Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Minnesota's Best 100 Power Forwards Ever

The power forward position was invented right here in Minnesota by Minneapolis Lakers coach John Kundla. He had George Mikan at the center spot, and he also had Vern Mikkelson on the bench. He got both in the game by putting Mikkelson at the forward spot. Now he had two posts on the floor, and could overpower a lot of opponents. 

This happened in the 1950s. Most of the “power forwards,” like Mikkelson (and Olberding and Zender and McHale, etc.), played the center spot in high school but moved out to the power forward later in their career, whether at the college level or the professional. Or, prior to the 1950s, the power forward was simply the bigger of the two forwards. But most of our best power forwards came after the 1950s and the idea of having two “bigs” on the floor.

High School Resume’

Post-High School Highlights

1. Mark Olberding, Melrose 1974

Led Melrose to overall state title, and was the 3rd player ever to score 100 points in a state tournament. 1,726 career points.

Played 1 year at MN, scoring 16 ppg. Then scored 10 ppg over 12 ABA/NBA seasons.

2. Hal Haskins, Alexandria 1943

The 1st boy ever to score 1,000 points in his career, and also set a tournament scoring record with 19 ppg in 1943.

Led Hamline to the 1949 NAIA national champion and earned all-America honors.

3. Kevin McHale, Hibbing 1976

McHale’s 79 FG percentage for that tournament remains the record to this day.

McHale scored 15 ppg in 4 years at MN, then scored 18 ppg over 13 NBA Hall of Fame seasons.

4. Kris Humphries, Hopkins 2003

Led Hopkins to 2 state tourneys, including the 2002 Class AAAA title. Mr. Basketball 2003.

Played 1 year at MN, leading the Big 10 in scoring and rebounding. Scored 6.5 ppg in 9 NBA seasons.

5. Bob Zender, Edina 1968

Led Edina to the 1st 3-peat ever, leading all scorers in 4 of 6 games in 1967 and 1968.

Played at Kansas State where he was Big 8 Newcomer of the  Year and played in 2 NCAA Elite 8s.

6. Rick Rickert, Duluth East 2001

Scored 30 ppg in 3 tournament games in leading East to 2nd place. Scored 2,358 points for his career. Mr. Basketball 2001.

Played 2 years at MN scoring 15 ppg. Played pro ball overseas.

High School Resume’

Post-High School Highlights

7. Norm Grow, Foley 1958

His 2,852 career points was the MN record for 33 years, and his 1,417 rebounds was the record for 49 years.

Played at MN where he was a starting forward as a junior.

8. Reid Travis, DeLaSalle 2014

Led the Islanders to 3 straight Class AAA titles.

Playing college ball at Stanford.

9. Steve Lingenfelter, Bloomington Jefferson 1976

Lingenfelter led the Jaguars to 2 state tournaments and twice outplayed Kevin McHale including 1976 final. 

Lingenfelter played 2 years for the MN Gophers before transferring to South Dakota State, where he scored 22 ppg over 2 years. Played in 10 NBA games. 

10. Vern Mikkelson, Askov 1945

Led Hamline to 1949 NAIA national title, earning all-America honors. Scored 14 ppg in 10 NBA seasons, earning Hall of Fame honors.

11. Mark Landsberger, Mounds View 1973

Led his team to 2 state tournaments including 1972 Class AA title, scoring 84 points in 4 games.

Scored 16 ppg in 2 college seasons at MN and Arizona State. Then scored 6 ppg in 7 NBA seasons.

12 (tie). Jim Fritsche, St. Paul Humboldt, and Milan Knezovich, Hibbing, both 1949

Fritsche led the 1949 state champs with the 2ndhighest ppg in tournament history (23.3). Led the St. Paul City Conference in scoring twice. Knezovich led Hibbing to 2 state tournaments. Was the #1 scorer at the time with 1,476 points.

Fritsche played at Hamline where he helped the Pipers to the 1951 NAIA national title. Knezovich played at Drake, later returned from the military to become all-conference at Mankato State.

13 (tie). Arnie Johnson, Gonvick 1938, Johnny Norlander, Virginia 1938 and Clint Wager, Winona 1937 

Norlander helped his team to 2ndplace in 1937 state tournament.

Johnson played for Bemidji State, and scored 9 ppg in 7 NBA seasons. Norlander led Hamline to the 1942 NAIA national title, then scored 8 ppg in 5 NBA seasons. Wager starred on St. Mary’s (Winona) only MIAC champs in 1939, 1940, led the MIAC in scoring in 1940-1941, and played 8 years of pro ball.

