Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pre-Season Player, Coach, Team of the Year Candidates

Seimone Augustus, Minnesota Lynx. The Lynx of course did not repeat as WNBA champs and Augustus shot 3-for-21 in the final game, a loss to the Indiana Fever in game 4 of the WNBA finals. Still, she was the best player for a 27-7 team, best in the league in the regular season and runner-up in the post-season. And she performed admirably as an Olympian. All in all, a pretty good year.

Rachel Banham, Minnesota Gopher women. Banham has been idle with  blood clot of late but is expected to be ready to go as the regular season gets underway. Rated as one of the top 5 freshmen in the nation last year and as the best in the Big 10, if she is unable to go it would be a tremendous blow to a program that has underachieved in recent years. Significant improvement is expected this year, mostly because of Banham.

Nia Coffey, Hopkins girls. Going for a 3-peat.

Tyus Jones, Apple Valley boys. Possibly the greatest Minnesota schoolboy player ever, but he kind of needs a state title to fill out an all-timer resume.

Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves. Will miss the 1st month of so of the season with a broken hand, but it will be an immense surprise if he is not the Wolves best player by the time all is said and done. Based on his play last year and then as an Olympian, he's one of the NBA's top 10-12 players when healthy and the Wolves will need him as such PDQ in order to keep another season from getting away from them. Ricky Rubio's and Love's injuries are a powerful argument that this is a franchise that is snake-bit. We'll see.

Trevor Mbakwe, Minnesota Gopher men. Has missed most of the last 4 years with legal troubles and injuries, but at least his latest injury got him a 5th year of eligibility. Like the Gopher women, Tubby's crew has disappointed the past several years. If this is the breakthrough year, it will be because of Mbakwe.

Katrina Newman, UMD women. Now in her 3rd year at this level, ready to really assert herself, I'm guessing.

Clayton Vette, Winona State men. 6-9 senior will be the best player among NSIC men.

Carlie Wagner, New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva girls. All-time state tournament scorer as a sophomore, overshadowing the great Rebekah Dahlman in the process. Now a state title would cement her status as one of the greats.

Taylor Young, St. Thomas women. Led her team to the national semis as a sophomore. Can she and the Tommies shoot higher?

Coach of the Year Candidates

Rick Adelman, Minnesota Timberwolves
Brad Bigler, Southwest Minnesota State men
Pam Borton, Minnesota Gopher women
Brian Cosgriff, Hopkins girls
Zach Goring, Apple Valley boys
Faith Johnson Patterson, DeLaSalle girls
Cheryl Reeve, Minnesota Lynx
Ruth Sinn, St. Thomas women
Tubby Smith, Minnesota Gopher men
Dave Thorson, DeLaSalle boys

Team of the Year Candidates

Apple Valley boys
DeLaSalle boys
DeLaSalle girls
Hopkins girls
Minnesota Gopher men
Minnesota Gopher women
Minnesota Lynx
Minnesota Timberwolves
St. Thomas women
Southwest MN State men

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