Rob Dauster told us the other day about the numerous Player of the Year awards that are handed out in college basketball. Clearly, Trey Burke is deserving of the several he’s already won. But he hasn’t won them all.
Shane Larkin was honored with the 2013 Lute Olson Player of the Year Award, and got his photo taken with one of the game’s all-time great coaches.
— Angela Lento (@collegeinsider) April 6, 2013
The Olson Award is given to a player who has been with his team for at least two seasons, so freshmen and recent transfers can’t win it. That certainly doesn’t rule out Burke in this case, but the Olson Award – which has only been awarded since 2010 – has only been given to the most obvious candidate once in those four years. See if you can guess which one I mean?
2012: Doug McDermott, Creighton
2011: Kemba Walker, Connecticut
2010: Sherron Collins, Kansas
Yep, 2011 the Olson committee hit it on the nose. Other seasons, they honored some great college players, but may have been a little out of step with the national zeitgeist.
Regardless of the relatively low national stature of the award, this had to feel good for Larkin. The sophomore led the Miami Hurricanes to the best season in school history, averaging 14.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists and two steals per contest. Definitely a magnificent season and one worth honoring.
Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.