Sunday, June 13, 2010

2010 More, Younger Girls Excelling in AAU Summer Btball

A couple days ago I highlighted some of the 15 and 16 year old girls who are playing particularly good ball this summer. Today, here are some of the younger girls who are doing the same. Allof the picks are based on info published by Kevin Anderson at

T.T. Starks, North Tartan Kuppe (12s) and Mpls. North. Last March I saw Benilde-SM come from behind in the final minute to edge North in the 5AAA section final. Benilde, of course, went on to take the state title behind such established stars as Itisha Alexander, Olivia Antilla, Josie Dillon and Khadidja Shumpert. North's 7th grader (class of 2015), T.T. Starks was the best player on the court. Recently, Starks led NT Kuppe to the state AAU title among the 12 & unders, scoring 24 points in a 49-26 win over Metro Stars Wiese.

Kristina White, Minnesota Suns Davison (14s) and Woodbury. Kevin Anderson called White (class of 2013) the best 3 point shooter regardless of age in the AAU state tournament field as she scored 37 points in 2 games to lead the #4 seeded Suns to the state title. They hammered the #1 seeded MN Stars Smith 70-43 behind White's 21, and then beat Metro Stars Amos 69-57 in the final.

Nia Coffey, Metro Stars Amos (14s) and Hopkins. Richard Coffey's younger daughter (class of 2013) led the Stars with 13 points and 6 defensive stops in the loss to the Suns, and had 17 with 10 defensive stops in a 55-30 win over MN Stars Berkvam in the AAU qualifier the previous week. (The numbers are courtesy of kjasr.)

Kiara Russell, MN Stars Martin (11s) and unknown. Russell (class of 2016) impressed with 22 points in the 11 & U AAU final as the Stars defeated the Midtown Monarchs 53-34.

DeAnna Winston, Midtown Monarchs (10s) and Hopkins. Winston (class of 2017) led the Monarchs to the 10 & under championship with 18 points and also scored 6 for the Monarchs 11s in their loss to the Stars. The 10s beat MN Stars Johnson 49-25.

2nd Team

Chelsey McGee, MN Suns Davison and Mpls. North (2013)
Angie Davison, MN Suns Davison and Maple Grove (2013)
Sam Trammel, North Tartan Kuppe and Hopkins (2015)
Michelle Johnson, Midtown Monarchs and Hopkins (2017)
MaKenna Panning, Metro Stars Broback and Chaska (2014)

3rd Team
MC McGrory, Metro Stars Amos and Edina (2013)
Micaela Noga, North Tartan Alexander and Parkers Prairie (2014)
Tia Elbert, North Tartan Alexander and Tartan (2014)
Nia Hollie, MN Stars Martin and unknown (2016)
Abbey Rostamo, MN Stars Johnson and unknown (2017)

Honorable Mention

Grace Sawatske, MN Stars Antl and Monticello (2014)
Alaysha Sutton, Midtown Monarchs and Hopkins (2016)
Larissa Lurken, MN Stars Smith and Park (2013)
M'Caela Seller, Midtown Monarchs and Lakeville (2016)
Grayson Schroeder, MN Suns Quattrocchi and Lakeville South (2014)

Look out for Hopkins, with 5 girls among these top 20, including Nia Coffey (2014), Sam Trammel (2015), Alaysha Sutton (2016), and DeAnna Winston and Michelle Johnson (2017). More immediately, look out for a resurgence from Woodbury. Michelle Young (2011) was MVP of the Battle of the Hardwood, while Kristina White (2013) was one of the top two younger girls at the AAU tournament. Of course, they only get one year together. Mpls. North gets 3 years of T.T. Starks (2015) and Chelsey McGee (2013), and will still have 2 more years of Starks remaining after that, assuming that North High remains open.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

2010 Young Stars Emerging in AAU Play

Giving credit where it's due...if you're interested in girls basketball, whether in the high schools or the clubs, my buddy Kevin Anderson's Web site is where you oughta be. There's a link to the right that you can click on, though I will tell you that to get the really good $%^& you're going to need to subscribe. It is well worth it.