High School Resume’

Post-High School Highlights

14. Jim Peterson, St. Louis Park 1981

Led his team to a 2nd, 3rdand 4th place finish in Class AA. Mr. Basketball 1980.

Scored 6 ppg in 4 years at MN, then 7 ppg in 8 NBA seasons.

15. Bill Davis, Richfield 1960

Led his team to 3rd place in the state tournament, scoring 40 points in 1 game and 88 in 3.

Was captain of the U of MN Gophers basketball team. 

16. Andra Griffin, Minneapolis Central 1977

Led his team to the Class AA consolation championship and tied for tournament scoring lead with 77 points. Once scored 53 points in a game.

Scored 12 ppg in 4 years at Washington and finished as the #9 career scorer at that time. Picked in 5th round of NBA draft but did not play in the NBA.

17. Ray Cronk, Bemidji 1959

Led his team to 3 state tournaments, and led all tournament scorers his junior year with 28.7 ppg.

Played college ball at MN.

18. Frank Wachlarowicz, Little Falls 1975

Led the Flyers to the 1975 Class AA and overall titles.

Top men’s college scorer in MN history 2,357 pts at St. John’s.

19. Tony Jenkins, Shattuck, 1970

Led Shattuck to 2 state private school titles.

Played at Harvard, where he was captain.

20. Larry Mikan, Benilde 1964

Led Benilde to the state Catholic title.

Played at MN and in 53 NBA games.

21. Paul McDonald, Chisholm 1976

Led Chisholm to the 1975 Class A title, and was the #5 career rebounder at the time. Was #1 and is still #5 all-time in FT pct.

Lettered 1 year at Nebraska, then won all-NCC and all-region at SDSU. He still holds the SDSU record for 17 straight FT made. 

22 (tie). Ben Coleman, Minneapolis North 1979, and Dan Coleman, Hopkins 2003

Cousins. Both were Mr. Basketball finalists. Dan helped his team to a state title and a 3rd place.

Ben scored 11.5 ppg in 4 years at MN and Maryland, then 6 ppg in 5 NBA seasons. Dan scored 10 ppg in 4 seasons at MN.

23 (tie). Trevor Mbakwe, Henry Sibley, St. Agnes 2007; Royce White, Hopkins 2009; and Rodney Williams, Robbinsdale Cooper 2009

Mbakwe helped his team to 3rdplace in the 2007 Class A tournament, and was a Mr. Basketball finalist. White helped unbeaten Hopkins 2009, reputed to be MN’s best team ever, to the state title, and was Mr. Basketball. Williams scored 1,702 career points with 660 rebounds.

Mbakwe played at Marquette and Miami-Dade CC in addition to MN, where he led the Big 10 in rebounding. White sat out a year on suspension at MN and transferred to Iowa State. Williams played at MN where he scored 10 ppg as a senior.

High School Resume’

Post-High School Highlights

24. Dean Veenhof, Edgerton 1961

Led Edgerton to 1960 state title, and finished his career with 1,887 points.

Played college ball at Augustana.

25. Jeff Nordgaard, Dawson-Boyd 1991

Led Dawson-Boyd to Class A 3rd place in 1991. And Mr. Basketball finalist that year.

Scored 16 ppg in 4 seasons, including 23 as a senior, at WGB. Played in 13 NBA games.

26. Nathan Reuvers, Lakeville North, 2017

Led the Panthers to 4th, 2nd and 6th place in 3 state tournaments, scoring 26 ppg with 12 boards and 4 blocks as a senior.

Rated as a 4-Star recruit, Reuvers will play college ball at Wisconsin.

27 (tie). Jerry Olson 1955 and Roger Voss 1958, both Austin 

Olson helped his team to 3 state tournaments and a 3rd and 2nd place finish. Voss starred for Austin’s 1958 state champs

Both played at Colorado where Voss was all-Big 8 in 1961.

28. Jerry Butler, Minneapolis Roosevelt 1957

Helped Roosevelt to 2 state titles in 1956 and 1957.

Lettered as a senior at MN in 1960.

29. Kevin Noreen, Minnesota Transitions 2010

Finished as the #1 scorer at the time with more than 4,000 points, and led his team to the Class A state title. Mr. Basketball.

Played college ball at West Virginia.

30. Bob Laney, Proctor 1964

Led his team to 4th place at state, taking a record 32 rebounds in 1 game and 69 for the tournament.

