Friday, June 29, 2012

NBA Draft Winners include MN T-Wolves

The MN Timberwolves waited longer than Perry Jones for their name to be called in the 2012 NBA draft last night and, yet, there they are among the winners. The point being that somebody (Houston) gave up a proven NBA contributors--a guy who has played as many as 22 minutes per game and scored 10 points per game while shooting 40 percent from 3 point range--for a #18 pick, which then fetched a 20-year old power forward "who disappeared for big stretches" as a college sophomore.

In other words, a guy who can and will play for the T-Wolves in 2012-2013 for a guy who wouldn't. Not bad.

The question, of course, is who is the fellow in question, Chase Budinger, going to take those 22 minutes from? The Wolves are said to be ready to dump Martell Webster, who in 2 years with the Wolves proved only that he is never going to be physically fit for NBA play. Shockingly, then, he actually played 24 minutes per game this past year, though only in 47 games. But there's Budinger's time, basically. Still, Budinger said he expects to start and the fact is it is hard to see him sharing the court with, say, Michael Beasley. More moves would seem to be in line.

Meanwhile, Back at the Draft

Meanwhile the draft provided enough surprises that Yahoo Sports took down and otherwise buried its mock draft at the 1st opportunity. They had Thomas Robinson at #2 (so did I) and he went at #5. They had Andre Drummond at #6 (I had him #5) and he went #9. They had Perry Jones at #15 (I had him at #9) and he fell all the way to #28.

On the plus side, they had Terrence Ross going to the T-Wolves (they never quite caught up to the Budinger trade) at #18. He went #8 instead. (I had Ross at #14). They had Dion Waiters at #11, and the Cleveland Cavs swooped in to grab him at #4. (I had him at #20. Ouch.) Both of us had Royce White at #23. Despite his widely publicized fear of flying, he moved up to #16.

But while Perry Jones was the draft's biggest loser, his team--the Oklahoma City Thunder--is one of the big winners. Imagine getting the 2nd best player in the draft, which some people said Jones is, at #28. And imagine being able to bring the guy along slowly under the wing of Kevin Durant. 5 years from now people will be saying, You got him at # what????

And it's likely they'll be saying the same thing, but for the opposite reason, about one of the following. I mean, there's always a draft bust and this year it will be Waiters (#4) or Harrison Barnes (#7) or Drummond (#9) or Meyers Leonard (#11) or White (#16) if he doesn't learn to love air travel.

Along with Jones, the biggest steal will come from among Jared Sullinger (#21) or Arnett Moultrie (#27). The same can be said of Sullinger as of Perry Jones. A year ago both were expected to go in the top 5 but neither came out. Now they're worse than #20? Were the scouts wrong last year or are they wrong now? It's obvious that somebody is/was wrong and it's not obvious they're not wrong now. If so, that makes the Boston Celtics, who picked Sullinger, winners in the 2012 draft, along with the 76ers, who picked Moultrie.

This most likely to be embarrassed include the Cavs (Waiters), the Warriors (Barnes), Detroit (Drummond), Portland (Leonard) and the Rockets (White). It will be interesting to see if #11 Leonard really proves to be better than #27 Moultrie.

Meanwhile, the Rockets stockpiled #14, #16 and #18 in hopes of moving up, then got stuck with those 3 mid-level picks, which they parlayed into Jeremy Lamb, White and Terence Jones. Surely one of them will prove to be a player? Please!

Finally the T-Wolves made a feel-good pick of Robbie Hummel, 6 year-man at Purdue due to persistent leg injuries, at #58. Good for Hummel, who is never ever going to play in the NBA.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Anthony Davis Wins Draft Lottery, Wolves Get Harkless

EDIT Just to note that the draft is coming this Thursday night. If I did this over again I would say Sullinger, Austin Rivers and Perry Jones are rated too high and Jeremy Lamb and Dion Waiters too low. The big mystery is the #6 pick; there's nobody in this draft worthy of coming after Davis, Robinson, Kidd-Gilchrist, Beal and Drummond. Barnes could still go that high, so could J. Lamb or Lillard. #6 will determine how the next 10 dominoes fall.

Terrence Ross is not gonna fall to #18. He's the best wing-type in the 2nd 10 and he is the guy the Wolves should want, but her won't be there. Harkless is the poor man's version thereof. I still think he'll be the guy unless David Kahn gets cute and makes a deal. If somebody wants Michael Beasley, Wes Johnson, Darko Milicic and/or Martell Webster and is actually willing to give up something of value for any combination of them, of course, you should make that trade. But it ain't gonna happen. So the Wolves need and will need on Thursday the best perimeter scorer available in the draft at than time.


There are always winners and losers in the NBA draft lottery. The worst team has the most chances to land the #1 pick but almost never does. So this year Charlotte is the big loser in the draft lottery. The winner? The New Orleans Hornets and Anthony Davis.

Oh, and the NBA, who owns the Hornets. There was lots of sour-grapes conspiracy talk after the announcement was made. And while nobody really believes that the lottery was fixed, nobody would let the appearance of a fix go by unnoticed.

All of that aside, the Hornets are winners because they get the #1 pick and will get to pick Anthony Davis. Davis is a winner because he won't have to play for the most dysfunctional franchise in any major sports league, the Charlotte Hornets.

So now a mock draft can be offered.

1. New Orleans--Anthony Davis for reasons expressed in my May 29 post re. the draft lottery.

2. Charlotte--The Bobs clearly need size but the biggest of the top 5 or 6 candidates, Andre Drummond of Connecticut, is just a little too risky at #2. So Thomas Robinson, 6-9 forward from Kansas, is the choice.

3. Washington--The Wiz also need inside help but Drummond is still too much of a risk. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is just 6-7 but plays big for his size and, more to the point, comes to play. He's merely the best available athlete and that's what Washington really needs.

4. Cleveland--The Cavs need some scoring and that, at this point in the draft, can only mean Harrison Barnes or Bradley Beal, and I like Beal. Check out my May 29 post for more on that.

5. Sacramento--The Kings could use some size and toughness to help out DeMarcus Cousins inside. On the other hand, they're said to like Harrison Barnes. I can't say whether that's true or not. But I can say that if Andre Drummond slips all the way to #5, the intersection of that with the Kings' need for size will make  Drummond a no-brainer. And if the Kings can get away with the Cousins pick a year ago, they're not gonna be too worried about Drummond being a head case.

6. Portland--The Blazers have the #6 and #11 picks. so they can go for the best available athlete here and fill a need at #11. But who is the best available? Harrison Barnes (6-8, small forward, North Carolina) if you go by the consensus. But there are those who prefer Austin Rivers among perimeter players, and who prefer Perry Jones and those who like Jared Sullinger on the inside. And Portland isn't desperate to go inside or outside here, so this is a tough pick to predict. Jones is the best talent of the group, but lacks the motor that's needed to excel at this level. Sullinger's stock has fallen since the 2011 draft, too. So I'll say Barnes goes here.

7. Golden State--The Warriors would seem to need everything, but perhaps size and/or a point guard most of all. A "1" is a stretch at #7 so Jared Sullinger and P. Jones would seem to be the best bets. And, do you prefer a 6-7 tough guy (Sullinger, Ohio State, post-power forward) or a 6-11 guy who's a little bit soft (Jones)? Jones has more up (and down) side But Sullinger seems to be more highly motivated. Sullinger.

8. Toronto--The Raps mostly need help at the "1" and it just so happens there's a couple options in Damian Lillard of Weber State and Kendall Marshall, North Carolina. On the other hand, a couple of 2-guards are probably safer picks. Those would be Austin Rivers (6-4, shooting guard, North Carolina) and Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut. Odds are that one of the four will be an NBA superstar, it's just that nobody knows which, and all four have their downsides. On upside I'd pick Lillard, but the safest of the four is probably Rivers.

9. Detroit--The Pistons just need the guy with the most upside, and at #9 that seems destined to be Perry Jones (6-11, power forward, Baylor). Last year at this time he was rated more like #2-3 but opted out of the draft. On talent alone, he's still #2-3, but another year has only heightened concerns that he doesn't play hard. Still, at #9 you can't pass on that potential and the Pistons can even be patient in grooming the big guy.

10. New Orleans--After going big with pick #1, the Hornets look outside with #10 and some great talent remains, principally Jeremy Lamb (6-5, shooting guard, Connecticut). He's got more upside than Rivers but his disappearing act in the NCAA tournament is probably costing him about to drop about 5 picks. But with their 2nd 1st round pick, the Hornets can afford a little git of a gamble and the fact is that everybody is a gamble at this point.

11. Portland--The Blazers join N'Awlins in picking for a 2nd time in the 1st round and the likelihood is that Portland can get a long-term upgrade at the point in either Damian Lillard or Kendall Marshall. Marshall is the safer pick, Lillard has more upside. With a 2nd 1st round pick, go for upside.

12. Milwaukee--After trading away Andrew Bogut, the Bucks have to be looking for size. And picking #12 they could have their pick of Tyler Zeller, John Henson, Meyers Leonard and Arnett Moultrie. Zeller (6-11, North Carolina) would seem to be the best of those options.

