Tuesday, May 29, 2012

NBA Draft Lottery Coming on Wednesday Night

The NBA Draft 2012 is just a month away and we still don't know who will be drafting #1, #2, etc. We know, of course, who will be drafting #18 and that is the Minnesota Timberwolves, who hold the Utah Jazz' pick as a result of the Jazz having snuck into the 2011 WNBA playoffs.

There's been vastly less excitement and interest in the Wolves draft pick to date, as compared to the past several years when the Wolves were truly horrible and therefore had several  top 5 picks that turned into Ricky Rubio, Derrick Williams, and others. At #18, the Wolves are not going to get a blue-chipper or anything like that. Maybe a guy who can play a few minutes, but hey, they already got that at #2 last year. So maybe not even that.

But, whatever, you pick the best guy you can get and at #18 that looks like.... Just teasing. You've gotta go through a mock draft to know who they fan get at #18. And I'm not gonna go through a complete mock draft just yet.

But I will say this:

1. Anthony Davis, Kentucky, 6-10, C-PF. No matter who has the 1st pick is gonna pick Davis, who is head and shoulders ahead of everybody else in what may be a weak draft (after him). I mean, how many guys can go 1-for-10 from the field and still be far and away the best player on the court, as Davis did in the NCAA final? 6 points, 16 boards, 5 assists, 6 blocks, 3 steals.

The rest of the top 5 is entirely dependent on who's doing the drafting, however. If the lottery goes according to the standings you'd have Charlotte at #1, followed by Washington, Cleveland, New Orleans and Sacramento, but that's not going to happen. One almost hopes for Mr. Davis' sake that Charlotte, the most dysfunctional NBA franchise in history, drops out of #1, but then you'd be wishing Charlotte on somebody else and who could do such a thing?

In any event, the top 6 candidates regardless of order are as follows. It will be a surprise if these are not the top 6 picks.

Harrison Barnes, North Carolina, SF. Started his college career as the #1 guy in his class, has slipped to #5 or #6. "Barnes' tourney performance didn't do him any favors, as his inability to create shots for himself (without Marshall) was exposed, but ... his high basketball IQ and strong character make him a GM's wet dream, and a potential cornerstone at the small forward position for all of his suitors." Comp is Glen Rice.

Bradley Beal, Florida State, 6-4, SG. "More than just a spot-up threat, Beal can change directions, pull back and shoot off the dribble. As a ballhandler, he sees the open space whether it's splitting a double team or spinning away from his defender. He's also an excellent passer for a 2-guard." Comp is Eric Gordon. 

Davis. "Davis has an almost unfair comb inaction of length, reflexes and intensity. He should become a defensive enforcer at the NBA level and if he can bulk up and develop a post game, the sky is the limit." This Web site goes on to compare him to Kevin Garnett. 'Nuff sed.

Andre Drummond, Connecticut, 6-10, PF. "Drummond had an up-and-down season and is considered by some as a possible bust. He stands a great chance to get a GM fired whether it be for selecting him too high, or not taking him. An absolute physical specimen with incredible mobility and athleticism for a player his size. Unfortunately his motor runs hot and cold, and his body language is not great...." The chomp is Amare Stoudamire.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky, 6-7, SF. "A strong 6-foot-7 forward with substantial length (7-foot wingspan) and athleticism, Gilchrist projects as a shutdown defender at the 3 position. He may not be your most adept shot-creator, but ...MKG proved all year that he never takes a play off." Gerald Wallace is the comp.

Thomas Robinson, Kansas, 6-9, PF. "Showing the ability to consistently knock down mid-range jumpshots, as well as get to the rim off the dribble, elevated his stock to possibly being the second overall pick." Then comes the caution, however. The Web site that said this then said he compares to Derrick 
Williams. So he'll need some time to become a contributor at the NBA level. 

If the lottery went in order (Charlotte, Washington, Cleveland, New Orleans, Sacramento) the picks would probably be Davis to Charlotte, Robinson or Kidd-Gilchrist to Washington, Kidd-Gilchrist or Beal to Cleveland, Robinson or Drummond to New Orleans, Barnes to Sacramento. (Kidd-Gilchrist is gone at #3 if not #2, Robinson is gone at #4 if not #2, which means that #6 (Portland) would be Beal or Drummond, whichever remains, but Portland would vastly prefer Beal to be available.)

Full mock draft to come. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Look Back at the 2012s

I've probably forgotten a few who should be on the list.

1. Marissa Janning, Watertown-Mayer, point guard. Creighton-bound. Rated #1 in her class back in 8th and 9th grade. Gave way to Johnson, then Cichy, then some others over time. But nobody much objected when she was named Ms. Basketball and PoY by various services. A really really sweet player.

2. Jackie Johnson, Eden Prairie, post. Minnesota Gopher recruit. The best inside player among the 2012s. Plays hard, finishes. It will be interesting to see how far she can play away from the basket in the Big 10 because she's undersized in the middle at the next level.

3. Sydney Coffey, Hopkins, wing-guard. Going to Marist. Became a great shooter, can get to the rim, too. And she is an excellent defender, to boot.

4. Shayne Mullaney, Eden Prairie, point guard. Another Gopher recruit from EP. It will be interesting to compare her progress at the next level with Janning's. I've always been a big Mullaney supporter. She is very creative, a great scorer, has great court sense. But was she really the guard that Borton wanted, or will Janning be a more productive collegian?

5. Whitney Tinjum, Chisago Lakes, forward. Washington State recruit. Skilled and 6-2, too. Great scorer in high school, at least.

6. Alexis Foley, White Bear Lake, guard. Going to Illinois State. Another glue-type player, made her teammates better. Great on both ends of the court.

7. Katybeth Biewen, Edina, point guard. Another hard-nosed, creative 1 with the ability to score or pass. Great floor leader, great glue-type player.

