Sunday, April 17, 2011

Moron the Girls High School All-Star Games

I was not able to see the Saturday finals, but I obtained copies of the box score for all 4 games. Here are the highlights. What you'll see for each team/game is everybody's points, plus the top 2 and ties in the other categories:

A = Assist, B = Block, R= Rebound, T = Turnover

Friday Semis

Class A 83 Class AAA 82

Class A

Hoglo 0 1B 5T
Overbye 9 5A 1B 1S 4T
Ferry 8 7R 1B 2S
Ilgen 8 1B
Newman 14 5A 6R 1S my game MVP (I saw this game)
Nagle 9 1S
Runck 6 1S
Muhl 22
Lutes 2 2B 1S
Meyer 5 1S


Ulveling 0 3T
Margarit 11 3A
Chuba 10 5A
Kraska 24 4S
Haider 4 3A 2S
Corrick 0
Alwal 2 5R 4B
Kaminski 2
Clarin 15 11R 3T
Doolittle 14 3B

Class AAAA 91 Class AA 53

Class AAAA

Becken 2 4A 2S
Williams 7 2S
Winge 5 2T
Dockter 16
Rule 11 6S 3T
Banham 4 4A
Young 21 2S my game MVP (I saw this game)
Stuart 14 8R 2B 2T
Bresnahan 6 5R 2B
Van Riper-Rose 5

Class AA

Frydenlund 4 1S 3T
Kerkhoff 3 2A 8R 1B 1S
Sorenson 6 1A 8R 1S
Baker 19 1A 1S 5T
Deadrick 7 1A 3T
Adams 19 1A
Edwards 2 1B
Sannes 0 1A 1B 3T

Saturday Finals

3rd Place: Class AAA 96 Class AA 79

Class AAA

Ulveling 2 6A 9R
Margarit 6
Chuba 17 2T
Kraska 22 4S
Haider 2
Corrick 4 6A 2T
Alwal 5
Kaminski 9 3S 2T
Clarin 23
Doolittle 6 2B

Class AA

Frydenlund 6 1B
Kerkhoff 10 9R 2S
Sorenson 11 4T
Baker 16 5T
Deadrick 8
Adams 11 3A 9R
Edwards 6
Sannes 11

Championship: Class AAAA 101 Class A 81

Class AAAA

Becken 5 1B 2T
Williams 6 4A 8R 2S
Winge 3
Dockter 13
Rule 4 2S 2T
Banham 19 4A 6R 2S
Young 20
Stuart 16 3B 3T
Bresnahan 6 1B
Van Riper-Rose 9 4S

Class A

Hoglo 0 1B 5T
Overbye 9 5A 1B 1S 4T
Ferry 8 7R 1B 2S
Ilgen 8 1B
Newman 14 5A 6R 1S my game MVP (I saw this game)
Nagle 9 1S
Runck 6 1S
Muhl 22
Lutes 2 2B 1S
Meyer 5 1S

Two-Game Totals

Here again: Points for everybody, top 2 and ties on all other stats, but also adding in FG shooting.


Becken 2 for 8 7 points 6A
Williams 6/17 13 11R
Winge 3/5 8
Dockter 11/15 29
Rule 5/21 15 8S 5T
Banham 9/17 23 8A 10R
Young 17/30 41
Stuart 11/18 30 10R 5B 5T
Bresnahan 6/15 12 3B
Van Riper-Rose 5/14 14 5S


Ulveling 1/5 2 8A 11R
Margarit 6/19 17
Chuba 10.22 27
Kraska 15/33 46 8S
Haider 3/7 2S
Corrick 1/11 4 12A 2S
Alwal 3/14 7 4B
Kaminski 5/10 4 5B 2S
Clarin 17/38 16R
Doolittle 9/19 20


Frydenlund 3/13 10 1B 1S
Kerkhoff 3/10 13 4A 17R 3S 1B
Sorenson 6/18 17 6T 1S
Baker 11/26 35 10T 1S
Deadrick 5/13 15 1S
Adams 8/15 21 4A 14R
Edwards 4/11 8 1B
Sannes 5/17 13 1B


Hoglo 5/13 11 1B 9T
Overbye 8/19 22 8A 1B
Ferry 8/17 16 19T 1B 2S
Ilgen 5/7 14 1B
Newman 6/16 25 7A
Nagle 4/11 15 3S
Runck 5/13 13
Muhl 13/21 35 18R 1A
Lutes 0/11 4 2B 2S
Meyer 4/13 9 1B 8T



Michelle Young was the official MVP with a team high 41 points on 17/30 FG. She added 3 assists, just 2 boards and 2 steals. Awesome in transition, but is very tentative in the half court.

If there's anybody else you want to consider it is Jenna Dockter. She really surprised me, getting to the hoop with impunity with or without the ball. 8/8 on Friday, 11/15 overall with 3 assists, 8 boards and 2 steals.

Rachel Banham deferred to her teammates on Friday (2/5, 4 points). Fortunately she did not do that on Saturday (7/12, 19 points). Plus she led her team with 8 assists and was 2nd in rebounding with 10.

Megan Stuart and Brianna Williams also played well.


Kaeli Kraska was the MVP with a tournament high of 46 points and 8 steals, on 15/33 shooting including 11/22 3-pointers.

Mariah Clarin played well with 38 points and 16 boards on 17/31 shooting.

Jen Chuba was the big eye-opener for me. I had not seen her play. She shot 10/22 for 27 points with 7 assists.

Beth Doolittle played well, though her teammates didn't get her enough touches. Lindsay Kaminski was next with 11 points, 5 blocks and 2 steals.


Sarina Baker was named MVP for AA, but I disagree. 10 turnovers is too many. She scored 35 points on 11/26 shooting.

Alyssa Kerkhoff would be my choice. She made just 3/10 FG over the 2 games and scored a mere 13 points. But she led her team with 4 assists, 17 rebounds and 3 steals, and provided a little bit of glue for her team.

Katelyn Adams shot 8/25 for 21 points with 4 assists and 14 boards. She did not block a single shot, however.

Keely Deadrick shot 5/13 for 15 points. Kaylani Edwards was 4/11 for 8 points.


Ashlynn Muhl was the official MVP with a team-high 35 points on 13/21 shooting, plus 18 boards.

Jessica Newman was my MVP on Friday night. Overall I'll go with Muhl but Newman is right there. She scored 25 points with 7 assists on 6/16 shooting.

Charlotte Overbye scored 22 points on 8/19 shooting, and added 8 assists.

Ellen Ferry came out of the blue for me, shooting 8/17 with 16 points and a tournament-leading 19 boards. Connor Nagle also played well with 4/11 shooting for 15 points, plus 3 steals.

Overall Top 10

C- Megan Stuart, Roseville and South Dakota State
F- Mariah Clarin, Princeton and South Dakota
G- Michelle Young, Woodbury and Bradley
G- Jenna Dockter, Eastview and St. Thomas
G- Rachel Banham, Lakeville North and Minnesota
Kaeli Kraska, Totino-Grace and Jamestown

2nd Team
C- Beth Doolittle, Hill Murray and Iowa
F- Ashlynn Muhl, Minneota and Southwest State volleyball
G- Jen Chuba, Orono and ???
G- Alyssa Kerkhoff, St.Peter and UMD
G- Jessica Newman, Barnum and UMD
6th- Brianna Williams, Hopkins and North Dakota

3rd Team
C- Katelyn Adams, Minnehaha and Liberty
F- Ellen Ferry, Underwood and ???
F- Sarina Baker, Minnehaha and St. Kate's
G- Charlotte Overbye, Mt. Iron-Buhl and ???
G- Morgan Van Riper-Rose, Eden Prairie and Denver
6th- Tori Rule, Mpls. South and Providence

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Who's Who at the MGBCA All-Star Final

The coaches association all-star series was played Friday night and Saturday at St. Thomas. For the 2nd straight year, A shocked AAA on a last-second shot in the first round, and AAAA defeated AA and A to win the tournament championship.

