Today seems as good a day as any for Week 2 of my OVC Player of the Year power rankings.
A couple of notes before this week’s selections: I still fully believe that if two players are mostly equal in standing, the edge will go to the player on the better team. I’m not 100% sure what coaches and AD’s will do with the now curious case of Jarekious Bradley if he misses the rest of the year. He’s an all-OVC first teamer, no question, but how many votes for player of the year if he misses five games (and if SEMO misses the tournament) are a bit up in the air.
- J.J. Mann (last week: 1)
- Glenn Cosey (last week: 2)
- Angelo Warner (last week: 5)
- Jarekious Bradley (last week: 3)
- Craig Bradshaw (last week: NR)
One question I got last week was “where is Tyler Stone?” I thought about it more this week, and had the thought that while his statistics are still great, he isn’t getting a lot of recognition. Looking back at this year’s player of the week awards, I found out I’m right. He hasn’t won one. Not a single player of the week award for a player averaging 19 points and 9.3 rebounds a game. Mann has four, double anyone else in the field.
You may noticed I moved Cameron Payne off the board, and Craig Bradshaw on it. Despite Payne’s numerous freshman of the week awards, he also hasn’t won a single player of the week award. (Bradley has won both newcomer / player twice, so doubling up is possible) Bradshaw has been more consistent throughout the year, so I bumped him up to fifth to now.
Jarvis Williams was another name that garnered quite a bit of debate, and he falls into the same category as Payne: a lot of newcomer of the week awards, zero player of the week awards.
Bottom line: it’s not all about raw stats. It’s about getting noticed. That’s why Mann sits on top, and likely will through the end of the year.
While I understand the difficulty of having an “even” uneven basketball schedule, the OVC’s needs some tweaking. The last two weeks are, without question, the most important part of the season, and there’s two problems that are popping up: First, why are there East vs West games this late? This should be all about division races. Second, no team should be without a home game in their final three weeks of the year. (i.e. Eastern Illinois)
For those who haven’t noticed, this year’s schedule mostly mirrors last year’s, with home/away flipped. So much like EIU plays their last four on the road, they had their last four at home last year, which undoubtedly helped them rally to make the OVC Tournament.
Ideally, the last four games should have two home, and two away. It’s not as difficult as it sounds to make it happen, although it would take some planning on the conference’s part.
I usually don’t make a habit of arguing with national sportswriters. They have a big forum, I have a much, much smaller forum. And I know they don’t care.
But this is just hilarious. Matt Norlander, who writes for CBS Sports, wrote today that it’s time to move the three-point line back a foot. He then shoots his own argument in the foot when he gives the three-point percentages since the last time they moved it back.
- 2007-08: 35.2%
- 2008-09: 34.4%
- 2009-10: 34.3%
- 2010-11: 34.5%
- 2011-12: 34.4%
- 2012-13: 34.1%
- 2013-14: 34.4%
It’s virtually the same. Even more interesting was his chart dating back to the addition of the three-point shot in college basketball. Only one season since it’s existence has the average across college basketball been below 34%. But he argues that 34.4% is too high, that the three-point shot has become too “easy.” In part of his argument, he says that players shooting 18% from three are throwing them up and getting rewarded.
How is moving the line back going to change that, exactly? That’s a discipline problem, not a “the three-point arc is too close” problem.
Just to add to the unintentional comedy of the article, Norlander says he can only find one coach out of two-dozen that agree with him, but then writes that off as they like their players hitting lots of threes. He also argues that a harsh uptick in three’s in the mid 00’s isn’t what led to the last reform, but never really states what did.
He provides a lot more arguments in his article, and it’s honestly a good read. While I kind of want to agree with him, I do think it should be moved closer to the NBA line, he doesn’t exactly give me a great reason to do so.
But let’s be honest: players are a lot stronger than they used to be. Moving the line to 22 1/2 feet, or even further, isn’t going to stop bad shooters from taking bad shots.