Big 12 awards were handed out yesterday and a few of the National awards should start streaming out of the various outlets this week. With that in mind, who deserves the Big ONE?
National Player of the Year. Fetch and Warden kick this one around in our latest RCT roundtable and as usual they struggle to stay on topic but who's counting right?
Let's get this started. The regular season is winding down so naturally with all the talk about the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments we also have some individual awards to talk about, and we might as well talk about the biggie. Who do you see as national player of the year this year? The Jimmer? Nolan Smith? McMorris? someone else?
Not sure how much we can get going here because Jimmer Fredette has to be player of the year, right? Even though Marcus Morris has a very similar season going by offensive rating, he's using a lot fewer possessions and taking a lot fewer shots. McMorris is also going to get the "better team" punishment, something that should happen to Sullinger as well. He's got guards that can hit the 3 when defenses key down on him but I think that's happening to Sullinger already so I went spend a whole lot of time on him unless you start making his case.
Nolan Smith is definitely an interesting case and I think a legitimate one considering the absence of Kyrie Irving. He's using almost 31% of Duke's possessions and has played 84% of their minutes. Irving's had only two games all year with an offensive rating below 100, that's pretty amazing. JaJuan Johnson at Purdue is another guy that probably deserves a mention just because of how they've performed after losing Hummel at the start of the season, but not enough to win it. Kemba Walker had a case earlier in the year and it's not his fault that UCONN has stumbled a bit (which I called in the CoY post).
Just can't get over Fredette. Where would BYU be without him this year, fringe top 25 maybe? Now if we want to talk Big 12 Player of the Year, there is an interesting conversation.
Well I'm going to toss a couple names out there: I like what Nolan Smith has done quite a bit. I'm not one for per game averages but he leads the ACC in scoring and rebounding, which is great, and like you said he's using a ton of possessions, has a decent eFG and has an assist rate north of 30%
But the other guy (and I'm probably blowing my wad here in terms of revealing my sleeper too soon) is Jordan Taylor at Wisconsin. He plays 89% of their minutes, has a 130.4 Offensive rating, shoots it better than Nolan Smith does, has a 31.8% assist rate and only an 8.8% turnover rate. Also he is the caretaker of the #1 KenPom offense in the country. Not only can I not understand why he's not getting more pub, I think I'd pick him if I had to take a guy right now for POY.
He's not getting more pub because he plays for Wisconsin. People don't enjoy watching them and they don't do anything exciting, so it just doesn't get covered. Throw in low per game numbers and you've got a bad combination.
But I can't take him over Jimmer. As much as I love tempo-free numbers, I'm always leery of individual numbers when the team plays at a snail's pace. 89% of their minutes is a lot but he also gets a 10 second break almost every possession. He doesn't turn it over but they don't risk anything either, so he shouldn't.
While it's all fine that they don't risk anything, he still monopolizes the ball on that team and has a huge assist rate to go with a low turnover rate. He also gets fouled quite a bit and makes 84% of his free throws.
But fair enough, he can't overcome the sensation that is the Jimmer. Speaking of which, I saw Tully tweet today asking who KU fans would rather see, Jimmer or Sullinger, not taking into account the teams around them. Thoughts?
At the time, I replied Jimmer. Guards still scare me but thinking on it more, Sullinger and Ohio State are a much better team so they have to be the answer. Sullinger on his own doesn't scare me, the other guards for the Buckeyes do. The focus Sullinger would get from the defense would leave their guys open on the perimeter all night and well...that just doesn't go well. You?
Well, irrespective of their surrounding teams I would go with rather facing Sullinger. I just have horrible visions of the Jimmer raining 35 footers all night. But like you said I'd much rather see BYU than Ohio State. The Buckeyes are shooting 40% from three, so hopefully they could like take out Jon Diebler's legs before the game or something. And they don't really rely on offensive rebounds to score, so our advantage on the defensive glass is semi negated there.The big negative for them is that they have a Freshman point guard, but we could get Gerry McNamara'd by him as well, so who knows. I guess what I'm saying is hopefully some other team beats Ohio State in the tournament.
Agreed all around. Jimmer could cause us problems and put the Jayhawks on highlights for the next 10 March's but Ohio State could send us home. Maybe it's ignorant but BYU just doesn't scare me as much, though if they shoot like they did on Saturday they should scare everyone.
They don't really scare me all that much either. March games are won by guards, but BYU isn't a great rebounding team and they only have two guys taller than 6'6" who play significant minutes. I have a feeling the Morri would have a field day against them.