But I gave KJ a little bit of @#*+ the other day over his weekly all-star teams. He's got certain criteria that a girl has to hit in order to be one of his all-stars and I think he misses the best girls that way, though I see the value of what he does. But anyway, reading all of his posts, including between the lines, I came up with weekly all-star teams of my own. These are the 15 and 16 year olds only.

AAU Minnesota State Tournament (2 weeks ago)

Jackie Johnson, Metro Stars Reiter and Eden Prairie 2012, my MVP
Rachel Banham, North Tartan Coury and Lakeville North 2011

Mikayla Bailey, North Tartan Hedstrom and Osseo 2012
Brittney Scherber, Metro Stars Reiter and Bloomington Jefferson 2012
Michelle Young, Mero Stars Reiter and Woodbury 2011


Whitney Tinjum, North Tartan Hedstrom and Chisago Lakes 2012
Josie Dillon, North Tartan Hedstrom and Benilde-SM 2012
Apiew Ojulu, MN Stars Borowicz and Lakeville North 2011
Gretchen Kletscher, MN Comets Noreen and Brainerd 2012
Anna Smith, Metro Stars Reiter and Bloomington Jefferson 2011


Alexis Burbul, MN Suns Hill and Tartan 2011
Alexis Foley, MN Fury Storm and White Bear Lake 2011
Jen Hill, MN Suns Hill and St. Paul Central 2012
Phyllis Webb, MN Stars Taylor and Osseo 2012
Maren Greenwaldt, MN Stars Peterson and Sauk Centre 2011


Mariah Adanane, MN Fury Cerisier and Mpls. Southwest 2012
Tessa Cichy, MN Fury Storm and Hill Murray 2012
Mariah Clarin, North Tartan Coury and Princeton 2011
Kali Peschel, North Tartan Hedstrom and Sauk Centre 2011
Emily Lueck, Lake Area Starz and Pequot Lakes 2011
Brook Gaustad, MN Comets Noreen and Grafton, ND 2012
Megan Roehrick, North Tartan Steck and Fargo South 2011
Jessica Buck, MN Crush and Burnsville 2012
Amanda Radel, MN Comets Noreen and New London-Spicer 2012
Karen Sass, MN Fury Rochester and Chatfield 2012

Battle of the Hardwood (last weekend)

Michelle Young again, my MVP, 1st team last week
Jackie Johnson again, my MVP last week
Cara Lutes, MN Suns Arbogast and New Life 2011
Beth Doolittle, MN Fury Storm and Hill Murray 2011
Alexis Foley again, 3rd team last week

2nd Team

Megan Pold, MN Fury Sorenson and Prior Lake 2012
Amber Sorenson, MN Fury Sorenson and Caledonia 2011
Kayla Hulsebus, MN Suns Arbogast and St. Croix Lutheran 2011
Tesha Buck, North Tartan Hedstrom and Red Wing 2012
Elizabeth Keena, North Tartan Steck and Hastings 2011

3rd Team

Anna Smith again, 2nd team last week
Whitney Tinjum again, 2nd team last week
Whitney Weisz, North Tartan Steck and Little Falls 2012
Rebekah Dahlman, North Tartan Hedstrom and Braham 2013
Elizabeth Zilverberg, MN Suns Arbogast and Minnetonka 2011


Alyssa Kerkhoff, MN Fury Storm and NHREG 2011
Tessa Cichy again, also HM last week
Ellen Edison, Metro Stars Reiter and Maple Grove 2011
Karli Meyer, MN Lakers and Adrian 2011
Megan DeRuyter, MN Lakers and Edgerton SW Christian 2012


Many of these girls have not yet made much of an impression at their high school, even some of the 2011s. But they're for real and you'll be hearing about them next winter. Especially these girls who played well both weeks.

Michelle Young, Woodbury, looking for a breakthrough
Jackie Johnson, Eden Prairie, ditto

Alexis Foley, White Bear Lake, has already broken through, absolutely for real
Anna Smith, Jefferson, looking for a breakthrough
Whitney Tinjum, Chisago Lakes, not much notoriety up there for the Lakers, but the real deal

Tessa Cichy, Hill Murray, way on the radar already, manages to disappoint a lot, bad shooting mechanics, but a great athlete and a great defender

Also under the radar previously but distinguishing themselves this summer:

Elizabeth Zilverberg, Minnetonka
Megan DeRuyter, SW Christian, saw her in the state tournament, very much for real
Gretchen Kletscher, Brainerd
Karen Sass, Chatfield
Jessica Buck, Burnsville

Go girls!