I sent semi-final game reports over to my buddy Kevin at Here I just want to say, Who is the best of the best?

Center--Nobody wants to be a center anymore. There were just 6 posts listed on the 4 rosters, and the 2 girls of note are Beth Doolittle and Katelyn Adams. I've never been a big Doolittle fan. She's not quick. She's not strong. But she has made herself a hell of a player. Her fundamentals (footwork, shot technique, etc.) are terrific. She has nice soft hands. She catches the ball, she excels at geometry (she finds an angle to the basket and a release that allows her to put the ball in the hole). She passes the ball out to the open player. I don't know about Iowa. Does she get up and down the floor quickly enough? Is she strong enough? But for somebody who's not the most natural and athletic of players, she has used her intelligence and has worked hard and, oh, I already said it: She has made herself a hell of a high school player, and she has given herself a chance to succeed at the next level. I don't know that she will, but I don't know that she won't.

Katelyn Adams is clearly number two. You can't teach size, and she is bigger and stronger than Doolittle. She actually has more range on her jump shot than Doolittle. She blocks shots somehow without a lot of quickness. She just has an instinct of where to be to get a piece of the ball without fouling. She handles the ball and passes the ball. But her footwork and geometry down low are not in the same class as Doolittle's.

The other all-star centers were Martha Alwal, Kaylani Edwards, Ellen Ferry and Karli Meyer. Alwal has never met a shot she couldn't block, but all other skills are a work in progress.

Forward--Wow, only 11 forwards! Everybody wants to be a guard! Unless you're really a post, then you want to be listed at forward. That would be Ashlynn Muhl and Megan Stuart. Both are listed at 6-2, but of the 2, Stuart is bigger and stronger and more mobile. Muhl can step out and hit the 3 but she's down low the rest of the time. Stuart, meanwhile, plays 10-15 feet out quite a lot. So she's got a head start on Muhl on becoming a real forward.

But if it's a big forward you want, Mariah Clarin is already there. She's been a forward all her life. And, yeah, she's "only" 6-feet tall and, no, she doesn't shoot the 3. But when AAA needed a bucket at crunch time, she got them 3 on a dribble drive, in transition and on a back door cut. Not quite as strong as Stuart, but quicker.

Then there's Katy Winge and Sarina Baker. Winge is built like a guard and Baker plays like a guard. Winge does a little bit of everything, and has great court awareness and court sense. Baker is a scorer without a conscience who has been a bit turnover prone against elite competition.

The other forwards include Cara Lutes, Keely Deadrick, Lindsay Kaminski, Karlee Ilgen and Tiana Runck and Allie Sannes.

Guards--Okay, so that leaves a lot of guards. So first, let divide them up. You got your 1s, you got your 2s, and you got your combos. Some may disagree, but here's how I see 'em

Point Guards--Bona fide pass-first guards. Not just willing to pass the ball now and again, but they get the ball to open players in the right place at the right time. This is not to say they can't score. But they're better with the ball in their hands. That would be Rachel Banham, Brianna Williams, Jenna Dockter, Alyssa Kerkhoff and Kahla Becken.

For the 1st time in her life, Banham looked "beaten" against Eden Prairie in the state tournament. Last night she deferred to her teammates. She did not assert herself. What's with that? I hope the 2 events are unrelated. But where was that Banham swagger? Still, she's got the best overall court awareness and court sense of the group, she's an excellent ball handler, she has among the best outside shots and is among the best in transition. The only weakness might be penetrating out of the half court set. She doesn't have either the strength or the quickness to get off a shot in traffic.

Actually I am tempted to call Williams a combo. She plays within a team concept. Not a "scorer" in the sense that she takes the ball to the rim when the motion creates a lane, not when there are defenders waiting for her, not as a pre-determined sort of thing. And that's a good thing, by the way. But when there's a lane, she can capitalize quickly, before the D can adjust. She is the quickest of this group. Good court awareness and court sense, good ball handler, very quick in transition, can penetrate out of the half court set. Not a good outside shot. Overall, Banham is a more skilled player but Williams has the edge in quickness. OTOH, Banham had 4 assists Friday night, Williams none.

Dockter is a hard-nosed, aggressive kid in the Eastview mold. Not as skilled and not as quick as Banham and Williams, but she has very good court sense, she's a good ball handler, a good outside shooter, and she can penetrate. I am also tempted to call her a combo because she does move very well without the ball.

I had never seen Kerkhoff and I thought she looked good in the context of what was a disastrous night for AA. She is small but she can jump. Good court sense, okay ball handler, good shot, can penetrate but she is small. Going D2 while Dockter is D3.

Becken does a bit of everything. The only question is her athleticism, her quickness, not that it's a weakness, just not a strength. But she the kind of court awareness that befits a coach's daughter.

The other "1" was Jen Ulveling.

Scoring Guards--Bona fide shoot-first, ask questions later, guards, i.e. Michelle Young, Satorria Rule, Kaeli Kraska, Morgan Van Riper-Rose, Amber Sorenson.

Young is quick-on-quick, a transition 2 par excellence. At her best creating havoc on defense, then transitioning and getting to the rim where she can finish. Tentative in the half court, definitely not a 1.

Rule's game is the dribble-drive. She dominated the game last night in the opening minutes then, having made her statement, she relaxed a bit and disappeared much of the rest of the night. The only problem is that when she's doing her thing, her teammates are not particularly engaged except cleaning up the boards.

Kraska has made herself into a lights-out shooter. Her 3-ball is what kept AAA in the game last night in its loss to A. She can score other ways, too. But she is way careless with other aspects of her game. The scorebook shows 2 turnovers. OMG, 6 would be closer. And she's not big and not strong. But she is still a very useful player for what she does. Which is score.

Morgan Van Riper-Rose has always been a great instinctive scorer. She knows where to go on the court to get open, and she puts the ball in the hole. She is dependent on teammates who get her the ball, which doesn't play too well in an all-star setting.

The other "2"'s include Laura Margarit, Charlotte Overbye, Connor Nagle and Chelsey Frydenlund.

Combo Guards--This means they can (and do) do both things--score and dish--in balance. Not shoot-first, per se, not pass-first. Just, whatever I can do to win-first. And the winner is Jessica Newman. AAA put a fair amount of pressure on AA's guards, for an all-star game anyway. And while everybody was feeling everybody else out, Newman just went out and ran the offense and protected the ball. Lots of kids in this game seemed put off by the fact that they hadn't really learned and internalized the X's and O's. Newman just played basketball. She finished with 14 points and 5 assists. No guard on any of the 4 teams did her better on both.

I had never seen Jena Chuba before and she is terrific. Very dynamic, very active, 10 points and 5 assists. Does a bit of everything, but she is very small.

Many of the others listed as "combos," well, it's just that after their game I couldn't tell you which they were better at.

In Morgan Haider's case, I mean that as a compliment. She is very small, however.

Jessi Corrick knew where to be and what to do, she just didn't always do it.

And Liz Hoglo was totally mis-used by Class A coach Jeff Buffetta--i.e. at the point. Hoglo, if you've seen her you know she is a scorer. Running the point was not her cup of tea. Her 5 turnovers were as generous as Kraska's 2. I mean, possession after possession after possession, at times. And it took her away from stuff she can do. She should be posting people up, not handling the ball 25 feet from the hoop.

Finally, Jamie Bresnahan is listed as a guard, so in this case "combo" just means, say what? Bresnahan is a 6-1 inside defender of great skill. She has some offensive skills and value. But playing guard, either guard, is not one of them. If she had been listed as a forward, I would have her right around Winge.