Still holds Concordia (Moorhead) career scoring record with 1,847 points.

31. Joey King, Eastview 2012

Mr. Basketball finalist 2012, 24 points and 6 boards as a senior.

Scored 7 ppg as freshman at Drake, played 3 years at the U.

32. Mike Bauer, Hastings 2000

Mr. Basketball finalist.

Still #2 all-time MN Gopher with 191 3-point FG made. Plays pro ball in Europe.

33. Marshall Bjorklund, Sibley East 2010

AP Player of the Year, finished with 1,910 career points, 1,326 rebounds, 383 blocks. Mr. Basketball finalist.

Scored 16 points with 6 boards in 3 years at NDSU.

34. Johnny Gilbert, Minneapolis Patrick Henry 2000

Led Henry to Class AAA title. #4 career rebounder at the time (1,243). Mr. Basketball finalist.

Scored 4 ppg in 5 years at Oklahoma.

High School Resume’

Post-High School Highlights

35. Maynard Johnson, Plainview 1947

Scored a school record 38 points at MN in 1951.

36. Jeff McCarron, Sherburn 1970

Helped Sherburn to the state title, and finioshed with 1,597 career points.

Played 2 seasons at Augustana and is a member of the Augies Hall of Fame.

37. Chris Bjorklund, Brainerd 1997

Top scorer in Brainerd history with 1,718 points. 

Played college ball at Cal Poly, scoring 17 and 18 ppg.

38. Neal Arntson, Red Wing 1915

Helped Red Wing to 1915 state title.

Played at MN where he was #2 in scoring in the Big 10 in 1922.

39. Ryan Amoroso, Burnsville and Eric Coleman, Tartan both 2004

Amoroso led his team to 2nd place in Class AAAA, scoring 24 ppg as a senior. Coleman, 6-6, scored 13 ppg with 11 boards as a senior.

Amaroso scored 4 ppg in 4 years at Marquette and San Diego State, and played pro ball in Europe. Coleman scored 12 ppg over 4 years at Northern Iowa.

40. Warren Jeppeson, St. Louis Park 1955

Scored Lake Conference record 47 points in 1 game. Played in all-star game with Bob Ferry, Bailey Howell, Joe Ruklick, etc.

3-time basketball letterman and also played football at MN.

41. Lou Barle, Gilbert 1934 

Played at UMD where he is a Hall of Famer. Played for NBL champs Oshkosh in 1941, and played in the NFL.

42. Dick Burk, Minneapolis North  1938

Led his team to runner-up in the state tournament.

2-time letterman at MN.

43. Dave Hegna, Granite Falls 1947

Scored 1,025 points.

Helped Hamline to the 1951 NAIA national title. 

44. Mike Brusewitz, Henry Sibley 2008

Helped his team to Class AAAA runner-up finish in 2008. Mr. Basketball finalist.

Played 4 years at Wisconsin, scoring 6 ppg as a junior and as a senior.

45. Vern “Moose” Bagenstoss, Albany 1952

The 14thplayer to scored 1,000 points, he finished at 1,011.

Earned Little all-America honors at St. Cloud State.

46. Sid Bostic, Pipestone 1960

Dean Verdoes says he was the best player he ever played against.

His half-court shot won NCAA college division national title for SDSU 44-42 over Wittenberg in 1963. Scored 1,079 career points with 804 rebounds (#4 all-time). Member SDSU Hall of Fame.

High School Resume’

Post-High School Highlights

47. Eric Carlson, Shakopee 2007

Helped his team to the 2005 Class AAA title. His 252 FT and 335 FT attempts in 2007 was a state record.

Scored 9 ppg over 4 years at NDSU.

48. Bill “Shorty” Patterson, Minneapolis North 1954

First black to play at Gustavus. Helped Gusties to 2 MIAC titles.

49. Ernest Nzigamaszabo, Mound 1989

Once scored 51 points in a game.

Scored 4 ppg in 4 years as a MN Gopher.

50. Chet Anderson, Duluth Central 1963

Led the Trojans to the state title in 1961 as a sophomore.

Played football at MN.

51. Gordon Burich, Chisholm 1934

Led his team to the 1934 state title.

52. Mike Patterson, Mahtomedi

Led his team to state tournament where they defeated Edgerton for the consolation title.

Played at UMD, where he is a member of the Hall of Fame.

53. Sanjay Lumpkin, Benilde-St. Margaret’s 2012

Scored 20 ppg as a senior.

Playing college ball at Northwestern.