13. Phoenix--With Steve Nash rumored to be on the way out, Kendall Marshall (6-4, point guard, North Carolina) would be in the proverbial right time at the right place. Not that filling Nash's shoes is going to be easy for anyone. But the Suns cannot pass Marshall up at #13.

14 and 16. Houston--The Rockets need everything and anything, so why not pick 2? At #14 Terrence Ross (6-6, wing, Washington) is the obvious choice, the next best on the perimeter. He might not be better than a couple-three bigs who also remain available, but at #16, no matter what Philly does at #15, one of them will still remain whereas the perimeter pickings could be slim at #16.

Then at #16, the Rockets will take whichever of the following bigs the 76ers do not: John Henson (6-10, North Carolina), Arnett Moultrie or Meyers Leonard.

15. Philly--The improving 76ers will be looking for that one guy who can move them to the next level. At #15? Good luck with that. But Arnett Moultrie (6-10, Mississippi State) can be the heir apparent to replace Elton Brand at the big forward spot. John Henson is the safer pick, but Moultrie's got more upside.

17. Dallas--It's hard to say which of their veterans the long-in-the-tooth Mavs need to replace the most but, still, I'll say it--Vince Carter at the 2. Doron Lamb, 6-5, Kentucky shooting guard is the answer to that particular prayer.

18. Minnesota--The Wolves would have loved Ross or Lamb given their need for a natural perimeter scorer, not some power forward shoe-horned into the roll. But it is not to be. So the next best bets to fill that need are Big East rivals Moe Harkless (6-8, small forward) of St. John's and Dion Waiters of Syracuse. Or Minnesota seriously could move this pick for a veteran with less downside. But if you gotta pick, pick Harkless.

19. Orlando--If Dwight Howard is going to slink out of town, then Meyers Leonard (7-1, Illinois) slinks in.

20. Denver--Dion Waiters, 6-4, shooting guard, Syracuse.

21 and 22. Boston--Like the Mavs, Boston needs to start replacing its aging superstars though, granted, that's hard to do at #21 and #22. Well, not so fast. Terrence Jones (6-9, power forward, Kentucky) has top 10 talent but with the Wildcats' ridiculous collection of ballplayers last year, he never had to asset himself. He could be the steal of the draft at #21.

At #22 the Celtics will play a balancing act, going outside to Jones' inside. Tony Wroten (6-5, point guard, Washington) is the pick.

23. Atlanta--Royce White (6-8, small forward, Iowa State) is the obvious pick.

24. Cleveland--Another team with 2 1st round picks, Cleveland probably went outside at #4 and looks to go inside here. Unfortunately, inside talent is not what will be available here unless you consider Fab Melo to be NBA-caliber talent. I don't. So the Cavs move the pick and somebody else gets Andrew Nicholson (6-9, power forward, St. Bonaventure.)

25. Memphis--Marquis Teague and John Jenkins are your options. It says here: Jenkins (6-4, shooting  guard, Vanderbilt).

26. Indiana--Looking for guard play and Marquis Teague (6-2, point guard, Kentucky) is the only game in town at #26.

27. Miami--Doesn't need a 2 or a 3 but can upgrade everything else even at #27. Festus Ezeli (7-0, post, Vanderbilt) is a big body who does all the stuff that Chris Bosh doesn't do.

28. Oklahoma City--Quincy Miller (6-9, small forward, Baylor) is the proverbial best available.

29. Chicago--Jeffrey Taylor (6-6, small forward, Vanderbilt) is likewise the best available at #29.

30. Golden State--Having already gone big in the 1st round, the Warriors would like to go small but there's no there there. Next best is Evan Fournier, a 6-6 small forward and a Frenchman.

Friday, June 22, 2012


The 2011-2012 basketball season ended last night, as the Miami Heat finally fulfilled their immense promise by defeating Oklahoma City 4-1 in the NBA finals. So 2011-2012 in review.

2011-2012 Player of the Year

1. LeBron James, Miami Heat. NBA MVP in the regular season and the playoffs. Hard to do any more than that. The 6-8 forward scored 27 points with 8 boards and 6 assists per game during the regular season. In the playoffs he scored 30.5 points with 10 boards and 5 assists.

2. Brittney Griner, Baylor Bears. Led the Bears to a 40-0 season and the women's NCAA title. The 6-8 post is emerging as one of the best women's players of all-time,and so her team is also coming to be recognized as one of the best ever. She contributed 23 points, 9 boards and 5 blocks per game (full season), while the Bears out-scored their NCAA tournament opponents 76-55.

3. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder. Now a 3-time NBA scoring leader, the 6-9 forward scored 28 points per game with 8 boards and 3.5 assists to lead the Thunder to their 1st NBA finals.In the playoffs he scored 29 points per game with 8 boards and 3 assists.

4. Anthony Davis, Kentucky Wildcats. The 6-10 freshman center-forward won most Player of the Year awards, finishing with 14 points per game, 10 rebounds and 5 blocked shots. He led the Wildcats to the NCAA title at 38-2.

5. Nnemkadi Ogwumike, Stanford Cardinal. The 6-2 power forward led Stanford to the Final Four, and has scored more than 2,000 career points with more than 1,000 rebounds.

Coach of the Year

1. Kim Mulkey, Baylor Bears. NCAA women's champs at 40-0 and out-scored their NCAA tournament foes by an average of 76-55.

2. Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Led the Irish to the runner-up slot in the women's NCAA tournament and a 35-4 overall record.

3. Cheryl Reeve, Minnesota Lynx. The Lynx reversed more than a decade of mediocrity going 27-7 during the regular season and 7-1 during the post-season to win the WNBA title.

4. Bill Self, Kansas Jayhawks. Won most of the men's coach of the year awards after Kansas took 2nd in the NCAA tournament with a 32-7 record.

5. Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs. Led the Spurs to a 50-17 regular season record, but his team fell to Oklahoma City in the conference finals.

Team of the Year

1. Baylor Bears 40-0. NCAA women's champs.
2. Miami Heat 46-20 (regular season) and 16-7 (playoffs). NBA champs.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder 47-19 and 13-7. NBA runner-up.
4. Kentucky Wildcats 36-2. NCAA champs.
5. Stanford Cardinal 35-2. NCAA women's runners-up.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Harden tke Key

I wrote a week ago that Oklahoma City 6th man James Harden would be the key player in the NBA finals, and that is proving to be correct. Just not the way I imagined.

Each team goes 2 deep in superstars--LeBron James and Dwayne Wade for Miami, and Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City. They, I thought, would pretty much cancel each other out. Well, not quite.

James and Wade are scoring 52 points per game with 16 boards and 12 assists. Durant and Westbrook are scoring 62 points per game, with 12 boards and 9 assists. So how can they lose?

The Thunder can lose, and Miami can win, because James' and Wade's much-maligned support in Miami has played much better the past week than OKC's.

For Miami Chris Bosh has bounced back from an injury (he did not start in game 1 of this series) to score 12 points with 10 boards so far in the finals. Mario Chalmers scored 25 in game 4 and is averaging 10.5 with 4 boards and 3 assists. Most surprisingly, Shane Battier has scored 12 ppg though his production has dropped from 17 to 9 to 4 was the finals have worn on. That's 34 ppg from the Heat's other 3 starters.

OKC has no such story to tell. Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins have had their games--Ibaka with 10 and 6 in game 1, Perkins with 10 and 12 in game 3. But nobody has produced consistently alongside Duirant and Westbrook. Least of all--relative to expectations and relative to the regular season--like James Harden.

Harden busted loose for 21 points in game 2 but in his other 3 games he has scored 5, 9 and 8 points on 6-for-26 (23 percent) shooting. Across the 4 games the averages are 11 points, 5 boards and 3 assists on  35 percent shooting. Hardly the performance that made him the NBA's 6th Man of the Year. The fact is that Shane Battier is playing him to a standstill.

Well, Miami is going to win the Chris Bosh-Serge Ibaka match-up, and Mario Chalmers wins his match-up more often than not. If OKC has any shot at all of coming back from its 3-1 deficit, Harden has to be a plus match-up for the Thunder. He hasn't been that so far.

Monday, June 18, 2012

We knew the Lynx would lose this year, but...

We knew that the Minnesota Lynx would lose this year, we just didn't think it would come against the (then) 2-7 Seattle Storm. But the Lynx put together a dreadful offensive night, shooting 37.5 percent from the floor, 25 percent on 3s and just 40 percent on their specialty, the 2-point shot. Oh, and 69 percent from the FT line.

For once, they won the possession game, getting 6 more offensive boards than the Storm and having 1 less turnover. But Seattle shot 44 percent each on 2s, 3s and overall.

The result was a 57-44 Seattle lead after 3 periods. The Lynx made a game of it in the 4th, getting within 1 point at 58-57 Seattle with 3:52 yet to go. But Rebekah Brunson turned it over the next time and Seattle hit a bomb, and then Brunson missed a pair of throws and the Storm scored again on a 2. Suddenly it's 63-57 with 2:19 to go. Maya Moore hit a 3 and a pair of throws to get the Lynx back within 1 at 1:05. Seattle failed to score the next time down but an offensive rebound prolonged their possession and the Lynx only got the ball back with 16 ticks left on the clock. Seimone Augustus missed a J and that was that.