8. Marissa Grossfeld, Wayzata, forward. Under-rated. Teammate Kayla Timmerman is Iowa-bound, Grossfeld going to Illinois-Chicago. But it was Grossfeld who did the dirty work every single night and never took a night off. Did it all.

9. Kali Peschel, Sauk Centre, small forward-wing-off guard. Rated as high as #2 by some, but injured as a senior and dropped down my list. Has every opportunity to re-establish herself as an Iowa Hawkeye. I wonder what position she will play. Probably off guard, but she's not a great ball-handler nor big enough to play inside.

10. Brittney Scherber, Bloomington Jefferson, point guard. Ditto what I said about Biewen. Ball-handling, scoring, glue, outstanding all-around guard.

11. Kadidjah Shumpert, Benilde-St. Margaret's, big forward. Solid, athletic.

12. Tessa Cichy, Hill-Murray, combo guard. Dropped all the way from #1-#2. Had a spectacular summer after her sophomore year and moved way way up, and once scored 51 points in a game. But she also had 2 widely noted melt-downs in 2 state tournaments. Ended up at Wisconsin, some say as a walk-on. Still, has a chance to re-establish herself in the Big 10.

13. Mikayla Bailey, Osseo, combo guard. Great defender, hot and cold as an offensive threat. Seems to be a reach by Pam Borton to make her a Minnesota Gopher. But, hey, a chance to re-establish herself against the best in college ball.

14. Anne Marie Healy, Providence, forward. Solid, a cog for Ray Finley's machine, but a really solid all-around cog.

15. Mia Loyd, DeLaSalle, forward. Missed much of her junior year with a knee, but came on strong down the stretch as a senior.

16. Kayla Timmerman, Wayzata, post-big forward. Good size but prefers to play away from the basket where she lacks quickness but has a solid 3 point shot. Iowa-bound.

17. Mariah Adanane, DeLaSalle, off guard. Great scorer inside and out. Suffered a skull fracture as a senior and, amazingly, came back to play some solid minutes in the post-season. But she was still hurting and the injury could be a problem in the future.

18. Whitney Olson, Cambridge-Isanti, shooting guard. Good scoring threat.

19. Mariah Monke, Fergus Falls, post-big forward. 6-2, mobile, nice shooting touch. Is she strong enough to play inside in college? How far from the basket can she be effective?

20. Olivia Antilla, Osseo, big forward. Not that big, not that quick, but knows how to use her body and knows how to play the game.

21. Anna Rynda, New Prague, small forward. Blossomed as a senior.

22. Kionda Nicks, St. Paul Humbold, forward. Also a late bloomer.

23. Mattie Lueck, Pequot Lakes, forward. Great scorer, fundamentally sound, will tear up the MIAC at St. Ben's.

24. Emily Spier, Buffalo, big forward. A solid inside presence.

25. Riley Nordgaard, Canby, combo guard. A do-it-all in high school but may be over her head at Augustana.

26. Katy Kuiper, St. Peter, forward.
27. Richelle Mehus, Spring Grove, shooting guard. Exploded in the post-season, great scorer.
28. Alicia Retterath, Hutchinson, point guard.
29. Josie Dillon, Benilde-St. Margaret's, small forward-off guard. Fundamentally sound.
30. Lexi Long, Maranatha, point guard. Great point with uncanny court sense and decision-making.

31. Abbey Whitney, Sartell-St. Stephen, post. You can't teach 6-5.
32. Ellie Zeller, St. Anthony, point guard. Small, but fundamentally sound and creative, too.
33. Whitney Weisz, Little Falls, forward.
34. Kendra Schmidgall, Hancock, forward. Great all-around player. Does it all.
35. Lauren Trumm, Alexandria, guard.

36. Sarah Durand, Warren-Alvarado-Oslo, post-big forward.
37. Heather Bachmann, Bloomington Kennedy, post.
38. Ashley Hinsch, Zumbrota-Mazeppa, point guard. A better soccer bopper.
39. Nicole Wittman, Hutchinson, forward.
40. Mackenzie Hoelmann, Lakeville North, post.

41. Jessy Noreen, Hawley, guard.
42. Christine Thorn, St. Michael-Albertville, guard.
43. Kelsey Sorenson-Giffrow, Braham, shooting guard. Excellent long-range shooter.
44. Gracia Hutson, Hopkins, post.
45. Erika Tipcke, Goodhue, forward.

46. Haley Guetter, Sartell-St. Stephen, guard.
47. Hannah Schonhardt, Holy Family, guard.
48. Morgan Julius, Hutchinson, forward.
49. Alicia Boe, Sebeka, guard.
50. Taylor Kujava, Ada-Broup, small forward-off guard.

51. Courtney Hulstein, Fulda, guard.
52. Sophie Jaskulske, North St. Paul, post-big forward.
53. Katrina Moenkedick, Perham, forward.
54. Lindsay Lahr, Isle, guard.
55. Megan DeRuyter, Southwest MN Christian, forward.

56. Katie Myhre, Barnum, small forward-off guard.
57. Heather Strese, Brandon-Evansville, big forward.
58. Alex Freeman, Duluth East, forward.
59. Whitney Burmeister, Jackson County Central, shooting guard.
60. Amie Tunheim, Orono, point guard.

61. Savanna Handevidt, Stillwater, post-big forward.
62. Angie Guenther, White Bear Lake, post-big forward. Scored 4-5 ppg, but a great defender.
63. Jesse Hart, Eagan, guard.
64. Megan Van Hulzen, Park Center, forward.
65. Tara Roelofs, Lake Crystal-Welcome Memorial, guard.

66. Claire Van Dyke, Hill-Murray, forward.
67. Lauren Ulsh, Rochester Mayo, post-big forward.
68. Lindsay Johnson, Edina, forward.
69. Mariah McDonald, Ely, guard.
70. Sarah McCann, Owatonna, guard.