54. Scott McDonald, Two Harbors 1971

Led his team to its 1ststate tournament bid in 47 years. Scored 1,436 career points.

Played college ball at West Virginia.

55. Bob Anderstrom, Willmar 1954

Led the 1954 state tournament in scoring with 71 points (23.7 ppg) and finished with 1,364 points, #7 at the time.

Lettered as a senior at MN in 1958.

56. Brett Ervin, Eden Prairie 2010

2-time all-state tournament, scored 17 ppg as a senior.

3-year starter at UMD, scored 16 ppg as a senior.

57. Joe Aase, Austin 2013

Led the Packers to 2 state tournaments.

Transferred from Davidson to Mankato State, scored 9 ppg as a junor.

58. John Carlson, Litchfield 2003

Helped Litch to 3 state titles.

Played football at Notre Dame and in NFL.

59. Keith Hasselquist, Chisago Lakes 1983

Led his team to Class AA 3rd place in 1983. Mr. Basketball finalist 1983.

Played college ball at Augustana, twice all-conference, and is a member of the Augie HoF.

High School Resume’

Post-High School Highlights

60. Wally Salovich, Minneapolis Marshall 1942

Played for the MN Gophers.

61. Billy Gross, Hayfield 1969

Led Hayfield to 2 state tournaments. Led all scorers in 1968 with 81 points.

Won all-conference honors 3 times at Augustana. Augustana’s Athletic Director 1986-present.

62. Kurt Shellhas, Edina 1967

Helped his team to 2 state titles.

63 (tie). Bob and Dick Peterson, Henning 1966

Led their team to 2 state tournaments, losing only in 3OT to Edina in 1966. Dick scored 1,579 career points, Bob 1,492.

Both played at Concordia (Moorhead), and went 11-5 in the NSC as seniors.

64. Steve Fritz, Blooming Prairie, Rochester Lourdes 1967

Led BP to state tournament as a junior, then led Lourdes to state Catholic title as a senior.

Scored 1,944 career points, still #2 on St. Thomas list, and earned all-MIAC honors 3 times.

65. Merle McClung, Montevideo 1961

Scored 1,138 career points.

Played at Harvard where he won all-Ivy League honors. He also was a Rhodes Scholar.

66. Bill Fiedler, Edina 1968

All-tournament as Edina won its 3rdstraight state title. 

67. Cliff Halmrast, Moorhead 1928

Led Moorhead to 1928 state title, leading all scorers in semi and final.

Led Concordia (Moorhead) to its only MIAC title (in 1931) before 1982.

68. Dick Erickson, Anoka 1957

Scored 1,417 career points.

Played at U of MN.

69. Armond Battle, Benilde-St. Margaret’s 2008

Helped his team to the 2008 Class AAA title with 21 points and 7 rebounds.

Signed with Tulsa but did not play. Played 2 years with Wright State, averaging 5 ppg.

70. Del Jessen, Luverne 1965

Led his team to the 1964 state title and 4th place in ‘65, scoring 34 points in the 1964 semi.

Played football at the U of MN.

71. Mark Dusbabek, Faribault 1983

Led Faribault to a #1 statewide ranking in his senior year.

Played football at Minnesota 

72. Redd Overton, Minneapolis North 1981

Led North to the 1981 Class AA title. Mr. Basketball 1981.

High School Resume’

Post-High School Highlights

73. Jerry Dreier, St. Paul Marshall 1953

Led the St. Paul City Conference in scoring at 18 ppg.

Among Macalester’s all-time leaders with 1,523 career points, and 43 in a single game.

74. Marvin Singleton, Hopkins 2011

Helped Hopkins to 3 state titles. Scored 20 points with 12 boards as a senior.

Averaged 2 ppg in 1st 2 years at Northern Iowa.

75. Jake White, Chaska 2012

Scored 23 points with 12 rebounds as a senior.

Plays college ball at Wichita State.

76. Larry Witthus, Glencoe 1979

Led Glencoe to 3rd, 5thand 3rd place in the state tournament.

Led Mankato State in scoring twice.

77. Pat Coleman, Mankato West 1991

Led West to 3rd place in 1991 Class AA tournament, leading all AA scorers with 71 points.

Played college ball at Mankato State where he is a member of the Hall of Fame.

78. Dan Banister, Mpls. North 1987

Mr. Basketball finalist.

Played college ball at Charlotte, scoring 4 ppg over 4 years.