Now 10-1, the next record worth breaking is Houston's .900 season win-loss percentage and L.A.'s 28 wins in 1 season. It would take a 29-3 record to break both, and that is what the Lynx are on pace to do. But they need to find their offense real quick if that's going to happen.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Combining 2009 through 2013

Best MN girls over a 5 year period.

1. Taylor Hill, Mpls. South, 5-10, shooting guard, 2009, Ohio State
2. Rachel Banham, Lakeville North, 5-9, combo guard, 2010, Minnesota
3. Nia Coffey, Hopkins, 6-1, wing-small forward, 2013, Northwestern
4. Rebekah Dahlman, Braham, 5-9, combo guard, 2013, undeclared
5. Brittney Chambers, Jordan, 5-8, combo guard, 2009, Kansas State

6. Marissa Janning, Watertown-Mayer, 5-8, point guard, 2012, Creighton
7. Tyseanna Johnson, DeLaSalle, 5-11, wing, 2013, undeclared
8. Kayla Hirt, Bemidji, 6-2, forward, 2011, Minnesota. Has been hurt for the better part of 2 years
9, Theiarra Taylor, St. Paul Central, 5-11, shooting guard, 2009, Iowa. Has had 3 ACL injuries
10 (tie). Katie Loberg, Princeton, 6-4, post, 2009, Minnesota.
     Cassie Rochel, Lakeville North, 6-4, post, 2010, Wisconsin.

12. Jackie Johnson, Eden Prairie, 6-1, post-big forward, 2012, Minnesota.
13. Sari Noga, Parkers Prairie, 5-10, wing, 2010, Minnesota.
14. Suriya McGuire, Mpls. Roosevelt, 5-11, small forward-off guard, 2010, Miami Fla.
15. Martha Alwal, Worthington, 6-4, post, 2011, Mississippi State.

16. Michelle Young, Woodbury, 5-9, guard, 2011, Bradley.
17. Brianna Williams, Hopkins, 5-7, point guard, 2011, North Dakota.
18 (tie). Allina Starr, DeLaSalle, 5-9, point guard, 2013, Georgetown.
     Jade Martin, Bloomington Kennedy, 6-0, wing, 2013, Georgetown.
20. Shakila Boler, Mpls Roosevelt, 5-6, point guard, 2010. Knee injuries ended her career.

21. Apiew Ojulu, Lakeville North, 6-3, post-power forward, 2011, Marquette.
22. Beth Doolittle, Hill-Murray, 6-4, post, 2011, Iowa.
23. Jade Geif, Lakeville South, 6-0, post-big forward, 2010, Navy.
24. Kate Thompson, Wayzata, 6-3, small forward-off guard, 2009, Michigan.
25. Sydney Coffey, Hopkins, 5-11, wing, 2012, Marist.

26. Shayne Mullaney, Eden Prairie, 5-8, combo guard, 2012, Minnesota.
27. Megan Waytashek, Centennial, 6-0, forward, 2010, South Dakota State.
28. Katrina Newman, Barnum, 5-11, forward-guard, 2011, UMD.
29. Angela Christianson, Alexandria, 6-0, off guard, 2011, Drake-Moorhead State. A pedestrian-auto accident may have ended her career.
30. Katya Leick, Park, 6-1, forward, 2009, Nebraska-Kansas State.

31. Whitney Tinjum, Chisago Lakes, 6-2, forward, 2012, Washington State.
32. Janae Burich, Roseville, 6-5, post, 2009, North Dakota.
33. Alexis Foley, White Bear Lake, 5-9, point guard, 2012, Illinois State.
34. Savannah Trapp, Esko, 6-8, post, 2013, undeclared.
35. Jessica January, Richfield, 5-9, combo guard, 2013, undeclared.

36. Nytor Longar, Rochester John Marshall, 6-2, post, 2009, Buffalo.
37. Tempestt Wilson, Elk River, 5-10, forward-guard, 2009, South Dakota.
38. Katybeth Biewen, Edina, 5-9, point guard, 2012, undeclared.
39. Marissa Grossfeld, Wayzata, 6-1, forward, 2012, Illinois-Chicago.
40. Morgan Van Riper-Rose, Eden Prairie, 5-10, off guard, Denver.

41. Kali Peschel, Sauk Centre, 6-2, forward, 2012, Iowa.
42. Taylor Anderson, Hopkins, 5-7, point guard, 2013, undeclared.
43. Hana Potter, Hopkins, 6-2, post, 2010, Washington State.
44. Taylor Young, Edina, 5-10, forward, 2011, St. Thomas
45. Brittaney Scherber, Bloomington Jefferson, 5-8, point guard,

46. Jamie Bresnahan, Edina, 6-2, power forward, 2011, Mankato State.
47. Aubrey Davis, Eden Prairie, 5-9, point guard, 2011, Mankato State.
48. Kadidjah Shumpert, Benilde-St. Margaret's, 6-0, power forward, 2012.
49. Tessa Cichy, Hill-Murray, 6-0, guard-forward, 2012, Wisconsin.
50 (tie). Brianna Edwards, Mpls. North, 6-1, post, 2009, Providence.
     Onye Osemenam, Maranatha, 6-2, post, 2013, undeclared.

The 2009s have 10 of the top 51. The 2010s have 10. The 2011s have 10. The 2012s have 12. And the mighty 2013s have just 9. I am probably being a bit conservative on the 2013s since they alone among this group have not completed their high school eligibility. If that is the case, then Phyllis Webb, Mikaala Shackleford and MC McGrory are 3 who are probably underrated.

Then, finally, where do some of the younger ballplayers coming up look like they might fit? Here's a wild guess as to how the entire group of 9 classes from 2009 to 2017 might rate 5 years from now.

1. Tayler Hill
2. Rachel Banham
3. Nia Coffey
4. Rebekah Dahlman
5. Carlie Wagner, NRHEG, 5-9, combo guard, 2014. Comp is Brittney Chambers.

6. Brittney Chambers
7. T.T. Starks, Hopkins, 5-9, small forward-shooting guard, 2015. Comp is Tyseanna Johnson.
8. Tyseanna Johnson
9. Kayla Hirt
10. Cayla McMorris, Park Center, 6-1, post-power forward, 2014. Comp is Kayla Hirt.

11. Kenisha Bell, Bloomington Kennedy, 5-9, point guard, 2014. Comp is Theairra Taylor.
12. Theairra Taylor
13. Katie Loberg
      Cassie Rochel
14. Jackie Johnson

15. Maddie Guebert, Eastview, 5-9, combo guard, 2015. Comp is Sari Noga.
16. Sari Noga
17. Suriya McGuire
18. Martha Alwal
19. Michelle Young
20. Brianna Williams

21. Allina Starr
22. Tia Elbert, Tartan, 5-7, combo guard, 2014. Comps are Allina Starr and Brianna Williams.
23. Jade Martin
      Jazmyn Martin, Bloomington Kennedy, 2017. Comp is of course sister Jade.
25. Shakila Boler

26. Apiew Ojulu
27. Beth Doolittle
28. Jade Geif
29. Kate Thompson
30. Sydney Coffey

31. Shayne Mullaney
32. Courtney Frederickson, Minnetonka, 6-1, forward, 2016. Comp is Megan Waytashek.
33. Megan Waytashek
34. Katrina Newman
35. Carolyn Kieger, Woodbury, 5-8, combo guard, 2017. Comps are Katrina Newman and Angela Christianson.
36. Angela Christiansoin
37. Katya Leick
39. Whitney Tinjum
40. Janae Burich

41. Alexis Foley
42. Savanna Trapp
43. Jessica January
44. Viria Livingston, Hopkins, 5-7, combo guard, 2015. Comp is Jessica January.
45. Nytor Longar

46. Katybeth Biewen
47. Tempestt Wilson
48. Nia Hollie Jones, Hopkins, 5-10, guard, 2017. Comp is Tempestt Wilson.
49. Marissa Grossfeld
50 (tie). Kylie Brown, Simley, 6-3, forward, 2014, and Ali Greene, Mahtomedi, 6-1, forward, 2015. Comps are Marissa Grossfeld and Jamie Bresnahan.

You Win Again

Well, the Lynx made it 10-0 for a new WNBA record for consecutive wins at the start of a season. Phoenix was the latest victim and it was not close at 78-60 and a high of 74-51 at 5:03. Lindsay Whalen has been quiet lately but not tonight, leading the Lynx by far with 29 points while Seimone Augustus added 14 and Monica Wright off the bench with 11.

I was wrong about this one, however. I said the Lynx would have to match-up inside against the Merc. Well, they didn't and they won anyway. The Merc's DeWanna Bonner and Candice Dupree outscored our starting forwards 29-12 but our guards just demolished the Merc's Charde Houston and Sam Prahalis 43-11.

