When Benilde-St. Margaret’s won the Class AAA Breakdown Summer State Tournament they opened a lot of eyes. Coach Damien Johnson has one of the more talented rosters in Class AAA. Key Wins in 20-21 (8-9): Orono, Holy Family, AHA Oops:…
When Benilde-St. Margaret’s won the Class AAA Breakdown Summer State Tournament they opened a lot of eyes. Coach Damien Johnson has one of the more talented rosters in Class AAA.
Key Wins in 20-21 (8-9): Orono, Holy Family, AHA
Oops: EP, Jefferson, Cooper, Chaska, Mound-Westonka, St. Louis Park
Moving On: The Red Knights lost a pair of frontcourt starters in Charlie Hansen Charlie Hansen 6'2" | SF Benilde St Margaret's | 2021 State MN and Theo Pohlen. Hansen scored 4-5 times a game while Pohlen was the Red Knights post a season ago. Also graduating were 8th/9th Men Noah Allen and Adam Foe. BSM will miss the activity of Pohlen around the basket and his experienced post play might be the toughest thing they have to replace.
Returning Starters (3): The Red Knights return three starters and all are seniors: point guard Maddox Alipate Maddox Alipate 6'1" | PG Benilde-St. Margaret's | 2022 State MN , Bemidji State committed Dan Ijadimbola Dan Ijadimbola 6'3" | SG Benilde St Margaret's | 2022 State MN , and wing Sam Best Sam Best 6'3" | SG Benilde-St. Margaret's | 2022 State MN . This trio led BSM in scoring last year and were the best three players on the team. Alipate scored a dozen points a game as a junior last year and then during the 17u season he did a great job running the Minnesota Fury offense once again. Ijadimbola had an outstanding 17u season helping Minnesota Select be a top five team in the state. Best is a hard worker that has good skill, plus the potential to be a double figure scorer.
Reserves Playing a Bigger Role: Two Red Knights reserves will compete for more time this year and that’s senior pair Ben James and Camden Carter. James is a 6’2/6’3 guard that had a couple big games last year against St. Louis Park. Carter is one of the hardest working players that we saw this summer and we think he could be an excellent role player for BSM once again.
Potentials from the JV: BSM will be a very deep team. They have the ability to combine James and Carter as seniors off the bench along with a quartet of young players that will also give the team depth. Those players are 5’11 junior guard Luke Collins Luke Collins 5'11" | PG Benilde-St. Margaret's | 2023 MN , 6’3 sophomore Colin McGie Colin McGie 6'3" | SF Benilde-St. Margaret's | 2024 MN , 6’0 sophomore guard Xavier Lumpkin Xavier Lumpkin 6'0" | PG Benilde-St. Margaret's | 2024 State MN , and 6’2 guard/wing Jayden Daisy Jayden Daisy 6'4" | SG Benilde-St. Margaret's | 2024 State MN . These players represent the youth and the next wave of BSM players. Another important player is 6’6 senior Adam Olson who was on the JV a season ago. Olson will be one of the team’s biggest players and may be needed around the basket, although he doesn’t have any experience at the varsity level.
New to the Team: The Red Knights could potentially add two impact transfers to the starting line-up joining their three returning starters. Ryan Warren Ryan Warren 6'3" | SG Benilde St Margaret | 2022 State MN is still in the west metro and he’s still in red, but he went from Eden Prairie to BSM. Warren is a double figure guard with the ability to be an impact scorer every night. Especially with Ijadimbola drawing the attention and Alipate clearing space with his ball movement and creation. Then there’s Jalen Wilson, a 6’5/6’6 freshman that transferred to BSM from Breck as he went from middle school to high school. Wilson averaged nine a game for Breck last year and is one of the better freshmen in the state of Minnesota.
Final Thoughts: BSM will be one of the deepest teams in Class AAA. When you look at who who we just reviewed, they will have more depth than Austin and Mankato East and likely DeLaSalle and South St. Paul as well. If they can form the chemistry needed and handle things in the paint despite being a shorter team, they can be a contender.