East Metro Showcase Preview
Phillip Nolan makes return at East Metro Showcase
Phillip Nolan makes return at East Metro Showcase

Posted Jan 20, 2012


The East Metro Showcase features some of the top Midwest's players and teams at St. Paul Johnson. CollegeBasketballNews.com will be at the event with recaps of the games and all the latest recruiting news. Check www.collegebasketballnews.com for recaps of the Midwest Players Classic or #collegebbnews on Twitter.

Friday Jan 20, 2012
4:30 PM - St. John's Lutheran (FL) vs. St. Paul Highland Park
6:15 PM - Milwaukee Riverside vs. St. Paul Central
8 PM - Hopkins vs. St. Paul Johnson

Saturday Jan 21, 2012
11:00 AM - St. John's Lutheran (FL) vs. Roseville
12:45 PM - Milwaukee Riverside vs. Hopkins
2:30 PM - Onalaska vs. St. Paul Johnson
4:15 PM - La Crosse Aquinas vs. Eden Prairie
6 PM - Gale-Ettrick-Trempeleau vs. St. Paul Central


St. John's Lutheran is 6-11 and their head coach Antony Fisher was the creator of the East Metro Showcase. They are led by 6-foot-6 junior Jordan Smith, who is averaging 13 points and seven rebounds. Six-foot-1 junior guard Harrison Bucy adds eight points and five rebounds. The Saints are without junior Jamonte Jones, who is a highly-touted wide receiver.

St. Paul Highland Park is 7-6. Ty'Shaun Williams leads the team with 19.1 points per game. He has scored in double figures in all 13 games with a season-high 31 points versus Minneapolis Edison. Dion Bradley is adding 16.5 points per game and has five games of 20 or more points. Elijah Jackson contributes 9.2 points per contest.

Milwaukee Riverside is ranked #6 in Division I as they are off to a 10-2 start. The Tigers are led by 5-foot-10 guards Shomari and Bakari Triggs, who are averaging 15.6 and 14.5 points per game, respectively. Six-foot-five senior Jalen Currie is averaging 13.0 points per game. D’Andre Downey, a 6-foot-8 junior forward, recently joined the team and is averaging 11.8 points per game. He has scholarship offers from Minnesota and Wisconsin Green Bay. Six-foot-10 senior Phil Nolan was ruled eligible this week. He is a long shotblocker who figures to draw plenty of attention from top programs.

St. Paul Central is just 3-9, but their record is a bit misleading as they have five losses to Minnesota Class 4A schools and two losses to Milwaukee teams. The Minutemen are led by Markus Taylor-Knighten, who is averaging a team-best 15.2 points per game. Malik Durant-Haines adds 12.7 points and Montrell Williams contributes 9.9 points per contest.

Hopkins (12-1) won its second straight Best Buy Holiday Classic recently as they defeated their opponents by an average of 28.7 points in the three games. The Royals have won three straight Class 4A titles and is going for an unprecedented fourth crown. They have had to replace nearly 40 points per game with the graduation losses of Mr. Basketball Joe Coleman, who is at Minnesota and Northern Iowa freshman Marvin Singleton this season. However, they still have plenty of offensive firepower. Senior Zachary Stahl was named the Best Buy Holiday Classic MVP after scoring 22.7 points per game. He is averaging 21.8 points after missing the first six games of the season. Point guard Siyani Chambers, who is headed to Harvard, is adding 15.0 points. Senior shooter Demitrius Martin has more than doubled his scoring from last season as he is contributing 14.6 points per game. Nicholas Jorgenson, who is a good outside threat, adds 10.8 points per game. Andre McDonald, who is the state’s top wide receiver, has shown off his skills on the hardwood by averaging 9.6 points. The uncommitted wideout is an outstanding athlete and leaper. The Royals have plenty of talent off the bench in sophomores Jacob Wright (8.2) and Stephon Sharpe (5.2) and junior Jamal Davis (7.9).

St. Paul Johnson finished runner-up in the recent Best Buy Holiday Classic, losing to Hopkins, who they will face in their first of two games in the east Metro Classic. The 2010 Class AAA state champions are led by Missouri State signee Marcus Marshall, who is one of the state’s top guards and is averaging 21.0 points per game. Wayland Johnson II adds 13.9 points and Quashingm Smith-Pugh scores 9.5 points. The Governors are a deep team that likes to press and run.

Roseville is off to an 8-2 start. The Raiders have four double figure scorers, led by junior outside shooter Mackenzie Johnson, who is averaging a team-best 17.2 points per game. Senior Emeche Wells, an All-State wide receiver, adds 11.7 points per game. Juniors Jordan Burich and Logan Brown chips in 12.2 and 11.2 points per contest.

Onalaska is currently ranked No. 1 in Wisconsin’s Division 2 (the second biggest). The Hilltoppers are led by 6-foot-4 shooting guards Matt Thomas, who is one of the top juniors in the state of Wisconsin. Thomas, who has ten scholarship offers, including Minnesota and Wisconsin, is averaging 21.8 points per game. He has scored in double figures in all twelve games and has 20 or more points in nine contests. Nick Arenz, a 6-foot-8 big man, signed with Wisconsin Green Bay in the fall. He suffered an anterior cruciate ligament tear shortly after playing in last year’s Timberwolves Shootout. The Hilltoppers were 11-0 at the time. Arenz, who is not 100% yet, is averaging 11.7 points per game.

Eden Prairie is the defending Class 4A runner-ups. They lost the majority of their scoring and rebounding, but the Eagles have gotten off to 11-2 start. They are led by sophomore guard Andre Wallace, who is averaging 16.2 points per game. He is drawing interest from several Midwest schools, including Iowa State. Senior outside shooter Sander Mohn adds 14.2 points per game. Big man Jordan Peterson contributes 8.9 points.

La Crosse Aquinas is the defending Division 3 state champions. Unfortunately, they have been bitten by the injury bug this season and are 6-5. Wisconsin commit Bronson Koenig is expected to miss the rest of the season with a thumb injury. The junior was averaging 20.7 points per game. The Blugolds are also without Mike Conway, who averaged 10.0 points last season. The two-sport standout is out for the year with a knee injury. He attended several Gopher football games and is getting recruiting looks from Minnesota for his gridiron exploits.

Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau is ranked third in Division III and is off to a 10-0 start. They are led by 6-foot-4 guard Riley Bambenek, who signed with Winona State. He is averaging a team-best 21.3 points per game. Six-foot-two junior Tim Wagner is averaging 16.3 points and 6-foot-5 senior Chris Johnson adds 12.3 points per game.


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