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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Let's Talk About The Kids

I'm mostly a human professional basketball guy, but I did once attend college and therefore sometimes watch a little amateur hoops. Player of the Year discussions are always interesting because there are a wide range of factors affecting the consideration. Some guys have really great years, but unfortunately they play at South Dakota State and thus they level of competition isn't quite as high. Even when guys play in good conferences they often have few common opponents with another top-level player.

That being said, after looking at some numbers I decided to weigh in on how I would vote for Player of the Year. It certainly sucks for guys like Nate Wolters, but I didn't really consider guys who dominated weak competition. I know it's not necessarily their fault, but in an already watered-down level, picking on the little guys just isn't fair. I considered individual production and value added through playing time and defensive impact.

Here's my ballot:

3. Erick Green, Virginia Tech
Green was certainly a good scorer, putting up 25.1 points per 36 minutes. He got fouled a bunch (0.50 Free Throw Rate) and shot pretty damn well from the floor. Unfortunately, that's about all he did. His 3.8 assists per 36 is fine and he didn't give it away (.08 Turnover Rate), but if he got it, he was shooting it. Very good year for a guy on a bad team.

2. Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga
This guy was kind of a beast. He posted a 24.5 points and 10.1 rebounds per 36 minutes and true shot 71 percent! He was also able to get fouled a good deal and shot an impressive (for a 7-footer) 78.5 percent from the line. Olynyk had some turnover troubles, but also posted 1.6 blocks per 36 on the 12th most efficient defense. He would be first if only he had played more. For some reason he only played 25.7 minutes per game (fouls don't seem to have been an issue, though he fouled out against Kansas St. in 19 minutes) and missed the first 3 games of the season completely. Playing really well is awesome, but you need to have the minutes load to go with it.

1. Doug McDermott, Creighton
Dude was insane. He threw up a 26.5 points per 36 minutes on 69 percent True Shooting, while also grabbing 8.6 boards per 36. He wasn't a foul drawing machine, but he shot 49.7 percent from three on over 4 attempts per game. Basically if you give him the ball, he's going to score it. McDermott doesn't stand out defensively numbers-wise or visually (I actually did see some of Creighton this year), but the offense was so devastating in the 1067 minutes he played that he edges out a pretty good crop of college performances.

This post is in honor of Derrick Williams' Second-Team All-American finish in what was the most insanely efficient college season I have witnessed. 

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