Yeah, I know, I've been pretty much MIA this year, here on MN Hoops. I hope I saw all of you girls hoops fans over at www.northstargirlshoops.com. But now it's time for our annual Minnesota Player of the Year Award.
As always we'll pick a winner. But we'll also let our readers--thanks to those of you who have persevered to keep coming back despite the lack of new content, by the way. But we'll let our readers pick their own winner as well.
The only catch is the you, the voters, have to vote for one of ten finalists that we've selected. The finalists are, in alpha order:
Player of the Year Finalists
Rachel Banham, Minnesota Gophers, junior guard--led the Big Ten in scoring at 22 ppg
Chase Coley, Mpls. Washburn, senior post--averaged 25 points, 18 boards, 9 blocks, 6 assists, 5.5 steals, earned Minnesota's Gatorade Player of the Year Award and is a Ms. Basketball finalist
Austin Hollins, Minnesota Gophers, senior guard--scored 12 ppg, with 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals
Tyus Jones, Apple Valley, senior guard--the Duke recruit scored 27 ppg with 9 assists, and has won every major Player of the Year award, including Mr. Basketball
Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves, forward--the perennial candidate scored 26 ppg this year, with 13 boards, 4 assists and a steal, though his team failed to improve as expected and missed the playoffs for the umpteenth time
J.P. Macura, Lakeville North, senior guard--the Xavier recruit is the #2 scorer in the state with 33 points per game, and led the Panthers to their first state title, shocking Hopkins with 2 late 3s and 43 total points in the final
Zack Monaghan, Mankato State, junior guard--named to the 2nd D2 all-American team, he scored 15 ppg with 8 assists, best in the nation in D2
Jordyn Sammons, Hamline, junior guard--Sammons led the MIAC with 21 ppg, and added 10 rebounds and 3 steals
Carlie Wagner, New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva, senior guard--Wagner scored a record 53 points in a state tournament game and a record 130 in three tournament games, and finished with more than 3,900 career points. More importantly, her Panthers successfully defended their Class AA state title.
Amanda Zahui B., Minnesota Gophers, freshman center--the 6-5 Swede was the Big Ten freshman of the year with 15 ppg, along with 12 rebounds and 3 blocks per game.
And, just to jog your memory, our Players of the Year have been:
2011--our official winner and our readers' choice were both Kevin Love, Timberwolves forward
2012--we picked Lindsey Whalen, Lynx; readers picked Taylor Young of St. Thomas
2013--last year we picked Carlie Wagner, NRHEG; readers picked Anders Broman of Lakeview Christian