So there you have it. To summarize:

Friday Night All-Stars

C- Beth Doolittle, Hill Murray and Class AAA
F- Mariah Clarin, Princeton and Class AAA
G- Jenna Dockter, Eastview and Class AAAA
G- Michelle Young, Woodbury and Class AAAA
G- Jessica Newman, Barnum and Class A

2nd Team

C- Katelyn Adams, Minnehaha and Class AA
F- Megan Stuart, Roseville and Class AAAA
G- Brianna Williams, Hopkins and Class AAAA
G- Tori Rule, Mpls. South and Class AAAA
G- Jena Chuba, Orono and Class AAA

3rd Team

C- Martha Alwal, Worthington and Class AAA
F- Ashlynn Muhl, Minneota and Class A
F- Sarina Baker, Minnehaha and Class AA
G- Rachel Banham, Lakeville North and Class AAAA
G- Kaeli Kraska, Totino Grace and Class AAA

NOTE: This is Friday night only.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Gopher Men Sign Andre Ingram and Julian Welch

Tubby Smith's 2011 recruiting class was filled out yesterday with the addition of two "unheralded" recruits (so called by Marcus Fuller of the Pioneer Press; not to say that Fuller is wrong or anything), each of them bringing 2 years of eligibility from a junior college setting.

Andre Ingram

Andre Ingram is a 6-7, 235 pound power forward from Butler CC in Kansas and (before that) Minnesota Transitions here in Minneapolis. When Fuller says he is "unheralded," he in part, I would guess, means that Ingram is a fellow nobody saw as a D1 recruit out of high school. I have to admit that when I heard his name, I could not conjure up an image of him as a high schooler.

But I looked up the box score and I did indeed see Ingram and his MTC teammates take on Granada-Huntley-East Chain in one of the great Class A tournament games on record, won by GHEC 64-61 en route to the 2009 state championship. MTC was led by Kevin Noreen (23 points, 16 rebounds) and Jerrell Washington (16 points, 3 assists, 2 steals). Ingram's line (and also his seasonal averages) are as follows:

Season--7 points, 8 boards, 1 assists, 1 turnover, 5 blocks, 1 steal
vs. GHEC--10 points, 11 boards, 4 blocks, 1 steal, 5 fouls, 5-of-6 FG

But like I say, I have no mental image of him or what his strengths and weaknesses are as a player. Fortunately somebody asked Butler CC coach Mike Bargen about Ingram's weaknesses. Ingram, Bargen said, needs to "expand his game," specifically "offensively," and even more specifically, he needs to learn how to "face the basket."

As to his strengths, Tubby himself says that Ingram is "mobile" and "athletic," and has "agility."

Bargen also says that Ingram vastly improved his game over the 2 years at Butler because of a terrific work ethic. And it shows in the numbers: 7 ppg in high school, 13 this year at a highly rated junior college program. 8 rebounds per game, same as 2 years ago at MTC. A 63 FG percentage.

I guess he's someone about whom we will "wait and see," regardless of whether Trevor Mbakwe returns. I also wonder, however, if he's better than Chris Halvorsen.

Julian Welch

Julian Welch sounds like a folk singer but, no, he is a 6-3 point guard from Yuba CC in California, where he played 1 year after bailing on UC-Davis after 1 year there. He scored 19 ppg with 5 assists for the Yubans, who went 27-6 and won the Bay Valley Conference championship, or which Welch is the PoY.

Earlier, Welch was freshman of the year in the Big West Conference of which Cal-Davis is a member. He scored 8 ppg in 18 minutes there.

Tubby likes his "maturity" and says he "can handle the ball." He has good "court vision" and "awareness," and he can "knock down shots."

Welch could see a lot of action for the Gophers if any of that is true.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

MN Girls Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Games Friday and Saturday

I don't know about you, but I have had a heck of a time finding any info about the annual MGBCA all-star games. Well, they're this Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16. On Friday night the 1st game is at 6 p.m., and on Saturday it is at 1:30 p.m. All 4 games are at the new Schoenecker Arena at St. Thomas University.

But who (which teams) are playing whom? I have no idea.

And who (what girls) are on the rosters? Well, that's not on the MGBCA Web site either, but fortunately I found the announcement of the rosters elsewhere.

And who are the coaches, even? Again, no clue. Cannot find that anywhere on the Internet.

And the bottom line? Well, it's been said a thousand times that the 2011s are a weak class. And looking at these 4 rosters, going 40 girls deep, certainly reinforces that impression.

Class AAAA

C-F- Jamie Bresnahan, Megan Stuart, Katy Winge
G- Rachel Banham, Kahla Becken, Jenna Dockter, Tori Rule, Morgan Van Riper-Rose, Brianna Williams, Michelle Young

I'm sure there's a reason why Jenna Dockter is playing and Alex Beckman is not. Apiew Ojulu also is not playing. Aubrey Davis. No other surprises, I guess.

I guess there's a reason why the big schools are going with 7 guards and 3 front-court players, though I don't know what it is. Well, other than Ojulu's not here. But a Lisa Loeffler or Anna Smith could also balance out the roster a little bit. Still, look for AAAA to have 3 guards on the floor at all times. And don't worry about them matching up with the other big people. Worry about the other guys matching up with those guards. I don't see anybody pushing AAAA at all.

Class AAA

C- Beth Doolittle, Martha Alwal, Sam Trumm
F- Mariah Clarin, Laura Margarit, Lindsay Kaminski
G- Kaeli Kraska, Morgan Haider, Jena Chuba, Jennifer Ulveling

AAA has more size than AAAA, but if the 2 teams play one another the AAA guards are not going to be able to run an offense and get the ball to their big girls. And against AA and A their size advantage is not that big. Katelyn Adams vs. Beth Doolittle would be fun, if they should happen to meet, and also Ashlynn Muhl vs. Doolittle.

Sam Trumm is here, Lauren is not. Lauren would sure help this roster. Oh, yeah, she's a junior.

Class AA

C- Katelyn Adams
F- Sarina Baker, Kaylani Edwards, Keely Deadrick, Allie Sannes
G- Amber Sorenson, Alyssa Kerkhoff, Kayla Hulsebus, Emily Lueck, Chelsey Frydenlund

Now here's a well-balanced team. Katey Adams to defend the paint, some decent scorers, some ball handlers. This group could give AAA some real trouble. AAAA, not so much. Their guards should have the advantage against A.

Ashley Olson is probably the best girl not playing, but AA is pretty strong at her position anyway.

Class A

C- Ashlynn Muhl, Nicole Kerkhoff, Ellen Ferry
F- Karli Meyer, Cara Lutes, Jessica Newman, Karli Ilgen
G- Charlotte Overbye, Liz Hoglo, Connor Nagle

Another better-balanced (than AAAA and AAA) team, though I'm not sure the ball-handling is there. And with the exception of Jessica Newman, who's gonna hit an outside shot? I don't see this group pulling any upsets like Class A last year.

Rebekah Schmidt would look good on this team, but it's rumored she plays a little bit of softball.

And, like I say, I don't know who's coaching. Last year there is no question whatsoever that some coaches had a feel for managing playing time and creating combinations. Others didn't. It's that simple.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Lynx Pick Kachine Alexander in WNBA Draft

EDIT: Oops, I missed this one. Not only did the Lynx trade away their #13 pick, Jessica Breland, they also trade away #14, Felicia Chester. (You'd think there would be something about this on the WNBA or the Lynx Web site, but no.) Chester went to the Washington Wizards, while the Lynx received Rachel Jarry, a 6-1 forward and also a member of the Australian national team.


The Lynx picked hometown grrrl Kachine Alexander of Iowa, but formerly of Benilde-St. Margaret's, with their 4th pick of the 2011 draft, then traded for former St. Paul Central star Angel Robinson.

Of course, they also picked arguably the best woman to come out of college basketball in the past 6-8-10 years--Maya Moore, 6-0, F, Connecticut, 2 or 3-time player of the year depending on which award you're looking at, but unanimously so in 2011.

With Moore as good as on board--and Taj McWilliams-Franklin coming a trade for Nicky Anosike--the Lynx now have 6 former WNBA all-stars on their roster and 7 former all-Americans. On paper, this is a team that ought to compete for the WNBA title. Anything less than a 24-10 record will be an indictment of the Lynx' coaching staff. There, I said it.