And While We're At It....Best Athletes (Period) 2000-2009

1. Tiger Woods

There can be little dispute that this list really consists of the most charismatic, the most iconic, the most notorious of athletes, not necessarily the best. In Tiger's case, however, there can be little dispute that he was the best. Nobody dominated his sport without a chemical assist in the way that Tiger has. And while Tiger remains #2 on the list of major tournament champions behind Jack Nicklaus, nobody has ever dominated the game of golf like Tiger has. All things considered, he is the Michael Jordan of the '00s.

2. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning

Football remains America's national pastime, and the QB remains the heart of any good football team, and these 2 guys were the best at the most iconic athletic position. They have to rate pretty highly if only on that basis.

3. Barry Bonds

How can he rate this highly? How can he not? Tiger is only competing with Jack Nicklaus. Bonds' accomplishment eclipsed those of the most immortal American athlete ever, Babe Ruth, to a degree that even Aaron and McGwire can't match. The fact that he became the poster child for the great athletic debate of our time only enhances his notoriety. But seriously, he was almost this good even without the 'roids, and I admit I am as much put off by the pious moralizing of the anti-'roids camp as I am by the 'roids themselves.

4. Michael Phelps

Greatest Olympic champion ever?

5. Shaquille O'Neal

Only Michael was as dominant since Wilt and Kareem.

6. Lance Armstrong

AP Athlete of the Year how many times in a row?

7. Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera

A-Rod is better, but these are the icons of what continues to be the most iconic franchise in America.

8. Shawn White

Seriously, don't you want your kids to grow up to be like Shawn White?

9. Roger Federer

Best ever but a bit weak in the charisma category if you ask me.

10. Venus and Serena Williams

Name me a more colorful pair of sisters in sports, ever. Maybe Flo Jo and Jackie, but they were only sisters-in-law.

11. Usain Bolt. Bolt, is right.

12. Annika Sorenstam. One of the classier people on the sporting horizon during the '00s.

13. Alex Rodriguez. The 2nd best hardball guy but not the most charismatic.

14. Apolo Ono. Pretty good skater, seems like a pretty good guy.

15. Albert Pujols. Great hitter.

16. Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan. Overshadowed by Shaq but very effective.

17. Phil Mikkelson. Will go down in history as a foil, but a damn good foil.

18. Brett Favre and Kurt Warner. The older version of Brady and Manning.

19. Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez. The great pitchers.

20. LaDanian Tomlinson. Remember when the running back used to be the superstar of the gridiron? Neither do I.

21. Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin. A great, great duel in the '08 Olympics.

22. Steve Nash. The point guard is the heart and soul of the modern basketball team, and yet there hasn't been a really super-duperstar "1" since Magic. Nash is just the next coming of Stockton.

23. Paul Hamm. It's fading from memory but the men's gymnastics competition from '04 was pretty exciting.

24. Lorena Ochoa. Seems like she coulda/shoulda/woulda done more.

25. Marion Jones. Another one whose disgrace sort of adds to the iconic appeal.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Worst. List. Ever. Best Minnesota Athletes of the Decade 2000-2009

This was way back in December, but maybe you saw the Pioneer Press' list of the best Minnesota athletes of the decade past. Best athletes. Worst list. I responded with the following letter to the editor.

"Wow. Your Sports Men of the Decade (Sunday, December 27, 2009) is the worst list ever. Brett Favre has been a Minnesotan for five months. Lindsay Whalen, Natalie Darwitz and Krissy Wendell have been Minnesotans and active in their sports for ten years, and all three took Minnesota sports teams to heights they had never before achieved. Lindsay Vonn has been the greatest skier in the world for two years. The Gopher women played in four Final Fours—basketball once, volleyball thrice.

Don’t get me wrong. This letter is not about women. (You also missed on J Robinson, whose coaching accomplishments far outstrip anything Ron Gardenhire, Jacques Lemaire and Kevin McHale have ever done.) It’s about sports, and sporting events and stories and athletes who mattered in the 2000s, except apparently at the Pioneer Press. Where were you guys? Not in my world."

