Friday, July 25, 2008

The Week that Was #17: Differentiating

#6 posting 7.25.2008
your daily dose of girls basketball news & information

This was the second big week of the summer events around the nation. The power teams continued their strong showing throughout the country. NC Heat won the diamond bracket in the River City Classic before falling to the eventual champ Cal Swish Black. Nebraska’s CSS Bison took revenge on IBCA Select Red in the Battle of the Plains. North Tartan finished second in the Super Soph Invite in Orlando despite not being at full strength. In the best of the Midwest MN Stars Jihad (Lady Cats) took that title.

Next up is the final event week of July with the North Tartan Meltdown at Bloomington Kennedy and more tournaments in Chicago. Nike Nationals start Sunday. There are events in Las Vegas and in Cincinnati too. The MIT takes place this weekend. The summer ends next weekend with the Sweet 16.

While watching a bazillion players over the course of a weekend, many times the players start to morph into one faceless mass. I am sure if after a contest I asked the players if they worked hard they all would say yes. However there are some players that out work the rest. They are the ones that snap my head, rivet my eyes, grab me by the throat and force me to pay attention to their game. I am not talking about wasted motion and energy. Those players are basically spazzes, basically shouting without saying anything worth remembering.
Earlier in the week I linked a couple of articles on talent evaluation. A couple points in case you missed it.
#1. in these events players are basically showing what they can NOT do. Players that are aware of their strengths, play to their strengths-- with great energy, will succeed. Those that experiment or don’t know their limitations will be washed upon the shores of broken dreams.
#2 A player may dominate at one level, but thrown into a new mix with athletes may struggle. It might be shyness, or trying to fit in. Whatever you want to call those players---the invisible, the ghosts, the phantoms-- they are usually the kind of players I have to double check to see if they really were on the floor. I remember one time at Osseo a player wanted to go 5-5 in some of the player evaluations. “5-5?” I said, “right now you disappear in 3-3. Are you in a witness protection program?” Carpe diem my friends.
#3. The higher you climb in the talent ladder, the better the athlete. There are many good athletes, but they may not be good basketball players. I can think of 21 off the top of my head. The thing that will separate a contender from a pretender is the grounding of the basics. It might not be glamorous, but the repetitive grounding of the fundamentals is where champions are forged.
#4. Enthusiasm, and joyful passion can be displayed, but rarely are. That kind of energy draws players. Once upon a time I had a player (Kate Townley) that had that certain Joie de vivre. It was contagious and we had players from other teams every year wanting to be part of that experience. Too often I see players trudge off to the mines like the workers in the movie Metropolis with their hands bowed, shuffling off to what seems to be their execution. Pure joy is rare. Enjoy the whole experience. You have your whole life to be grim.

The benefit of doing this blog for three years I can now look back and compare the past players and games. Here is what has happened at the Minnesota Elite All Star Game the last three years:
2006: Gold beat Maroon 49-43 in overtime. Angel Robinson was named the trench player of the game. Others that played in the contest—Kiara Buford, Cassie Rochel, Alex Montgomery, Leah Dietel, Bri Zabel
2007: Gold beat Maroon 58-47. Kelsey Jacobson was named the trench player of the game. Others that played in the contest—Cassie Rochel, Tyisha Smith, Kiara Strickland, Emily Becken, Shelly Stemper.
Earlier today the Gold won for at least the third year in a row 54-42. Erica Gress was the trench player of the game.

Here is the pp100 of the teams
2006 Gold 75.4
2006 Maroon 67.2
2007 Gold 89.2
2007 Maroon 71.2
2008 Gold 88.5
2008 Maroon 68.8
So you can see that 2008 is pretty close to the average only 0.7 behind last year's 89.2 for the winning gold.

Did you know that Abby Busch of GFW has played in the All Star game for the third straight year?
Players making their second straight appearance in the All Star game: Megan Waytashek, Annessa Hicks.

Centennial came out and dominated Princeton in the championship at Rogers. Centennial set the tempo and pace early and never looked back. At one point the Cougars led 32-4. Centennial used a deep bench. They also continued their transition game. They have a core group returning. I read in one of the preseason football magazines that New England had an unsuccessful 19-1 season last year. Centennial is looking to rectify their New England situation. This was a convincing step.

Megan Nipe
was not at full strength last Saturday, but you would be hard pressed to point out where the flaws were. She had a pp100 of 211.1 and a floor % of .889. Not only a major force and gamer on the offensive end, she also made some hustle plays and used Princeton players to save balls a couple of times. Nipe is aware.

