First, thanks to some 97 to 100 of you who voted in the Player of the Year poll. The final tally shows 77 votes, but 20-some were lost to some sort of glitch. I have a general idea of which candidates lost those votes, and so my official estimated tally is as follows:
Kevin Love 35
Joe Coleman and Tyler Nicolai 14
Rachel Banham 12
Blake Hoffarber and Trevor Mbakwe 9
Jefferson Mason 3
Estan Tyler 1
Tyseanna Johnson and Trevor Witt 0
And, so, the award for Player of the Year goes to...well, Kevin Love, right? He won the poll. Well, sorry. This isn't American Idol. You get your vote, and then I get my pick.
I was all set to pick Nicolai, who led St. Thomas to its 1st national D3 championship. But you voters and visitors to this site convinced me. Kevin Love has had an absolutely remarkable season, against the toughest competition on the planet. This exercise (the poll) has convinced me that Love is the Player of the Year despite the truly horrible year that the Wolves are having as a team.
Minnesota Player of the Year 2011 (Final Top 5)
1. Kevin Love
2. Joe Coleman
3. Tyler Nicolai
4. Rachel Banham
5. Blake Hoffarber
Vote early, vote often for the Minnesota Hoops Basketball Player of the Year for 2010-2011. All it takes is 2 clicks (per vote) to the right.
EDIT 3: Dreaded glitch! When I went to bed last night, there were 70-some votes. When I got out of bed this morning, there were 51. I have a vague idea how many votes each player lost, so I'll factor that back in in the end.
EDIT 2: Scroll down to the next post for the history of MN Hoops Player of the Year awards.
EDIT 1: Here are the finalists:
• Rachel Banham, Lakeville North, Sr., G--One-and-a-half times MN player of the year (shared with teammate Cassie Rochel a year ago). State AAAA champion in 2010, 3rd place in 2011. Gopher recruit.
• Joe Coleman, Hopkins, Sr., F/G--Also a Gopher recruit. Also 2011 player of the year. Did Banham one better with his 2nd state AAAA title this year.
• Blake Hoffarber, Minnesota Gophers, Sr., G--Struggled after being moved from shooting guard to point guard after the loss of Al Nolen to injury and Devoe Joseph to selfishness and stypidity. Too bad. A class act.
• Tyseanna Johnson, DeLaSalle, Soph., F--All-state as an 8th grader, now state champ as a sophomore. Scored more than 80 points in 3 state tournament wins.
• Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves, F--The master of the double-double. Broke 30 year old records for double-doubles. His 31/31 game (points/rebounds) was the 1st in the NBA in more than 30 years.
• Jefferson Mason, Minnesota-State Mankato, Sr., F--Former Cooper star led Mavericks to NSIC regular season title and national D2 Final Four.
• Trevor Mbakwe, Minnesota Gophers, Jr., F--Former Henry Sibley and St. Bernard's star made 2nd team all-Big Ten for the Gophers.
• Tyler Nicolai, St. Thomas, Sr. G--Nicolai was Hoffarbe's point guard at Hopkins, now a D3 all-America and national champion.
• Estan Tyler, St. Paul Johnson, Sr., G--The straw that stirs the drink at Johnson, 57-4 in 2 years with Tyler at the point.
• Trevor Witt, St. Cloud State, Sr., G--Led the Huskies to the D2 Final Four last year, scoring 43 points in the Elite Eight game. Pre-season NSIC Player of the Year. He had another great year but the team fell short.
ORIGINAL POST (continued)
Just for the record, I had a hard time narrowing it down to 10 candidates. Among the players of note who didn't make the list are the following who are nevertheless worthy of mention:
11. Michelle Young
12. Jackie Johnson
13. Rebekah Dahlman
14. Jeremy Sutherland
15. Jineen Williams
16. Marcus Hill
17. Brianna Williams
18. Angie Jetvig
19. Alex Richter
20. Maurika Hickman
21. Aaron Burtzel
22. Jason White
23. Al Nolen
24. Marvin Singleton
25. Beth Doolittle