There are many former Minnesota prep players on Big 10 college basketball rosters this season. The MSR recently chatted with some of their coaches on their progress to date.
Wisconsin’s Marisa Mosley on sophomore guard Ronnie Porter (St. Paul Como Park):
“She really came out of her shell this past spring and summer and has really kind of evolved into a great leader for our team.” The 5-foot-4-inch Porter played in 27 games, starting one game last season. The four-time St. Paul Conference Player of the Year scored 2,174 points in her high school
In an exhibition win against UW-Whitewater October 29, Porter had 18 points, eight assists, and five rebounds. “She’s honest and a truth teller… Her intentionality and her desire to be great [are assets]. We’re very excited for her for this season,” added Moseley.
Michigan State’s Tom Izzo on sophomore guard Tre Holloman (Cretin-Durham Hall):
“Tre Holloman has had a heck of a summer. He is probably as hard a working guy as I got. He has been in the gym all summer. He has become a much better shooter.”
The 6-foot-2-inch guard from Minneapolis played two sports in high school and was recruited for both football and basketball. He was one of six players to play in all 34 games for State last season. A former Gatorade Player of the Year for Minnesota, “Tre will definitely be in that playing group. We’re excited [about] what he’s done,” stated Izzo.
Illinois’ Shauna Green on junior guard Adalia McKenzie (Park Center):
“Adalia has continued to evolve as a player and as a leader. She worked hard this summer on expanding our game and being able to be a threat from three-point in her pull-up and mid-range shot. We need her to be a threat.”
A three-time all-conference player and 2020-21 Minnesota Miss Basketball, the 5-foot-10-inch guard played every game as a freshman, starting 15 of 27 games, and last season was named All-Big Ten and Academic All-Big Ten. McKenzie started every game and averaged nearly 14 points a contest last season.
“We need her to be a threat. She’s just an unbelievable person and worker, and she wants to be great. She can almost get too down on herself [when she makes a mistake or misses a shot]. She’s made big-time improvements,” noted Green.
Nebraska’s Amy Williams on junior forward Kendall Coley (St. Louis Park):
“When we went on our foreign trip to Greece, I thought she was just particularly focused and motivated.”
The 6-foot-2-inch forward-guard came to Nebraska as the top-rated player in a top-25 recruiting class in 2021-22. Coley was an all-conference player and her team’s MVP and Most Improved Player as a junior at St. Louis Park. Coley is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten player.
“The next step is if she can just develop that mindset of really being a consistent scoring presence for us and she plays the game the right way. I think once she develops a little more scoring mentality, the more competent she’ll be,” said Williams.
The Pac-12 Conference, as we know it, will be gone next year as Oregon, UCLA, USC, and Washington join the Big Ten; Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, and Utah go to the Big 12; and California and Stanford leave for the ACC.
Veteran broadcaster Cindy Brunson bemoans the West Coast conference’s ultimate demise. “First of all, I’m heartbroken,” Brunson told the MSR.
“It is, in my opinion, the best women’s basketball conference in the country.” She predicts that with the four schools joining the Big Ten next season, “I think it automatically becomes the strongest conference in the country.”