Thoughts on Mr Basketball

Congrats to Jordan Taylor on winning Mr. Basketball. No surprise to me as he was my choice after seeing him and Anthony Tucker play numerous times during the season. I just thought Taylor did more with less to work with against a superior schedule. That said, I would have had no problem with either Tucker or Cody Schilling winning it. Both had terrific seasons and terrific careers and were well deserving. What I really found strange was the media coverage. Here's what the Star Trib and Pioneer Press had.

Star Tribune Headline "Surprises as top honors awarded"

Pioneer Press: (Jordan Taylor) "was declared the winner during an awards banquet at the Minneapolis Marriott West. Taylor's selection came as a slight surprise considering the marquee field of finalists."


I would have understood that reaction if Michael Floyd or Jared Berggren would have won it. But general consensus was that these were the 3 guys in the running with anyone of them a legit contender to win it. But it was treated like Jethro Tull beat Metallica for heavy metal album of the year (especially the StarTrib). From the Pioneer Press I'm not surprised (see their being in the tank for Willie Taylor's complaint about being the #3 seed in the girls tourney when that's exactly what they deserved), but the Star Trib usually doesn't make such a bad mistake. Just my humble opinion that basketball people didn't find this surprising.

Some thoughts on how I'd improve the award.

1) Make the basic criteria clearer. One of the huge complaints is that no one knows what determines Mr. Basketball. The committee does a great job and I don't think they need to go into all the nitty gritty details. But the high-level stuff would be beneficial. Ex: Is it a career award or just for senior year, is it most valuable to team or best player etc etc.

2) The HS season has been over for a month so this announcement comes way way way too late. Wisconsin gets this absolutely right by announcing it at the state tournament. 29 or 30 games thru sectionals should be plenty to figure it out. Just because a kid has a big state tourney doesn't mean that should override the body of work during the season. And if you wanted, you could have the banquet Sunday night after the state tournament so that the tourney is included. You'd get much more interest in the award this way

3) Start with a narrowed down list. I don't agree at all with 20 finalists. How many of those kids actually had a shot to win the award. Let's get down to the real contenders immediately. Some people say its an honor to be mentioned. But is it really an honor to be mentioned for something you have no chance at winning? It just causes the list to lose credibility. Look at the 3 kids from Bloomington Kennedy as 1 example of this. Good players, they had a great season. But none of them had any chance at all of winning the award so why are we watering down the list. Better yet, what if I got nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize with 19 other people. Would you take the award seriously? I wouldn't.

4) No 2 kids from the same team except in very very unique circumstances. If you're not the best player on your team, then there's no way you can win the award, so why waste the time mentioning the name. If the committee can't use the regular season (or a major portion of it) to determine the best player on a team (even one like next year's Hopkins' team), then they won't get it right anyway. This award is about the #1 player, period. There's no place for top 5, 10 etc here. There are all-conference, all-metro, all-region, all-state etc teams for that recognition.

2 comments:

  1. I think Taylor's Mr. Basketball win hinged on the Madison Memorial game. Though Tucker won the head-to-head matchup, Taylor led the Red Knights to an easy win over Madison Memorial, whereas Tonka struggled.

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  2. Had Benilde not beaten Madison Memorial at Target Center, Tucker would have been Mr. Basketball.

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