I know I usually don't talk about Class M, but here goes. I also know it's a little early to be looking ahead to next season already, but Berlin will be the team to beat in Class M next year - you heard it hear first.
Conant and Campbell are clearly the top teams this season. Conant has won four titles in a row, and they return their top three players off last year's team in Sean Martin, Jimmy Peard and Kemph Kim. They also have a 6'4" center who is a solid player, and step out and hit the three. Campbell was the runner-up last year, and they return all of their top players in Josh Morgan, Kiel Canada and Shawn Henriquez, as well as forwards Bobby Frapier, Josh McGrath and Jacob Lang. There are a few other pretty good teams in Class M this year, but Conant and Campbell are just on another level.
Next season however, Berlin will be the favorites. Martin, Peard and Kim all graduate for Conant. And Campbell loses five of their top six layers to graduation, with Morgan being the lone returner. Berlin meanwhile has 3 sophomores on the team right now who have key roles in Curtis Arsenault, Sam Aldrich and Jacob Drouin. Then their second best player, Jeremy Michalik and starting guard Tyler Baillargeon are both juniors. Zach Donaldson, a key player off the bench is also only a junior. That's 6 of their top 7 kids coming back. Arsenault is the best player on the team and he's only a sophomore this year. He's 6'3", athletic, fast, strong. He's very tough on the boards and driving the bucket. Him, Morgan and O'Connor will be the top 3 players in Class M next year. Michalik and Aldrich are both very capable players as well. They also have some size with Michalik being 6'3", and Aldrich being 6'2". This team is tough to match up with because they have a lot of size, but they're also quick. More than likely, if you're playing defense against them, they're going to be bigger and faster than you at each of the five positions on the floor next season.
The one key player that the Mountaineers will lose at the end of the year is 6'5" forward/center Jason Mercier. He's another kid who's a tough matchup because of his size and quickness, and he's also a good rebounder. Losing him will hurt, but th fact remains - Next season Berlin will have one of the top three players in Class M, they will return their top three players, four staters and six of their top seven players off this year's team. They'll be the team to beat in Class M in 2010-2011. Just watch.