Clarification on why I made my section 4A post.

It seems like there's been some confusion amongst readers as to why I made my "Why Section 4A Stinks" post. Here's why.

It started with me saying on MN Preps that I thought Section 4A was the worst section in the state. I based that opinion on what I thought was weakness at the top of the section and a bunch of bad teams (mainly charter schools) at the bottom.

The MN Preps readers proceeded to roast me for it. 1 called me on the fact that I said I had no out-state knowledge (which is true). After reading that, I realized that the critic had a valid point. While I am critical of different things, I do try to be fair about it. I had no solid information on the other sections and may have been off base in my comments. At that point I also realized that the point was well and truly dead on MN Preps, it had gone on too long. Yet, I felt compelled to do the research and document the results just to see if I was crazy. So I went out and got the data, felt like I had an objective analysis and posted the results which I felt showed those critics that I had basis for my beliefs.

Those beliefs are based on available data not just the subjective viewing of teams and is a far bigger sample than any of us would see in person. It certainly wasn't based on the reading of 1 book's opinion without understanding what it really meant and nothing else which is what some critics did. The overall point was that there was ample basis for my opinion that the section wasn't that good.

The post was in no way shape or form meant to go after the Breakdown publication (despite the criticism of it that was there). I wasn't trying to show that Breakdown shouldn't have had 4A #1. I don't know who compiled that ranking or the criteria that were used to generate it, nor is that relevant in this instance. Based on the criteria used, that ranking of #1 may very well be correct. That's why I've made a point of saying that I evaluated the section as a whole, every single team in the section contributes to the power of the section.

Despite my disagreement with some content elements in the Breakdown (which I have kept to myself except for 2 pieces because its not a personal thing), that doesn't take away from the fact that Ryan James et al did a wonderful job and work very hard at the publication and deserve great credit for it. Not to mention that Ryan has publicly praised my scouting work, so if anything I have a positive bias toward him as a person. At the same time, I feel like my expressed criticisms have been fair objectively verifyable reasons.

The 4A post is also why I continue to reference Oh Day Aki results and give analysis because that's a team all those critics pointed to. Also, the quality of the section issue is obviously a season long issue. Therefore it is an ongoing relevant point so I'm not piling on Oh Day Aki when I reference their scores, I'm piling on the critics by continuing to show them results that prove them wrong.

Also note that I haven't said they're bad, I just said they're not the 25-5 upset MCA, section force team of last year. However, the judge and jury will be in attendance on Monday night for their boys/girls doubleheader at Roosevelt. Just as I made a point of giving PACT an evaluation on this site due to previous criticism of charter schools that people thought was too general, I will do the same for ODA and when I see MN Transitions.

Props to PACT, they proved me wrong. I will eat crow on that.


  1. Props to you czar. It's not easy to be subjective, provacative and
    informative- which are three keys to success in a blog. The fourth is the element of being OBJECTIVE when making comparisons-by adding that criterion, your credibility goes way up. Ryan James does a pretty fair job- beyond the grammatical errors- my main problem would be his need for FULL DISCLOSURE of his coaching associations when he is ranking players.

    Regarding Section 4A, I've run the QRF numbers the last two years and by my criteria of taking the rankings of the top 8 teams in each section, Section 4 comes out on top significantly. The bottom of the section contains many new charter schools and weak private schools, which tend to skew down the true strength at the top- which is CLEARLY SUPERIOR TO THE OTHER SECTIONS, which is what the high school coaches who had input into the Section Power Rankings properly recognized.

    Finally, the turnover of seniors/transfers at schools like Oh Day Aki, Maranatha, St Agnes and MN Transitions has opened the door for schools like: CHOF, New Life, PACT and Heritage- who returned virtually their entire lineups from 06/07- to assert themselves in the section.

    You have to decide for yourself about how to phrase your criticisms. I think many have a problem with writing about kids as if they are equivalent to NBA players. Even Reusse and Sansevere take a much softer tone when they cover prep athletes. The coaches and administrators deserve to have their fiascos flamed, (witness Lakeville South's debacle last year)- but telling kids, that in effect, they are worthless, goes a bit too far.

  2. Thank you aauobserver, obviously you saw it was your comments that caused me to do further research. Thank you for the constructive criticism and for reading. As you demonstrate, it's what you analyze that determines the conclusions. You did different analysis and came to a different conclusion than I did. I don't have any problem with your conclusion based on the disclosure of how it was reached. I haven't done that same analysis myself. While I personally wouldn't evaluate an entire section using that criteria, you defended your conclusion and explained your analysis which is how it should be.

    As to the tone on evaluations of players, I've been roasted for that and I'm willing to admit that there is validity to that. I ripped the Como Park kid without giving any reasons and think that's fair criticism. Though I thought my comments on Brommer and Rosemount were more in line.

    Thankfully, I'm not in a position like the media or Ryan and Michael where I have to keep friends so I would like this to be a forum where people can have an open and honest opinion which may at times be critical, but I think it's safe to say that that doesn't mean flamethrowing without defense. Now I think my position is defendable, but I didn't document that. Due to time constraints there are certain gaps in the logic that haven't been documented.

    All of that said, I'm keeping an eye on it based on the feedback (this also includes me). Hopefully my recent post on the Hutchinson kid was a positive start. But be mindful readers that comments I make on a kid's basketball ability are that only, they are not a reflection on the kid as a person and I think people sometimes unfairly draw that conclusion.


Have a different take than mine? You can provide your take here.