71. Ashley Deschampe, Cook County, guard.
72. Michaela Cassavan, Red Lake County Central, guard.
73. Courtney Pahl, Pine Island, guard.
74. Mackenzie Gerber, Worthington, forward.
75. Molly Simpkins, Prior Lake, guard. Was top 30 until knee trouble.

76. Gabby Stienstra, Minnehaha, forward.
77. Micaela Trainor, Winona, post.
78. Jessica Lillquist, Sebeka, forward.
79. Katie Nordick, Providence, forward. A serious oversight, her not making all-state tournament.
80. Alyssa Eschrich, Prior Lake, forward.

81. Gabby Zehrer, Totino-Grace, guard.
82. Anna Schlaak, NRHEG, forward.
83. Marissa Toivonen, Red Wing, post-big forward.
84. Kelsey Hennen, Minneota, guard.
85. Tayor Elton, Spring Grove, guard.

86. Dakotah Winans, Mountain Iron-Buhl, point guard. Did it all for MIB.
87. Lauren Deadrick, Waconia, guard.
88. Taylor Meyer, Farmington.
89. Sydney Schultz, Fergus Falls, guard.
90 (tie). Bryann Guyton, Richfield, forward
     Hannah Wise, Richfield, guard.

92. Shelby Auseth, Kenyon-Wanamingo, guard.
93, Paige Palkovich, Eastview, guard.
94. Megan Coomes, Isle, guard.
95. Kelsey Chambers, Jordan, guard.

96. Karina Schroeder, Lake Crystal-Welcome Memorial, post.
97. Alexa Thielmann, Buffalo, guard.
98. Jenna Orth, Melrose, guard.
99. Heather Lehner, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted, guard.
100. Gretchen Linzmaier, Pine City, post.

Under Consideration for Top 100

Michelle Savegeau, North St. Paul, guard.
Zoe Hanson, Chisago Lakes, guard. Playing with Tinjum, unfortunately, she never learned to look for her own shot.
Tegan Molden, MACCRAY, forward.
Kayli Muckenhirn, Detroit Lakes, forward.

No Test This Time (Lynx 84 Seattle 71)

Ho hum. The Lynx made it 4-0 with an easy 84-71 win over Seattle. And in doing so, showed another way to win.

So far this year, in 3 games, they've absolutely shot out the lights from 2-point range. Let the other guy hit a few 3s, we're just gonna make 57-58 percent from 2 point range, and you can't keep up with 3s.

Well, this time the Lynx shot 8-of-14 from 3-point range--5-of-7 by Mya Moore--while making a measly 41.5 percent of their 2-point efforts, But they also held the Storm to 38 percent shooting and a pathetic 34 percent on 2-pointers.

With some easy early wins, the Lynx are finding plenty of minutes even though their going 11-deep with their regular rotation. At the same time, that means that a lot of different combinations are seeing game time together. All of which bodes well for the longer term. Yesterday the minutes looked like this:

C- Taj 24 Adair 16
PF- Brunson 19 Harris 10 Peters 10 Adair 1
SF- Moore 28 Wright 11 Peters 1
PG- Whalen 25 Wiggins 11 Thorn 4
SG- Augustus 23 Wiggins 9 Wright 8

Wright is most improved. Peters is more ready than anticipated. Thorn has been unable to dislodge Wiggins as the top back-up at the point. Otherwise the minutes are about what you'd expect, except that the starters simply haven't been needed as much as they usually are. That of course is because the starters are playing so frighteningly (for the opposition) well. Augustus is the MVP so far, Taj the most amazing, Moore the superstar in waiting, Brunson just incredibly strong, and Whalen the crafty veteran. Everybody has the ability to step up and on any given night, somebody does. This team is very likely to keep its losses in the single digits this year.

Friday, May 25, 2012

L.A. Sparks Test Lynx, but Lynx Win 92-84

After a pair of 20-point wins to open the 2012-2013 season, the defending WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx were pushed and hard by the Los Angeles Sparks before dominating the 4th quarter 26-14 for a 92-84 win.

The Lynx trailed 61-52 and 63-54 in the 3rd quarter when the rally began. Seimone Augustus scored 3 buckets in the final 4 minutes of the 3rd, while rookie Devereux Peters added a pair including a layup on a Seimone assist at 4 seconds to get the Lynx within 70-66.

Rebekkah Brunson scored 5 points in the 1st 2 minutes and change of the 4th period, and the Lynx led for the 1st time since 40-39. The lead then changed hands several times through 82-82 at 2;47 when Candace Wiggins and Seimone hit a pair of 3-pointers for an 88-82 Minnesota lead. Lindsay Whalen closed out the scoring for the Lynx with 4 FT.

The Lynx had had an awesome 1st quarter, starting out 7-0 and then breaking away from a 17-all tie. 5 different Lynx scored to make it 30-19 at the quarter break. L.A. roared back with a 28-14 2nd quarter edge as Candace Parker used her quickness to get open for a variety of layups and 10 2nd quarter points in all.

Parker and rookie Nneka Ogwumike gave the Sparks a big inside scoring edge with 43 total points between them. Lynx guards Augustus, Whalen, Wiggins and Monica Wright combined for 52 points on 20-of-37 shots to lead Minnesota. The Lynx shot 30-of-53 2-point FG (58 percent), and also won the possession game with +5 offensive boards and -1 turnover.

L.A. seemed at times to dominate inside but in the end the Lynx won the rebounding battle 30-27. Taj McWilliams-Franklin had 8, and Brunson and Mya Moore 7 each. Taj also led the Lynx with 4 assists and 2 blocked shots.

