St. Thomas Jamboree Preview

The 2005 St. Thomas Jamboree is once again loaded with some of the top Minnesota high school teams and players. The event will take place at Mendota Heights (MN) St. Thomas Academy and will feature 16 of the best team's in the state. The following is a look at the schedule for the event, which will take place this Saturday.

St. Thomas Jamboree
3:00 Osseo vs. Hastings
3:45 Richfield vs Minneapolis Washburn
4:30 Tartan vs. Minneapolis Roosevelt
5:15 Benidle St. Margaret vs. Mankato East
6:00 St. Thomas Academy vs. Braham
6:45 Cretin Derham Hall vs. Minnetonka
7:30 Bloomington Jefferson vs. St. Paul Johnson
8:15 Elk Rivers vs. Hopkins
The first game pits Hastings versus Osseo. The Osseo Orioles finished just 8-19 last year, but return 6-foot-4 junior Xavier Reed, who is getting mid-major looks. He averaged 12.7 points per game last season.

Hastings was one of the most improved teams in the state as they went from going 3-23 in 2003-04 to 17-11 last season, losing to Lakeville in the Section 1, Class 4A second round. Doug Plumb, a 6-foot-5 guard/forward, averaged 21.5 points per game last season. Jake Kranz averaged 14.2 points per game, but he missed the final eight games of the season after suffering a broken right (throwing) hand in a game versus Mounds View. He is one of the state's top quarterbacks, who is getting some Division I and II looks. He is not the only football player on the Raiders basketball roster. All-State linebacker Kevin Lauer averaged 5.3 points per game last season.
The second game matches Richfield (24-5 last year), the runner-up of the 2005 Class AAA title versus Minneapolis Washburn. Richfield lost their two top players, Ray Brown (who is at Bradley) and Travis Brown (Northern Iowa). The Spartans return Dustin Dreifke, a 5-foot-11 point guard, and outside shooter Jordan Noonan. Richfield adds two transfers in Erik Gusaas from Bloomington Jefferson and Dwayne Hardy from Minneapolis North.
Minneapolis Washburn finished 9-17 with a young team that looks to be much improved this season.
Tartan plays Minneapolis Roosevelt in the third contest. Tartan finished fourth in the Class AAAA Tournament last season. They must replace Urule Igbavboa, who signed with Valparaiso, fellow starters Lamont Mack and Abe Kpaka, and key reserve Jay Thomas, who signed with Minnesota to play football. They return Kwadzo Ahelegbe, who signed with Northern Iowa and Sam Ryan, who started as a freshman last season.

Roosevelt, which finished 9-17 last season, is led by Tavon Williams, who averaged 19.3 points per game and scored in double figures every game last year. Will Braziel, a 6-foot-5 senior who was sidelined by a leg injury most of the summer, averaged 14 points and seven rebounds per game, is getting mid-major looks.
The fourth game features Benidle St. Margaret's and Mankato East. Benidle lost in the Section 5AAA championship game, losing to eventual state champion Shakopee as they finished 22-7. The Red Knights are led by juniors Jordan Taylor and Armond Battle.
Mankato East finished in third place in the Class AAA state tournament last season. They lost Minnesota State Mankato signee Mitch Gosson, but return good size in Chop Tang and Landon Benson. 

The fifth game matches the expected top teams in Class AAA and Class AA. The game was originally the last game of the night, but was moved up to accommodate Braham's travel home. Bryce Webster, a 6-9, 255-pound senior center from St. Thomas Academy who signed with Minnesota, is considered one of the top big men in the state of Minnesota. Webster was named 2005 Minneapolis Star Tribune All-Metro first-team, as he averaged 21.8 points and 12.1 rebounds per game this past season. Webster scored 27 points for the Cadets, but it was not enough as they fell to Richfield 70-69 in the Class 3A, Section 3 championship game. The Cadets finished the season 16-12. However, they are expected to be one of the top Class AAA programs in the state as they also return starting seniors Nate Birr and David Hicks and junior Jared Gray. Darius Redd, another starter, is expected to transfer to a school in Waterloo, Iowa.