Projected Starting 5

C- Taj McWilliams-Franklin, 7X WNBA all-star, scored 11 points with 5 rebounds last year (8 points and 9 boards in the playoffs) with the New York Liberty.

F- Rebekah Brunson, 2X all-WNBA, scored 11 points with 10 boards last year with the Lynx.

F- Seimone Augustus, 2X all-WNBA, scored 17 points with 3 boards last year, but was slowed by surgery. Her career averages of 20 points, 4 boards and 2 assists are a realistic goal.

G- Lindsay Whalen, 3X all-star, scored 13 points last year with 4 boards and 6 assists.

G- Monica Wright, scored 11 points with 3 boards as a rookie last year.

When I say the Lynx are loaded, I mean loaded.

Here's the 2nd String

C- Quanitra Hollingsworth, who contributed 2 points and 2 boards last year.

F- Charde Houston scored 12 points with 4 boards a year ago, and Rashanda McCants was at exactly half of that at 6 and 2.

G- Candice Wiggins, already a 4X all-star, she scored 14 points with 3 rebounds and 4 assists last year, but played only 8 games due to injury.

G- Alexis Hornbuckle, averaged 4 points, 3 boards and 2 assists a year ago.

And, finally, that's not even accounting for today's draftees.

The Draft Picks

C- Amber Harris of Xavier, the Lynx' 2nd draft pick at #4 overall. Harris scored 19 points with 10 boards, 2 assists and 2 blocks this year. She is clearly the Lynx' center of the future but this year will be battling Hollingsworth for minutes backing up Taj.

F- Maya Moore, Connecticut and (technically) already all-WNBA. Moore was a member of the U.S. women's national team representing Connecticut and the NCAA, which is technically an all-WNBA team. She scored 23 points with 4 assists and 2 steals for UConn, winning most player of the year awards. I think she'll come off the bench, but she'll be among the team leaders in minutes and will be in the game at crunch time.

F- Second round picks Jessica Breland, a 6-3 forward from North Carolina who scored 12.5 points with 7 boards this year, and Felicia Chester, also 6-3 from DePaul who scored 11 points with 6 boards, will not see much if any time just yet. OK, but this just in. Scratch Breland, who was traded to the New York Liberty for guard Angel Robinson and a 2012 2nd round draft pick.

G- Kachine Alexander, the 25th overall pick in the WNBA earlier today. Alexander averaged 14 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists for the Hawkeyes last year. And, add another local girl to the mix, that of course being Angel Robinson, formerly of St. Paul Central and Marquette. The 5-8 guard averaged 13 points, 5 boards, 5 assists and 2 steals in her senior year.

After Moore and Harris, the rest of the draft picks will not be in a regular rotation.

Left Over and Out

Jessica Adair, Hanchetou Maiga Ba, Kristen Mann

The Lynx Rotation

The Lynx rotation will probably be the starting 5 listed above (Taj, Brunson, Seimone, Lindsay and Monica Wright , plus Harris, Moore, Houston and Wiggins. Some of you may disagree on Wright (starting) and Moore (off the bench). Again, 6 of the 9 are WNBA all-stars.


Again, I said it. On paper, this team can compete for a WNBA title. Unfortunately they don't compete on paper. Last year the Lynx had 5 all-stars and won 13 while losing 21. What's with that?

Well, they had some injuries to Augustus and Wiggins, and Brunson returned from Europe a little late and missed training camp and a few games. Brunson and Whalen were new to the team. Wright was new to the WNBA. Blah blah blah.

There were plenty of excuses. Oh, yeah, here's another one.

Coach Reeves was a rookie, too, and seemed to be overmatched much of the year. In fact the Lynx were a particularly terrible defensive team--and that was with Nikki Anosike, regarded as a defensive star and specialist, at the post. How is coach going to improve the D with a 6-2, offensive minded post replacing a 6-5 defensive specialist? Can Coach Reeves coach defense?

The WNBA Web site says the Lynx needed defense and perimeter scoring in the draft. Well, scoring shouldn't be a problem. But the defense has not been improved...yet.

That's one reason why I don't think the Lynx' roster is stable yet. Another reason WAS the imbalanced roster. I mean, immediately upon completion of the draft there were 10 front-court players and 5 guards, but the Breland-Robinson trade helped to balance that out.

But the main question is whether there's enough talent to balance out an inexperienced and often inept management. It says here the 2011 Lynx will go 24-10. With this roster, anything less will be a disappointment, and will require a massive sweeping out of the Lynx' front office--a sweeping out that will never occur, however.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

2nd NBA Mock Draft: Kyrie Irving, Perry Jones or Trade Down

I conducted a Mock NBA Draft back in January, and based on the notion that the Wolves would pick #3, I said they would pick Kentucky post and Turkish national Enes Kanter. Well, the very next day, it was announced that Kanter was ineligible to play for Kentucky due to inducements he had received in Europe. And after missing a year's play, Kanter has indeed dropped from the consensus #3 pick to consensus #6.

Meanwhile, the Timberwolves have gone the other way, from #3 (the 3rd worst record in the NBA) to #1 (the worst record in the NBA, barring none). In the draft lottery, of course, this is a good thing, moving from a minimal opportunity to get the #1 pick to the biggest chance to get #1. Of course, the Wolves have never in 14 tries ever improved their draft position over their place in the standings and there's no reason to think their luck will change now. So they should end up with the #1 pick, but they could and probably will end up #4, the worst they can do under NBA draft rules. Of course, they're only a half-game behind Cleveland in the battle for worst of the worst, and so they could end up 2nd in the standings and 5th in the draft.

Actually, I covered just such contingencies last time and said that if they drafted in the following positions, this is what they would do. But I did say that #3 was their most likely spot and, if #3, they would select Kanter.

In January, if picking #1. Perry Jones. If #2 or #3. Kanter. If #4 or #5. Trade down. If #6. Jan Vesely. If #7. Vesely or Donatas Motiejunas. If #8 or #9. Motiejunas. If #10, #11 or #12. Jonas Valanciunas, and keep him in Europe for a couple of years. If #13 or #14. Alex Burks.

Now, here's the new look.

If #1--Duke 6-1 freshman point guard Kyrie Irving

If the Wolves got the #1 pick, this is the obvious choice. Not only is he the consensus #1 pick in the draft, he meets what is surely the Timberwolves' #1 need. I mean, after all, they've only drafted a pair of point guards with their #1 pick in the David Kahn era. But Jonny Flynn clearly is not the answer. And it remains doubtful that Ricky Rubio will ever play for the Wolves.

So, with the #1 pick, you pick the best available athlete, and specifically, you get the best available point guard who has no leverage to decline to come to Minnesota to play for Glen Taylor. And, you package up Rubio and trade him away for a serviceable veteran and another 1st round pick. Maybe you package up Rubio and Michael Beasley and get a really serviceable veteran small forward or you get a #7-8 pick, say, where you can pick up a forward on your own. But the key here is to get Irving, whom most observers compare favorably to Chris Paul.

Irving was assumed to be out of the draft in January. He did not play this year until March due to injury. But in the short time that he was back, he showed the old quickness, scored 17.5 ppg with 5 boards and 4 assists.

If #2 and Irving is gone--Perry Jones, 6-11 freshman small forward, Baylor

Jones was the consensus #1 in January, but his stock has dropped a bit, or others' stock has arisen. But I like him a lot. He would be an upgrade, at least eventually, over Wes Johnson or Martell Webster as a perimeter scorer, and perhaps more consistent someday, if not better at his very best, than Michael Beasley. Despite his size, he's seen as a scorer in the Tracy McGrady mold, someone who takes people off the dribble and gets to the rim with ridiculous ease. He will be 3-4 years getting to that point, of course.

And that is why, if Irving is available, you pick Irving. He is 1-2 years out from realizing his potential vs. Jones' 3-4.