L.A. had had the Lynx on their heels for most of the 2nd and 3rd quarters, but the Lynx won, first, because they battled, they played hard every possession down the stretch. Secondly, they play wonderfully as a unit. Everybody is in constant motion, with and without the ball, and everybody plays defense like they mean it.

This game showed that the Lynx--or, more to the point, their fans--ought not to be thinking seriously about an undefeated season. Yet this was a game the Lynx certainly could have and probably should have lost. That they managed a W after trailing by 9 in the late going only solidifies their status as WNBA favorites.

Three Stars: Candace Parker 23 points 6 rebounds; Seimone Augustus 25 points; Kristi Tolliver 23 points 4 assists

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lynx Unbeatable So Far with L.A. Sparks Coming to Town Thursday

The Lynx are at it again. They've started the 2012 season right were they left off in 2011, with 2 more wins--no, make that, easy wins. The Phoenix Mercury were the 1st victim in a 105-83 route. I should say that defending WNBA scoring leader Diana Taurasi was out the other night (and will remain out for awhile), sob eating the Mercury was probably never in doubt.

Then it was the New York Liberty, that is to say the "winless New York Liberty," as the WNBA's game report says. Again, it was pretty easy at 80-62.

So while the Lynx haven't yet been tested, you could say that they've won with a couple of different styles of play. Uptempo (86 possessions) vs. Phoenix, not so much (70 possessions) vs. NYC. What is a little surprising is that the Lynx have not been winning the possession game so far with 156 in 2 games to their opponents 164. The Lynx have 20 offensive boards, the other guys have 25. And the Lynx have 29 turnovers, same as the opposition.

But what the Lynx have by way of advantage, they have in spades, and that is the simply ability to put the ball in the hole. And I don't mean from 3-point range where the Lynx are 7-of-18 while Phoenix and NY have made 17 shots.

I mean from good old-fashioned 2-point range. The Lynx have made a phenomenal 69-of-121 2-pointers for 57 percent. They have outscored the other guy with 69 2-pointers to just 38 (38-for-102 or 37 percent).

Seimone Augustus tied for the WNBA's pre-season MVP in the coach's poll, and has come out accordingly. I mean, she is smokin' with 41 points and 10 boards in the 2 games. May Moore has 28 points, 9 boards and 11 assists. Rebekah Brunson 26 points, 17 boards and 5 blocks. Monica Wright has added 23 points off the bench. Lindsay Whalen and Taj have k17 and 15 points, and Taj has added 15 boards and 7 assists. Candace Wiggins has 14 points off the bench.

No wonder 10 of 12 WNBA coaches picked the Lynx to repeat as WNBA champion.

So, will Thursday night's contest against the L.A. Sparks be a better test for our local juggernaut? The Sparks feature another (along with Seimone) of the WNBA's top performers in Candace Parker, who scored 21 points with 10 boards and 4 assists in the Sparks' opener last night. And guards Alana Beard and Kristi Tolliver are a seasoned duo who scored 31 points with 12 boards, 6 assists and 3 steals between them last night. And L.A. easily won the possession game against the declining Seattle Storm, and will give the Lynx a battle on that score.

But L.A. shot just 28-for-64 last night and just 20-for-44 (45 percent) on 2s. The Lynx should be able to show L.A. a thing or two about the good old-fashioned 2-point game. Moore and Brunson match up especially well against the Sparks' forwards and may be poised for big games.

So, no. Tested? The Lynx will have to be tested another night. I will be there Thursday and will let you know what I see.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

North Tartan Takes 4 of 7 State AAU Titles

North Tartan took 4 of 7 state girls AAU titles, including the featured 2013 title for seniors-to-be, Sunday at Bloomington Kennedy High School.


Among the 2013s #1 seed North Tartan Nike Elite (Coury) defeated #3 MN Stars (Borowicz) 60-56. Tartan had defeated MN Fury 2013 Blue (Cerisier) 60-51 in one semi, while the Stars knocked off Tartan's second 2013 squad NT 16U (Olsen). Olsen had upset #2 seed Metro Stars Black (Amos) 34-33 in a quarter-final game. This was the only bracket in which a top 4 seed did NOT advance to the semis.

In the final, Tyseanna Johnson led with 17 points while Tesha Buck added 14 for Tartan. Phyllis Webb scored 16 and Allina Starr 12 for MN Stars.


It was a tough weekend for the #2 seeds. Only 1 of them, MN Stars (Martin) (2016), made it to the finals. But once there, Martin defeated #1 MN Fury 2016 Blue (Sinn) easily at 40-19. Fury had defeated Crossfire, and Stars Martin had knocked off North Tartan 13U in the semi, as all 4 of the seeds had advanced that far.

Jasmyn Martin was the only MN Star in double figures in the final with 10, while Taylor Koenen did the same for Fury.


All of the other #2s lost in the semi-finals to the #3 seeds in the various classes. One of the #3s was also successful in winning a state title. That was MN Stars (Taylor), who upset #1 North Tartan Alexander 57-53. Taylor upset #2 Metro Stars 15U, while Tartan beat MN Fury 2014 Blue in the semis featuring all 4 of the seeds.

Sydney Lamberty and Carlie Wagner led the Stars in the final with 16 points. Tonoia Wade and Cayla McMorris scored 11 and Micaela Noga 10 for Tartan.


The other 3 classes, 2015, 2017 and 2018, were won by Tartan squads. At 2015 it was #1 North Tartan (Herbrechtsmayer) over #3 Metro Stars 14U Black (Weise) 36-35 in OT. Tartan defeated MN Fury 2015 Blue while Metro Stars upset #2 MN Stars (Antl) in the semis.

In the final, Maddie Guebert (Eastview) led all scorers with 16, while Olivia Hass had 12 for Tartan.