For those that don’t know or aren’t familiar with how to make this list.
1. I need to see the player during the week.
2. Player needs to have at least six possessions
3. Player needs to be north of 100 pp100 and floor % north of .500
4. If I see a player multiple times the average possessions need to crack six. Hot and cold performances are averaged out. I am searching for consistency.
Rachel Banham, Lakeville North
Erica Gress, Liberty (Apple Valley)
Megan Nipe, Centennial
Cassie Rochel, Lakeville North
Jaime Rust, Esko
Laura Bruce, Lynx (Hopkins)
Roz Chromy, Shock & Esko
Cara Lutes, Fever (New Life)
Megan Waytashek, Sparks & Centennial
Cassie Ziemer, New London-Spicer
Alexa Clausen, Storm (Wayzata)
Sam Dengerud, New Ulm Cathedral
Josie Dillon, Benilde-St. Margaret’s
Jen Field, Maple Grove
Hannah Steele, Centennial

This is truly a team of warriors and winners. They fought tooth and nail for every loose ball. They threw their bodies into the fray with abandon. They are willing to taste hardwood going for a ball. All that they get is another floor burn for their hustle. All these players are willing to go through the wall if it will help the team win.
If you want to know the defensive wraps, as I have looked at it, indicate which players are more aggressive. Wall flowers and mall girls need not apply. These are the True Trench players. They have your back.

The first among equals this week is Jade Geif of Lakeville South. She is lanky, long and can defend both in and out. She has good leaping ability. Constant effort is her tune. She deflects passes, making life miserable for perimeters. On the inside she is physical enough to play bigger than her listed 6-0.
Abby Busch, Sun (GFW)
Mariah Clarin, Sparks & Princeton
Jade Geif, Fever (Lakeville South)
Chiamaka Okonkwo, Osseo
Bridget Schuneman, Lynx (Centennial)
Ashley Allevan, Monarchs (Fairmont)
Sarah Bingea, Storm (Delano)
Stormy Nesbit, Lynx (Roseville)
Cassie Rochel, Lakeville North
Cassie Ziemer, New London-Spicer

Kelli Rengo
was the engine driving Esko. Last Saturday she had the Eskomos running on high octane. She got the ball to the posts and had 10 assists for the day. Rengo’s contributions to the 131.8 pp100 and .614 floor % need to be acknowledged.
Justine Dammerman, New London-Spicer
Annessa Hicks, Mystics (St. Paul Humboldt)
Kelli Rengo, Esko
Hannah Steele, Centennial
Kaiya Sygulla, Lakeville North

Esko's Jaime Rust is another player that dominated on Saturday at Rogers. She too topped the 200 pp100 mark which doesn't happen too often when scoring 17 points. Rust was a well oiled scoring machine inside. She was able to score when hit and formed part of a dual post offense with Roz Chromy.

Remember to be a newcomer I need to see the player for the first time that week.

You can find the whole summer award winners here.

1. MN Stars
2. Metro Stars Black
3. Team WI Sr White
4. Team WI Sr Black
1. Gym Rats
2. Minnesota Thunder
3. Wayzata AC
4. Southern Minne Magic

1. NC Heat
2. North Tartan Larson
3. Team WI Select Samuels
4. Nebraska CSS Bison
5. IBCA Select Red
6. MN Stars Borowicz
7. Metro Stars Black
8. Nebraska Twisterz
9. Pinnacle Bank Nebraska
10. Sioux Falls Warriors
11. Metro Stars White
12. Kansas City Hustle
13. All Iowa Attack Red
14. Fury15. Iowa Elite
16. MN Stars Smith
17. IBCA Select White
18. North Tartan Crosby
19. MN Suns
20. Team WI Select Doucette
1. MN Dynamite
2. Chaska Gold
3. MN Thunder
4. Triple Threat

1. North Tartan
2. Nebraska Judds
3. MN Suns Arbogast
4. All Iowa Attack Red
5. Team Iowa
6. Metro Stars
7. MN Stars Jihad Lady Cats
8. Fury
9. MN Stars Carlisle
10. Team WI Select
11. PT Players
12. MN Suns Ellen
13. 43 Hoops
14. Team WI Red
15. MN Dynamite

1. North Tartan
2. Metro Stars
3. MN Stars Seter
4. Team WI Select
5. MN Stars Collins
6. IBCA Select Blue
7. Fury Livers
8. Fury Haugen
9. MN Stars Hested
10. Midtown Lady Monarchs

1. North Tartan
2. Cornhusker Shooting Stars
3. MN Jazz
4. All Iowa Attack
5. MN Stars Martin
6. MN Fury
1. Hopkins

1. Cornhusker Shooting Stars
2. All Iowa Attack
3. MN Stars Farview
4. MN Suns

School, Summer League
1. Lakeville North, LNSL
2. Hopkins, LNSL
3. Minnetonka, CPSL
4. Minnehaha, CSPSL
5. Eastview, LNSL
6. Maple Grove, CPSL
7. Champlin Park, CPSL
8. White Bear Lake, CSPSL

Next up: tomorrow