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My MWC Womens’ Basketball Post-Season Awards

March 6, 2016

To paraphrase Leslie Gore who sang “It’s My Party”…

It’s my blog and I’ll homer if I want to, homer if I want to, homer if I want to.

You would homer too, if CSU happened to you

I could plow through all of the stats for the conference schedule. Simple stats like Points Per Game, Rebounds, Field Goal Percentage.  I could plow through advanced stats built around efficiency.  And then I could rely on the eye test. I’ve had the opportunity to see every team play live with the exception of New Mexico because of the unbalanced schedules in the MWC.

I could talk about some marvelous guards such as Utah State’s Funda Nakkosoglu of Utah State, a Jimmer-esque type of guard who is crafty with the ball and can score.  I could talk about Wyoming’s Marquelle Dent, a bouncy and quick scorer and playmaker.  I could talk about San Jose State’s Dez Ramos who is another high-volume scorer.  All of them are really good guards.  UNLV’s Brook Johnson is another who can score a variety of ways and defend as well.

At the forwards and wings I could talk about New Mexico’s Cherise Beynon, who can score, rebound, and defend. Boise’s State’s Brooke Pahukoa can really fill it up from the perimeter. The Bronco’s Shalen Shaw can score and rebound with the best of them. Fresno State’s Toni Smith does it all on both ends of the floor. New Mexico’s  Khadijah Shumpert is a supremely talented inside scorer.  Wyoming’s Liv Roberts is tough.

There are two really strong post players.  Bego Faz Davolos of Fresno State is a shot-blocking presence who can score close to the basket. And Boise State’s Miquelle Askew is as tough as it gets to defend on the low block.

Those are 11 really good players, all very capable of making anyone’s first or second team.

Except mine.

Because I just spent a season with a team that went 28-1 and 18-0 in the conference.  A team that is built around the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.  Not an easy feat.  Because it takes a willingness to subvert one’s own individual numbers for the good of the team.  That decent shot that might go in gets better with a pass to another player who has a better shot. And so on.

And it takes energy away from the offensive end to commit to playing defense at a high level on every possession.  Offensive numbers don’t look as good when you commit more energy to the defensive end. Offensive numbers don’t jump out when making your teammate successful is as important or more important than your own numbers.

So I’m gonna play General Manager and I have the first pick. 

With my first pick I choose Ellen Nystrom, the do-everything 6’1″ player from CSU.  She scores a little more than 10 a game. She is also 3rd in assists, 1st in Assist-to-Turnover ratio, and 3rd in Defensive Rebounds. She can guard the post and she can stop your point guard.

You get to choose next.

You would probably take Faz Davalos, the rebounding and shot-blocking post from Fresno State.

I would counter with CSU’s Jamie Patrick, the top 3-point shooter in the MWC, 3rd leading scorer, and one of the top perimeter defenders.

You would probably take Nakkasoglu from Utah State. The MWC’s leading scorer.

I would them take CSU’s Keyora Wharry. She averages about 11 a game but her strength is in transition and late in the clock. No one in the conference is more effective at scoring at the end of a uarter.

You would take someone like Khadijah Shumpert of New Mexico, a powerful inside scorer and rebounder.

I would take CSU’s 6’3″ forward Elie Gustavsson, a scorer inside and out who can get a rebound, defend inside and out, and who provides 94″ of defense at her size.

You would probably take Marquelle Dent, the guard from Wyoming

I would take  6’1″ forward Emilie Hesseldal of CSU. The most underrated player in the MWC.  She can shoot but doesn’t. She spreads the floor, sets picks, grabs rebounds, breaks presses, initiates the half court offense.  

And you would probably take Brooke Pahukoa of Boise State or Cherise Begnon of UNM to give you the perimter scoring threat to go with the inside presence of Faz Davolos and Shumpert. I personally think Begnon is a better player on both ends. I also think of all the players on your team she would look best in a Ram uniform in terms of how she plays.

Spot a trend here?

I like unselfish players who know how to play both ends of the floor.  They can post up or play on the perimeter on offense and they can defend a variety of positions on the defensive end.  

Give me CSU’s starting lineup vs Faz Davalos, Shumpert, Begnon, Dent, and Nakkasoglu.

And I believe my team will beat yours more times than not.

As long as I have CSU’s Ryun Williams as my Head Coach.

I would assume that you would take Fresno State’s Jaime White who does an outstanding job for the Bulldogs.

I think my team would beat yours  more than half the time.

My Individual Awards

MWC Player of the Year – Ellen Nystrom, CSU

MWC Freshman of the Year – Marta Gomez, Wyoming

MWC Defensive Player of the Year – Bego Faz Davalos, Fresno State (I can’t give everything to Nystrom)

MWC 6th Woman of the Year – Alana Arias, CSU

MWC Coach of the Year – Ryun Williams, CSU

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