Among the 2017s, North Tartan (Kuppe) defeated #3 MN Stars (Johnson) 34-32. Tartan head defeated #4 Fury 2017 Gold in 1 semi, and Stars Johnson beat MN Fury 20178 Blue in the other. Alison Gerald led Kuppe with 9 points, while Raennah Johnson scored 12 for the Stars.

And at 2018, it was #1 North Tartan West Theisen 46 #3 FM Fusion 30. Tartan beat MN Suns (Long) while Fusion beat #2 seeded NC Heat in the semis. Marie Olson led Tartan with 14 points.

MN Thunder (Bueckers) (2019) defeated MN Stars (Nelson) 42029 in the final. McKenna Hofschild scored 16 points and Paige Bueckers 13 for the winners.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Gopher Women Sign Their 1st 2013

The Minnesota Gopher women and coach Pam Borton have finally signed a player from the mighty 2013s, generally regarded as among the best classes that the Gopher state has ever produced. No, it's not #1 (mine) Nia Coffey or #1 (HoopGurlz') Rebekah Dahlman or my #2 Tyseanna Johnson.

It's Joanna Hedstrom, formerly of Minnetonka and rumored to be playing for the Hopkins Royals this fall. Now, I will admit to having Hedstrom rated as the #16 player in the 2013s, and the #11  guard after Coffey, Dahlman, Allina Starr, Jessica January, Phyllis Webb, MC McGrory, Taylor Anderson, Leah Szabla, Jacqie Poss and Aimee Pelzer.

Obviously I am wrong.

But am I wrong in scratching my head a bit about the signing of Hedstrom after the signings of the following:

2011--Rachel Banham
2012--Shayne Mullaney and Mikayla Bailey
2014--Kenisha Bell and Grace Coughlin, plus Carlie Wagner is reported to have a scholarship offer.

And now:

2013--Joanna Hedstrom, and we still hope like hell that Rebekah Dahlman will be signing up soon.  If so, here is the Gopher roster at the guard spot in 2014-2015:

Junior--Mullaney and Bailey
Soph--Hedstrom and Dahlman
Frosh--Bell and Coughlin (but if Dahlman signs then probably no Wagner, or vice versa, one would hope)

So with either Dahlman or Wagner but not both, that's 7 guards in 2014-2015. That seems like a lot. Or if neither signs, still there are already 6. And to think a few short years ago we had to bring in a pair of JC transfers just to fill up the guard spot to where they could play for 40 minutes!

The question now is who's gonna play in the front court after Loberg and Dvorak and Kellogg are gone. Granted Kayla Hirt and Amanda Zahui and Jackie Johnson will all just be juniors, but that leaves no depth at all. So surely the next Gopher announcement will be a front court player, no? Unless it's Dahlman or Wagner.

Personally my hope would be for an announcement that Tyseanna Johnson (2013) and Cayla McMorris (2014) might be the next Gophers.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Latest HoopGurlz Ratings

HoopGurlz (a feature of ESPN) has posted new ratings of the 2013s and 2014s.

Rebekah Dahlman is rated #22 among the 2013s, and Nia Coffey is #41.

Among the 2014s, Kenisha Bell is rated #19.

The 2015s are an older rating, I think, and they simply list 75 girls on a "watch list" with no #1, #2, etc. T.T. Starks is the one Minnesotan on that list.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Girls AAU State Tournament May 19-20 + UPDATE



The girls AAU tournament will be held next weekend. The exact schedule and locations are not yet published, as far as I'm aware. But the top 4 seeds in each class, based on last weekend's AAU qualifier, include:


1. North Tartan Coury
2. Metro Stars Amos
3. MN Stars Borowicz
4. MN Fury Cerisier

Semis are at 2:15 on Saturday on Kennedy 1 and 2. Finals Sunday at 4:45 on Kennedy 2. Tartan took the Metro Stars apart in the qualifier 52-28 and is undefeated against MN opponents. Stars won the Midwest kickoff 3 weeks earlier, however, as Tartan lost not 1 but 2 games to non-MN teams.

Here are some of the girls you can see in the 2013s:

NT Rebekah Dahlman, Tyseanna Johnson, Savanna Trapp, T.T. Starks
Metro Stars Nia Coffey, Taylor Anderson, MC McGrory, Bryanna Fernstrom


MN Stars Jade Martin, Allina Starr, Jessica January, Phyllis Webb


Fury Erin O;Toole (8 ppg), Kaytlin Kuefler (9 ppg), Jackie Poss (8 ppg) and Larissa Lurken (7 ppg) lead the 5-5 Blue

2014s (15U)

1. North Tartan Alexander
2. Metro Stars Reiter
3. MN Stars Taylor
4. MN Fury Storm

15U semis are at 7:15 Saturday night, also on Kennedy 1 and 2. The final is on Sunday at 3:30 on Kennedy 2.

Both Tartan and Metro Stars lost to All Iowa Attack 3 weeks ago, the Stars by 17, Tartan by 11 Tartan won at the Qualifier 50-43.

NTA Kenisha Bell, Cayla McMorris, Tia Elbert, Micaela Noga, Claire Lundberg
Metro Stars Reiter Hannah Grim, Taylor Thunstedt, Chase Coley
MN Stars Taylor Carlie Wagner, Grace Sawatzke, Madison Dean, Sydney Lamberty, Bailey Norby
Fury Storm Kylie Brown (5 ppg), Ellie Thompson (9 ppg), Katie Quandt (8 ppg) lead the 5-5 Blue

2015s (14U)

1. North Tartan Herbrechtsmeyer
2. MN Stars Antl
3. Metro Stars Wiese
4. MN Fury Peper

Semis Saturday at 6 p.m. on Kennedy 1 and 2. Final 2:15 Sunday on Kennedy 2. NT Herbie beat Stars Antl 52-39 in the final of the Qualifier. They also defeated Metro Stars Wiese 41-29. And they hammered Fury 46-25 in the final at the Kickoff.

