Also, update on area college basketball players.
There is a good reason that Shelby Miller later this month will be coming to Rolla for a third straight year as part of the St. Louis Cardinal Caravan.
No, it's not that he fell in love with the Rolla High School facilities. It's because he fell in love with his wife.
Miller is scheduled to again be part of the Cardinal Caravan stop in Rolla Jan. 18 at the RHS gym (doors open at 5 p.m., program begins at 6 p.m.)
A 15-game winner as a rookie for the Cardinals in 2013, Miller is a budding ace of the team's staff.
This caravan travels to Springfield, Mo. and Joplin before ending in Rolla, as has been the case the past several years. And the reason Miller prefers this caravan stop is because his new wife is from the Springfield area.
The two met when Miller was pitching at the Cardinals' AA affiliate in Springfield and were wed this past year. So in addition to promoting the Cardinals on the caravan, he gets to spend time in his wife's hometown as well.
Also, this year Miller's best friend on the Cardinals, fellow right-handed pitcher Joe Kelly, is also scheduled to be on the caravan stop in Rolla, along with rookie second baseman Kolten Wong.
I'm assuming that since Miller will be a seasoned major league veteran by the end of 2014, this will be his last caravan tour. These days usually only Cardinal rookies and young prospects are part of the caravan stops.
Former St. James High School girls' basketball all-state forward M.J. Buschmann is coming off her finest game during her freshman campaign for Mineral Area Community College.
Buschmann, a 5-11 freshman forward, scored a game-high 20 points on Wednesday to lead Mineral Area to a 87-60 win over Jefferson College for the team's first Region 16 victory. She also had six rebounds and four assists as Mineral area improved to 9-6 overall.
As of Friday Buschmann had made two starts and has averaged 6.3 points and 3.1 rebounds.
Updates on other former area basketball prep standouts as they've gone on to college (records as of Friday):
Another St. James all-stater from last season, 6-7 Jack Mueller of the William Woods men's basketball team, has played in only one game this season, leading one to believe he will be red-shirted. Also for the William Woods men's team, a NAIA program with a 4-11 record, Seth Thomas, who played at both Rolla and Cuba high schools, is a starter averaging 7.9 points and 4.4 rebounds while former Dixon Bulldog Damon Burrow has played in four games.
At NCAA Division III Westminster College former Rolla High standout Jay Zalis, a 6-2 sophomore guard, averages 5.0 points and is shooting 40 percent from three-point range for the men's squad, which has a 6-4 mark. Also for Westminster 6-4 sophomore forward Keegan Garner, another Rolla product, has been injured and 6-1 freshman guard Solomon Weider of Dixon plays on the junior varsity squad.
For the Westminster women, now 3-6, Rolla product Andrea Zalis, a 5-9 freshman guard-forward, averages 4.8 points and 4.6 rebounds while averaging 20 minutes per game. Another former Rolla Lady Bulldog, 5-6 sophomore Megan McCaul, has played two games for the Westminster women while former Salem standout Jen Herndon, a 6-0 senior, averages 6.3 points and 5.3 boards.
Another Division III player, former St. James girls' all-stater Brittany Harris-Conway, is a regular starter for Webster University. Harris-Conway, a 5-10 sophomore forward, has helped lead Webster to a 6-5 record, with averages of 11.7 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 52 percent from the field.
Former Dixon High girls' all-stater, 5-6 freshman guard Hunter Yoakum, has been a starter this season for Lincoln University, a NCAA Division II school. Yoakum, Frisco League MVP last season, is averaging 10.5 points per game and averaging more than 27 minutes per outing for Lincoln, which is 3-10 overall and 0-6 in the MIAA.