Here's my short list of Naismith Award candidates:
1) Evan Turner- you could make an argument for either Wall or Turner as the front runner. As for me, I fall into the Turner camp. Why? Quite simple: If you take Wall away from Kentucky, you still have a VERY good team- possibly still in the top 5 You have Bledsoe who is nearly as good as Wall, who can run the point, as well as Cousins and Patterson. However, if you take Turner away from the Buckeyes, you have a team that hovers somewhere in the middle of the Big Ten, and would be NIT bound. Turner does everything for them- he leads the Big Ten in scoring and rebounds, and is second in assists, fourth in steals...the guy can flat-out fill the box score. AND he came back from BROKEN VERTEBRAE, the guy's tough as nails. Not only that, but he plays great defense, and is asked to do everything for nearly 40 minutes a game. The team barely played .500 ball without him. The point is, without Turner, this team goes from a dark horse contender to an NIT-bound team.
2) John Wall- don't get me wrong, Wall will be a better pro than Turner. Wall is a freak-of-nature athlete, he makes huge plays in the clutch, and is the best player on arguably the best team in the nation. Why he doesn't get the nod over Turner is described above. Though, he's more a 1B rather than a 2- he could very well walk away with the Naismith, and I wouldn't complain- he's lived up to his massive hype and then some.
3) Luke Harangody- If it weren't for the two guys above, he'd be at the top of the list. Without Harangody, Notre Dame finishes near the bottom of the Big East. He is one of the best pure scorers in the college game right now- he's second in the nation in scoring, and averages 10 rebounds. While he'll unfortunately only be a marginally good bench player at the pro level at best (he's trapped in an unfortunate middle ground where he's not big enough to guard PF's and not athletic enough to guard SF's), he's dominating the college level, and that's why he's in the running for POY.
4) Scottie Reynolds- Another marginally good bench player makes the list here, because he, like Harangody, is dominating the college level by being the leader of one of the nation's best teams. Reynolds is a scoring machine, and can take over when he needs to. He's also made some huge clutch buckets and free throws to put away games.
5) Wesley Johnson- I put him at 5th because he's faltered a bit recently. His teammates have picked up the slack (Triche, Onuaku, and others), but Johnson is the key in that very good Syracuse team. He reminds me a lot of Shawn Marion, in that he can do everything. Imagine how good Iowa State would have been with him and Brackins in the frontcourt.
6)Damion James- I blame his team's performance at his ranking here. While Texas has seemed to be in freefall, James brings it every night. He averages a double-double (17 and 11), while getting over a steal and a block a game. Plus, he's made clutch plays, and picked up the slack when his teammates have faltered (mainly Bradley and Pittman). If Texas were still ranked near the top, he may be at the top of this list. But...he drops because his team is not doing as well
7) Sherron Collins- he's here because while he's the leader of the best team in the nation, his individual stats have suffered. That said, he's made huge clutch plays, and I see him being a better pro than Harangody and Reynolds.
Good list, good explanations too.
i agree, as of right know it has to be evan turner. Not sure how he will be in the pros though. He could potentially be like tyreke evans but he could also be like terrance williams.
just curious because i don't watch a lot of big east ball, but this topic has harangody and reynolds as the top 2 big east all american candidates. But on another topic today, a couple people were calling wes johnson the likely winner for big east player of the year. Personally i would agree with either harongody or reynolds, but what do you guys think?
my list would go turner wall then johnson, but theres no way that this award shouldn't be turners