stopper and turnover generator. Excited to see his summer development on display this winter after putting up just a few PPG last year in limited time.
Farmington: Jake Cochnauer, 6-3 SF, Jr. I was came away impressed with Jake’s willingness to do everything for his team this summer (WOTN). He’s built well, stands 6-3 and rebounds like a fiend for his size. Stable defender with smart instincts too. His game will be running transition lanes for layups and hitting open shots, but his offense will be the least important thing he brings with how versatile he is in other facets. Expect him to become a go-to defender this year.
Lakeville North: Carter Patterson, 6-1 G, Sr. It’s another time of change for the Panthers, but more than likely it’ll stay the same. Patterson returns to help lead the way for John Oxton and you know the guard play of Lakeville North is always stellar regardless of experience level. He’ll see his usage jump significantly with the loss of the top six scorers from last year. Patterson’s quickness and affinity for slipping through gaps in defenses will prove crucial as a main playmaker.
Lakeville South: Sam Fliehe, 6-2 SF, So. I saw Lakeville South once last season and I think my biggest takeaway was how competent Fliehe was off the bench as a freshman. He came in and was active on both ends, knew his limits and understood his offensive and defensive schemes. He showed some extra flashes of scoring and playmaking this summer and will no doubt become a strong option on the wing next to Reid Patterson and Riley Mahlman.
Prior Lake: Kyle McCullough, 6-2 SF, Jr. The thing about Prior Lake is they bring back two Division 1-caliber players and then the rest of the rotation is graduated. Next guy up to contribute could be McCullough, a junior who got time in about 10 games and put up a couple buckets in those games. He’s long and strong and doesn’t need a lot of usage to be effective.
Rosemount: Zach Wenthe, 6-6 C, Jr. Activity. That’s the first word to describe Wenthe’s play in the paint. For a sophomore to put up close to a double-double in a season, that takes tremendous feel for the game and willingness to be physical all the time. Wenthe loves to hit the offensive boards and feast on smaller opponents in the paint. His numbers will increase.
Shakopee: Bruce Lockwood Jr., 6-3 SF, Sr. Another strong defender/rebounder to add to this list. Shakopee has plenty of ballhandlers and bucket-getters to carry the scoring load. Lockwood can then focus on the in-betweens — guarding the best opposing wing, cleaning up under the hoop, things of that nature. He’s proven capable and reliable in that respect before and it will be even more important as the Sabers seriously contend this season.