Just for the record, the PiPress list consisted of 10 men who worked for the Twins, Vikings, Timberwolves and Wild, and that's it. Now, that is just ignorant. So, what was happening in my world? This is what was happening in my world.

Best Minnesota Athletes 2000-2009

1. Lindsay Whalen. Nobody played his or her sport with more flair, nor drew more kids to their sport. All of those 3rd and 4th and 5th grade girls from 2002-2003-2004 are high school age today, and maybe you've seen how good Minnesota high school girls ball is now. Thanks, Lindsay, and welcome home.

2. Joe Mauer. Joe was the PiPress' #1 pick, and it's hard to argue with that after 3 batting titles and the 2009 AL MVP Award. And, don't forget, he was the high school player of the year in football as well as baseball at Cretin back in 2001.

3. Natalie Darwitz and Krissy Wendell. High school. Gophers. U.S. Olympic team. They've excelled at every level. Minnesota will not see the likes of these two again.

4. Kevin Garnett. The holes in KG's game have become well known over the years, and people are more willing to acknowledge them now that he's no longer one of us. Still, he was probably one of the top 10 players in the world at his peak. The fact that the Wolves' "brain trust" couldn't even begin to put the pieces around him speaks powerfully to their ineptitude.

5. Adrian Peterson. Running backs can break down really really fast in the NFL, and so AP's best days may already be behind him. But in the beginning, he looked like the second coming of Sweetness, Walter Payton, and Jimmy Brown, all rolled up into one.

6. Lindsay Vonn. The world's greatest skier and an SI swimsuit model on top of it.

7. Torii Hunter and Justin Morneau. Torii certainly not as good as he thought, and Morneau not really an MVP caliber player--at least, not then. Maybe now. But all-stars, yes, deserving all-stars and that ain't bad.

8. Brock Lesnar. What a specimen.

9. Thomas Vanek. Gopher hockey has never been the same since he left. And you thought it was Luccia.

10. Johan Santana. Pretty good pitcher but, really, who needs 'em?

Best Minnesota Coaches 2000-2009

The PiPress' list included coaches and managers, so here are my top 3.

1. J Robinson. Gophers' wrestling coach is the best coach in Minnesota by a country mile. Well, no, that's not quite right. Best by a country mile except against this next guy.

2. Mike Hebert, Gophers' volleyball coach, has taken Minnesota to three Final Fours. Minnesota? Volleyball? I thought volleyball was dominated by those sun-kissed girls from the beaches of California and Hawaii. Not anymore.

3. Jacques Lemaire. Jacque and the Wild had a nice run there for awhile. The fact that they went backwards in the end seemed more Risebrough's responsibility than Jacques.'

Minnesota Basketball 2000-2009

Since this is a basketball blog, I'll just point out that Whalen and Garnett at #1 and #4 were pretty prominent on the Minnesota sporting scene, though not so prominent in Whalen's case as to make the Pi Press' top 10.

Is it a surprise that no Gopher men made the list?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Minnesota Angles on John Wooden

You can read it in our book, Minnesota Hoops, or you can check it out at my friend and co-author Stew Thornley's Web site at:

That, my friends, would be the story of how John Wooden almost became the Minnesota Gophers basketball coach in 1948 but instead ended up at UCLA where, well, you might have heard of him. Stew's the one who developed the story, so check it out on his Web site, but suffice it to say that the story that Wooden told about those events don't pass the smell test. Maybe it's because the Gopher AD, Frank McCormick, gave Wooden a line for whatever reason.

My own opinion is that the Gophers clearly would have wanted Ozzie Cowles as their coach at that time. Cowles was a Minnesota native and a Carleton grad--a college teammate with the great Joe Hutton and another future Gopher coach, Carl Nordly. Cowles had led Dartmouth to six straight Ivy League titles and 2nd place in the 1942 NCAA tournament. Then he came to Michigan and promptly led the Wolverines to their first Big Ten title in a generation and, heck, their first winning season in almost as long. It's totally plausible to me that McCormick wasn't sure he could get Cowles and so he had Wooden as leverage and/or a fall-back. But once Cowles came on board, there was no hurry with Wooden. That's what I think happened but, again, Stew has all the details.

