The 5 finalists for the 2016 Mr Basketball award have been announced.
Amir Coffey - Hopkins
Michael Hurt - Rochester John Marshall
Steffon Mitchell - Shakopee
Johnny Beeninga - Wayzata
Brock Bertram - Apple Valley
The first 3 were obvious and no surprise. Everyone expected those 3 to be there before the season started. Beeninga was the catalyst for a Wayzata team that knocked off Hopkins during the season. Bertram with solid numbers on a loaded Apple Valley squad. He could leave averaging a double double with 3 state titles. Remember the committee likes career accolades. So there's a case to be made for everybody on the list.
Ade Murkey of St. Croix Lutheran was a no brainer choice for me. 22 pts, 10 rebs, 4 ast and 2 steals a game. That was on a team that lost only to Wayzata and by 5 at Minneapolis North. Plus they had wins over state qualifiers De La Salle, Waseca, Braham, St. Clair, Fridley and Maple River. Not to mention wins over Minnehaha (x2), Battle Lake (section finalist) and Waverly-Shell Rock (IA). In those big games Murkey averaged 23.3, 11.5 and 4.6, so he didn't just beat up on the weaker Tri-Metro half of the schedule. Top guy for the top team in AA, getting some D1 interest, played well in the big games and his team is at state. So that's the only player I think who can legitimately complain.
Other guys of interest. Nate Albers of Mounds View who averaged 25 a night and almost willed his team to state. Nick Dufault carried Waseca to state. That Waseca vs Marshall section final game is one of the exciting section finals ever. Tyler Johnson at Minneapolis North with a solid season. But remember Wayzata not only beat North and St. Croix Lutheran but did it handly. Amar Miller with many large individual performances but as a team Minnetonka was just over .500 and arguably were a disappointment. As to other non-metro guys, nobody had the major standout season to force their way on. That would be guys like Cole Dahl from Northern Freeze, Travis Toivonen at Red Wing, Luke Harris at Northfield.
Ultimately though its splitting hairs because the top 3 were always the real 3 contenders for the award. The other 2 spots are just filler. With Hurt and Mitchell done and Coffey still playing, I think it be a major surprise if Coffey doesn't win it.
The full history of the award including semifinalist can be found on my Mr Basketball page.