NTH Sam Trammel, Courtney Frederickson, Viria Livingston, Hannah Schaub, Monica Burich, Kanani Asuncion


MN Stars Antl Chelsie Kizart, Taylor Kane, Taylor Haugen
Metro Stars Wiese Madison Guebert, Hana Metoxen, Raven DuBois, Ellie Vraa
Fury Peper Nicole Parsons and Alexis Greene lead the way with 9.5 and 6 ppg for the 7-3 Blue.


1. MN Fury Sinn
2. MN Stars Martin
3. North Tartan Kuppe 2016
4. Crossfire

Semis are at 6 p.m. Saturday on Kennedy 3 and 5, final is 1 p.m. Sunday on Kennedy 2.

Fury beat the Stars Martin 31-29 to win the Qualifier and the #1 seed. Tartan beat Crossfire 41-20 for 3rd.

Fury features coach Ruth Sinn and daughter Emma PLUS KAIN OF SIMLEY AND KOENEN OF SHAKOPEE

Stars Martin features Jasmyn Martin
Tartan features Hannah Hedstrom
Crossfire features 6 girls from Wayzata including Sarah Kaminski and Amy Nelson



1. North Tartan Kuppe 2017
2. MN Fury Dalhed
3. MN Stars Johnson
4. Midtown Lady Monarchs

Semis are at 7:15 Saturday night at Jefferson 1 and 2. Finals are at 11:45 a.m. Sunday at Kennedy 2.

Tartan hammered Fury 40-20 in the Qualifier. Cecile Kieger and Temi Carda lead Tartan.


1. North Tartan West Theisen
2. NC Heat
3. FM Fusion
4. MN Suns Long

Semis are at 11:45 a.m. Saturday at Jefferson 1 and 2, finals are Sunday 10:30 a.m. at Kennedy 2.

NT West defeated NC Heat 38-33 in the Qualifier, and features Kelsey Peschel and Maesyn Thiesen.


1. MN Thunder
2. Crossfire
3. MN Stars Nelson
4. North Tartan

The 10U play at 9:15 a.m. each day--semis on Saturday at Jefferson 1 and 2, and finals Sunday on Kennedy 2. The Thunder are led by Paige Bueckers and Julia Austad.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sweet 16 Shaping Up


The annual summer Sweet 16 tournament will be held August 4 and 5 at St. Ben's. The following teams have been invited and/or snubbed.


No info yet on which boys teams have accepted their invitation.

Class AAAA Osseo, Edina, Apple Valley, Eden Prairie. Dunno how they can have a tournament without Hopkins, but there it is. Apple Valley, if Tyus Jones shows up, is the obvious favorite but don't overlook Osseo, if everybody shows up.


Class AAA DeLaSalle, Austin, Grand Rapids, Blake. Yes. DLS is the obvious fave here.


Class AA Rochester Lourdes, Southland, Fairmont, Hayfield. What, no Litchfield? No PEM? From among the 4 actually invited, I'll take Fairmont.


Class A Belgrade-BE, Lakeview Christian, Faribault BA, Heritage Christian. I might have invited Dawson-Boyd and Browerville but Lakeview looks like the fave to me.


But of course they don't play in the 4 classes, that's the point of the Sweet 16. They play in 4 brackets, each with an A, AA, AAA and a AAAA, so the 4 semi-finalists can be all AAAA, for example. Depending on the draw and which players show up, the 4 semi-finalists probably ought to be Apple Valley, DeLaSalle, Osseo and Eden Prairie.


The Pacesetter Web site is tracking who has accepted on the girls side. Those who have accepted are shown in italics.

Class AAAA Hopkins, Bloomington Kennedy, Lakeville North, Eastview. What, no Osseo? Hopkins is the obvious favorite but BK and LN certainly are threats to get to the semis and maybe the finals.


Class AAA DeLaSalle, Richfield, Fergus Falls, Mankato East. What, no Park Center? DLS is an obvious threat here.


Class AA Providence, Esko, Pine Island, Crookston. What, no Carlie Wagner? Providence is a threat to advance to the semis.


Class A Maranatha, Mountain Iron-Buhl, Minneota, Win-E-Mac.


Hopkins, Kennedy, DeLaSalle and Providence look like semi-finalists depending on the draw and which teams and which players show up.

Mock Brackets


So, just for fun, let's say the Boys brackets look like this. These are not the official brackets.

Bracket A Apple Valley, Austin, Fairmont, BBE. AV and Tyus Jones advance.

Bracket B Eden Prairie, Blake, Hayfield and Faribault BA. EP advances.

Bracket C Edina, DeLaSalle, Rochester Lourdes, Heritage. The Islanders advance.

Bracket D Osseo, Grand Rapids, Southland, Lakeview. Osseo advances after an epic Ian Theisen vs. Alex Illikainen battle. 

Semis Apple Valley over EP, DeLaSalle over Osseo. Finals DLS over AV.

3rd Osseo, 5th Grand Rapids over Blake, 7th Austin over Edina, 9th Lakeview over BBE, 11th Hayfield over Lourdes, 13th Fairmont over Heritage, 15th FBA over Southland.

All-Stars T. Jones; Reid Travis and Jarvis Johnson, DLS; Theisen; and Illikainen.


Again, here are some hypothetical brackets.

Bracket A Kennedy, DeLaSalle, Crookston, Maranatha. DeLaSalle advances.

Bracket B Eastview, Fergus, Esko, Minneota. Eastview advances.

Bracket C Hopkins, Mankato East, Pine Island, MIB. Hopkins advances.

Bracket D Lakeville, Richfield, Providence, Win-E-Mac. Providence advances.

Semis DeLaSalle over Eastview, Hopkins over Providence. Finals Hopkins over DeLaSalle.