The side story on Cowles, by the way, was that he was unhappy at Michigan because it was all football, all the time. One day athletic director and football coach Fritz Crisler stopped by Cowles' office and said, Hey, Oz, where ya been? Haven't seen you in awhile. Well, coach, Cowles had been in New York with his Wolverines for a week playing in the NIT. And the AD didn't know about it. So Cowles left and came to Minnesota, thus preventing us from getting the Wizard of Dinkytown...?

A decade later, they say that Cowles was let go as Gopher coach because he's been making a little too much of a profit off of his complementary tickets. It's been rumored for years, though I will admit that no tangible evidence of this has come to light.

Well, anyway, so much for the preamble. The real John Wooden angle to me is the fast break. Wooden's obit today said he brought an uptempo style to UCLA that was virtually unknown on the Pacific coast. Well, hell, the fast break was virtually unknown everywhere until after World War II. Except at Purdue where legendary coach Piggy Lambert had played it for a quarter-century. Purdue had been a doormat when Lambert came on board around 1918 or so. Everybody was playing a slow-down, ball-control style of play, and Lambert figured he might as well try something different. Indiana-Lite wasn't cutting it. Ergo, the fast break. 1932 was the big breakthrough with 6-6 center Stretch Murphy hitting the boards and getting the ball out to the fast break specialist, a guard named (you guessed it) John Wooden. Lambert, Murphy and Wooden claimed a mythical national title in that year.

Well, Lambert wrote a book which, bye and bye, fell into the hands of one completely unknown and unsung coach, Chet Bisel, at the tiny little town of Lynd, Minnesota. Bisel adopted the fast break and in 1946 brought his Panthers to the state high school tournament. Gopher fans had seen Lambert's fast break but no one had ever seen, or even contemplated, a high school team running it. People said all that running would be unhealthy for teenage boys. So, in all the run-up, the Lynd story was that it was one of if not the smallest town ever to send a team to the tournament. There was virtually nothing about the fast break.

And so, Lynd's 58-47 upset of perennial power Crosby-Ironton in the first round was one of those games that people talked about for decades. No one had every seen anything like it. They say that C-I took three timeouts in the first half just to catch their breath.

Lacking the element of surprise, Lynd struggled to beat Stillwater 45-39 in the semi's, but there was the tournament's first ever documented behind-the-back-pass by Lynd guard Casper Fisher. Lynd ran out of gas in the final--or, more like it, ran out of the rebounds that are needed to trigger the fast break--and lost to Austin 63-31.

This was Lambert's fast break and Bisel's team, not Wooden's. But as disciples of Piggy Lambert, Bisel and Wooden were brothers in arms. Both of them absolutely blew basketball fans away with the audacity and precision of a style of play that, to this day, causes the more fearful members of their profession to recoil.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Finally Finals

NBA and TV executives are relieved to see perennial rivals the Boston Celtics and L.A. Lakers in the NBA finals. TV ratings should be pretty good. I, personally, am sick to death of the two franchises. To sustain interest, I'm focusing on the Minnesota angle. In this corner, the former Minneapolis Lakers. In that, former Minnesota Timberwolf Kevin Garnett.

Garnett has obviously slipped this past year. He's no longer an elite offensive player. I mean, Ray Allen outscored him and Allen has looked to be in decline for a couple of years now. But, hey, his (Garnett's) defense and rebounding when it really matters are still pretty darn good. The Lakers throw Pau Gasol up against KG and, unlike 2 years ago, Gasol looks to be ready for prime time, out-scoring and out-rebounding Garnett a decisive 23-16 and 14-4, respectively.

And make no mistake about it, this is the key match-up. Kobe is going to outplay Ray Allen, and Rajon Rondo is going to out-play Derek Fisher. And Paul Pierce is going to outplay Ron Artest, which adds up to a 2-1 edge for the Celtics in those position where there's a clear edge.

The posts, Kenrick Perkins and Andrew Bynum, have both seen their games diminished the past month or so--Perkins distracting himself with all that emotion and all those technical fouls, Bynum with bad knees. They were pretty much a wash the other night, and so were the 2 benches. The Celtics' scored 16 points in 69 minutes, the Lakers' 15 in 64.

