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:
Arizona commit Terrance Ferguson has been known as one of the best dunkers in the country for the last few years. So you knew the 6-foot-6 wing was going to attempt the latest internet dunk craze that’s been going around.
Some call it the, “5-point play” in which the dunker makes a 3-pointer and immediately sprints following the shot release to catch the make for an under-the-legs dunk.
It’s as tough as it sounds and Ferguson makes it look easy.
Bol Bol is the son of former NBA center Manute Bol, and the younger Bol is earning quite a bit of attention himself as a five-star prospect in the Class of 2018.
The 6-foot-11 Bol showed off some of his freakish coordination and athleticism on Friday night, by ripping a steal and taking it coast-to-coast for an under-the-legs dunk in the middle of a game at the Jayhawk Invitational.
Bol will be one of the players to watch this spring as he plays with KC Run GMC.
Iowa State guard Naz Mitrou-Long gets hardship waiver to play additional year
“Everything happens for a reason and although it hurt to not be able to play for a group of guys I loved last year, my body needed time to recover and that time off allowed me to feel the best I’ve felt since my freshman year,” Mitrou-Long said in the release. “I’m glad I’ll be able to play for the best fans in the country and represent the name on the front of my jersey, Iowa State, one more year. Words can’t describe this feeling. Cyclone Nation, be ready for a special year.”
The 6-foot-4 Long played in eight games last season for Iowa State as he averaged 12 points per game. He missed the rest of the season to deal with pain in his surgically repaired hips. Mitrou-Long has been a very effective three-point shooter during his career at Iowa State and he should be a nice option to have for next season if he’s healthy.
CIAA will stay in North Carolina despite state’s LGBT law
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association says it won’t move its headquarters, its basketball tournament or other conference championships from North Carolina, despite the state’s controversial new LGBT law.
The CIAA said in a statement Thursday that it will instead partner with the NCAA to educate its members on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues as it does on other issues, like graduation rates and concussion management.
The Charlotte Observer reports that the CIAA, the oldest African-American sports conference in the U.S., has hosted its annual basketball tournament in Charlotte since 2006 and announced it was moving its headquarters to Charlotte from Virginia in 2015.
The CIAA said Thursday that it will continue to “monitor the issues,” as it has since House Bill 2 passed.
VIDEOS: Stephen Curry personally invites athletes to his select camp