The Lynx shot poorly for once--39 percent from the floor, 32 percent on 3s, 41.5 percent on 2s, 67 percent from the line--but still outshot their opponent, in keeping with their season-long record. Phoenix was worse--29 percent from the field, 10.5 percent on 3s, and 36 percent on 2s.

The Lynx also won the possession game, something they have not generally done this year, but they won it very narrowly with 1 more offensive board (13 to 12) and 4 fewer turnovers (12 vs. 16 for Phoenix). Next up is the WNBA record for consecutive wins, period, of 18 by the L.A. Sparks of Lisa Leslie way back in 2001. The Lynx regular season win streak, going back to last year, is now 13.

So in other words, don't hold your breath. But, just for the record, here's the schedule through a record 19 wins. W-L records are shown for some of the tougher opponents.

Sunday June 17 at Seattle
Thursday June 21 New York here
Saturday June 23 Chicago here (7-1)
Wednesday June 27 Phoenix here
Sunday July 1 at San Antone would tie the record of 18
Thursday July 5 at L.A.would set the new record of 19 (7-2)

So, again, don't hold your breath. #19 at L.A. will be the toughest game yet, regardless of whether the win streak is still intact. But even if it is not, the next record worth pursuing is Houston's 27-3 record in 1998. The most wins is Seattle with 28 in 2010 ()28-4). A 29-3 record would be the crowning achievement but I don't really see that happening either.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Remembering the 2009s

1. Tayler Hill, Mpls. South, 5-10, shooting guard. Earned honorable mention all-American honors, scoring 20 ppg on 47 percent shooting. Has started 101 of 102 games for the Ohio State Buckeyes in 3 seasons.

2. Brittaney Chambers, Jordan, 5-8, combo guard. Scored 14 ppg with 6 rebounds as a junior, won 1st team all-Big 12 honors at Kansas State.

3. Theairra Taylor, St. Paul Central, 5-11, shooting guard. Suffered 3 ACL injuries in 2 years, yet has shown signs of continued brilliance as an Iowa Hawkeye. Scored 14 points with 6 boards in 26 minutes in season-ending loss to California in NCAA tournament.

4. Katie Loberg, Princeton, 6-4, post. Scored 9 points with 6 boards and 2 blocks as a junior at the U of M.

5. Kate Thompson, Wayzata, 6-4, small forward-shooting guard. Averaged 8 points and 3 boards coming off the bench for the Michigan Wolverines.

6. Katya Leick, Park, 6-1, forward. Scored 5 points with 4.5 boards per game as a sophomore at Nebraska, then transferred to Kansas State.

7. Janae Burich, Roseville, 6-5, post. Averaged 10 points, 8 boards and 3 blocks as a junior at North Dakota State.

8. Nytor Longar, Rochester John Marshall, 6-2, post. Averaged 10 points and 6 boards at U. of Buffalo in 2012.

9. Tempestt  Wilson, Elk River, 5-10, forward-guard. Scored 9 ppg with 3 boards as a junior at South Dakota.

10. Brianna Edwards, Mpls. North, 6-1, post-power forward. Scored 2 ppg with 3 rebounds coming off the bench for Providence.

11. Megan Nipe, Centennial, 6-0, small forward-off guard. Scored 6 points with 3 boards as a junior at George Washington U.

12. Amber Dvorak, Hinckley-Finlayson, 6-7, post. Now at the University of Minnesota.

13. Hannah Linz, Eden Valley-Watkins, 5-11, combo guard. Averaged 8 points with 3 boards and 3 assists as a junior at North Dakota State, despite a bout with cancer.

14. Brittani Wiese, St. Michael-Albertville. 5-7, combo guard. Scored 11, 11 and 15 ppg over 3 seasons at UM-Crookston.

15. Gina Lange, Forest Lake, 6-1, forward. Scored 9 ppg with 5 boards at Valpo in 2012.

16. Nicole Smart, Ada-Borup, 5-8, combo guard. Scored 8 ppg as a junior at the U. of North Dakota.

17. Kara Elofson, Hopkins, 5-11, power forward. Scored 8 ppg as a sophomore, then 6 ppg with 6 rebounds as a junior at Binghampton U.

18. Jessica Benson, Grand Meadow, 6-0, forward. Averaged 10 points and 6 boards at St. Cloud State in 2012.

19. Leah Dietel, Jordan, 6-1, post-power forward. Averaged about 3.5 ppg and 3.5 boards as a junior at South Dakota State,

20. Bridget Schuneman, Centennial, 6-0, post. Led 27-5 Jamestown with 13 ppg as a junior.

21 (tie). Amanda Wagner, New Prague, 5-9, combo guard, and Nicole Anderson, Cannon Falls, 5-6, guard. Wagner scored 8 ppg with 4 boards, Anderson scored 7 with 5 boards and 2 steals, both at St. Cloud State.

23. Shannon Thompson, Apple Valley, 5-7, guard. Scored 10 points with 3 boards and 3 assists as the starting point guard at Bemidji State in 2012.

24. Abby Busch, Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop, 5-11, forward. Averaged 8 points and 4 boards as a starter at Winona State.

25. Marissa Yernatich, Duluth East, 5-9, small forward. Scored 8 ppg as a junior at Moorhead State.

26 (tie). Emily Kaus, Eastview, 6-2, post; Lizzi Naumann, Totino-Grace, 6-2, post; and Michelle Tobin, Eden Prairie, 6-1, post. Kaus scored 5 ppg with 5 boards as a frosh at Bemidji State, but missed her 2nd year with injuries. She dropped to 2 points and 3 boards per game in 2012. Naumann started at Drake but transferred to Winona State, where she is the 3rd center behind Michelle Tobin. Naumann scored 2 points with 4 boards in 2012. Tobin averaged 5 points and 5 boards as a junior at Winona State.

29. Scotti Moats, Waconia, Scored 15 ppg with 8 boards as a sophomore at Bethel but then abandoned her team.

30. Jessica Thone, Woodbury, 5-8, combo guard. Scored 10, then 8, then 14 ppg in 3 years at St. Mary's.

31. Carly Rothfusz, Eden Prairie, 6-0, small forward. Scored 6 points with 2 boards as a junior at North Dakota.

32. Tina Fisher, Park, 6-1, power forward. Scored 3.5 points with 3 boards per game at Ohio U.

33. Ashley Tingelstad, East Grand Forks, 5-9, forward-guard. Now a sprinter on the NDSU track team. 

34 (tie). Morgan Lof, Detroit Lakes, 6-0, forward-guard and Jamie Noonan, Richfield, 5-9, off guard. Both now at St. Cloud State.

36. Kassie Hooten, Moorhead, 6-0, center-power forward. Played 1 year at U. of Detroit.

37. Pam January, Richfield, 5-9, forward, guard. Now at U. of South Dakota.

38. Jessie Althoff, Becker, 6-1, forward. Scored 10 points per game at Bemidji State in 2012.

39. Jenny Ramey, New Life, 5-6, point guard. Now at Carleton where she averaged 11 points and 4 assists.

40. Mackenzie Wolter, Norwood-Young America, 5-7, combo guard. Averaged 14 ppg with 3 assists as a junior at St. Olaf.

41. Katie Pettit, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted. 5-9, combo guard. Played 1 year at Bemidji State.

42. Sam Mehr, Eastview, 5-9, combo guard. Now at the U. of South Dakota.

43. Mandy Poke, Richfield, 5-10, combo guard. Scored 3, then 6 ppg at Concordia (St. Paul), starting 23 of 28 games as a junior.

44. Emily Thesing. Brainerd, 5-9, guard. Averaged 11 points, 5 boards and 3 assists at Concordia (Moorhead).

45. Jamie Wollin, Litchfield, 5-9, wing. Now at St. Ben's where she scored 6 points with 5 boards per game in 2012.

46. Chrissy Holm, Hill-Murray, 5-11, forward. Now rowing at Michigan, also ran track and field for 1 year there.

47. Abby Rothenbuhler, Mankato West, 6-2, post. Averaged 10 points and 8 boards as a junior at Gustavus Adlophus.

48. Brittany Thiesfeld, Glencoe-Silver Lake, 6-0, forward. Scored 5 ppg at Mankato State in 2011 but did not play in 2012.

49. Sarah Hintz. Woodbury, 5-11, forward. Scored 9 points with 5.5 boards and 2 assists at Northern State in 2012.

50. Jennifer Dowd, Rogers, 5-7, guard. On the roster at St. Cloud State for 2 years.

51 (tie). Sam Lynn, 5-6, and Erika Their, Adrian, guards. Both started at MN West CC. Lynn has now moved on to Southwest State.

53 (tie). Libby Augedahl and Cassie Gran, Caledonia. Led Caledonia to undefeated class AA state title. Augedahl now playing volleyball at North Dakota College of Science.

55. Sarah Peterson, Minnehaha, 6-0, forward. Scored 9 points with 6 boards and 2 blocks at North Park U.

56. Brittany Zins, Bloomington Kennedy, 5-9, forward. Scored 13 points with 7 boards at Augsburg in 2012.

57. Jamiela Hudnell, DeLaSalle, 5-10, off guard. A defensive specialist, she still scored 5 points with 2.5 boards at Mankato State in 2012.

