The first official practice of the 2020-21 high school basketball season began last week.
After a semifinal run last season, Elkhorn Mount Michael is one of the favorites in Class B.
Here are notes and observations from the Knights practice last week.
The Knights return all but nine points per game from last season. One of the better post players in the state also returns in 6-foot-4 forward Kaleb Brink. He led the Knights in scoring (15.4) and rebounding (6.4). It is highly likely that Brink will put up those same numbers if not improve those statistics.
The backcourt is a strength. Concordia signee Brad Bennett returns as does his 11.4 points per game and 3.7 rebounds. A 38% 3-point shooter last season, Bennett is likely to improve on those numbers in his senior campaign. His backcourt mate Airan Lopez, the team’s leading assists (2.6) man from last season, returns as the primary point guard.
Joe Chouinard and his 8.4 points per game returns for a senior season. Chouinard brings experience and athleticism to the wing. Seniors Kylen Pelan and Parker Hovoty can play the other forward position while also spelling Brink at times in the post. Both have starting experience and can do the dirty work in the post.
The biggest unknown is junior Kuon Kuon. Kuon, a 6-foot-8 versatile forward should push the returners for significant playing time. In the summer he showed his ability to protect the rim and ability to score from beyond the 3-point line. His length alone makes him a very intriguing prospect. How much production he provides will be key to the Knights state title hopes.
Junior guard Joe Bruggeman should have an expanded role as a designated 3-point shooter. If Bruggeman can improve on his 2.2 points per game from last season he will open up the floor for others to score while providing depth on the wing.
The top eight look to be in place in 2020-21. Fighting for minutes after that eight will be senior guard Eli Crnkovich, junior guard Daniel Mondi and senior guard Aaron Karnich.