johnwall1
This board has been dead, hope we can liven it up. Many of you are reading these posts by the views we get, but few replies. Would love to hear thoughts on this season's boys basketball race. To me, it's clearly Central's conference to win, wonder if anyone feels otherwise. How the rest of the teams stack up will be interesting as well. What do you think?
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redraidernation
I think the board will pick up with the start of basketball season.

I agree, I think the conference, barring a major injury, should be Central's to lose. They have so much talent coming back, plus some additions from the underclasses. Not sure where the other schools will fall in the conference race. Too much of a tossup.
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johnwall1
Here's how I have the conference playing out, based on last year and who's back this year.

1. Central - Kobe King breakout season with other very talented sophs and a nice senior in the middle in Ambrose
2. Onalaska - Those nice freshmen are now sophomores with a full year of experience. 6'4 senior Wright in the middle is the key though
3. Aquinas - Impossible to replace Weber. Returns some nice pieces from last year and a couple of young kids I've heard about will be good
4. Logan - Improving a bit each year, Davis will be a good player as will Verhota in the middle. Guard play a little suspect
5. Tomah - A couple of nice players return, unsure if any help coming from last year's JV team
6. Holmen - Lost their top 7-8 scorers from last year. Have some size, but shooting and guard play huge question marks
7. Sparta - 2 big kids back from last year, so they have 6'6 and 6'9 in the middle, not much else. However, could surprise and finish up a spot or two
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oldballcoach1
I would think that it has got to be Central's to lose. But, it is hard to depend on the core of a team being soph's. They do have the top returning starter in the league in JA and their athletic ability is way up there. But a really tough non-conference schedule early on and with an overall young team, some losses early could weigh on them. With their length and skills, that 1-3-1 will be really tough. With the addition of IS from Aquinas, that puts a 6'5" kid on top of it in JA and then 6'4" IS in the middle with KK being about 6'4" on a wing, that team will just swallow up people.

I think though Tomah and Sparta could have a chance to move up some. Not hard for Sparta to come from the bottom, but they have a couple of kids that are skilled and anytime you have a 6'9" kid that has a little skill, it can cause some problems. Tomah may finish in the middle of the pack, but also has better skills that they have had. For the first time - you could see them finish ahead of both Logan and Aquinas.

Logan does return TD, but after him, they are pretty thin. He is going to have to score a lot. I just don't see anyone else that can score.

Aquinas returns a couple of roll players from last year, but scoring will be an issue.

Ona's kids are a year older and probably will finish 2nd to Central. But, if they get hot and shoot it well in the two games against Central, they could pull it out. But size will be their issue. They are just really small and eventually that catches up to you against the good teams.

Don't count out Holmen. I don't think they will challenge to win the conference, but they won't be as bad as people may think. They will play hard and do have some athletic ability.

1. Central
2. Onalaska
3. Tomah
4. Holmen
5. Logan
6. Aquinas
7. Sparta

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johnwall1
oldballcoach1 wrote:
I would think that it has got to be Central's to lose. But, it is hard to depend on the core of a team being soph's. They do have the top returning starter in the league in JA and their athletic ability is way up there. But a really tough non-conference schedule early on and with an overall young team, some losses early could weigh on them. With their length and skills, that 1-3-1 will be really tough. With the addition of IS from Aquinas, that puts a 6'5" kid on top of it in JA and then 6'4" IS in the middle with KK being about 6'4" on a wing, that team will just swallow up people.

I think though Tomah and Sparta could have a chance to move up some. Not hard for Sparta to come from the bottom, but they have a couple of kids that are skilled and anytime you have a 6'9" kid that has a little skill, it can cause some problems. Tomah may finish in the middle of the pack, but also has better skills that they have had. For the first time - you could see them finish ahead of both Logan and Aquinas.

Logan does return TD, but after him, they are pretty thin. He is going to have to score a lot. I just don't see anyone else that can score.

Aquinas returns a couple of roll players from last year, but scoring will be an issue.

Ona's kids are a year older and probably will finish 2nd to Central. But, if they get hot and shoot it well in the two games against Central, they could pull it out. But size will be their issue. They are just really small and eventually that catches up to you against the good teams.

Don't count out Holmen. I don't think they will challenge to win the conference, but they won't be as bad as people may think. They will play hard and do have some athletic ability.

1. Central
2. Onalaska
3. Tomah
4. Holmen
5. Logan
6. Aquinas
7. Sparta



MVC play begins tomorrow night, will be interesting to see how this goes. I think the Logan v Onalaska game will be important to see how those teams match up and if either will be able to challenge Central at the top. Central is still very young and off to a bit of a slow start, but I still expect them at the top. Onalaska is off to a surprisingly slow start. Logan has played a tough schedule. So, the Logan/Ona winner will tell us something. Aquinas off to a bad start but their schedule has been very difficult. Tomah I think may surprise some people. Holmen and Sparta are about where we thought they would be at this point.
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oldballcoach1
As a whole, the performance of the MVC is disappointing this pre-conference season. Teams have had to play some really difficult road games, so maybe that is a part of it. Whomever is doing the schedules for some of these schools really needs to look at things and get some balance done. But some of the games weren't competitive and that doesn't bode well come tournament time.

That being said, I think in the end things will still shake out like I thought. Everntually you gotta think Central will get things squared away and their talent will win games. If you look at the conference - they probably have the top 3 players in the league, so that gives them a huge edge. Their losses have come to a couple of teams that are senior dominated and had the size to give them problems. I doubt Memorial or Menomonie had the individual talent - but they had the advantage of playing together and physically they are more mature that most of Central's team.

Onalaska has been really surprising. I think the issue is the same as Central has had. Not saying anything negative about any players - but they lack the physical size of some other teams.

Pretty much everyone else has issues scoring. I think we are in store for a lot of 40 point games this year.

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johnwall1
Logan has played a fairly difficult schedule so far (ECM, DCE, WW, Menom, etc) but I am still surprised they are 0-7. Gets no easier with Sauk Prairie tonight, who is a very good team. Aquinas has also played an impressive schedule (Stoughton, Regis, DeForest, WR etc) and has a 2-4 record to show for it, they have shown some good things recently although struggle to score as well. Central is managing their difficult schedule and is growing up while they do it, a couple of disappointing losses, but very competitive. Onalaska is playing schools 1/2 their size and I think they are 2-3 now with Bangor looming, for the MVC sake, sure hope they don't lose to a D5 school. Tomah lost to Holmen which surprised me, perhaps I had Tomah and Holmen switched around on my prediction, Holmen has been a bit better than I thought. Poor Sparta, I think we predicted that correctly.
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