79. Julian Greer, Brooklyn Center 1999

Thought to be the #1 rebounder in state history with 1,304, though higher totals were later found. Also scored 2,158 points.

Played 1 year of college ball at Wisconsin-Stout, scoring 11 ppg with 4.5 rebounds.

80 (tie). Tyler Flack 2012 and Connor Flack 2015, both Lakeville North

Led North to 4 straight state tournaments. Tyler helped the Panthers to 2nd place in 2012, and Connor helped them win a state title in 2014.

Tyler played college ball at South Dakota, scoring 14 ppg as a senior. Connor played at Winona State.

81. Lawrence Krause, Waseca 1948

Led Waseca to consolation title in 1948, and led all tournament scorers with 57 pts.

Played at Mankato State.

82. Theo John, Champlin Park 2017

Athletic, leaping 6-8 power forward helped his team to the runner-up slot in Class AAAA.

Will play college ball at Marquette.

83. Nate Kratch, Watertown-Mayer 2012

Recorded 1,101 rebounds and 451 blocks in his high school career.

Scored 6.5 ppg at Santa Clara.

84. Rod Grosse, Irondale 1986

Mr. Basketball finalist.

Played at Marquette, scoring 2 ppg over 4 years.

High School Resume’

Post-High School Highlights

85 (tie). Irwin St.John 1950, Jack Whiting 1955 and Gerry Suman 1963, all Bemidji

St. John and Whiting played in 3 tournaments each, earning all-tournament honors twice. Suman played in one state tournament.

St. John and Suman played at Bemidji State where both are members of the Hall of Fame.

86. John Nefstead, Marshall 1963

Led Marshall to 1963 state title.

87 (tie). Seth Hinrichs, MCCRAY and Shelby Moats, Waconia both 2011

Hinirhcs avg. 22 points with 11 rebounds as senior. Moats led his team to 3rd place in Class AAA his senior year, scoring 36 points with 37 boards in 3 games.

Hinrichs scored 14 points with 5 rebounds as sophomore at Lafayette. Moats played college ball at Vanderbilt but had some concussion problems.

88. Junior (Spike) Skoglund 1941 and Stewart Skoglund 1943, both Hopkins

Each set Lake Conference season scoring record. Stewart’s 22 points in a 1942 state tournament game was the most since 1921.

Both played college ball at Gustavus.

89. Dave Zollar, Duluth East 1987

Mr. Basketball finalist 1987.

Earned all-conference honors at UMD.

90. Virgil Sonju, Finalyson, Kennedy 1956

Scored 2,008 career points, #2 at the time.

91. Gary Wolters, Little Falls 1977

Played for state champs in 1975, co-led 1977 tournament with 81 points. Mr. basketball finalist 1977

92 (tie). Wayne Deden 1954 and Curt Thalberg 1957, both Red Wing

Both helped their teams to the state tournament

Deden played 4 years at Mankato State, Thalberg 1 year (but 4 years of football) at MN.

93 (tie). Don ‘Avi” Avikainen 1946 and Mike Vesel 1974, both Tower-Soudan 

Avi led his team to the state tournament, while Vesel scored 2,048 career points.

Vesel played college ball at UMD.

94. Keil Anderson, Preston 1973

Scored 1,735 career points, led his team to 1973 state tournament.

95. Jeff Ellens, Cretin-Derham Hall 1994

Led St. Paul City Conference in scoring twice at 16 and 20 ppg. Mr. Basketball finalist 1994.

Also played college ball at Cornell.

High School Resume’

Post-High School Highlights

96. Bryce Webster, St. Thomas 2006

Committed to Minnesota, then ended up at Cal State-Fullerton.

97. John Thelen, Melrose 1971

Led his team to 1971 Class A title.

98 (tie). Larry Mulder 1972, Greg Mulder 1974, Kevin Mulder 1975, Kim Mulder 1978, all Renville

Larry scored 1,202 career points, played in 2 state tournaments, Greg scored 1,480, Kevin 1,315 and Kim 1,175 points.

Larry played college ball at South Dakota State. Kevin is Moorhead State’s all-time leading scorer with 1,797 points. 

99. Harper Richardson 1946 and Kal Kallenberger 1972, both Austin

Richardson helped his team to the 1946 state title. (His full name was Austin Harper Richardson.) Kallenberger scored 70 points in 3 games in 1972.

Richardson became a Methodist minister.

100. Jack Colvard, St. Paul Humboldt 1952 

3-year starter at Gustavus including 2 MIAC title teams, and is a member of the Gusties HoF.

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