Minnesota basketball

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Top preps return for Grassroots Hoops















There were plenty of hoops at Ganglehoff Center on the campus of Concordia University last Sunday afternoon. Brian Sandifer, a former football and basketball star at St. Agnes during the mid-1980s (he went on to play football at Normandale Community College, Northern Iowa and Southwest State), presented the 3rd annual Grassroots Nation Alumni All Stars Hoops Classic. Grassroots Hoops, created by Sandifer, is a basketball program dedicated to providing academic and athletic opportunities to athletes after they’ve completed their high-school careers. The game featured some of the state’s top former pre-stars who made their marks when playing at the prep level. Continue Reading →

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Nets’ Anderson hoping for a turnaround




While local media types flew to a former Minnesota Timberwolves player in town, asking him once again what it’s like to play against his former team, this reporter opted instead to hang around a native Minneapolis player’s locker. Alan Anderson played his prep ball here, his college ball at Michigan State, and now is in his fifth NBA season with New Jersey. “I’m blessed,” admitted the 6’-6” guard/forward after his 11-point effort in a bad loss to the host Wolves. Anderson signed as a free agent with the Nets in July after one year in Toronto. He logged his “basketball years” in China, Russia, Croatia, Israel and Spain as well as in the NBA Development League. Continue Reading →

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Congratulations, Tubby!


 Texas Tech hires Tubby Smith while U of M keeps looking

There is no mystery about the well-designed plan to oust six-year U of M Gopher men’s basketball Head Coach Tubby Smith. Well designed, but ill-advised and poorly executed, as seen in various Star Tribune headlines Monday, March 25 through Monday, April 1. 25th: “Firing Smith would be big mistake by Gophers” (Sid Hartman)

26th: “Tubby out, U search in high gear” (Dennis Brackin)

26th: “U: time for a change”

26th: “Tubby’s best not enough”

27th: “Mn in position like sleeping giant”

28th: “Search moves on; Smart to stay at VCU”

29th: “U leaders mold coaching network”

30th: “Stop fretting, Flip [Saunders] is the right fit”

31st: “Flip says no to U”

1st: “Tubby Smith to Texas Tech; Minnesota search continues”

1st: “Minnesota basketball coaching job: Who wants it?”

Have you wondered, as I have, as to why, even when the Gophers were 15-1, the Star Tribune’s little lady from North Carolina [by way of short stints — after graduating from college — at the Boston Globe and the Detroit Free Press] was so hostile in her sports coverage of U basketball? Sources within the U as well as Minneapolis sports scene movers and shakers enable us to connect the dots. The announcement that Tubby found a new job April 1 at Texas Tech was no April Fool’s joke. Continue Reading →

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Rappin’ with Wolves rookie Ricky Rubio




By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


The MSR recently got a few one-on-one moments with Minnesota Timberwolves rookie guard Ricky Rubio. Considering how the local and out-of-town media have virtually fallen to their knees, anointing him as the NBA’s Justin Bieber, it was very surprising that we were able to ask him a few questions without the usual horde around. At first impression, what Wolves Coach Rick Adelman calls “outside hype” seems not to be affecting Rubio at the moment. “He’s a great kid and wants to learn how to play,” says the coach. “But sometimes he tries to thread that pass — in our league, teams will take that away. Continue Reading →

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Pops would have been proud



My father KWAME MCDONALD never let an opportunity slip by when it came to supporting the youth of St. Paul. This past month I did a little traveling to support some former prep stars as they embark on their college careers. Here is a short summary of my travels:

Saturday, November 5: Traveled with former St. Paul Central boys’ basketball standout RONNIE SMITH (1976) to watch his son CAMERON, a point guard for the JV men’s basketball team at Waldorf College (Iowa) and a former St. Continue Reading →

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