If #3 and Irving and Perry Jones are gone--I still like Enes Kanter, 6-11 freshman (ineligible) center-power forward, Kentucky (for whom he never played and never will)

Like P. Jones, Kanter's stock has dropped incrementally while Derrick Williams, in particular, has leap-frogged Kanter. Some also regard Jared Sullinger as a better prospect, at least for the right team. But Williams is 6-8 and Sullinger 6-9 and neither plays any further from the hoop than Kanter can. Kanter toyed with the USA juniors a year ago, breaking Dirk Nowitzki's scoring records with 34 points and 15 boards. Sullinger is probably the most NBA-ready right now but, hey, Sullinger and Williams play Kevin Love's position. Kanter plays Darko Milicic's position. Do I make myself clear?

If #4 and Irving and Perry Jones and Kanter are all gone--your best options are Derrick Williams, Jared Sullinger and Harrison Barnes, though Kemba Walker is your best true guard option. So in other words, you package up Rubio and #4 and maybe a Beasley or whomever, and you go out and get the best veteran perimeter scorer you can find. Period.

If #5 and Irving and Jones and Kanter are still gone--ditto. But how far down do you go and what veteran player do you set your hopes upon? Well, the 2 are interrelated. If you can get Luol Deng or DeMar DeRozan or Kevin Martin, you go down as far as you have to. If, on the other hand, the best you can do is Marco Belinelli or Chase Budinger or Richard Jefferson, you don't slide out of the lottery. I guess my wish list is either DeRozan or Martin for Rubio, #4 or #5, and another Woofie veteran--anybody not named Kevin Love, in fact.

Mock Draft

Looking then at the entire lottery portion of the draft, based on today's NBA standings, it looks like this:

1. Minnesota--Kyrie Irving
2. Cleveland--Derrick Williams, Arizona, 6-8, SF
3. Toronto--Perry Jones
4. Washington--Enes Kanter
5. Sacramento--Jared Sullinger, Ohio State, 6-9, PF
6. Utah--Kemba Walker, Connecticut, 6-1, PG
7. Detroit--Harrison Barnes, North Carolina, 6-8, SF
8. Cleveland--Donatas Motiejunas, Lithuania, 7-0, PF
9. Charlotte--Brandon Knight, Kentucky, 6-3, PG
10. Milwaukee--Terrence Jones, Kentucky, 6-9, PF
11. Golden State--Jan Vesely, Serbia, 6-11, PF
12. Utah--Alex Burks, Colorado, 6-6, CG
13. Phoenix--Marcus Morris, Kansas, 6-9, PF
14. Houston--Kawhi Leonard, San Diego State, 6-7, SF
15. Indiana--Jimmer Fredette, Brigham Young, 6-2, CG

Timberwolves Recap

Scenario #1: Hang on to the #1 pick and get Irving

Then package up Rubio and Beasley, plus Ridnour and/or Flynn, and I get a veteran perimeter scorer and another top 15 draft pick who maybe turns into PF Marcus Morris from Kansas.

Scenario #2: Drop down to #4

Now you're back where you started from with Kanter. Or if Perry Jones is available, Perry Jones. Or, if Jones is not available--and maybe if he is--you package up #4 plus Beasley and Flynn, and maybe even Rubio, and get a veteran perimeter scorer and another top 15 draft pick who, if you didn't get Irving, might turn out to be Alex Burks.

Player of the Year Poll

EDIT 4: And the award for Player of the Year goes to....

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

2010-2011: The Season in Review

Last fall I picked the Hopkins boys, Winona State men, St. Thomas men and women, Gopher men, and Eden Prairie, Hopkins and Lakeville North girls as most likely to succeed during the 2010-2011 season.

Not bad. Not great.

The Hopkins boys and girls, and St. Thomas men lived up to my high expectations; and Eden Prairie and Lakeville North finished 2nd and 3rd to Hopkins in the girls high school tournament. But I totally fanned on the collapse of the Minnesota Gopher men--but who didn't?--and on Winona State or, rather, Mankato State, who rolled all the way to the D2 Final Four. The Tommies women won the MIAC but never really got it going, and exited the playoffs unexpectedly.

My Player of the Year candidates were not even as good. Rachel Banham and Kevin Love came through, Blake Hoffarber was okay, Ralph Sampson less okay, and Rachel Booth didn't have anywhere near the senior year that her career had suggested might be in store.

Coaches? I had Tubby #1 and Steve Fritz #4. 'Nuff sed.

Major Awards

Team and Story of the Year--St. Thomas men (30-3) win NCAA D3 championship!

Player of the Year--Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves

Coach of the Year--Steve Fritz, St. Thomas men

Game of the Year--St. Thomas men 78 Wooster 54 for NCAA D3 title

Stories of the Year/Teams of the Year

1. St. Thomas men 30-3 (up from #3 in the pre-season)

The Tommies hadn't been to the D3 Final Four in 17 years and so Elite Eight seemed like the upper limit. The return of guards Tyler Nicolai and Alex Healy, along with a roster-full of supporting players, suggested they could go at least that far. They went 2 games further, instead, edging Middlebury 59-57 in the national semi, then demolishing Wooster 78-54 in the most lopsided D3 final ever.

Nicolai had a pretty good regular season, good enough to earn all-America honors. But in the post-season, he was Michael Jordan, leading the Tommies in scoring in 5 of 8 games for an 18 points per game average. Nicolai also hit the biggest bucket of the Tommies' entire season, the game-winner as the Tommies knocked off defending national champ Wisconsin-Stevens Point--at Point, no less--66-64.

The Tommies tied the school record for wins in a season, and coach Fritz was named national D3 coach of the year, and why not?

2. Hopkins boys 31-1 (#1 in pre-season) and Hopkins girls 30-2 (up from #5)

The only thing I missed here was the boys losing 1 game (to Eden Prairie). I hadn't foreseen that. The girls? Well, I thought they were a toss-up among Hopkins, Eden Prairie and Lakeville North, and that didn't turn out to be too far wrong. The Royals girls won 3 of 4 over EP and North during the regular season. Then, after EP defeated North in a state tournament semi-final, Hopkins turned it on to easily defeat the Eagles 67-45 in the state final.

Both teams excel in transition--the boys off of the defensive board, off of turnovers, off of made baskets, even. No matter. Siyani Chambers gets the ball upcourt faster than anybody, and Joe Coleman is the best finisher in the Minnesota high school ranks. But if he missed, Marvin Singleton was there to get the 2nd chance points.

The girls did it off of turnovers. Their defense is the most active, aggressive, disruptive--whatever word you prefer--ever seen in Minnesota high schools, due to incredible athleticism but also the fact that the Royals can go 10 deep without giving up much in the way of either athleticism or basketball skills. Still, among the 10, you would have to mention Sydney and Nia Coffey along with Brianna Williams as the girls who make Hopkins go.

Coaches Ken Novak, Jr., and Brian Cosgriff are not merely innocent bystanders, either, contrary to what you sometimes hear. Do they recruit? I don't think they have to. Elite kids want to play for the best programs, and these are it. Kids can find Hopkins on their own, and they do, meaning that both the Hopkins boys and girls should be favored to repeat next year.

But, as it is, Hopkins now has 11 state titles, a record 8 for the boys, and 3 for the girls. The boys thereby tied the Rochester Lourdes girls for the most state titles by a program, while the 2 2011 titles enabled Hopkins high school to surpass Mpls. North with its total of 10 state titles--5 girls and 5 boys. Also, Hopkins 2011 became the 4th school to win both the boys and girls titles in the same year and the 1st to do it twice. In other words, Hopkins was already 1 of 3 (2006) and now represents 2 of 4 school to do so. The others are Hancock 1997 and Mpls. North 2003.

3. Perham boys 31-1

In January, junior forward Zach Gabbard had just led Perham to a win at Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, when Gabbard collapsed on the court with cardiac arrest. He was revived and rushed to the University of Minnesota Hospital, where he underwentopen heart surgery. A week later, Perham lost for the 1st time.

