The “Player of the Year award” to me (in any sport) goes to the player that individually showcases exceptional talent and for assorted reasons doesn’t play on the team with the best record (Think Micheal Jordan years pre-Pippen/Grant/Kerr). MVP’s go to fabulous players on a fabulous team.
The Player of the Year recognition, extols an individual player whose total skill-set and accomplishments creates endless jaw dropping occurrences during the course of a game. I’m sure my pick won’t be popular, but sophomore Marina Mabrey simply shocked me this year over and over with her total hoops package. I know she is not at Manasquan anymore, but I can’t think of any better word to describe her than a “Warrior”. She never takes a play off at either end of the court. She has absolutely every skill in her arsenal from shooting, points, passing, rebounding, steals, block shots, causing of turnovers, and more.
She is so physical, so strong and so relentless. She reminds me of the ocean tide that comes in and doesn’t recede. Then another wave of Marina, and another and another…she never goes backwards. She swarms, suffocates, paralyzes and dominates. the opposition at both ends of the floor because of her endless passion for the game. Also I think colleges have to be intrigued by her willingness (for the sake of winning) to defer top billing and scoring to others (her sister and Miss Flaherty last year and Miss. Flaherty this year). She is all about the “W” and never wants to come out of the game. Seemed to me that her game evolved tremendously from last year in the following ways. I think she is leaner, stronger, and calmer – those are huge attributes and changes to make so young in ones career.
No doubt, the comparison to her outstanding sister Michaela, a freshman at Notre Dame, are really going to start coming fast and furious soon. They do have different styles and skills sets (and I loved how Michaela transitioned from being a scorer to a passer). Also, at the end of the day, lots of legacy stuff is judged on championships. Michaela transferred from a TOC winning team as a freshman to an unremarkable program and built another TOC championship team. Marina won the TOC as a freshman and transferred to another unremarkable program. Would be an extraordinary feat to match her sister but I won’t dare bet against Miss Marina.