58. Laurie Tyson, Rosemount, 6-1, post. Scored 5 points with 6 boards for UM-Crookston as a junior.

59. Taylor Stippel, Stillwater, 5-11, forward. Scored 4 points with 2 boards at Michigan Tech in 2012.

60. Anne Berner, Forest Lake, 6-5, post. Verballed Rhode Island but I'm not aware that she ever played there.

61. Holli Aggen, Worthington, 5-9, guard. Started 84 games in 3 years at U. of Sioux Falls, scoring 8 ppg with 3.5 boards and 2+ assists.

62. Kaiya Sygulla, Lakeville North, 5-6, point guard. Has started 45 games the past 2 years at UMD, averaging about 3.5 points, 3.5 boards and 2.5 assists.

63. Lauren Safranski, Burnsville, 5-11, forward-guard. Has started 46 games the past 2 years at Minot State, averaging about 7 points and 3 boards.

64. Kirstee Rotty, Farmington, 5-7, combo guard. Scored 9 points with 5.5 rebounds and 2 assists at St. Olaf in 2012.

65. Kelsey Florian, Roseville, 5-10, forward. Scored 8.5 points with 3.5 rebounds coming off the bench for Gustavus in 2012.

66. Rey Robinson, Becker, 6-0, forward. Now at St. Cloud State.

67. Danielle Mangan, Osseo, 5-5, guard. Verballed North Iowa CC but I am not sure whether she ever played there.

68. Rachelle Eckmann, St. James, 6-0, forward. Listed on the 2010 North Dakota State roster, but not since.

69. Sarah Bingea, Delano, 6-0, forward. Scotrd 9.5 ppg at UW-Eau Claire in 2012.

70. Hannah Hylla, Albany, 6-0, post-forward. Scored 4 ppg over 2 years at St. Ben's, then 2.5 ppg as a junior.

71. Andrea Gould, Wrenshall, 6-0, post. Was on the St. Kate's roster for 2 years.

72. Yvonne Freese, Lanesboro, 6-1, post. Now at Northern State.

73. Jenna Lillemoe, Hopkins, 5-9, guard. Now at U. of Chicago.

74. Shelby Goble, Bigfork, 5-6, guard. Started out at Itasca CC, not sure where she's gone from there.

75. Katie Lauer, Mankato West, 5-11, forward. Scored 12.5 ppg at St. Olaf and made the all-freshman five but did not play in 2012.

76. Kelsey Guetter, Redwood Valley, 6-0, post. Scored 14 points with 7 boards at Ridgewater CC.

77. Audra Schmidt, Westbrook-Walnut Grove, 6-1, post. Was on the roster at Northern State for 1 year.

78. Chelsea Fogarty, Belle Plaine. Plays volleyball at Mankato State.

79. Mindy Howard, Pequot Lakes.

80. Sara Luse, Orono, 5-7, guard.

81. Emily Roelike, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa. Played softball at Ridgewater CC.

82. Missy Kassube, Eagle Valley, 5-9, guard. Scored 5 points with 4 boards as a junior at Mayville State in 2012.

83 (tie). Virginia Ledahl, 5-10, point guard, and Kailee McDonald, 5-7, guard, both Cambridge-Isanti. Both verbal led UW-Superior, but Ledahl ended up at Rochester CTC where she scored 5 points with 3 assists. McDonald scored 3 ppg for UW-S as a junior in 2012.

85. Kelsey Evans, Willmar, 5-9, guard. Scored 10 ppg with 4 boards and 3 assists at Briar Cliff in 2012.

86. Chelsea Garcia, Hopkins, 5-9, guard. Played in 26 games, starting 3, and scored 3 ppg with 2.5 boards at Upper Iowa in 2012.

87. Kylie Gottsman, Osseo, 6-1, post. Verballed Upper Iowa but it's not clear she ever played for them.

88. Cassie Haag, Southwest Christian, 5-11, forward. Now playing volleyball at Concordia (St. Paul).

89. Miranda Speckel, Buffalo, 5-6, guard. Played at UW-Stout for 1 year.

90. Paige Mikkelson, St. Francis, 6-1, forward. Played at UW-Superior for 1 year, not clear that she stayed any longer.

91. Sam  Zopfi, Providence, 5-10, forward. Scored 6 ppg as a freshman at St. Olaf in 2010, then started 10 games as a soph in 2011. Did not play in 2012, however.

92. Laura Bruce, Hopkins, 5-10, guard. Played for some period of time at Morningside U. but was no longer on the roster by 2012.

94. Ashley Alleven, Fairmont. 4 times all-conference, all-state as a senior, but I could not find any reference to her playing any post-high school ball.

95. Nicole Dooher, Robbinsdale Armstrong. Played soccer at Mankato State.

96. Jaime Birr, Holy Angels, 5-10, post. Verballed Coker College in South Carolina, but it's not clear that she ever played there.

97. Kailyn Wilcox, Cretin-Derham Hall, 6-0, forward. Scored 5 points with 3 boards for St. Ben's in 2012.

98. Crissi Schewe, Sleepy Eye St. Mary's. Played volleyball at Southwest State.

99. Holly Riesselman, Park, 6-2, post. Played in 11 games at Moorhead State as a freshman, did not return in 2011 or beyond.

100. Amanda Burk, Minnesota Valley Lutheran.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Miami Heat vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

How weird is this? Oklahoma City in the NBA finals! Oklahoma City! Heretofore infamous as Timothy McVeigh's playground and before that the home of 50,000 watt clear channel late night rock 'n' radio from KOMA.

But now, playground of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and friends, and not only that, but Oklahoma City is soon to be home of the newest NBA champions. I don't know what the odds-makers are saying, though I know that Mark Rosen said he hoped OKC would win the NBA finals but that he didn't think it would happen that way.

Well, it says here that OKC has a little more firepower than Miami. How about Durant vs. LeBron James at one forward spot? How about Dwayne Wade vs. Westbrook at the small forward? Maybe there's a slight advantage Miami in the superstar category, or maybe not.

But when it comes to the #3 star of each team, Miami's Chris Bosh is back from an injury problem that almost cost them the Eastern finals against the surprisingly tough Boston Celtics. But he'll be no match for OKC's 6th man James Harden, who is in fact the league's top 6th man this year. He scores about 18 ppg and could be the difference.

Of course, Miami is leading in game 1 47-37 as we speak. LeBron James and Kevin Durant each has a monster dunk. But the Heat has 5 extra possessions based on just 2 turnovers to OKC's 7. That will equalize and quickly. Look for this one to go 7 competitive ball games before OKC pulls out game 7 by a small margin, maybe on a walk-off 2 by James Harden.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Big Game: Lynx @ Phoenix Friday June 15

The biggest game of the no-longer-young season (hey, they'll be 10 games into a 32 game schedule, the equivalent of about 28 games in the NBA) comes Friday at Phoenix where the MN Lynx will be going for a WNBA record 10th straight win to open the season.

The expected 9th straight came at the hands of the winless Tulsa Shock, which is what a loss would have been, totally. The Lynx pulled away from a 44-42 half-time lead to a 93-73 final. Maya Moore led the way with 26 points, 15 of them on 3-pointers, and five of her teammates joined her in double figures--the vastly improved Monica Wright with 18, Rebekah Brunson with 15, Taj McWilliams-Franklin with 11, Candace Wiggins with 11 off the bench, and Lindsay Whalen with 10 assists. The Lynx shot 57 percent from the field, 56 percent on 3s, and 83 percent from the line.

And so the Mercury are now lined up as the record-breaking win. They were just 1-4 without the injured Diana Taurasi. Now they're 1-1 with her back and scoring 10.5 ppg on 50 percent shooting. DeWanna Bonner, Candice Dupree and former Lynx Charde Houston lead the way with 19, 18 and 13 ppg. But they've been out-scored 88-78 and outshot 45 percent to 42 percent. Their opponents have gotten to the FT line 24 times per game to just 18 for the Mercury.

But with Taurasi back, if not yet in top game condition, the Mercury will eventually be their old up-tempo selves, capable of out-scoring anybody. Let's hope it's not the Lynx, but for now it's the Lynx who are without their top scorer, Seimone Augustus. But Wright, who has been fabulous in Seimone's place these past 2 games, may be the WNBA's most improved

Still it seems that the game might be decided inside where Bonner, Candice Dupree and Houston average 50 points and 17 boards. The Lynx' Taj, Brunson and Moore average 35 and 17. With or without Augustus, the inside game will be crucial. The earlier 105-83 Lynx win over Phoenix came with Taurasi out and means nothing anymore. The Lynx are not going to go unbeaten and this will be a tough game.

Still I'm thinking they'll pull this one out in the late going to set aWNBA record with 10 wins to start the season. The next question is, What is the WNBA record for most wins in a season? The number is 28 (Seattle 28-6 in 2010 and L.A. 28-4 in 2000 and 2001, though the best record is Houston, 27-3 in 1997). 28-6 would seem to be within reach (they were 27-7 last year) but it's a bit much to think a .900 winning percentage could be achieved. The Lynx would have to go 29-3 to do that.

