Sunday Roundup 5/26/19
We're in the slowest part of the offseason but the team is continuing to try and work salary cap magic. No extension has yet been reached with Rudolph and I'm not sure that one should be. If the two sides do come to an agreement it'll mark the completion of the circle. Every player that I and many others thought wouldn't be resignable after the Cousins deal would have gotten an extension. It'll all be worthless if they have another 7 or 8 win season, don't make the playoffs and don't win in the post season but it's fodder for talk shows and blogs nonetheless.
The legendary efforts by the Bison Mountain make up one of the 10 members to qualify for the NCAA outdoor national championships. Peyton Otterdahl lead the six man group to qualify while the women finished with four above the cut lines. It's a junior & senior laden group but a pair of underclassmen also did well enough to join their fellow athletes in Austin. Freshmen Kristoffer Thomsen & Akealy Moton finished fifth & second(!) in the shot put. For the full list of the team traveling to Texas, go to gobison.com.
It was a one off to end the 18/19 year for the Dragons. Chris Cook managed to end on a very high note! He finished with the 10th best high jump at the national meet, good enough for a spot on the second tier of All-American's. Only a sophomore and with an even better showing under his belt from the Winter set of competitions, his future looks very bright!
Moorhead had a second All-American finisher as Matt Bye finished in the eight spot amongst all the Decathletes. It's the first such honor since 2002 and only the tenth by a Cobber man all time. With all the negativity surrounding the MIAC this week, having something positive to talk about is a nice change of pace!
I'll get into the St. Thomas controversy in a new segment that will be debuting soon but in the mean time, enjoy the accomplishments of some of the local, under the radar athletes!
The weeks of rumors finally came to an end this week as Gersson Rosas tabbed Ryan Saunders as the next head coach for the Timberwolves. There's been plenty of discussion on this already and some hand wringing over his youth & lack of head coaching. The only retort that I can make to that is wait and see. To a man it seems like all the players are behind this decision, which is a great jumping off point. And while it's true that 33 is a young age for a head coach, his pedigree couldn't be much better. I personally would have liked an even more extensive list of coaching candidates to get hired but for all I know the team reached out to some of the other options but were told that there wasn't interest in even sitting down. It seems unlikely since it's 1/30 job in the world but wouldn't be unprecedented for Minnesota. I think the Wolves made a good choice, but like I said, wait and see!
In other Wolves news, KAT missed out on a 31 million dollar bonus because he didn't make any of the All-NBA teams. In case you missed it, here is the break down of who did get the distinction:
2018-19 ALL-NBA FIRST TEAM
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee; James Harden, Houston; Stephen Curry, Golden State; Paul George, Oklahoma City; Nikola Jokić, Denver.
2018-19 ALL-NBA SECOND TEAM
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia; Kevin Durant, Golden State; Damian Lillard, Portland; Kawhi Leonard, Toronto; Kyrie Irving, Boston.
2018-19 ALL-NBA THIRD TEAM
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City; Blake Griffin, Detroit; LeBron James, L.A. Lakers; Rudy Gobert, Utah; Kemba Walker, Charlotte.
It's a one year award, mostly, but for the fun of it I'm going to go through and say which I would rather have on the Wolves over KAT. There could be some debate because of age and wear on a few of the top guys but the only one that I definitely wouldn't take over KAT from the top two groups is Kyrie. That's not a knock on him, just that I think Towns can be more impactful & doesn't have the injury history. I also don't see a single player that I would clearly take over Towns from the third team. They're all elite players but our guy is at least on par with all of them and I would say is superior to everybody but James, and even that is questionable because of the age differences.
Firmly on the other side of the spectrum are the Twins. Only time will tell how this team finishes it's historic early season run but none of us have to wait & see what they'll do next. It's home runs and extra base hits and making impressive defensive plays, all without the services of a couple of the best players. It's the second year in a row that the front office took an approach to the acquisition of free agents so maybe last year was the fluke or maybe next season we will find out that this run is the oddity. But I have no memory of championships in Minnesota so if it does turn out to be the fluke, ride that wave all the way!!!
High School Sports
With seasons winding down, it's becoming trophy time for the prep pack. Track & Field took the lead and the Fargo area school's did not disappoint! The West Fargo boy's team finished third while the Davies girl's took home the trophy for the fourth year in a row. Within those results are several more individual winners which can all be seen here!
Many more trophies will be in cases after the activities that go on over the next seven days but it was all about Track this week.
A 19 hit Saturday is a tough act to follow, just don't tell Leobaldo Pina. Trailing 3-2 in the ninth inning today, he hit a grand slam to give the Redhawks their second straight series win and fifth win in the last six games. A trend can change at any time but that's a great way to go about the opening home stand!
It was an off week for the semi-ams but I heard an interview with quarterback Ja'vonte Johnson in which he said something that nearly knocked me to the ground. He said he thinks he is in the top 100 quarterbacks in the world, paraphrasing. This isn't the CFL or the XFL or even the AAF, he plays in Northern Elite Football League. I get it takes confidence to do things at a high level but that's confidence bordering on delusion, to put it kindly. I wanted to get more of a grasp on the league as a whole but funny, their website is down. So I wasn't able to dive into the statistics of his games yet this year or anything else not available on the Invaders site. Maybe it'll be back by next Sunday, in which case I'll dive into more, because it's that ludicrous but for now just know that the team has a very highly confident quarterback, insanely high if you ask me.