The Czar's 2009 Summer Awards

So now that the spring/summer season is almost over (and I'm done seeing games in it), its time to give out my awards for the best things I saw.

Most Valuable Player
Carlos Emory - Minnesota Pump N Run

His athleticism on the wing took PNR to another level and his dunks changed games.

Most Impressive Team
43 Hoops Carr. They played a brutal schedule and had an outstanding record. 2 deep at every position with all 10 guys able to make big contributions.

Biggest Stock Raiser
Ross Travis - 43 Hoops Carr.

From nowhere last year due to injury to D1 interest now is impressive. Best athlete on that team and when his jump shot gets consistent, he's a prototype 3 at the next level.

Most Improved Player
Matt Sellers - Magic Black & Big Game Sports

Impressive alone that he pulled double-duty this summer. On top of that he went from looking out of place at DeLaSalle last year to being a productive inside presence for both of his summer teams. At 6'10, whoever gets him for the high school season is going to be very happy.

Next Year's Top 5 17U Teams
  1. 43 Hoops Carr
  2. Minnesota Pump N Run
  3. Howard Pulley Black
  4. MN Heat Elite/MN Comets Elite (tie)
5 Players that I think will be heavily recruited to switch teams next year
  • Riley Dearring - MN Static 15U (Hopkins)
  • Joey King - MN Southside (Eastview)
  • Jack Klukas - MN Wrath 16U (Eden Prairie)
  • Ashton Erie - Team Cannon 17U (Goodhue)
  • Bryan Sprang - MN Heat Black 16U (Irondale)
  • (Czar's Note 8/4/09, how did I not mention Cole Olstad of PEM)
Now to the ligher side of the awards

Worst Looking but Most Effective Shooting Performance
tie - Chris Monter at the Sabes Invite with his "what hand did you shoot that with?" style that seemed to go in from everywhere. Also me for making 6 FTs in a row in street clothes at 43 Hoops in June with my "Michael Adams doesn't shoot more than 30% from 3" style.

Best Food
This one is cheating as I loved the pork sandwiches at the TNL SuperRegional, but I'm going with the catered Famous Daves for the refs and media at the Mr Basketball MN Showcase in Mankato.

Surprises
  • Interesting how outside of the Sabes Invitational, nobody talked about Howard Pulley.
  • How injuries decimated the top MN Select team. Imagine if they would have had a fully healthy starting group of Jesse Briggity, Jordan Jackson, Alex Koch, Sami Onsomu and Jake Kreuser. Granted 3 of those 5 weren't with them at the start of the season.
  • Not AAU ball here, but the rivalry between Sibley and Hopkins at the Breakdown tourney in June was surprising. But its fun to see kids get jacked up to play regardless of the time of year.
Pet Peeve of the Summer
Officials calling goaltending for slapping the backboard. I saw this called half a dozen times this summer. See Slide 38 in this powerpoint presentation to see where I got the info from or read below.

"Rule 4-6: Basket Interference occurs when a player: 1) touches the ball or any part of the basket (including the net) while the ball is on or within either basket; 2) touches the ball while any part of the ball is within the imaginary cylinder which has the basket as its lower base."
Note that there is absolutely no mention of the backboard in that rule.

Here's the text from the slide

"Officials must determine if slapping the backboard is:
  • Unintentional - part of a legitmate attempt to block a try for goal = LEGAL
  • Intentional - venting frustration or drawing attention to him/herself = TECHNICAL FOUL"
Read the next line closely

"By definition, this backboard contact cannot be basket interference"

Also from Scott Weinzierl who officiates the MN state tourney each year.

"First off, it's never goaltending no matter how much the backboard and/or rim move. As for being a technical, it is not a technical if the player was making a legitimate attempt at blocking the shot. If the official does not feel the slap was part of the block attempt then it could be a technical but at this point it's the officials discretion as to the intent of the player."

It really bothers me because its one thing if its a judgement call like block/charge. In that case, the rule was correctly enforced as the official saw the play. But in this case, its implementing something that's not in the rule book and it directly puts points on the scoreboard.

Now that I've got that out of my system once and for all, I think it should be basket interference like it is in the NBA. It'd be much simpler for the officials to call and better for the game as it would get rid of the explosion of backboard slapping that we've seen in recent years.

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