Braham finished last season 33-0 and was  ranked #17 in USA Today's Super 25 rankings by Chris Lawlor. Braham has won its last 58 games in a row. The Bombers are paced by Isaiah Dahlman, College Basketball News' choice for Minnesota Player of the Year who averaged 28 points and six boards per game for the two-time defending Class 2A champ Bombers. Dahlman signed with Michigan State.  His younger brother Noah has already received a scholarship offer from Furman. Noah Dahlman averaged 16.4 points (second on the team) and led the Bombers with 9.7 caroms per contest. The younger Dahlman shined this summer at the Nike Hoops Jamboree and averaged 19.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game as the Howard Pulley AAU team finished 6-1 and runner-ups at the Jerry Mullins High Profile Invitational in Kansas City.

The sixth game pits Cretin Derham Hall versus Minnetonka. Cretin Derham Hall finished 20-8 last season. The Raiders return two double figure scorers in Josh Peltier and Broderick Binns, a standout defensive end for the Cretin team that finished runner-up in the Class 5A Prep Bowl. Fellow football standouts, Joe Springer, a junior quarterback and Wisconsin commitment Kim Royston.

Minnetonka finished just 11-16 last season and must replace Minneapolis Star Tribune All-Metro second team selection Brett Tuma, who led the Classic Lake with 19.5 points per game. The Skippers will be led by sophomores Anthony Tucker, C.J. Erickson and Andy Burns. Tucker is the team's leading returning scorer at 14.1 points per game. He shot better than 41% from three-point range and pulled down 3.5 rebounds per game. Tucker was the first freshman to be named unanimous all-conference in the Classic Lake Conference and is already receiving interest from several Division I schools. Six-foot-6- Erickson became a starter in the middle of the season, but broke his foot in early February. Burns split time between the varsity and junior varsity last season, but will run the team at point guard.

The seventh game features Bloomington Jefferson versus St. Paul Johnson. Jefferson is led by Cole Aldrich, a top ten junior who committed recently to Kansas. Aldrich averaged 13.5 points this past season as the Jaguars finished 9-15. He had averaged 12.0 points and 8.6 rebounds as a freshman, when Jefferson finished 12-13. Steve Wheeler averaged 14.6 points per game. 

Johnson finished 22-6 after making the state tournament in 2004. The Governors must replace Walter Haynes, but returns 6-foot-8 Meechie Smith, who averaged 10.3 points per game. Freddie Coleman, who averaged 12.8 points per game, signed with North Dakota State.

The final game matches Elk Rivers versus Hopkins. Elk River finished 18-11 last season as they came up one game short of making the state tournament as they lost to Maple Grove in the Section 8AAAA championship game, losing 63-58. They are led by two-sports standout Tyler Macomber, who averaged 17 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. He is also a wide receiver who is getting some Division I and II looks. Jackson Beaudoin, the team's returning point guard, is a strong defender.

Hopkins finished 31-1 last season and had a 73-60 double-overtime win over Eastview in the Minnesota Class AAAA championship game. They lost Arden Skoglund, who signed with Valparaiso and Andrew Henke, who is at Air Force. They welcome back Purdue signee Dan Vandervieren, who came off the bench behind Skoglund. He had a strong summer that raised his stock. Vandervieren averaged 6.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Junior guard Blake Hoffarber scored 53 points in the three state playoff games and won an ESPY for Play of the Year with his miracle shot to send the Eastview game into a second overtime. Hoffarber is one of the top shooters in the state and has received plenty of recruiting interest. He led the team with 13.8 points per game last season. Steve Duncan, who averaged 10.0 points per game, is a versatile player who can score both inside and outside. He is getting some Division I and II looks.

Gopher Illustrated Top Stories