Improving the Mr Basketball Award

So I wrote about my issues with the Mr Basketball award a couple of years ago.  Time to bring those back.

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.

1a) Make the qualifications of the committee clear.  For those of us who have been around, the qualifications of the committee have been made clear.  They go state wide and have college backgrounds and make sure to see the outstate kids as much as the metro kids.  but you'd think that Ken Lien would put this up somewhere permanent so he doesn't have to answer that question every single year.

2) The high school season is long over by the time the announcement happens.  If the comments online are true that the voting takes place before the state tournament (which I'd rather not see happen), then why the wait?  Wisconsin gets this absolutely right by announcing it at the state tournament. 29 or 30 games through section play should be plenty to figure it out. And if you wanted, you could have a banquet Sunday night after the state tournament so that the tourney is included. You'd get much more interest in the award this way.  After all, with no games, what are we really waiting for?

3a) Start with a narrowed down list. I don't agree at all with 20 or 25 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 just to be mentioned. But is it really an honor to be mentioned for something you have no chance at winning? It just causes the award to lose credibility. Look at the 3 kids from Bloomington Kennedy a couple of years ago as 1 example of this. Good players, they had a nice 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 MN Sports Writer of the Year with 19 other people. Would you take the award seriously? I wouldn't.

3b) No 2 kids nominated 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 last 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.  And you'd get recognized.  35 kids were named all-conference or honorable mention in the St. Paul City Conference this year.  7 teams * 5 starters = 35.  But don't get me started on those lists.

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