But 2 months later, Gabbard ventured forth from his hospital room for the 1st time to join his teammates at the Target Center. They had not lost again, sweeping through tough Section 8AA to make their 1st state tournament apperance ever. And they would not lose at the state tournament, defeating Virginia, Waterville-Elysian-Morristown (in OT) and Rochester Lourdes to become state champions.

Coach Dave Cresap's son Jordan stepped into the starting lineup in place of Gabbard and eventually made the all-state tournament team along with Sam Stratton and Nick Tobkin. Perham was not the best team at the boys' tournament but they were the best-loved, and most Minnesota basketball fans joined Perham fans in celebrating this uplifting story and the perseverance of the Perham team.

4. Minnesota State-Mankato men 28-5

Often the bridesmaid but seldom the bride, the Mavericks got over the big hump in 2011, winning the NSIC regular season title and the NCAA D2 Central Regional title before losing to #2 ranked and eventual national champion Bellarmine 81-74 in the Final Four.

Adversity came in the form of an 82-74 loss to nemesis Winona State in the semi-finals of the NSIC tournament. But Mankato turned the tables on the Warriors 96-81 in the 1st round of the D2 regional tournament.

Senior Jefferson Mason and Marcus Hill led the way for the Mavs. Mason scored 19 points with 9 boards, 2 assists, a steal and a block for the season, while Hill scored 16 with 5 assists and a steal. Senior Cameron Hodges was named conference defensive player of the year. Mason averaged 24 points and 11 boards per game in the post-season, Hodges 19 and 8, and Hill 15 with 8 assists. Mason earned all-America honors, while coach Matt Marganthaler was named region coach of the year.

5. Hill-Murray girls 30-1 (up from #10) and Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa boys (32-1)

These were the last 2 undefeated Minnesota high school teams, both cruising into the state championship game before suffering a surprising defeat. Hill-Murray was not just defeated but trounced by a solid DeLaSalle team 63-43 in the AAA final, while BBE was shocked by Springfield 70-58 in Class A.

Hill-Murray had served notice of its intention of contending for a state championship early on, when it hammered highly regarded Eden Prairie 59-45 in the Tipoff Tournament. It then ran the table, including at least 7 more wins over AAAA opponents, before running into a DeLaSalle buzzsaw.

BBE, meanwhile, came into the state tournament unbeaten but still largely an unknown quantity. But not only were they unbeaten, the fact is they had won the West Central conference title for the 3rd straight year, and other than BBE most WCC teams are Class AA. Once in the state tournament, BBE had a terrible shooting day against Springfield in the final, but guard Kevin Kuefler showed himself to be the elite player in Class A and among the finest players in the state.

For their part, Hill-Murray's Tessa Cichy and Beth Doolittle were all-state caliber players, and coach Erin Herman a reasonable contender for post-season coaching honors. BBE's Dave Montbriand would have to be considered as one of the top boys coaches for the season as well.

6. Eden Prairie boys 27-5 and Eden Prairie girls 24-5 (down from #5). Both Class AAAA runners-up to Hopkins.

7. Minnesota Gopher men 17-14 (down from #4) and Minnesota Gopher women 12-18 (up from #9). The men collapse after a 16-4 start and top 15 ranking. A real soap opera. The women start 0-7 in the Big Ten and just never get anything going.

8. Carleton men 18-8. MIAC regular season champion.

9. Concordia (St. Paul) 19-11. Started 2-5 in NSIC, finished 14-1.

10. Springfield boys 26-3. 6-8, 285 pound football star Tyler Marz returns from ACL surgery to lead Springfield to the title.

11. DeLaSalle girls 27-4. Shocked Hill-Murray in AAA final.

12. Winona State men 20-10. Another soap opera as transfer Anthony Tucker (Minnetonka, Iowa) leads the Warriors to early success, then skips the team for the playoffs.

13. Concordia (Moorhead) 20-7. MIAC post-season champs.

14. Lakeville North girls 29-3

15. St. Paul Johnson boys 25-4. #1 rated most of the way but shocked by New Prague at tournament time.

Player of the Year

Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves

2. Joe Coleman, Hopkins boys
3. Tyler Nicolai, St. Thomas men
4. Rachel Banham, Lakeville North girls
5. Blake Hoffarber, Minnesota Gopher men

6. Estan Tyler, St. Paul Johnson boys
7. Jefferson Mason, Minnesota State-Mankato men
8. Trevor Mbakwe, Minnesota Gopher men
9. Tyseanna Johnson, DeLaSalle girls
10. Trevor Witt, St. Cloud State men

11. Michelle Young, Woodbury girls
12. Jackie Johnson, Eden Prairie girls
13. Rebekah Dahlman, Braham girls
14. Jeremy Sutherland, Carleton men
15. Jineen Williams, Concordia (St. Paul) women
16. Marcus Hill, Minnesota State-Mankato men
17. Brianna Williams, Hopkins girls
18. Angie Jetvig, Minnesota State-Moorhead girls
19. Alex Richter, Lakeville South boys
20. Maurika Hickman, Concordia (St. Paul) women

21. Aaron Burtzel, St. John's men
22. Jake White, Chaska boys
23. Al Nolen, Minnesota Gopher men
24. Marvin Singleton, Hopkins boys
25. Beth Doolittle, Hill-Murray girls

Coach of the Year

1. Steve Fritz, St. Thomas men
2. Matt Marganthaler, Minnesota State-Mankato men
3. Erin Herman, Hill-Murray girls
4. Dave Cresap, Perham boys
5. Faith Patterson, DeLaSalle girls
6. Brian Cosgriff, Hopkins girls
7. Ken Novak, Jr., Hopkins boys
8. Barry Wohler, Orono boys
9. Ellen Thompson, Macalester women
10. Guy Kalland, Carleton men

11. Dave Montbriand, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa boys
12. Chris Carr, Eden Prairie girls
13. Dave DeWitt, Anoka-Ramsey CC women
14. Jessica Rahman, Concordia (Moorhead) women
15. Mike Leaf, Winona State men
16. Tim Grosz, Northwestern (Roseville) men
17. Scott Ballard, Winona State women
18. Paul Fessler, Concordia (St. Paul) women
19. Vern Simmons, St. Paul Johnson boys
20. Tim Whittle, Macalester men

21. James Fassett, Anoka girls
22. Jodi Holleman, Hancock girls
23. Kevin Christenson and Cyndi Raymond, Nicollet girls
24. Jeremy Post, White Bear Lake girls
25. Nelson Whitmore, Hamline men

History in the Making

1. St. Thomas men 78 Wooster 54 to win NCAA D3 title

2. Minnesota Timberwolves 112 New York Knicks 103 as Love goes 31/31
3. Minnesota Gopher men 72 North Carolina 67 when it all seemed so promising
4. Hopkins girls 83 Lakeville North 64 in November established the pecking order
5. New Prague boys 83 St. Paul Johnson 77 in biggest upset of either high school tournament
6. Eden Prairie girls 71 Hopkins 65 to temporarily upset the pecking order
7. St. Olaf men 73 St. Thomas 68 to break 53 game home winning streak
8. Springfield boys 70 Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 58 in 2nd biggest upset and best finale
9. St. Thomas men 66 Wisconsin-Stevens Point 64 Tommies beat defending national champ on their home court
10. Anoka Ramsey CC 60 Roxbury, MA 55 in NJCAA Division 3 championship game

11. Minnesota Gopher men 70 Purdue 67 when it still seemed so promising
12. Winona State men 66 Southwest State 64 on Anthony Tucker's half-court shot
13. Mpls. Washburn boys 85 St. Paul Johnson 80 in TC Game
14. Rochester Lourdes boys 48 Redwood Valley 47 in 4 OT
15. DeLaSalle girls 63 Hill-Murray 43 to end Pioneers' dream of an undefeated season
16. Carleton men 67 St. Thomas 64 to tie for conference title and win #1 seed
17. Concordia (St. Paul) women 93 Wayne State 58 Wayne otherwise unbeaten in NSIC
18. Eden Prairie boys 75 Hopkins 71 for Royals only loss
19. St. Thomas 59 Middlebury 57 in D3 semi-finals
20. Minnesota State-Mankato 95 Alabama-Huntsville 91 (OT) in D2 Elite Eight

21. Eden Prairie girls 49 Lakeville North 32 in state semi-finals
22. Orono boys 50 Waconia 48 (2OT) in state semi-final
23. St. Thomas 70 Northwestern (Roseville) 60 as NW led much of the way
24. Perham boys 45 Waterville-Elysian-Morristown 41 as Zach Gabbard walks on to floor
25. Maranatha girls 60 Hancock 57 (OT) in Class A semi-final

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

2011 Girls High School Season Is Dead; Long Live the Girls AAU Summer Season

The AAU girls summer season kicks-off this coming Saturday and Sunday at the Jefferson Athletic Center (JAC). Saturday night there are a series of 8 games on 2 courts matching All Iowa Attack (AIA) vs. 8 of Minnesota's elite teams. The best of the Saturday night games would appear to be All Iowa Attack 11th Mauro vs. Metro Stars Black at 7:15 on JAC2.

