Lindsay Whalen, Minnesota Lynx, PG. In case you'd forgotten, the Lynx won the WNBA title this (2011-2012) basketball season in darn near a cakewalk, and many thought that Whalen was their best player. She scored 12 ppg on 46 percent shooting and team-bests of 4 assists and 1.5 steals.
Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves, PF. Just keeps getting better, and now he's pulling his team along with him. Averaging 27 points and 14 boards, while the Wolves are 25-27 and 2.5 games out of the playoffs.
Rachel Banham, Minnesota Gopher women, fr., PG. Scored 16 ppg as a true freshman, and added 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.
Tyus Jones, Apple Valley boys, soph., PG. Will be the most heavily recruited Minnesota boy before he's through.
Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves, PG. A terrifically charismatic and creative force with the rock, he averaged 11 points and 8 assists before going down with the knee injury. Along with Adelman and Love, most responsible for the Wolves' turnaround.
Nia Coffey, Hopkins girls, jr., F. Girls player of the year according to several selections. A terrific force on defense, creating turnovers, mopping up on the boards. Does it all.
Seimone Augustus, Minnesota Lynx, SG. In case you'd forgotten, the Lynx won the WNBA title last year in darn near a cakewalk, and shooting guard Augustus was the Lynx' top vote-getting in WNBA MVP voting. She was also the Lynx' leading scorer at 22 ppg on the ridiculous shooting percentage for her position of 53 percent.
Trevor Mbakwe, Minnesota Gopher men, sr., PF. A man among boys until he tore his ACL. He scored 14 ppg on 60 percent shooting, and he added 9 boards per game. Now it looks like he'll be back for a 6th year.
Joey King, Eastview, sr., F. One and done in the state tournament, but he is a force and a high flyer.
James Ellisor, Bemidji State, sr., F. Led the Beavers to a shocking #1 seed in the NSIC playoffs. NSIC Player of the Year, very deservedly so.
Coach of the Year Candidates
Rick Adelman, Minnesota Timberwolves. Probably deserves more credit than anybody for the Wolves improvement.
Ruth Sinn, St. Thomas women. Took her Tommies to the Final Four for the 1st time since 2002.
Billy McKee, Augsburg women. Made a moribund program competitive again.
Brian Cosgriff, Hopkins girls. Repeat Class AAAA champions, Cosgriff's 4th overall.
Johnny Tauer, St. Thomas men. Led Tommies to co-championship of regular season and championship of post-season in his 1st year as Steve Fritz' successor.
Mark Gerber, Eastview boys. The best team in the state for much of the season, no more so than when beating Lakeville North, Apple Valley and Madison (WI) Memorial in one week.
Tubby Smith, Minnesota Gophers. Gophers showed signs of breaking through.
Dave Montbriand, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa. Second time was the charm.
Matt Bowen, Bemidji State. Led Bemidji to a shocking #1 seed into NSIC post-season tournament.
Team of the Year Candidates
Hopkins girls. Repeat Class AAAA champs. Would have been unbeatable except they somehow lost one.
St. Thomas women. Made it all the way to the D3 Final Four.
Minnesota Timberwolves, Improvement, competitiveness, excitement at last.
Eastview boys. They didn't win it all but nobody has ever had a week like they had in January, beating Lakeville North, Apple Valley and Madison (WI) Memorial.
St. Thomas men. Regular season co-champion, post-season champion of the MIAC.
Osseo boys. Pulled the big upset of the year 87-86 over Hopkins in 3OT in the state semi.
Winona State men. Regular season champion of the NSIC but for use of an ineligible player.
Gopher men. Showed signs of life.
Augsburg women. Much improved, from doormat to nearly .500 in the MIAC.
Bemidji State men. Won the #1 seed into the NSIC tournament.
Game of the Year Candidates
Osseo boys 87 Hopkins 86 (3OT), state AAAA semi-final
Minnesota Gopher women 76 Ohio State 65, Big 10 regular season game
Augsburg women 61 St. Ben's 53. Mike Durkin's 1st loss to Augsburg in his 26 years on the job.
Minnesota Gopher men 77 Indiana 74
Benilde boys 76 Hopkins 71
Wayzata girls 66 Hopkins 57
Eastview boys 64 Madison Memorial 37
Prairie Seeds boys 165 Math & Science Academy 37. All-time high scoring game for 1 team.
Augsburg men 74 Houston Baptist 68. Rare D3 over D1 upset.
Moorhead State men 81 Ausustana 76
(tie) Moorhead State men 90 Winona State 72