Ken Pomeroy runs one of the most-trafficked advanced analytics websites in the country, and one of the things that he has done the last four years is to put together his very own Player of the Year ratings system.
This year, he named Russ Smith the KenPom Player of the Year, bucking the trend of every single other outlet that names a National Player of the Year, as they all went with Doug McDermott.
The thinking is more valid that you probably realize.
Essentially, Pomeroy’s thinking was that Smith was the most important player offensively and the most important player defensively for the team that finished sitting atop his efficiency rankings this season. Pomeroy values defense as much as he does offense, which, he says, is what dropped McDermott all the way into third in his rankings, behind Shabazz Napier.
I agree that Smith had a fantastic season — there’s a reason that we listed him as a first-team all-american — but when it comes to McDermott, I still don’t think there is an argument to be made. Creighton was overmatched from a talent perspective in just about every meaningful game they played, but they won because of their powerhouse offensive attack, which was built around McDermott.
But that’s neither here nor there, because the best part about Smith being named the KenPom Player of the Year is seeing him congratulate himself for it:
— Russ Smith (@Russdiculous_2) April 9, 2014