Friday, August 08, 2008

The Week That Was #19: Sweet Endings

#4 posting 8.8.2008
Your daily dose of girls basketball news & information

THE WEEK THAT WAS #19: Sweet Ending
The summer officially wrapped up last weekend at the College of St. Benedict with surprising Bloomington Kennedy taking home the Sweet 16 title. No Boler, No Holt, No Problem for Kennedy as they used their tough nosed defense to win the title. The Eagles never really blew out any of their opponents. They did have enough grit and determination in the tank to get the job done. Kennedy’s margin of victories were 6-9-8-7, not one double digit win in the bunch. The Eagles, with hard hat, lunch bucket players like Brittany Zins, Aubrey Davis, and Bailey Lund, were able to squeeze out victories with disciplined half court offense, and multiple looks on defense. If the situation called for man defense to stop New London-Spicer’s 3 point snipers, or a 2/3 zone against athletic DeLaSalle and New Prague, Kennedy delivered. When Alexis Holt returns in November, and Shakila Boler returns in February Kennedy will be that much deeper.

But how does Kennedy and 2008 stack up with the recent years? (at least in games I charted).
First the years
Year, pp100, floor %
2006 85.44, .415
2007 84.12, .404
2008 77.24, .373
There was clear evidence that this year’s Sweet 16 was lacking scoring punch. A drop of nearly seven points is a big drop. My opinion is that pp100 measures offensive skill. This year’s group isn’t as polished—at least in Sweet 16 land.

2006 Champlin Park 104.5, .522
2007 Centennial 111.5, .533
2008 Bloomington Kennedy 79.44, .383
Here the drop is steep. A 32.1 pp100 drop is not easy to wash away. The floor % is another huge drop. But what about the defensive numbers?
2006 CP 87.5, .419
2007 Centennial 72.7, .355
2008 BK 69.3, .329
Here Kennedy shines. They had the best defense in the last three years.

Here are the classes that the teams beat
Champlin Park 2006 1-2-3-1
Centennial 3-2-3-4
Kennedy 2-3-3-3
It should be noted Champlin Park finished 4th in the 2007 AAAA state tournament. Centennial lost in the 5AAAA finals last season.


The rest of summer will be prime verballing season. By now most of you have been following the Ohio/Elofson saga. This case was more a failure of communication on the new Ohio staff.

If you look at the verbals across sports and genders you will find more problems when there is a change of administration. For example if you look at the site I also run you will see players are deserting South Dakota State in volleyball. The former coach went to Washington State and two players and one verbal are now headed to Pullman, WA.

The fact is verbals don’t mean a thing. They are as good as the paper they are written on.

“Those are just a few things floating around my head at this point, but the truth is, verbal commitments mean nothing. Some people argue that they take pressure off the kids in the recruiting process, but that doesn't make a lot of sense to me (see Eric Gordon rescinding his commitment to Illinois to go to Indiana). Nothing is in stone until a written offer is made and signed. Until then, eighth graders should just be eighth graders”

The above was from the the official NCAA blog and the context was about a 13 year old boy making a verbal to a college basketball program.

But verbals are important in this regard---they indicate if a player, or coach, are good for their word. I have been surprised when players blow out their knee and the colleges stick by their player. I am thinking Jamie Printy of Linn-Mar, IA who hurt her knee as a sophomore. She is fine now, and had a strong summer. The fact was Iowa stood by Printy. Shakila Boler is in the same situation with the Gophers now. The Gophers are standing by Boler.

The big problem for Ohio was reassuring the family in April that everything was fine and then pulling the rug out from underneath their feet after the viewing period this summer.

This should come as no surprise—Bloomington Kennedy. Coming into the tournament they weren’t considered the favorites. Some considered them #4 of the four AAAA teams at the event. This should be the main point of their win this week---They looked for ways to win and didn’t dwell on what they didn’t have and make excuses. They looked for ways to win and seized the opportunities before them. The key point came in the very first game when they trailed New London-Spicer 34-29 to start the fourth quarter.

Too often people, teams, players, and coaches look backward instead of forward, come to games already beat, and when adversity strikes throw in the towel instead of using what is before them. Kennedy will be stronger for this experience.

First off this week doesn’t have an abundance of players that made the cut. I don’t fudge the numbers or grease players that are an inch from the finish line. The same rules that have held sway since the start of summer remain in place.
#1. I need to see the player during the week.
#2. Minimum of six possessions
#3. + 100 pp100
#4 +.500 floor %
#5 if I see a player multiple times the numbers are averaged out.
Players got sidelined for a variety of reasons this week. Some had +100 pp100, but sub .500 floor %. Any way the player of the week didn’t stumble on these stones. Bailey Lund of Bloomington Kennedy is a hard hat worker that is in the thick of battle all the time. Her main focus has been that of a defensive stopper during the high school year. She was playing on the inside in this tournament. In that role she drew plenty of fouls and went to the line plenty of times. All her damage was done in the paint. On top of her offensive consistency this week she provided the same gritty trench defense. Scraped knees are her trademark.


Sarah Hintz, Woodbury
Rena Kneeland, New Prague
Bailey Lund, Bloomington Kennedy
Megan Nipe, Centennial
Bridget Schuneman, Centennial
Honorable Mention
Jess Braaten, Lakeville North

This was a bit easier to pick from. The pool of players was bigger. This is an effort area. Either a player works to get the ball, or they let others do the heavy lifting. Brittany Zins had the biggest rebound of the tournament when DeLaSalle had closed fast to a four point deficit. An Eagle missed a free throw with under 1:30 to go and she got the key offensive rebound to keep the possession alive. Technically not a defensive stop, but the results were the same. For the weekend Zins had 24.5 stops including 13 in one game.

Adriana Ivanovic, Bigfork
Tori Rule, DeLaSalle
Bridget Schuneman, Centennial
Hannah Strop, New Prague
Brittany Zins, Bloomington Kennedy
Aubrey Davis, Bloomington Kennedy
Bailey Lund, Bloomington Kennedy
Rey Robinson, Becker
Kaiya Sygulla, Lakeville North
Megan Waytashek, Centennial

Aubrey Davis stepped into Shakila Boler’s role and did a strong job in running the offense for Kennedy. Usually a three point shooter on the receiving end of passes, Davis initiated the JFK offense and knew who to get the ball too.
Honorable Mention
Brit Rynda, New Prague
Holly Hofland, Centennial
Amanda Wagner, New Prague

It is hard to pick a newcomer of the week when I have seen players and teams for the umpteenth time. You can cross off any Kennedy, Centennial, Lakeville North … get the idea. The newcomer is a first sighting. It doesn’t matter if they are seniors or elementary players. This week the first timer is Brogen Lothert of New London-Spicer. She scored from behind the arc and crashed the offensive boards.

Here are the complete 2008 Summer Weekly winners from


School, Summer League
1. Centennial
2. Lakeville North, LNSL
3. Hopkins, LNSL
4. Bloomington Kennedy
5. New Prague
5. Minnetonka, CPSL
6. Minnehaha, CSPSL
7. Eastview, LNSL
8. Maple Grove, CPSL
9. Champlin Park, CPSL
10. White Bear Lake, CSPSL
11. Benilde-St. Margaret’s
12. Barnum
13. DeLaSalle

Next week will be the jumbo 2008 summer wrap. If you have nominees go to and email me.

next up: tomorrow, unless news breaks