The boys basketball All-Decade top 20. Those listed had to be covered by the Journal Sports. Careers that spanned just into 2010 are less regarded. Athletes from Houston are only those 2013-on. Rankings are based off honors, team winning, stats, career longevity, coaches ranking, player comparison, and college credentials. Said rankings are very much subject to debate! Special thanks to coaches Tom Vix, John Fenske, Tom Bance, Jeff DeBuhr, Doug Wyffels, Russ Larson, John Smith, Chris Hanson, and Matt Asleson for their help.
Basketball Top 20
#1) Cole Kingsley (G, R-P, 2011-2015, All-TRC thrice): The Tom Brady of this list, a straight winner. Made state (four section titles) all four varsity years, playing in 12 state level games; taking third twice, second in 2014, and helped win the 2015 state title. Made the All-Tourney team as a junior. Started three years and won three TRC East titles. Kingsley’s four-year record was 117 and 13 (.900 win percentage). Maybe R-P’s best point guard, Kingsley finished top five in the TRC in assists and steals three years running. He averaged 10.7 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 4.8 APG, and 3.1 SPG as a sophomore, 8.6 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 4.8 APG, and 3.1 SPG as a junior, then 7.9 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 4.3 APG, and 3.9 SPG as a senior. In 123 games, he finished with 943 career points, 474 assists, and 335 steals. Games played, assists, and steals are R-P records. Coach Vix: “Complete player who was as talented as he was tough.”
#2) Kole Ruud (G, Lanesboro, 2011-2014, All-SEC/SEC Player of the Year twice): The Burros top player of the decade, and still the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,599 points (19.9 PPG career). Averaged just over 22 PPG as a junior and an SEC best 26.1 PPG as a senior (706 total points). Ruud scored 20-plus points 40 times and hit 169 threes over his last two seasons. Burro basketball went 52-28 in his tenure, including making it to their last 1A East final (2013). Former Coach Smith: “Very talented basketball player… great shooter. Best practice player I’ve coached on and off court… worked extremely hard on his game all year round.”
#3) Nick Thompson (F, R-P, 2009-2012, All-TRC twice): The Trojans early decade 6’4” dead-eye shooter, Thompson twice made state (2010, 2012) and was on two 20-win teams (2010-2011, 2011-2012). He led R-P to a 26-6 record and 2012 state third place finish. Thompson was All-Tourney team and scored 711 points, 22.2 PPG. He averaged 16.7 PPG as a junior. Hit 83 threes as a junior and 105 as a senior, topping 200 career makes at a plus-40% clip. With 1,325 career points, he’s second in (purely) R-P history in scoring. Also holds Trojan record for points in a game with 43. Coach Vix: “Tough match-up for anyone, with his size and shooting ability.”
#4) Braden Hanson (G/F, Lanesboro, 2008-2012, All-SEC thrice): Was key on a bunch of good turn-of-the-decade Burro teams. Averaged 7.4 PPG as a frosh, 11.9 PPG as a sophomore, and 16.0 PPG as a junior, then an SEC-best 21.9 PPG as a senior. He became the Burros all-time leading scorer that year with 1,430 points (Ruud surpassed him). Owns Lanesboro’s single-game scoring mark, 48 points. His teams went 70-33 in four years. Coach Smith: “Great shooter. Found a way to score with the ball from all over the floor. Gym rat from the beginning.”
#5) Alex Vix (G, R-P, 2011-2015, All-TRC twice): A four-year player and three-year starter, Vix (like Kingsley) made state four times (four section titles), taking third twice, second, and then first. He was also a three-time TRC-East champ, going 117 and 13 in his four years of varsity. Provided slashing and shooting to R-P’s mid-decade dynasty. Averaged 7.1 PPG, 11 PPG, and 10.7 PPG his last three years, finishing with 949 career points. Scored a career-high 23 points in the 2015 state title game, garnering game MVP and making the All-Tourney team for a second time. Coach Vix: “If Alex made a mistake, he immediately made a great play to make up for it.”
#6) Noah Carlson (G, R-P, 2013-2017, All-TRC twice): The most imposing defender on the list, a four-year varsity contributor for the Trojans. Carlson went 103-21 in that span, playing a part in two TRC-East title teams, a state runner-up, and a state champion. Averaged 11 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 4.4 APG, and 3.2 SPG as a junior, 9.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.8 APG, and 3.5 SPG as a senior. Finished with 798 points, 386 rebounds, 298 assists, and 290 steals including 17 career five-plus steal games. Coach Vix: “One of the best defenders and most gifted athletes of the decade.”
#7) Steve Smith (C, M-C, 2008-2012, All-SEC twice): This list’s top big guy, Smith averaged a double-double in back-to-back seasons junior (22 PPG, 11.2 RPG) and senior years (19.9 PPG, 11.8 RPG), easily shooting plus-50% from the field each campaign. He is still M-C’s all-time leading boys’ scorer with 1,379 points. He is M-C’s all-time leading rebounder as well with 806 boards. Former Coach Wyffels: “Steve was always focused, hard-working, and positive. He led with his attitude, work ethic, and demeanor.”
