Monday, March 06, 2006

National Awards (Redick vs. Morrison)

Let's get through the easy awards first, becuase there's a runaway winner for both the Coach of the Year and the Freshman of the Year (hint: they're both apart of the same team).

Coach of the Year: Roy Williams - North Carolina - As if there was any doubt. As I wrote yesterday, what Williams has done this year is remarkable. North Carolina, coming off of the national championship, lost its top 7 scorers (including 4 underclassmen), and yet here they are, #2 in the ACC, and an overall record of 21-6, and a possible #2 or #3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Can't ask for much more than that!

Freshman of the Year: Tyler Hansborough - North Carolina - Two Tar Heels in a row, but these guys are good. This isn't really a surprise, and quite frankly, Hansborough is the easy choice. Almost 20 points a game, over 7 wins a game, leading the surprise team in the nation, going into Duke and leading an upset of the #1 team on their Senior Night... as a true freshman. Not really much to say, other than this has been an incredible year for him. As long as he sticks around, he should be a legit Player of the Year candidate as early as next year.


Player of the Year:

Redick vs. Morrison. It's basically been debating ad nauseum, including by me here. But now, it's time to come to a conclusion.

If you can. Andy Katz's conclusion is to give it to both of them. The Courtmaster likes J.J. Redick. ESPN's experts like Redick by a 5-2 margin. SportsNation likes Adam Morrison. Let's take a closer look:

J.J. Redick: 27.8 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 2.7 APG, 48 FG%, 41.8 3-Point%, 88.6 FT%, 1.54 PPS
Adam Morrison: 28.6 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 1.7 APG, 50.4 FG%, 44.3 3-Point%, 78.3 FT%, 1.53 PPS

Or in other words, neck and neck. When players are this close, I think their respective careers should have a marginal effect, and there haven't been many careers better than Redick's. All-time scoring leader at Duke. All-time scoring leader in the ACC. Most 3-Pointers made in NCAA History.

The other big thing for me is the competition each has played against. The ACC is the #3 conference in RPI. The WCC is #12. Gonzaga has played the 93rd toughest schedule in the nation. Duke has played the #1 toughest schedule in the nation. This is not really Morrison's fault, but it's still a point in Redick's favor.

And for these reasons, my National Player of the Year is J.J. Redick, but only by a hair (or lack there of). Both are unbelievable players, and both are going to be a lot of fun to watch in the postseason.

5 comments:

Pradamaster said...

I'm with Andy Katz in giving it to both of them. I realize Morrison's WCC competition hasn't always been as good as Redick's, but people forget the 43 points he put up on Washington, the 43 he put up on Michigan State, and the 35 he had against Memphis were three of his best games this season. J.J. has been absolutely phenominal against great competition this season too, so I can't take anything away from him.

More importantly, these two guys brought so many people into college basketball this season in a year which was supposed to be defined by young teams and a lack of quality talent. The mass exodus of players to the NBA robbed the game of so many of it's top players, and there was a huge risk that college hoops wouldn't be as popular because of their departure, but Redick and Morrison ensured this would not happen, carrying the sport on their collective backs. I mean, we currently have people comparing them non-stop despite the fact that they're such different players. One is simply the latest in a string of incredible Duke shooting guards, and the other is probably the best player in his program's history as a lightly recruited scoring forward. One could not have revived the college game without the other, and for this reason, I'd give it to both of them.

twins15 said...

I wouldn't really be opposed to a split National POY, because both have been fantastic, you're correct. I just think Redick has been slightly better, so that's why my vote went to him. I would have no problems with Morrison winning or a split vote though.

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