AND NOW RETURNING YOU TO OUR PREVIOUSLY PROGRAMMED PROGRAMMING:
I admit it. I love Shayne Mullaney. I am thrilled to see her contributing as a Minnesota Gopher. Here's what I wrote about her back on February 15, 2012:
"Which brings us to Shayne Mullaney. Never all that highly regarded, one service had her #18 in her class as a sophomore and has moved her all the way up to #7, which means there are 6 girls who, in theory, are better than she is. Why didn't we recruit them?
Well, we did in the case of Jackie Johnson. But as to the other 5, let's be honest. gPrep booted it. Mullaney is the cream of the crop among 2012 guards. Like Banham, she is a scorer. But she is also stronger with the ball than Banham, and a better passer. If Pam is smart enough to make Shayne the #1 ball-handler, then Banham will be free to do what she does best, and that is look to score."
Then on September 12, 2012:
"So how to deploy Rachel Banham is an open question. Leah Cotton, the senior, is probably the 1st option as a running mate, though her 35 percent shooting and propensity for turnovers is a problem. As a practical matter, that leaves freshmen Mikayla Bailey and Shayne Mullaney as possibilities. My personal opinion is that Mullaney is a better ball-handler and passer than Banham. I would give her the ball and play Banham at the 2 spot and see what happens."
This is from more than a year ago:
'Then there's Shayne Mullaney, 5-8, from Eden Prairie. Some who've criticized the signing of Bailey are also lukewarm on Mullaney. Well, I remember when she was rated as about the #17 or #18 sophomore in the state and Tessa Cichy was #1. Now Mullaney is the #5 senior guard and Cichy #6. So this has been a volatile class.
But I think of Mullaney as a poor man's Rachel Banham, which is to say a combo guard who can handle the ball, set up the offense, set up your scorers and...oh, yes, not incidentally...put the ball in the hole herself. She was a 58 percent shooter as a junior. And, sure, she shot a lot of lay-ups but you're going to hold that against her? She can penetrate. But she can also pop the 3.
So if you're a Gopher fan, get used to the idea of Shayne Mullaney as a significant competitor to the Gopher program. There's a lot of guards in the Gophers' present and future, but nobody else (except Mikayla Bailey, of course) is positioned to run with Rachel Banham for 3 years. Think of her finally, then, as the 2nd coming of Shannon Schonrock, if you like."
And even further back than that, I wrote:
"In 2012, Mikayla Bailey and Shayne Mullaney have verballed. They're not as highly rated as Banham and Kayla Hirt in 2011 but Mullaney, at least, looks to me to have the skills to complement Banham quite nicely."
Finally on May 28, 2012, I rated Mullaney as #4 in her class, but with Marissa Janning #1.
"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?"