#8) Drew Wyffels (G, M-C, 2015-2019, All-SEC thrice): The Cougars best PG ever, holds M-C records for career assists and steals. Scored 1,177 career points, racked up 550-plus rebounds, 550-plus assists, and 250-plus steals in his four years. Averaged at least 10 points, five rebounds, five assists, and 2.5 steals per game both junior and senior years. Coach Larson: “Drew was easy to coach. He did everything well. He was always around the ball and anticipating where it was going, long rebounds steals.” Wyffels is now at Wartburg for football and baseball.
#9) Cole Schwichtenberg (G, Lanesboro, 2013-2017, All-SEC thrice): As a senior PG, averaged a double-double (19 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 4.5 APG). Was strong as a sophomore (14.5 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 3.7 APG) and junior (16.7 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 3.9 APG) as well. Led Lanesboro in scoring, rebounding, and assists his last two years. Finished with 1,326 career points, almost 600 rebounds. Former Coach Hanson: “When your best player is your hardest worker, it raises the level of everyone around them. He never missed a practice or game in four years.”
#10) Nate Skare (G, Chatfield, 2010-2014, All-TRC thrice): Chatfield’s four-year guard, Skare had splendid outside shooting. He led the Gophers in scoring three straight years, averaging 12.7 PPG game as a junior then 13.8 PPG as senior. Finished his career with 1,117 points. Chatfield went 15-11 and 19-7 (their latest best season) his last two years. Former Coach Tom Bance: “Really good shooter and very smart player… very coachable as well.”
#11) Trent Vix (G, R-P, 2009-2012, All-TRC twice): Teamed with Nick Thompson to form an impressive teammate scoring duo. Averaged 12.8 PPG as a junior, then 15.8 PPG as a senior. Hit 101 total threes as a senior, including six-plus five times. Hit nine in the state third place game, one short of a record. Helped R-P to a state third place finish in 2012, making the All-Tourney team. Trent has coached Houston the past three years.
#12) Jacob Rindels (G, Kingsland, 2012-2015, All TRC 2015): A three-year starter, Rindels averaged 15.2 PPG and 4.7 RPG as a junior, 15.7 PPG and 6.6 RPG as a senior. Finished with 1,032 career points. Scored a career-high 34 points in the epic 1A semi comeback win over SG in 2015, as the Knights made the 1A East final. Coach Fenske: “(Jacob) was full of energy… had to hold him back at times…a great athlete with a very quick first step.”
#13) Wyatt Pruter (G, Kingsland, 2016-2019, All-TRC 2018, All-SEC 2019): A three-year player, Pruter was the SEC’s second leading scorer as a senior with 21.8 PPG. Averaged 15.1 PPG as a junior. Finished his career with 1,228 career points. Played on three Knight Squads that all amassed 15-plus wins. Coach Fenske: “Smooth. Everything he did just looked natural. (He) put a lot of time and effort into his game and it paid off.”
#14) Reid Johnson (G, Chatfield, 2017 to present, All-TRC twice): The only active player on this list, Johnson is already over 1,200 points with senior year left. Averaged 11.8 PPG as a frosh, 16.6 PPG as a sophomore, and 19.2 PPG as a junior, leading the Gophers each year. Head Coach Jeff DeBuhr: “Tough competitor who tries to do things the right way. Improved greatly as a shooter in his time in the program.”
#15) Austin O’Hare (G/F, R-P, 2011-2014, All-TRC 2013): Played an integral part of two TRC-East champion teams, three section title teams, and three state teams (third, third, and second place finishes). O’Hare’s record was 85-12. Averaged 10.2 PPG and 7.9 PPG his last two years. His defensive length and stamina were keys to R-P’s defense. Made state All-Tourney team as a senior. Coach Vix: “A long-armed defender with point guard skills.”
#16) Charlie Krambeer (G, R-P, 2012-2015, All-TRC twice): Joins classmates Kingsley and Vix on this list, finished with 273 career threes at a 41.6% clip. Averaged 8.7 PPG, 10.2 PPG, and 14.2 PPG in his three years, finishing with 1,084 career points. Played on teams that went 91-7, taking third, second, and first at state. Was All-Tourney team as a senior and Class A All-State 3rd team. Coach Vix: “(A) tremendous three-point shooter.”
#17) Alex Van Gundy (G, Houston, 2016-2020, All-SEC twice): Used his excellent athleticism to have a stand-out three-year career. Averaged 16.9 PPG as a junior and 20.4 PPG as a senior. Finished career with 1,565 points, which is second in Houston school history to Andy Sires (1,673). KFIL director Luke Lonien: “A great shooter that could score in hurry and did a great job of facilitating the offense.”