3d Providence over Eastview, 5th Kennedy over Lakeville North, 7th Fergus over Mankato, 9th Richfield over Maranatha, 11th Esko over MIB, 13th Crookston over Pine Island, 15th Minneota over Win-E-Mac.

All-Stars Nia Coffey and Taylor Anderson, Tyseanna Johnson and Allina Starr, Jade Martin
2nd Team Maddie Guebert,  Kenisha Bell, Brianna Zimmerman, Jessica January, Savanna Trapp
3rd Team Taylor Reiss, Sydney Boike, Onye Osemenam, Leah Szabla, Taylor Stewart

We'll try to keep tabs on further acceptances of these invitations.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What's Up with U.S. National Teams

It's an Olympic year so there will be lots of attention to the U.S. teams, men's and women's, in the London Olympics. And probably everybody knows that the MN Lynx have 3 women--Seimone Augustus, Maya Moore and Lindsay Whalen--on the Olympic team.

Did you know that Kevin Love is one of 22 finalists for the men's team.

And did you know that the Olympics will be around July 29-August 12.

Below the Olympics

Among the younger U.S. teams there are also some MN ballplayers involved.

Tyus Jones is one of 30 finalists for the 17U team that will play in the FIBA Worlds around the same time as the Olympics. Given his stellar performance with the U.S. team a year ago, he ought to be darn near a sure thing to make the team.

Among the girls, Nia Coffey of Hopkins and Rebekah Dahlman of Braham are among the finalists for the 17U and 18U teams, respectively.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday Finish for AAU Qualifier

Play in the Girls AAU Qualifier winds up on Sunday May 6, with most of the favorites advancing to the featured games on Bloomington Kennedy Court #2. See the next post below for some of the "names" who play for these teams.

11th Grade/16U
#2 seed North Tartan Nike Elite (Coury) clobbered #1 Metro Stars Black (Amos) 52-28 to win the AAU Qualifier and, one would think, grab the #1 seed for the AAU state tournament 2 weeks hence. Rebekah Dahlman of NT was the only girl in double figures for either team with 22 points. She and Nia Coffey will be unavailable for the MN title game. Both will be with USA Basketball in Denver, CO.

The #1 and #2 seeds each won 2 games to advance to Sunday's 2:15 p.m. match-up of the 1st place teams in Pool A and Pool B. In Pool A, #1 seeded Metro Stars Black defeated MN Suns Davison 45-32 and MN Stars Borowicz 51-46. In Pool B, #2 seeded North Tartan Nike Elite knocked off MN Fury 2013 Elite 60-47 and MN Stars DeWitt 68-29.

In its win over Borowicz, Stars Black only took the lead for good with 30 seconds remaining on a pair of Nia Coffey FT, according to KJA at kjasr.com. Paige Waytashek led Black with 14 points, Coffey had 13, Leah Szabla 7, Taylor Finley and Tiffany Flaata 6, Emily Spier 4 and Bryanna Fernstrom 3. MC McGrory and Taylor Anderson DNP. Phyllis Webb had 12, Janay Morton 11 for Borowicz,
Jessica January 8, Jade Martin and Jordyn Alt 4 and Allina Starr 2. Sade Chatman, Rachel Doll and Simone Kolander all failed to score coming off the bench.

Earlier Webb scored 12 and January and Chatman 10 each as Borowicz beat MN Stars Davison 62-46, again according to KJA. Angie Davison had 13 for Davison.

10th Grade/15U
North Tartan 15U (Alexander) beat Metro Stars 15U (Reiter) 50-43 in Sunday's final. Kenisha Bell scored 14 points for the winners and Micaela Noga 9, Taylor Thunstedt 9 for the Stars.

#2 seed Metro Stars 15U will represent Pool B in tomorrow's feature game, despite a 42-40 loss to MN Stars Waters. But the Stars beat MN Fury 2014 Blue 36-19, and the Fury beat Waters 52-37. With all 3 teams in Pool B at 1-1, the Stars advance with a +13 point differential.

In Pool A, #1 North Tartan 15U and #3 MN Stars Taylor are still playing as of this writing. The winner of this game will play the Stars at 1 p.m., again that's on Kennedy 2.

9th Grade/14U
Chalk up another title for North Tartan, now it is the 14U to go along with the 15 and 16U. Tartan beat Antl 52-39. Viria Livingston scored 16 for the winners, Taylor Hagen scored 12 for the Stars.

Neither of the top 2 pool winners is known at this time. In Pool A, #1 North Tartan 14U and #3 Metro Stars Black 14U are playing late, and #2 Minnesota Fury 2015 Blue and MN Stars Antl are doing the same in Pool B. The 2 winners will play in the feature game of their age group at 11:45 on Kennedy 2.

8th Grade/13U
MN Fury 2016 Blue edged Stars Martin 31-29 in the final. Erika Schlosser scored 10 for the winners, Jasmyn Martin 14 for the losers.

#1 seed MN Stars Martin will play #2 seed MN Fury 2016 Blue at 3:30 Sunday in the feature game. Martin defeated MN Heat Elite Lund 58-36 and North Tartan 18U 58-55. Fury clobbered North Tartan West 13U 36-14 and Crossfire 44-32.

In its win over NT Kuppe (58-55), Martin was led by Ashley Bates with 12 points off the bench, and Kiara Russell with 11. Nia Hollie Jones added 10 boards. Hannah Hedstrom had 14 and Sarah Hart 12 for Kuppe while Lizzie Odegaard had 6 with 8 boards. Martin led by 9 with 50 seconds left and Kuppe got within 1 at 46-45 after a 3 by Hedstrom. Thanks to KJA for those details.

7th Grade/12U
North Tartan 12U hammered Fury 2017 Blue 40-20. Cecille Kieger and Temi Carda scored 8 each for Tartan, Riley Wheatcraft 5 for Fury.

