Thursday, October 23, 2008

Preseason Teams to Watch: Hopkins

We are less than a month away from the start of high school basketball season in many parts of the country. That means in less than a month the first National Prep Basketball Poll of the season will be released.

Over the last several weeks, PrepNation Basketball Contributor Jeremy Plowman and Editor Jamie DeMoney have been analyzing top teams and players, and collecting information from high school coaches across the country.

Today, we continue giving readers a sneak peak at the preseason rankings (which will be released November 3) with another "Team to Watch" capsule.

Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.)
Coach: Ken Novak Jr. (449-71, 19 years at Hopkins; 567-118 in 26 years overall)
2007-08 record: 27-2 (Midlands No. 3 in final National Prep Poll)
Top players: F Royce White (6-7), Sr.; G/F Ray Cowels (6-4), Sr.; G/F Trent Lockett (6-4), Sr.); PF Mike Broghammer (6-8), Sr.; G Marcus Williams (6-0), Sr.
Team strength: Experience, size, depth, balance
Question mark: Chemistry, staying unselfish
Outlook: Novak has led Hopkins to three state championships since 2002, but this year's team promises to be his best yet. The Royals return four starters who are Division I prospects and added arguably the top player in the state during the offseason. That transfer is White, a University of Minnesota recruit who played his junior season at Minneapolis De La Salle. He is highly skilled, athletic, and a great rebounder. He averaged more than 20 points per game last season. Broghammer, who is committed to Notre Dame, gives the Royals a hard-working, tough inside presence. He averaged 11 points and seven rebounds as a junior. Cowels (Santa Clara) and Lockett (Arizona St.) are a pair of wings who are athletic and capable of scoring points in bunches. They averaged 17 points and 15 points, respectively, per game last season. Point guard Williams contributed seven points and five assists. The top games on the Royals' schedule include a February trip to New York City to play PSAL power Brooklyn Jefferson along with a game against an opponent to be determined at the Timberwolves Shootout January 3 at the Target Center.

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