So that means that Gasol has to continue to out-play KG for the Lakers to win. I'm not convinced that's going to happen, certainly not at the Gahden. Still, in addition to the numbers I gave you above, it's also true that Gasol got to the line 10 times and KG only 2. Garnett is just not really tough with the rock in his hand, settling for those fall-away jumpers when he should be leaning in and getting the dunk.

Of course, the Lakers also got 30 points from Kobe the other night, which is not unimportant. They're going to need about 30 per night from him throughout this play-off series if they're going to win.

Bottom line: Lakers in 7. Kobe is just too good, and Gasol is just good enough.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Lynx Turning It Around?

I don't know how good of an opponent the Phoenix Mercury are. They're not a very good defensive team, and they're not deep. They've given up 91 points per game, and gave up 92 to the Lynx who had scored 58 in their previous outing. And their bench contributed 43 minutes and 9 points versus the Lynx' 69 and 51.

Still, a win is a win, even a 10 point win (92-82) at home against a mediocre opponent. No, that's not right. This one was bigger than that. Coach Cheryl Reeves said afterward that it was a statement game, and I hope that's right. The Lynx came in with a 5 game losing streak and lots of excuses. But last night there were no excuses.

Instead, there was all-star Candice Wiggins in her first game back from a knee injury, putting in 16 minutes at both guard spots, scoring 8 points including a big 3 during a big 3rd quarter rally and providing a huge upgrade for the Lynx at the backup point guard spot.

And, there was Rebekah "the Beautiful Beast" (as at least one fan called her) Brunson, a late arrival from overseas in just her 3rd game with her new team, contributing 16 points and a team high 15 boards and 4 steals.

And, there was Monica Wright, suddenly not looking so much like the rookie that she so much has looked like up til now. But, now, 32 points on 12-of-23 shooting and nary a turnover.

And, consider that the Lynx' best player is still not back on the court after off-season surgery.

Still, I don't know how good of an opponent the Phoenix Mercury are, and so I don't know if this will turn out to be a statement game or not. It's only a statement if you back it up the rest of the way. But Wiggins', Brunson's and Wright's performances sure give you hope.

The first half was tight. The Mercs led 8 times, the Lynx 6 and there were 5 ties. The largest leads were 19-14 Phoenix and 40-36 Lynx. At the half it was 40-38. The Lynx cleverly dominated the final minutes of each half, snapping off 5-0 (1st quarter) and 7-2 (2nd) runs down the stretch. In the 1st quarter it was Wright and Quanitra Hollingsworth coming off the bench to score all of those 5 points, while in the 2nd it was Wiggins, also off the bench, with another big 3, and starters Brunson and Nicky Anosike with 2 each. Anosike (3) and Brunson (2) got all 5 of the Lynx' assists during the 2 1st half runs.

The Mercury won the 4th quarter 27-24, so now you know that the 3rd was all Lynx. From 40-40 they sprinted out to 64-48 lead at 2:46 and Phoenix never got closer than 6, and that was inside of 0:20. Wright scored 9, Wiggins 5 and Brunson 4 during the period, as the Lynx overall hit 12-of-22 shots. Brunson and Anosike snared 9 boards during the 3rd, and 4 different players had assists.

Almost lost in the shuffle are the Lynx' 2 most reliable scorers in the early going, Charde Houston and Rashanda McCants, so this is shaping up to be a fiendishly deep team that will allow Reeves to keep fresh horses on the court and to find and exploit the right match-ups depending on the opponent.

Also, almost lost in the shuffle, unlikely as that may seem: Lindsay Whalen. Lindsay played 26 minutes and had 11 points, 5 assists, 6 boards and just 1 turnover. She hit just 1-of-5 FG but made all 9 FT.

The starting lineup, BTW, was Anosike-Brunson-Maiga-Ba-Whalen-McCants. There would seem to be a couple of placeholders there, so longer term the lineup is what you once thought it would be: Anosike-Brunson-Augustus-Whalen-Wiggins. Houston has to get some minutes, and Wright has to play especially in light of the fact that Wiggins is the #2 at #1. Maiga-Ba, McCants and Hollingsworth add depth. That still looks like a competitive lineup, which makes today's 2-and-5 record, well, it's still disappointing. I thought they'd be at least 3-4 at this point. But considering the roster issues, you gotta stay patient, and last night makes staying patient a little bit more palatable.