Then on Sunday, play is in a series of 4-team pools. The toughest pools are A and J, but there's play from age 17 down to age 12.

Pool A

All Iowa Attack 11th (grade) Mauro (coach)
Minnesota Fury Gold (16&u)
North Tartan Nike Elite (17&u)
Southern MinneMagic 16

Games at 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Pool J

Fury Elite
North Tartan 16&u
Metro Stars Black
All Iowa Attack 11th Morton

Games at 11:20 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Tartan, as you can see, appears to have swapped its top 2 teams, with its Elites playing against Fury and MinneMagic 16s; and its 16s against Fury and Metro Stars elites. Of course, both of the All Iowa Attacks in Pools A and J are older teams, and I have no idea which is the "A" and which is the "B" group.

So this weekend will not even establish a preliminary pecking order among Minnesota's top girls AAU teams, but 4 of the perennially powerful elite teams--Metro Stars, Minnesota Fury, Minnesota Stars, and North Tartan--will be participating.

Rosters are now published, so we can establish a pecking order of our very own, I suppose. And the best summer girls AAU teams in Minnesota will be, 1st among the oldest girls; then among the younger age groups.

1. North Tartan Nike Elite (17&u) Coach Gerard Coury

C and F-Gracia Hutson, Hopkins; Marian Monke, Fergus Falls; Khadidja Schumpert, Benilde; Kali Peschel, Sauk Centre; Whitney Tinjum, Chisago Lakes
G- Marissa Janning, Watertown-Mayer; Tessa Cichy, Hill-Murray; Rebekah Dahlman, Braham; Mikayla Bailey, Osseo; Joanna Hedstrom, Minnetonka

Questions--How many balls are they going to use? How are they going to allocate minutes among such a group? Who can possible beat 'em? Well, stuff has a way of happening in the summer, and they will lose a few. Besides, they don't even have the best frontcourt. The backcourt, on the other hand, is ridiculous.

2. Metro Stars Black Coach Coach Steve Reiter

Coach Andy Borowicz, under whom Black has had considerable success the past 2-3 years, leaving Black under coach Steve Reiter from Blaine.

C and F- Jackie Johnson, Eden Prairie; AnneMarie Healy and Tayler Finley, Providence; Amy Eschrich, Prior Lake
G- Katybeth Biewen, Edina, Alexis Foley, White Bear Lake; Brittney Scherber, Jefferson

Backcourt is high in quality, low in quantity. In the front, Jackie Johnson can neutralize entire front courts without a sweat.

3. Minnesota Stars Taylor (Coach Willie Taylor)

C and F- McKenzie Hoelmen, Lakeville North; Kayla Timmerman, Wayzata; Josie Dillon, Benilde; Jade Martin, Kennedy
G- Taylor Stewart, Lakeville North; Allina Starr, DeLaSalle; Jen Hill, St. Paul Central; JesscaHart, Eagan; Heather Bowe, Eau Claire Regis

4. Minnesota Fury Elite Coach Andy Cerisier

C- Lauren Deadrick, Waconia; Whitney Weisz, Little Falls; Natalie Larson, Cambridge; Anna Rynda, New Prague
G- Megan Van Hulzen, Park Center; Amie Tunheim, Orono

I guess you could say there's a big 3 and a little 2.

5. Minnesota Stars DeWitt (Coach Dave DeWitt)

C and F- Olivia Antilla, Benilde; Mariah Groosfelt, Wayzata; Amber Mehr, Eastview
G- Janay Morton and Phyllis Webb, Osseo; Whitney Olson, Cambridge

Meanwhile, Among the 15&Us

1. Metro Stars 15&u Coach Mike Amos

C and F- Erin O'Toole, Hopkins; Tiffany Flaata, Prior Lake; Mikaala Shackleford, Hopkins
G- Nia Coffey and Taylor Anderson, Hopkins; Leah Szabla and Natalie Ratliff, Providence; MC McGrory, Edina

2. North Tartan 15&u Coach John Herbrechtsmeyer

C and F- Savanna Trapp, Esko; Tyseanna Johnson, DeLaSalle; Tyra Johnson, Eastview; Clarissa Ober, Glencoe; Talayiah Rich, Cooper
G- Tesha Buck, Red Wing; Grace Coughlin, Benilde

3. Minnesota Stars Smith (Coach Mark Smith)

C and F- Danni Renner, White Bear Lake; Sade Chatman, St. Paul Central; Simon Kolander, Lakeville Nort
G- Hannah Zerr, Shakopee; Jaqlyn Poss, Roseville; Paige Waytashek, Centennial; Betsy McDonald, St. Paul Central; Larissa Lurken, Park

4. Minnesota Suns Fassett (Coach James Fassett)

C and F- Mikayla Diers, New Life

G- Jessica January, Richfield; Alexis Long and Abby Torgerson, Maranatha

Other Nice Collections of Talent

1. North Tartan 14& u

C and F- Tonoia Wade, Kennedy; Rayna Sherow, St. Paul Central; Carly McMorris, Park Center; Claire Lundberg, Anoka

2. Minnesota Stars 14&u Coach Willie Taylor

C and F- Jordyn Alt, Mounds View; Bailey Norby, Forest Lake
G- Sydney Lamberty, Park; Madison Dean, Jordan; Grace Sawatzke, Monticello

3. North Tartan 13&u Coach Jake Kuppe

C and F- Sam Trammel, Hopkins; T. T. Starks, Hopkins; Monica Burich, Roseville
G- Hannah Schuab, Park Center; Kanani Asuncion, Rochester Century

4. Minnesota Fury Sophomore Blue Coach Tim Peper

C and F-Jenna Goldsmith, St. Anthony; Stephanie Dressen, Waconia
G- Deanna Busse, Prior Lake; Natalie Van Whye, St. Michael-Albertville, Courtney Hayford, Waseca

5. North Tartan 10 &U

G- Olivia Coughlin, Kelsey Peschel

Summer Pre-Season All-Stars

1st-- Jackie Johnson, Kayla Timmerman, Kali Peschel, Rebekah Dahlman, Katybeth Biewen

2nd--Gracia Hutson, Tyseanna Johnson, Whitney Tinjum, Phyllis Webb, Marissa Janning

3rd--Sam Trammel, Carly McMorris, Jade Martin, Alexis Foley, Tessa Cichy

Breakout (sophomores to be and younger)--Trammel, McMorris, T. T. Starks, Jessica January, Kenisha Bell. 2nd Team--Jordyn Alt, Jenna Goldsmith, Clair Lundberg, Kanani Asuncion, Grace Coughlin. 3rd--Bailey Norby, Alexis Alexander, Maddi Lee, Micaela Noga, Tia Elbert