But, again, they were 27-7 a year ago and look to be improved. Wright looks like a contender for most improved right how. She and Wiggins give the Lynx a 1st class guard pairing off the bench. Then there's rookie Devereaux Peters of Notre Dame, who has done everything she's been asked for. It's that kind of depth that right now says this team could be better than the last.

A Look Back at the 2010s

1. Cassie Rochel, Lakeville North, 6-4, post. Playing at Wisconsin.], where she averaged 4 points and 4 boards in 16 minutes as a sophomore.

2. Sari Noga, Parkers Prairie, 5-10, wing. A Minnesota Gopher, where she scored 4 ppg as a sophomore.

3. Suriya McGuire, Mpls. Roosevelt, 5-11, small forward-guard. Scored 3 points with 3 boards as a freshman, eligibility-wise, in 2011-2012 after redshirting her 1st year.

4. Megan Waytashek, Centennial, 6-0, small forward/guard. Scored 4 ppg as a freshman at South Dakota State, then suffered a knee injury and missed most of her second year.

5. Shakila Boler, Mpls. Roosevelt, 5-6, point guard. Rated as high as #1 or #2 in the state until a pair of knee injuries effectively ended her career.

6. Jade Geif, Lakeville South, 6-0, post-big forward. Led the Midshipmen with 11 ppg and 8 boards as a sophomore. Underrated.

7. Katrina Newman, Barnum, 5-11, wing. Was the NSIC's top newcomer as a freshman. As a sophomore, she led the UMD Bulldogs in scoring and rebounding with 14 and 8 per game.

8. Amanda Christianson, Alexandria, 6-0, guard. Scored 8 ppg for Northern Iowa, then transferred to Moorhead State where she scored 5 ppg in 8 games, then appears to have been dropped from the team. EDIT: Ah, finally, the story, thanks to Kevin Anderson: Christianson was injured in a pedestrian vs. car accident and has not recovered sufficiently, so her career may be over.

9. Hana Potter, Hopkins, 6-2, post-big forward. Scored 6 points with 3 boards as a freshman, but just 3 points and 1.5 boards as a sophomore at Washington State.

10. Taylor Young, Edina, 5-11, forward. Led St. Thomas with 13 ppg as the Tommies took 3rd place in the NCAA D3 tournament.

11. Brook Browne, Chaska, 5-9, guard. Scored 4 ppg as a redshirt freshman and part-time starter at Northern Iowa.

12. Rachel Hansen, Minnehaha, 6-0, guard. Started all 28 games for Concordia (St. Paul) as a sophomore scoring 10 ppg and leading the Bears with 3 assists per game.

13. Maggie Weiers, New Prague, 6-2, post. Helped St. Thomas to 3rd place in the NCAA D3 tournament scoring 12 ppg with 7 boards.

14. Tyisha Smith, Mpls. South, 5-4, guard. Scored 17 ppg as a freshman at Iowa Western CC in 2011. She was listed on the roster but does not appear among the stats for the 2012 season, so I have to conclude that she was hurt. EDIT: Thanks to Kevin Anderson who tells me that Smith has an ACL injury.

15. Megan Lauck, Mounds View, 6-1, forward. Has scored 6.4 ppg over 2 years at North Dakota, starting 27 of 63 games.

16. Hannah Strop, New Prague, 6-0, forward. Played in 32 of 33 games as a sophomore at South Dakota State, averaging 2.5 points and 2 boards per game.

17. Megan Strese, Brandon-Evansville, 6-0, forward. Averaged 11 point and 6 boards as a sophomore at Moorhead State,

18. Bree Hollerman, Hancock, 5-8, guard. Took over as Southwest State's point guard during her sophomore season, scoring 10 points with 4 boards and 2 assists per game.

19. Haley Thomforde, Eastview, 5-8, guard. Started 27 games as a freshman but only 10 as a sophomore, scoring 6 and then 7 ppg.

20. Molly Duehn, Burnsville, 6-1, forward. Scored 4 ppg for Northern Colorado as a sophomore.

21. Brianna Tisch, Chaska, 6-1, post-big forward. Played in 10 games as a redshirt freshman in 2012, scoring a total of 6 points.

22. Kate Warmack, East Grand Forks, 6-2, post. Averaged 11 points and 7 boards as a sophomore at Bemidji State.

23. Gabby Goever, Worthington, 5-9, guard. Played in 33 games but scored just 2 ppg for South Dakota State.

24. Laura Melquist, Rochester Lourdes, 6-2, post-big forward. Started at UW-Milwaukee, but is not listed on the 2012 roster.

25. Ameshia Kearney, Mpls. South, 5-9, forward. Played 2 years at Johnson County CC, scoring 7 and then 8 ppg.

26. Miki Stephenson, Moorhead, 6-2, post. Averaged 3 points and 2 boards as a sophomore at North Dakota State.

27 (tie). Carissa Wolyniec, DeLaSalle, 5-11, forward-guard. Second in scoring for Concordia (St. Paul) with 10.5 ppg as a sophomore.

Jodi Batzel, Dover-Eyota, 6-1, big forward. Has scored 8 points with 5 rebounds in 2 seasons at Concordia (St. Paul), mostly in a starting role.

29. Morgan Zabel, Northfield, 5-10, forward. Has scored about 6 ppg while started 37 of 54 games in 2 seasons at Moorhead State.

30. Carly Rothstein, St. Michael-Albertville, 5-10, forward. Scored 4 ppg as a sophomore at UM-Crookston.

31. Andrea Whitney, Sartell-St. Stephen, 6-1, forward. Scored 3 points with 3.5 boards in 11 minutes as a redshirt freshman at Augustana.

32. Amanda Barton, Waterville-EM, 6-2, center. Scored 1 ppg as a redshirt freshman at Northern Iowa in 2012, then transferred to Concordia (St. Paul).

33. Alyssa Marschner, Robbinsdale Armstrong, 5-9, guard. Scored about 1.5 ppg in 2 seasons at Drake.

34. Rachel Moen, Burnsville, 5-7, guard. Scored 4 points with 1 assist at St. Cloud State in 2012.

35. Jolene Blood, Irondale, 5-10, guard. Scored 2 ppg in 10 minutes as a sophomore at Concordia (St. Paul).

36. Ellie Wessling, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted, 5-10, forward-guard. Scored 4 points in 21 minutes as a sophomore and Bemidji State.

37. Megan Lueck, Winona, 5-10, forward-guard. Scored 2 ppg as a sophomore at UMD.

38. Julie Kruse, Maple Grove, 6-1, center. Scored 2 ppg in 8 games at UMD as a freshman, but did not return for an encore in 2012.

39. Melissa Borstner, St. Francis, 5-6, guard. Scored 2 ppg at Bemidi State.

40. Ellen Degler, Chaska, 6-0, forward. A volleyball star who slums at basketball in the winter, she scored 4 ppg with 3 boards over 2 years at Southwest State.

41. Alex Lippert, Willmar, 6-4, center. Scoring 11 points and 6 boards for Concordia (Moorhead).

42. Jessica Fife, Osseo, 5-10, forward. Transferred to Northwestern (MN) for her 2nd year of college and averaged 11 ppg and 10 rebounds.

43. Jennie Kalbfell, Lakeville South, 6-1, forward. Averaged 5 points and 3 boards for Wayne State as a sophomore.

44. Erica Gress, Apple Valley, 6-0, post-power forward. Has averaged about 5 points and 3.5 boards over 2 seasons at Concordia (St. Paul).

45. Ali Dunkelberger, Waconia, 5-10, forward. Plays soccer and basketball at Northwestern (IA). Scored 6 ppg with 4 rebounds.

46. Itisha Alexander, Benilde-St. Margaret's, 5-9, point guard. Scored 7 points with 2 assists and 2.5 boards in 19 minutes as a sophomore at St. Ben's.

47. Kika Greenlee, St. Louis Park, forward. Played at North Iowa Area CC as a freshman in 2012 scoring as many as 27 points in a game.

48. Bridget Schuneman, Centennial, 6-0, post. Averaging 13 ppg and 6 boards for 27-5 Jamestown (NAIA).

49. Hannah Rutten, New York Mills, 6-2, center-power forward. Averaged 4 points and 3.5 rebounds for UMD as a sophomore in 2012.

50. Julia Dysthe, White Bear Lake, 5-7, guard. Averaged 4.5 points as a sophomore at Gustavus Adolphus.

51. Emily Bose, Murray County Central, 6-0, center. Scored 3 ppg as a sophomore at Augustana.

52. Brianna Barrett, Annandale, 5-8, wing. Scored 10 points with 3 boards for St. Ben's as a sophomore.

53. Lane Gehl, Fulda. Spent 2 years at Rochester CTC, scoring 10 ppg in her sophomore year, then transferred to Waldorf College.