#18) Luke Rogers (G/F, Lanesboro, 2011-2014, All-SEC twice): Brought a lot of versatility to the court, averaging 18.6 PPG, 7.7 RPG, and 2.8 APG as a junior, then 17.5 PPG, 7.9 RPG, and 3.0 APG as a senior. Ended up with 1,059 career points. Burros went 52-28 his three years including making the 2013 1A East final. Coach Smith: “Very knowledgeable player…knew the game…great hustle…great rebounder and played defense with pride.”
#19) Tanner Lange (G, Kingsland, 2009-2012, All-TRC twice): Played a big part in Kingsland’s early decade success. Lange averaged 12.7 PPG as a junior, then 20.1 PPG as a senior. Over those years, the Knights went 35-21. Included was the last Knights Boys team to hit 20 wins, the 20-9 squad which was 1AA West runner-up in 2011-2012. Lange finished with 1,005 career points and 282 career assists.
#20) Mikkel Schutte (F/C, Houston 2016-2020, All-SEC 2020): Posted the impressive “fantasy b-ball” line of 20.5 PPG, 12.1 RPG, 5.3 APG, 2.5 SPG, and 2.7 BPG as a senior (led Houston in all). Averaged a double-double (roughly 14 and 11) as a junior. Notched 40-point games both junior and senior years. Led SEC in rebounding twice. Luke Lonien: “Incredible athlete that could find his spots on the floor and score in bunches.”
#21) Landon Skalet (G, R-P, 2015-2019, All-TRC twice): A three-year starter, Skalet used his excellent three-point shooting to average 10.9 PPG as a junior (44.9% threes), 13.2 PPG as a senior (47.6% threes). Had an epic shot versus SG as a sophomore and an epic game (9-10 threes) versus Caledonia as a senior. Helped Trojans to state in 2018. Went 62-29 his last three years. Coach Vix: “Mr. Clutch on three-point shots late in the game.”
#22) Carson Schwichtenberg (G, Lanesboro, 2015-2019, All-SEC twice): Four-year player, scored 12.3 PPG as a sophomore, 15.4 PPG as a junior, and 18.6 PPG as a senior. Finished with 1,267 career points. Made 228 career threes. Coach Hanson: “(Carson) went from being mainly a standstill shooter as a sophomore to a much more versatile scorer as a senior.”
#23) Jayme LaPlante (F, Chatfield, 2011-2014, All-TRC twice): A physical and strong interior threat, LaPlante averaged 10.8 PPG and 6.2 RPG as a junior, then 13.6 PPG and 8.8 RPG as a senior. Coach Bance: “The most physically dominating player I have coached…he could score inside against almost anyone because of his strength and athletic ability.”
#24) Zach Bubany (G, Kingsland, 2015-2018, All-TRC 2018): A three-year starter for the Knights, ended up with over 850 career points. Averaged 13.4 PPG and 3.9 APG as a junior, 12.2 PPG and 5.6 APG as a senior. Helped the Knights to back-to-back 15-plus-win seasons, a 1A East runner finish in 2018. Coach Fenske: “Competitive. Always believed he would come out on top.”
#25) Nick Powell (F, FC, 2012-2014): Got the two-year treatment for FC (didn’t play varsity as a sophomore), but averaged 13.2 PPG and 8.2 RPG as a junior, then 17.8 PPG and 9.9 RPG as a senior. Never was purely All-TRC despite averaging 15.5 PPG and 9.0 RPG for a two-year career. Went on to play at Hamline.
#26) Zach Buchholtz (G/F, Kingsland, 2015-2017, All-TRC 2017): Blossomed his senior year, scoring 16.7 PPG after just 3.3 PPG as a junior. Hit 73% of his free throws and 49% of his field goals. Coach Fenske: “The most coachable player I have ever had the privilege of working with. Zach had unbelievable heart and a never quite attitude.”
#27) Quinn Larson (G, Kingsland, 2012-2016, All-TRC 2016): Four-year starter for the Knights, the lefty shooter averaged 7.5 PPG as a sophomore, 12.2 PPG as a junior, and 14.4 PPG as a senior. Finished with 1,161 career points. Coach Fenske: “A team could climb on Quinn’s back and he could carry them offensively.”
#28) Christian Bance (G, Chatfield, 2012-2015, All-TRC once): The Gophers good-shooting mid-decade player, Bance was a three-year player on a trio of above-five-hundred teams. He averaged 13.0 PPG as a junior shooting 42.9% from deep, then 14.5 PPG as a senior shooting 34.7% from deep. Finished with 887 career points. Coach Bance: “Hardest worker I have ever coached and put many hours in the gym getting better.”
#29) Austin Peplinski (G, Houston, 2013-2016, All-SEC once): Averaged 7.4 PPG as a sophomore, 14.6 PPG as a junior, and 18.0 PPG as a senior. Finished with 1,051 career points. Helped Houston to its most recent best season, a 22-5 campaign in 2015-2016.
#30) James Hongerholt (F, Houston, 2015-2019, All-SEC once): Wiry, athletic three-year inside presence for Houston, senior year was hampered by injury. Averaged upper teens in points and high single digits in rebounds junior year, then 15.5 PPG and 8 rebounds as a senior. Scored 1,050 career points.
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