Darrell Moody: Carson’s Vega, Douglas’ Waggoner are top MVP candidates | NevadaAppeal.com

Darrell Moody: Carson’s Vega, Douglas’ Waggoner are top MVP candidates

Darrell Moody
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer

One thing is becoming increasingly clear ” the girls MVP of the Sierra League should come down to either Carson’s Brandi Vega or Douglas’ Jessica Waggoner.

The purists think that the MVP should always come from the winning team. I disagree vehemently.

Vega and Waggoner possess two traits critical to being an MVP. The first is that they make the players around them better, and they do it in different ways.

Vega is lightning quick, and her ability to penetrate forces defenses to collapse and her teammates get some pretty easy shots on the perimeter. The only way to contain Vega is to be able to stay in front of her, and I haven’t see any ONE defender capable of that.

Waggoner, meanwhile, is one of the top players down in the low block. She can’t be stopped unless she’s double-teamed, and when wing players or point guards have to sag down and help out, her teammates get open looks.

The second trait I judge an MVP on is how their team(s) would do without them.

Without Vega, I doubt that the Senators would have more than three or four wins right now. No offense to the Lady Senators, but they certainly are not a playoff team without Vega creating havoc with opposing defenses.

Without Waggoner, the Tigers also fall short of the playoffs, and I’m not sure if they are more than a four-win team without her.

I know Bishop Manogue has fine players in Ashley Armstrong, Katie Gray and Michelle Aboumrad. They will cancel each other out in all-league voting no doubt, and the Miners would be just as good without any one of them.

– The Louisiana Tech win over Nevada Thursday night certainly was a stunner, and once again Nevada showed that it’s a two-pronged team offensively with Armon Johnson and Luke Babbitt.

I’ve harped on this once this season, and I’ll do it again. What is up with Brandon Fields and Joey Shaw? Fields went 2-for-15 from the floor. Just think, if he had shot even 25 percent from the field, Nevada would have won the game.

Shaw goes anywhere from eight to 12 points in one outing and then four or five the next. Unfortunately, he wins the prize for Mr. Inconsistent hands down.

Fields apologized to the fans in the post-game press conference. Heck the whole team should apologize.

You don’t let a visiting team, especially one that had won only three conference games all season, come into your arena and shoot 60 percent. That doesn’t happen with good teams, and I think we have to come to the realization that this isn’t a good Nevada team.

The Pack is a year away from being a good team. I’ll be anxious to see how quickly next year’s freshmen front-line players can adapt to the college game and how much this year’s freshman big men Ahyaro Phillips and Dario Hunt improve.

– The list of recent Hall of Fame inductees was impressive to say the least, though I disagree with the omission of ex-Vikings great Cris Carter.

The former Minnesota star didn’t have great speed, but was one of the top possession receivers ever to play the game.

It will get even tougher next year because two talented receivers ” Jerry Rice and Tim Brown ” are both up for selection for the first time. Also up for the first time is ex-Dallas great. I covered the NFL for many years, and if that trio isn’t unanimous then there is a writer out there holding some kind of grudge.

Rice was the greatest wide receiver ” ever. Are you listening T.O.? His workouts were legendary and drops were rare, especially after his rookie season. Rice, toward the end, had the occasional flare-up when he felt he wasn’t getting the ball enough. I’m beginning to think that’s a common trait among receivers.

– Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com, or by calling 881-1281.