54. Carly Jensen, White Bear Lake, 5-9, guard. Scored 7 ppg for 27-5 Jamestown in 2012.

55. Megan Quiram, Cannon Valley Lutheran, 6-4, post.

56 (tie). Adrianna Ivanovich, Bigfork, 6-0, forward, and Megan Powell, Bigford, guard. Ivanovich veraged 12 points and 10 boards as a sophomore at Mesabi Range CC, and became the Lady Norse' top all-time rebounder. Powell scored 1,000 points in her high school career.

58. Jade Pelzl, Rushford-Peterson, 5-5, point guard. Has scored under 1 ppg for 2 years at Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

59 (tie). Jordyn Krekling, Hayfield, 5-9, guard, and Kiley Severson, Hayfield, 6-1, post. Krekling was on the Mankato State roster for one year but (EDIT: Thanks, Kevin: She is not playing anywhere now.) Severson is now a softball pitcher at North Dakota State.

61. Libby Kruse, Orono, 5-7, guard. Scored 6 ppg with 7.5 rebounds as a sophomore at Trinity (TX).

62. Rachel Leitz, Champlin Park, 5-9, forward. Attended Wartburg College as a frosh, no longer on the roster.

63. Bailey Bouman, Pipestone, 5-11, forward. Playing softball at Augustana.

64. Darcy Rice, Eastview, 5-7, guard. Played in just 9 games as a sophomore, scoring under 1 ppg.

65. Jen Field, Maple Grove, 5-4, point guard.

66. Aly Meyer, Caledonia, 6-0, post-power forward. Started college play at Rochester CTC.

67. Ali Hoefer, Robbinsdale Armstrong,

68. Emmy Eschrich, Prior Lake, 6-0, forward. Member of the St. Thomas junior varsity.

69. Tess Lueders, Stillwater, 6-0, forward. Scoring 3.5 ppg with 3 rebounds as a sophomore at UW-River Falls.

70. Elisa Moenkedick, Perham, center. Now throwing the discus at Winona State.

71. Justine Dammerman, New London-Spicer, 5-7, point guard. Now setter for St. Olaf volleyball team.

72. Kaitlin Gerber, Worthington, 5-5, guard.

73. Erica Their, Adrian, 5-7. guard.

74. Natalie Walseth, 6-2, post, Simley. Now playing volleyball at South Dakota.

75. Tyisha Wright, Mpls. Roosevelt, guard.

76. Annessa Hicks, St. Paul Humboldt, 5-2, point guard. Started at UM-Crookston but is no longer on the roster.

77. Abby Fragodt, Benson, 5-11, forward. Now at UM-Morris where she started every game in 2011-2012 and scored 5 points with 7 boards.

78. Brooke Woelber, Pipestone. EDIT: KJA tells me that she is running track at Iowa State.

79. Jill Tichy, Minnetonka, 5-11, forward. Now at UW-Stout.

80. Karli Wendlandt, New London-Spicer.

81 (tie). Lizzie and Rachel Stenhaug, Rochester John Marshall, 5-8, guards. Lizzie is now at Mankato State while Rachel is at Luther College.

83. Sarah Myhre, Barnum, forward.

84. Taylor Cullers, Eastview, 5-10, guard-forward.

85 (tie). Kassy Kallman, 5-8, guard, and Mary Kroenig, 5-10, forward, both Woodbury. Kallman is now playing soccer at Florida State, and Kroenig soccer at Georgetown.

87. Jessica Finck, Bertha-Hewitt, 5-87, point guard. Now at North Dakota State College of Science.

88. Abbey Arends, Albert Lea, 6-0, forward. Now playing at Gustavus.

89. Kinzie Magner, Northern, guard.

90. Grace Veker, Edina, 5-10, forward-guard.

91. Cassie Ziemer, New London-Spicer, forward.

92 (tie). Laicee Grahek, Hibbing. Now running track at UMD. and  Julie Rainey, Stewartville, 5-9, forward. Now playing volleyball at UMD.

94. Nikki Pearson, Staples-Motley guard. Played JC ball at Central Lakes (MN).

95. Kristi Kuhn, Wayzata, 5-6, point guard.

96. Courtney Euerle, Litchfield, 6-1, post. Now at St. Mary's in Winona.

97. Micaela Erickson, Lac Qui Parle Valley, 5-9, guard. Now at Dakota Wesleyan.

98. Mykal Suggs, St. Paul Johnson, guard. Played one year at Iowa Lakes CC.

99. Alyssa Hagen, New Richland-HEG, guard.

100. Katie Swanhorst, Crosby-Ironton.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Whatever It Takes

We're talking the Lynx here, the whatever-it-takes, 7-and-0, unbeaten and perhaps unbeatable Lynx. They do what it takes.

Twice in their past 3 games, they took a huge early lead and coasted through the middle of the 3rd, when the opponent (Washington in one case, San Antone in the other) put on a huge rush and got right back into the ballgame. Whereupon the Lynx--everybody now!--DID WHAT IT TAKES.

Last night the Lynx took a 50-29 half-time lead and stretched it to 62-36 at 4:02 of the 3rd. The Silver Stars came back to within 79-70 but that was with just 43 seconds remaining. The Stars got within 4 but with just 1 second left. The final was 83-79.

Several nights before, the Lynx had led the Washington Mystics 51-31 at the half and 59-35 with 6:36 left in the 3rd, and in this case the Lynx were in danger of losing. Instead they rallied in the late going, and Lindsay Whalen scored on a put-back of her own miss with 1 second remaining for the 79-77 win.

In between the Connecticut Sun gave the Lynx a tough game for 3 quarters, leading 56-55 after 3. The Lynx responded to the challenge with a 30-16 4th quarter margin for a final score of 85-72.

Inn all 3 games, the Lynx out-shot their opponents by a wide margin but lost the possession game every time. The Lynx shot 50, 58 and 53 percent and a stellar 52, 61 and 57 percent from 2-point range. Their opponents shot just 48, 32 and 35 percent

But the offensive boards were a cumulative 41-34 in favor of the other guy, while turnovers were 49 for the Lynx versus 32 for the Mystics.

Seimone Augustus scored 51 points across the 3 wins, but Rebekkuh Brunson was the #1 star with 47 points and 30 boards. Whalen and Maya Moore scored 36 points each and Whalen had 22 assists.

Lynx Game Plan

Shoot out the lights √
Win the offensive boards X
Cut back on turnovers X

Imagine only achieving 1 of 3 objectives, and you're still 7-0. This team is going to be fiendishly difficult to beat.

A Look Back at 2011

1. Rachel Banham, Lakeville North, 5-9, combo guard. Now the sweetheart of Golden Gopher fans, Banham led her team to the 2010 state AAAA title and was Ms. Basketball in 2011. Big 10 freshman of the year as a Gopher, scoring 16 ppg.

2. Kayla Hirt, Bemidji, 6-2, combo forward. Sat out her senior year and then her 1st year at the U of M. Regarded as a lead-pipe cinch to be a significant contributed to Pam Borton's Gophers.

3. Michelle Young, Woodbury,  5-9, guard. Quick on quick, a great transition player. Scored just 2 ppg as a frosh at Bradley.

4. Martha Alwal, Worthington, 6-4, center. A seriously great shot blocker. Had a stellar freshman year at Mississippi State with 5 points, 7 boards and 3 blocked shots. Underrated.

5. Brianna Williams, Hopkins, 5-7, point guard. Led her team to the state AAAA title in 2011. Scored 5 ppg with 1.5 assists as a frosh at North Dakota.

6. Beth Doolittle, Hill-Murray, 6-4, post. Took her team to 2 state title games. Scored 4 points with 2 boards in 12 minutes as a frosh at Iowa.

7. Apieuw Ojulu, Lakeville North, 6-3, post-power forward. A significant contributor to that 2010 state championship. Scored 8 points with 4 rebounds per game as a frosh at Marquette.

8 (tie). Aubrey Davis, Eden Prairie, 5-7, point guard. Transferred from Kennedy to EP for her senior season, and helped to Eagles to the AAAA final. Led the Mankato State Mavericks with 11 ppg as a freshman.

Morgan Van Riper-Rose, Eden Prairie, 5-10, shooting guard. Also helped the Eagles to that 2011 state final, where they ran into a Hopkins buzz-saw. Scored 10 ppg as a frosh at Denver U.

10. Jamie Bresnahan, Edina, 6-1, power forward. Fundamentally sound if unspectacular. Underrated. Scored 9 points with 7 boards as s true frosh at Mankato State.

11. AnneMarie Brown, St. Peter, 6-0, small forward-shooting guard. Missed most of her senior season with an ACL. Played 5 minutes per game as a freshman at Wisconsin.

12. Kahla Becken, Centennial, 5-9, point guard. Helped her team to a AAAA runner-up slot as sophomore in 2009. Averaged 4 points and 2 rebounds as a frosh at NDSU.

13. Tori Rule, Mpls. South, 5-7, combo guard. 5-7? If you say so. Quick, great in the full court and in transition. Played 7 minutes a game as a frosh at Providence.

14. Mariah Clarin, Princeton, 6-1, big forward. Jumps out of the gym. Averaged 3 points with 2 boards in just 6 minutes as a frosh at SDSU.