Alan Holst's 2010-2011 Awards for MN High School Men in NCAA D1



Jordan Taylor , Wisconsin

6-1, 195, junior, Benilde-St. Margaret’s, 1st team All-Big Ten, 2nd team All-American (AP, Sporting News), led Wisconsin in assists, 18.1 ppg, high of 39 vs. Indiana, 15 games of 20+ points


G Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin

G Blake Hoffarber, Minnesota

6-4, 210, senior, Hopkins, Academic All-America 2nd team, All-Big Ten Honorable Mention, led Minnesota in assists, 13.6 ppg, high of 26 vs. Purdue, 4 20+ point games

G Trent Lockett, Arizona State

6-4, 211, sophomore, Hopkins, All-Pac 10 2nd team, led ASU in scoring, 13.4 ppg, high of 24 vs. Weber State, 5 20+ point games

F Trevor Mbakwe, Minnesota

6-8, 240, junior, St. Bernard’s and Henry Sibley, All-big Ten 2nd team, led Gophers in scoring and rebounding, #12 rebounder in the nation, 13.9 ppg, high of 24 pts vs. Iowa, that was his only 20+ point game

C Jon Leuer, Wisconsin

6-10, 230, senior, Orono, All-Big Ten 1st team, led Badgers in scoring and rebounding, 18.3 ppg, high of 29 vs. South Dakota, 14 20+ point games


G Nate Wolters, South Dakota State

6-3, 189, sophomore, St. Cloud Tech, All-Summit 1st team, led South Dakota State in scoring, assists, steals, #10 in the nation in assists, 19.5 ppg, high game of 36 vs. NDSU, 13 20+ point games

G Kwadzo Ahelegbe, Northern Iowa

6-2, 213, senior, Tartan, College Insider mid-major All-America 1st team, All-Missouri Valley 1st team, MVC defensive player of the year, led No. Iowa in steals and assists, 1,329 career points, 14.1 ppg, high game of 26 points (3 times), 9 20+ point games

G Cameron Rundles, Wofford

6-1, 190, senior, DeLaSalle, All-Southern conference 3rd team, 1,169 career points, 13.9 ppg, high 26 points vs. George Mason, 8 20+ point games

F Noah Dahlman, Wofford

6-6, 215, senior, Braham, All-Southern conference 1st team, #17 nationally FG percentage, led Wofford in scoring, 2,013 career points, 20.1 ppg, high of 37 vs. Elon, 18 20+ point games

C Mike Muscala, Bucknell

6-10, 223, sophomore, F-C, Patriot League Player of the Year, All-Patriot 1st team, led Bucknell in scoring, rebounding and blocks, 14.9 ppg, high of 33 vs. American, 9 20+ point games


Al Nolen, Minnesota

6-1, senior, G, led Minnesota in steals, 8.4 ppg, high of 17 vs. West Virginia


Alec Brown, Wisconsin Green Bay

7-0, 205, freshman, Winona, Horizon League All-Newcomer 1st team, 10.2 ppg, high of 22 vs. Valparaiso


Noah Dahlman, Wofford 2013 points

Kwadzo Ahelegbe, Northern Iowa 1329 points

Justin Stommes, Eastern Kentucky 1277 points

Cory Johnson, Valparaiso, Iowa State 1170 points

Cameron Rundles, Wofford, Montana 1169 points

David Hicks, Long Island 1157 points


20.1 Noah Dahlman (Wofford) 37 v Elon

19.5 Nate Wolters (South Dakota State) 36 v North Dakota State

18.3 Jon Leuer (Wisconsin) 29 v South Dakota

18.1 Jordan Taylor (Wisconsin) 39 v Indiana

15.2 David Hanson (Cal Poly) 29 v Cal State Bakersfield

15.1 Zach Filzen (Buffalo) 30 v Milwaukee

14.9 Mike Muscala (Bucknell) 33 v American

14.1 Kwadzo Ahelegbe (Northern Iowa) 26 v Creighton & Drake & George Mason

14.1 Cory Johnson (Valparaiso) 33 v Oakland

13.9 Trevor Mbakwe (Minnesota) 24 v Iowa

13.9 Cameron Rundles (Wofford) 26 v George Mason

13.6 Blake Hoffarber (Minnesota) 26 v Purdue

13.4 Trent Lockett (Arizona State) 24 v Weber State

12.6 Jamar Diggs (Wofford) 24 v Tennessee Chattanooga

11.7 Jordan Hicks (Loyola Illinois) 21 v Western Michigan

11.7 Justin Stommes (Eastern Kentucky) 24 v Western Carolina

10.9 David Hicks (Long Island) 24 v St. Francis

10.2 Alec Brown (Wisconsin Green Bay) 22 v Valparaiso

10.1 Eric Carlson (North Dakota State)

9.6 Rashad Allison (Arkansas State) 26 v Louisiana Lafayette

9.6 Trevor Gruis (South Dakota) 19 v New Jersey Tech (22 v Tabor College)

8.7 Marshall Bjorklund (North Dakota State) 22 v Centenary

8.4 Al Nolen (Minnesota) 17 v West Virginia

8.1 Freddy Coleman (North Dakota State) 21 v Fresno State

8.0 Drew Lundberg (North Dakota State) 14 v Southern Utah (16 v Valley City State)

7.6 Aaron Anderson (North Dakota) 19 v Utah Valley

7.6 Sam Dower (Gonzaga) 27 v San Diego

7.6 Lucas Kuipers (Rice) 16 v SMU

7.5 Jordair Jett (St. Louis) 18 v Missouri State

7.5 Angelo Johnson (Southern Mississippi) 21 v St. Louis

6.8 Rodney Williams (Minnesota) 17 v Western Kentucky

6.6 Rickey Parks (Arkansas Pine Bluff) 13 v Jackson State

6.5 Steve Baker (Wisconsin Green Bay) 20 v Butler

6.3 Emmanuel Addo (Northern Colorado) 14 v Arizona & Portland State

6.3 Mike Felt (North Dakota State) 22 v Oral Roberts

5.8 Brandon Brekke (North Dakota) 19 v New Jersey Tech

5.7 Calvin Godfrey (Iowa State) 23 v Colorado

5.3 Ethan Wragge (Creighton) 22 v St. Joseph’s

5.2 Ray Cowels (Santa Clara) 18 v Northern Colorado

4.8 Marc Sonnen (Northern Iowa) 17 v Bradley

4.6 Mike Bruesewitz (Wisconsin) 18 v Wisconsin Green Bay

4.6 Cole Stefan (La Salle) 15 v Richmond & Dayton

4.4 Dyami Starks (Columbia) 20 v American

3.5 Alex Rubin (Illinois State) 10 v Jacksonville State

3.3 Armond Battle (Wright State) 13 v Wisconsin Green Bay

3.3 Mike Fitzgerald (Air Force) 13 v Brigham Young & New Mexico

3.2 Josh Figini (Cornell) 9 v Brown

3.1 Andrew Brommer (Iowa) 12 v Iowa State & Ohio State

2.8 Emeka Okafor Jr. (Western Illinois) 13 v North Dakota State

2.6 Kevin Noreen (West Virginia) 7 v VMI

2.4 Jared Berggren (Wisconsin) 12 v North Carolina State

2.1 Sean Thurston (Jacksonville State) 8 v Eastern Kentucky

1.8 Mike Broghammer (Notre Dame) 5 v Georgia Southern

1.7 Mitch Wilmer North Dakota 10 v (North Dakota State)

1.4 Fred Newell ((North Dakota) State) 2 v Centenary (5 v Mayville)

1.3 Nick Haugen (North Dakota) 6 v Sacramento State

1.1 Taylor Filipek (Eastern Kentucky) 5 v Minnesota

1.0 Chris Taylor (Brown) 6 v Maine

0.6 Tor Anderson (Montana State) 3 v Iowa State

0.6 Jake Kreuser (Lafayette) 2 v 3 teams (6 v Susqueha)

0.5 Brad Brown (Utah State) 3 v Idaho

0.0 Dominique Dawson (Minnesota)