#1 North Tartan 12U and MN Fury 2017 Blue will kick off the series of feature games on Kennedy 2 at 9:15 a.m. Tartan beat Winona Fury 2017 47-17 and MN Stars Johnson 38-32. Fury, only the #6 seed, advanced with a 1-1 record. Fury defeated Lady Monarchs 12U 49-38 but lost to Metro Stars 12U 30-29 for a +10 point differential. Monarchs and Metro Stars each finished at -5 after Monarchs won their match-up 36-30.

6th Grade/11U
North Tartan West 11U defeated NC Heat 38-33.

The game between 1st place Pool A and 1st place Pool B will be on Jefferson 1 at 2 p.m., and the identity of the competitors will be decided by continuing pool play Sunday morning. #1 North Tartan West 11U and #3 FM Fusion (North Dakota) play at 10:15 on Jeff 1 for 1st place in Pool A. Each has a 13 point win over MN Fury 2018 Blue. #2 NC Heat appears poised to advance from Pool B.

5th Grade/10U
MN Thunder edged Stars Nelson 46-44.

There is no cross-over finale but pool play continues. The big game would seem to be between #1 MN Thunder, which is currently 2-0, and #3 MN Stars Nelson, 3-0 already, with margins of 22, 24 and 24 points. Thunder has a 21 and a 48 point win. These 2 match up at 2:15 on Kennedy 5.

North Tartan Summary
North Tartan won 5 of 7 championships, going 5-0 in the finals.

Earlier this summer I wrote that NT would "Dominate." This is certainly not to say that there are not some other great and good teams out there or that NT would go undefeated. But as long as they're seeded #2 (i.e. not #1) in the premiere division 16U, their year might be characterized as a disappointment. Still their 21-6 cumulative record as a club across all age groups so far in the qualifier seems pretty dominant to me. By comparison, Metro Stars have that #1 ranking at 16U. Overall they're 9-4.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Girls AAU Qualifier This Weekend

The Girls AAU Qualifier is underway at Bloomington Kennedy and Jefferson. This is not the AAU State Tournament but the prelim that will go a long way to determining the seeds and the draw at State. But of course the teams are already seeded. Here are those seeds.

Play continues Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. Sunday will feature a series of 1st place Pool A vs. 1st place Pool B games on Kennedy 2 starting with the 12U at 9:15 and continuing through the 13U at 3:30 p.m. The 16U finale is at 2:15.

http://leaguesville.com/results/tournamentResults.aspx?clientID=32&tournID=168 for details.

11th Grade/16U Division

1. Metro Stars Black featuring Nia Coffey, MC McGrory, Bryanna Fernstrom, Leah Szabla, Taylor Anderson, Tiffany Flaata, Emily Spier, Nathalie Ratliff, Taylor Finley and others.

2. North Tartan Nike Elite. Defeated MN Fury 2013 Elite 60-47 last night. Tyseanna Johnson, Rebekah Dahlman, Savanna Trapp, T.T. Starks, Clarissa Ober, Onye Osemenam, Joanna Hedstrom, Tesha Buck and more.

3. MN Stars Borowicz. With Allina Starr, Jessica January, Taylor Stewart, Jade Martin, Sade Chatman, Phyllis Webb, Simone Kolander, Rachel Doll, Janay Morton and others.

4. MN Fury 2013 Elite. Defeated DeWitt 64-46 then lost to Tartan.
5. MN Suns Davison
6. MN Stars DeWitt
7. North Tartan 16U
8. MN Stars Bebo
9. MN Suns Fassett 16U
10. MN Stars Hersch. Defeated Comets 11th Gold 46-22 last night.


1. North Tartan 15U. Already beat MN Suns Arbogast 45-33. Kenisha Bell, Tia Elbert, Cayla McMorris, Micaela Noga, Claire Lundberg and more.
2. Metro Stars 15U. Chase Coley, Hannah Grim, Taylor Thunstedt among others.
3. MN Stars Taylor. Carlie Wagner, Sydney Lamberty, Grace Sawatzke, Bailey Norby and more.
4. MN Fury 2014 Blue.
5. MN Suns Arbogast 15U.


1. North Tartan 14U. Sam Trammel, Courtney Frederickson, Viria Livingston and others.
2. MN Fury 2015 Blue. Alexis Greene and friends.
3. Metro Stars 14U Black. Already beat McGowan 45-21. Maddie Guebert, Hana Metoxen, Raven DuBois and more.
4. MN Stars Antl.
5. MN Suns McGowan.


1. MN Stars Martin. Jasmyn Martin and friends.
2. MN Fury 2016 Blue. Abby Kain and friends.
3. North Tartan 13U. Evelyn Knox, Hannah Hedstrom, Sidney Schiffler and more.
4. Crossfire.
5. MN Heat Elite Lund.


1. North Tartan 12U. Already defeated Johnson 38-32. Cecile Kieger, Danielle Schaub, Temi Carda and more.
2. Lady Monarchs 12U. Beat Metro Stars 12U 36-30.
3. MN Stars Johnson.
4. Metro Stars 12U.
5. Winona Fury 2017.


1. North Tartan West 11U. Kelsey Peschel, Meghan DuBois and others.
2. NC Heat.
3. FM Fusion (ND).
4. North Tartan 11U.
5. MN Fury 2018 Blue.


1. MN Thunder. Already defeated MN Fury 40-19. With 4-foot-6 guard McKenna Hofschild from Prior Lake.
2. Crossfire. Hammered MN Stars Nilsen, not to be confused with MN Stars Nelson, 38-4.
3. MN Stars Nelson. Defeated Tri-City 38-15.
4. North Tartan 10U. Edged MN Suns Clarkin 34-33.
5. MN Fury 2019.