Tuesday, March 23, 2010

About Those MSHSL All-Tournament Teams

When the all-tournament teams at the recent MSHSL girls tournament were announced, I noticed that they were selected by the Coaches' Association. Good for them. The media is woefully under-qualified for the job. Is this new? Didn't the media select the all-tournament team last year?

Well, either way, the most basic thing that bugs me about the all-tournament team remains. They should just say its the all-semifinalists' team. Girls whose teams lost in the 1st round are not eligible. They don't say it, and the suggestion is given that those girls were considered and determined not to be good enough. That's insulting. And it's silly, because it says that the 3rd best player on a 1st round winner is better than anybody on the losing team, and that is almost never ever true.

And so what they did this year--and what they do most years--is that they pick 3 each from the 2 finalists, and 2 each from the other two semi-finalists, no matter what. There've been some pretty wacky picks over the years. I can think of a couple who scored about 10 points. In the entire tournament.

How much difference would a better, more thoughtful methodology make? Well, in this year's tournament, not a lot, because many of the 1st round losers were just totally overmatched. The biggest oversight this year, then, was of the old-fashioned kind. They just blew it.


Cannot argue with Rachel Banham and Cassie Rochel of Lakeville North. Cannot argue with Julia Dysthe and Alexis Foley of White Bear. Cannot argue with Brooke Brown of Chaska or Kristi Kuhn of Wayzata.

Can argue about the rest. Can argue about the fact that they decided on a 3-3-3-1 pattern instead of the usual 3-3-2-2.

The one they blew was Marissa Grossfeld of Wayzata. The sophomore forward scored 14, 11 and 16 points in the 3 games and had the second best rebound total in AAAA, 35, compared to Rochel's 39. In her place you had Apiew Ojulu of Lakeville who scored 14 points in the entire tournament. In her place you had Brianna Tisch of Chaska who scored 32 points, and whom Grossfeld outscored 16-13 head to head. Why a 3rd choice for Chaska? Sort of a lifetime achievement award, I'm thinking. And in her place was Carly Jensen of White Bear. She was terrific in the final with 19 points, so you might overlook the fact that she scored only 7 points in her other 2 games. So, the question is not so much Carly Jensen, it's Marissa Grossfeld.

And it's a question of Ellen Degler. The Chaska forward scored 19, zero and 18 points. The goose egg came against Lakeville North. It's true that Degler was not effective in that game, but it's also true that she missed part of the 1st half and all of the 2nd with a messy cut above her nose that required 6 stitches. Unlike Jensen, she had 2 outstanding games, to she stays.

Then there's the traditional 1st round losers. Carly Rothstein was as good as anybody for White Bear in their 1st round match-up, she just didn't have any help. Here's a girl who scored 18 with 5 boards and she loses out to a girl who scores 14 in 3 games? Pu-leeze.

And St. Francis gave Chaska a pretty good run before fading at the end. All of St. Francis' guards were solid ballplayers--the most solid this particular day was Jordan Falk with 16 points and 4 steals. Again, she loses out to a girl who scores fewer points in 3 games than Falk did in 1?

So anyway, here's my AAAA all-state tournament team.

1. MVP: Cassie Rochel, Lakeville North, C
2. Rachel Banham, Lakeville North, G, jr.
3. Alexis Foley, White Bear Lake, G, soph.
4. Brooke Brown, Chaska, G
5. Julia Dysthe, White Bear Lake, G
6. Marissa Grossfeld, Wayzata, F, soph.
7. Kristi Kuhn, Wayzata, G
8. Carly Rothstein, St. Michael-Albertville, F
9. Ellen Degler, Chaska, F

And #10. This is a tough choice among Falk, Tisch, Kayla Timmerman of Wayzata and Jensen. I guess I would take Tisch who also had 2 good games, versus Falk and Timmerman and Jensen who had one good game each. That makes for a weird pattern of 2-2-3-2-1 all-tournament players on the top 5 teams. But so be it. It's an individual award. Those other kids got what they deserved, which was a team trophy.


Hannah Smith of Willmar should have been recognized. She had 17 points, 13 boards and 2 blocks in a 1st round loss and, in fact, outplayed any of Benilde's 3 all-state selections.


Marissa Janning scored 27 points with 6 steals in a 1st round loss. You had 3 girls on the all-state team who didn't score 27 points across 3 games. Doh!


You can look up who made the team. Here there were as many as 15 who were deserving. Here I thought a couple of 1st round losers were not just deserving, but more so than some who made the team. I would add:

Kara Van Dyke, Southwest Christian 13 points/11 rebounds
Onye Osemenam, Maranatha 15 points/9 rebounds/7 blocks

So here's a deal. I'll take all the players who didn't make all-tournament and make a team. And with that team (okay, and Erin Herman to pull the strings), I'll win a tournament or two. Just not Class AAAA.

1 comment:

  1. You haven't figured it out yet. Most of these picks are pure politics. That's why we have 4 classes, everyone wins, its gotta be even blah blah. I agree with you in some respects, however it is called ALL TOURNY TEAM for a reason. 3 games. Too much is weight is given to points scored and not enough to the other facets, ie. Rebounds, defense good enough to shut down a scorer on the other team. If a guard that averages 14 pts only scores 6 in a game but her opponent who avgs. 22 pts/gm scores only 6 that guard accounted for a big swing in the game. Coaches that vote are familiar with teams in their section etc. Very few watch the other games ( its much worse now with 4 classes and different venues ) so they look at stats (points) and more deserving players get passed over...