Monday, November 03, 2008

Preseason Top 25: No. 9 Hopkins

9. Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.)
Coach: Ken Novak Jr. (449-71, 19 years at Hopkins; 567-118 in 26 years overall)
2007-08 record: 27-2, Class 4A section finalist (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.); F Mike Broghammer (6-8), Sr.; G Marcus Williams (6-0), Sr.
Team strength: Experience, size, depth, balance
Question mark: Chemistry, staying unselfish
Toughest games: Jan. 3 Timberwolves Shootout; Jan. 9 at Sibley; Jan. 23 vs. Milwaukee Vincent; Feb. 3 at Cooper; Feb. 13 vs. Brooklyn Jefferson (N.Y.) at Nike Super Six
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 the program 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. Broghammer, a nephew of former Duke great Christian Laettner, gives the Royals a hard-working, tough inside presence. The Notre Dame recruit 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, last season. Point guard Williams contributed seven points and five assists.

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