When an all league team is named, it only stands to reason that fans of teams are going to complain about their players not being accurately represented on those teams. Heck, that is probably the most fun part about examining these teams.
Well I have some complaints as well. And as an added bonus only two of them involve me thinking a KU player got screwed out of an all league place.
Let's start with the coach of the year. As much as I love Coach Self, I am on the fence as to whether he truly deserved this award. When you look at it through the lens of K State was picked by virtually everyone to win the conference, and we had to deal with a lot of injuries and suspensions, it seems very logical to have him up there. But I guess I am looking at it through a more narrow lens, in that I told anyone who would listen that KU would be just as good this year as they were last year, if not better.
If I were giving the award personally, I think it would have to go to either Doc Sadler or Tad Boyle. A lot of people had Colorado pegged for what they were, but I thought they would be much much worse. Likewise, I thought Nebraska had a chance to be the worst team in the North. But credit Doc for getting them to play lock down defense nearly every night. (though I wonder if the fact that both of them are leaving had something to do with neither winning?)
On the players side, let's start with Markieff. Probably the biggest point against him making the first team was playing time. He only played 60% of the team's minutes due to some foul problems that plagued him early on, but when he was in he was unstoppable. He led the Big 12 in double doubles, and he actually was a more efficient shooter than his brother.
My first problem with the first team all Big 12 selections is that there are six players on there. I have never seen a Big 12 game featuring six players per team, but what do I know. Secondly, I am all for loving guards because personally I think they're more important than forwards, but having basically five guards on your first team is a little shady.
Lastly, let's compare him with the two players most similar to him, Jordan Hamilton and Lace Dunn.
Marcus uses less possessions than Hamilton, and takes less shots. That said, he has a higher offensive rating, better eFG, better true shooting percentage, better offensive rebounding rate and better defensive rebounding rate. Furthermore, Markieff's eFG ranks16th in the entire country and his defensive rebounding rate is 23rd in the entire country. You can't tell me that guy doesn't belong on the Big 12 first team.
Dunn led the league in scoring, and I can't remember a guy who leads his league in scoring being left off the first team, but Dunn is a good candidate. He was a very high volume shooter who had an eFG barely over 50%, made only 46% of his twos, did not rebound, and has an assist rate 7% lower than his turnover rate. That doesn't scream "valuable basketball player" to me.
I have no major complaints about the sixth man of the year, because both were good (especially Levi Knutson, who was awesome), but I wanted to give some pub to Thomas Robinson. He only played 31% of the team's minutes, but he actually used the most possessions when he was on the floor. And better yet, he was a very efficient player as well. His eFG of 61.7% was roughly equal with the Morri, and his offensive rebounding rate of 20.3% would be tops in the country if he had enough minutes to qualify (his defensive rebounding rate of 30.1% would be tied for 3rd). He also had the best free throw rate of anyone on the team (except for Withey) and drew 6.7 fouls per 40 minutes. There are really only three things he needs to fix in his game: turning the ball over less, making his free throws, and not fouling as much. If he improves those even a little bit, he will have a Markieff like season next year, except maybe even better.
This ends the KU portion of the show, so you can stop reading now if you want, but I wanted to touch on my personal cheeseball of the 2011 season, Nebraska point guard Lance Jeter. Time to break out a chart:
Obviously I am not saying Jeter is a slam dunk 1st team type guy, but he is far better than a 3rd team all Big 12 player. I honestly probably would have thrown him on the first team, given that he had to do it with far less talent around him.
Any snubs I forgot?