15. Alex Beckman, Eastview, 6-0, off-guard. Intense, gets to the rim and finishes. Running track at the U of M.

16. Alyssa Kerkhoff, New Richland-HEG/St. Peter, 5-6, point guard. Scored 3 points with 3 boards as a freshman at UMD.

17. Megan Stuart, Roseville, 6-0, forward. Played 5 minutes per game as a frosh at SDSU.

18. Ellen Edison, Maple Grove, 5-7, off-guard. Sat out her freshman year at Wisconsin-Green Bay.

19. Katleyn Adams, Minnehaha, 6-5, post. Led her team to 2011 AA state title. Sat out as a freshman at Liberty.

20. Katy Winge, Minnetonka, 6-0, forward. Sat out her freshman season at Illinois State.

21 (tie). Jenna Dockter, Eastview, 5-9, point guard. Tough, hard-nosed, always attacking. Hey, Eastview! Started her freshman year at St. Thomas hurt and had a tough time finding playing time (6 minutes per game) on the eventual national 3rd place Tommies.

Anna Smith, Bloomington Jefferson, 6-2, big forward. Dockter's St. Thomas teammate started the year in rotation and flourished with 4 points and 3 boards in 12 minutes.

23. Ashlynn Muhl, Minneota, 5-11, post-big forward. A tower of strength, now playing volleyball at Southwest State.

24 (tie). Kaeli Kraska, Totino-Grace, 5-9, combo guard. Scored 5 ppg as a frosh at Jamestown (27-5).

Megan Pold, Prior Lake, 6-1, post. Scored 7 ppg as a frosh at Jamestown.

26. Amber Sorenson, Caledonia, 6-2, small forward-combo guard. Sat out her freshman year at Northern Iowa.

27. Jessica Newman, Barnum, 5-9, off-guard. Scored 5 points with 2.5 boards as a frosh at UMD.

28. Stephanie Davison, Maple Grove, 5-10, combo guard. Red-shirted her 1st year at Northern Iowa.

29. Erica Trabing, Prior Lake, 5-10, shooting guard. Missed most of her 1st year at Bemidji State with injuries.

30. Cara Lutes, New Life, 6-1, big forward. Averaged 1 point and 1.5 boards in about 10 minutes in her 1st year at Drake.

31. Jordan Sammons, Apple Valley, 5-8, combo guard. Already Hamline's best player as a sophomore.

32. Ashley Olson, Blue Earth, 5-7, point guard. Now at South Dakota.

33 (tie). Hannah Hughes, Lakeville North, 5-8, guard. Now at St. Thomas.

Jaya Perkins, Lakeville North, 5-10, guard. Now at UM-Crookston.

35. Sarina Baker, Minnehaha, 5-8, shooting guard-small forward. Scored 17 ppg with 6 rebounds at St. Kate's.

36. Charlotte Overbye, Mountain Iron-Buhl, 5-9, shooting guard. Scored 2,551 career points.

37. Liz Hoglo, Northern Freeze, 5-10, combo guard.

38. Kayla Hulsebus, St. Croix Lutheran, 5-6, guard. Now at Kirkwood (MO) CC.

39. Lisa Loeffler, North St. Paul, 6-1, post-power forward. Now at South Dakota.

40. Emily Lueck, Pequot Lakes, 5-9, guard. Scored 5 ppg as a freshman at St. Ben's.

41. Bree Woelber, Pipestone, 5-8, point guard. Now running track at Iowa State.

42. Molly Muntifering, Buffalo, 5-11, post. Now at St. Ben's.

43. Sam Trumm, Alexandria, 6-0, forward.

44. Chelsey Frydenlund, East Grand Forks, 5-8, guard. Now at North Dakota.

45. Jessi Corrick, Grand Rapids, 5-7, point guard. Started 19 games at Bemidji State as a freshman, but will be transferring to Mankato State.

46. Karlee Ilgen, Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart, 5-10, forward. Now at Morningside College.

47. Abby Luger, North St. Paul, 5-5, point guard. Scored 6 ppg with 3 boards as Augsburg's back-up at the point.

48. Anna Hirssig, Rochester Mayo, 6-0, forward. Now at Concordia (WI), where she played some basketball but is now concentrating on soccer.

49. Sam Guenther, 6-1, and Rochelle Regnier, 6-0, White Bear Lake, post. Guenther the great inside defender, Regnier would step outside and hit the dagger 3.

51. Courtney Hinsch, Goodhue, 5-7, point guard.

52.  Keely Deadrick, Esko, 5-9, point guard. Now playing hoops and volleyball at UW-Superior.

53. Sara Schoenthaler, White Bear Lake, 5-10, off-guard. Started the last 4 games of the 2012 season at St. Mary's.

54. Taylor Uhl, Eden Prairie, 5-8, off-guard. Soccer star at U of M. Brought quickness, defensive pressure off the bench for the Eagles.

55. Anna Gerdes, Maple Grove, 5-10, small forward. Now at Wayne State.

56. Shelby Hanssen, Rochester Lourdes, 6-0, forward. Scored 6 ppg as frosh at Colorado College.

57. Trisha Bemjamin, Owatonna, 6-0, post.

58. Julia Weimer, Hopkins, 5-5, point guard.

59 (tie). Sara Feeser, 5-7, off-guard, and Elaine Warner, 5-11, forward, Rosemount, Warner now at St. Thomas.

61. Allie Sannes, Hawley, 6-0, forward. Scored 6 points with 3 boards as frosh at MN-Morris.

62. Macie Dorow, Duluth East, 5-9, combo guard. Now at UW-Milwaukee.

63. Maren Greenwaldt, Sauk Centre, 5-4, point guard. Now at UW-River Falls.

64. Abbey Knisely, New London-Spicer, 6-3, post. Now at St. Thomas.

65. Diamond Lane, Mpls. South, 5-2, point guard. Now at Lewis U. in Romeoville, IL.

66. Mariah Hovick, Prior Lake, 5-6, guard. Led St. Scholastica (12-14) with 12 ppg as a freshman.

67. Elizabeth Zilverberg, Minnetonka, 6-1, forward. Now at St. Cloud State.

68. Karli Meyer, Adrian, 5-9, guard. Now at Hastings College (NE).

69. Ali McArthur, Minnetonka, forward.

70. Leslie Handzus, Jackson County Central, 5-4, point guard. Scored 2.5 ppg as frosh at Bethel.

71. Deanna Vavra, Cambridge-Isanti, 5-7, guard. Started 21 of 26 games as a frosh at UW-Superior, scoring 5 ppg with 4 boards.

72. Kara Hofschild, Andover, 5-7, guard. Now at Northern State.

73. Connor Nagle, Fillmore Central, 5-7, guard. Now at Winona State.

74. Courtney Hayford, Owatonna, 5-7, guard. Scored 2.5 ppg as frosh at UW-Stout.

75. Jordy Falk, St. Francis, 5-7, combo guard. Scored 2.5 ppg as frosh at St. Ben's.

76. Morgan Rustad, Hill-Murray, 5-10, forward.

77. Kirsten Sahr, Stillwater, 5-9, forward-guard. Now at UW-Eau Claire.

78. Morgan Haider, Sartell-St. Stephen, 5-9, point guard.

79. Ann Lodermaier, Goodhue, 5-8, forward.

80. Nicole Beyer, Winona Cotter, 6-0, center-forward.

81. Cyerra Mills, Osseo, 5-8, guard. Now at North Dakota.

82 (tie). Liz Anderson, 5-7, guard, and Katie Nickels, 5-10, forward, Braham. Anderson now at UW-Rivr Falls, Nickels at UW-Stout.

84. Ebony Livingston, Hopkins, 5-9, guard. Now at UM-Crooksto, scored 6 points with 4 rebounds per game as a freshman.

85. Kendra Wycoff, Buffalo, 5-6, guard. Shared UMAC freshman of the year award at UM-Morris.

86. McKenzie Spaulding, Annandale, 6-2, post-big forward. Now at Northern State.

87. Jennifer Ulveling, Red Wing, 5-8, point guard. Now at St. Ben's.

88. Kayla Bilderback, Centennial, forward.

89. Alyssa Cegelske, Granada-Huntley-East Chain, 6-2, post.

90. Joy Mikkelson, St. Francis, 5-11, power forward.

91. Stephanie Pappas, Maple Grove, 5-9, off-guard. Now at UW-Stout.

92. Chanel Robert, Goodhue, 6-2, post.

93 (tie). Lindsay Kaminski, Sarah Kopp and Sidney Pilarski, Benilde-St. Margaret's.

96. Alyssa Favilla, Roseville, 6-1, forward. Now at St. Thomas.

97. Jermisha Watson, Burnsville, 5-9, forward-guard. Scored 7 ppg with 3 rebounds at State Fair CC in Sedalia, MO.

98. Caitlynn Happke, Coon Rapids, 6-0, post. Did not score in 3 games at Moorhead State and does not appear to be on the roster any longer.

99. Rachel Hoeppner. Rosemount, 5-10, forward. Now playing softball at Southwest State.

100. Amanda Beckman, Eastview, 6-0, forward.