POP­U­LAR­ITY SKEWS MOST ALL-AMER­ICA VOT­ING

The Kansas City Star (Sunday) - - DAILY DEUCE -

Be­cause no one vot­ing in this pop­u­lar­ity con­test called the All-Amer­ica team could have the fain­test idea what each of th­ese play­ers brought to their teams by first-hand knowl­edge — mean­ing they could have watched them (at most) only a few times per sea­son (on av­er­age) — then the only things they could go on were: 1) an ab­surdly low sam­ple size of games seen, 2) anec­do­tal ac­counts, 3) “Sports­Cen­ter” high­lights and 4) statis­tics. 1) Be­cause the viewedgames sam­ple size is so small, it should be dis­missed im­me­di­ately. 2) Un­doubt­edly, some vot­ers have sim­ply been told Player X is good at this or that or what­ever. Still, that’s to­tal sub­jec­tiv­ity … and sec­ond­hand at that. 3) “Sports­Cen­ter” high­lights are the joke of the cen­tury. As I have pointed out, a player can be one of 10 from the field and an­other player nine of 10 from the field, but if the first guy man­ages to hit his UPON FUR­THER RE­VIEW shot at the end of the game, or even dur­ing a run that was piv­otal, that’s the shot they show. Re­sult? The masses as­sume he was great. 4) Stats. This is the only ob­jec­tive vari­able every­one has ac­cess to. No doubt, stats are used to some de­gree by some of th­ese vot­ers, but I doubt much. The first thing to no­tice is that all five of the play­ers on the first team — Evan Turner, John Wall, Wes John­son, Scot­tie Reynolds (right) and DeMar- cus Cousins — played on teams with tremendous records. Maybe that’s rea­son­able. I mean, if you are the only re­ally out­stand­ing player on a team and your team wins 30 games in a dif­fi­cult con­fer­ence, that pretty much proves your value and your sta­tus. The av­er­age record (as of now) of the five teams rep­re­sented on the first team is 31-5, the sec­ond team is 29-7 and the third team is 27-8. It’s log­i­cal to think the bet­ter the player, the bet­ter the team — the bet­ter the team, the bet­ter the record. Com­mon sense. How­ever, what isn’t log­i­cal — or at least is dis­pro­por­tion­ate — is to be­lieve that the top 14 play­ers by votes (New Mex­ico’s Dar­ing­ton Hob­son took the fi­nal third- team spot) were all from a hand­ful of teams from five ma­jor con­fer­ences. Are you go­ing to try to con­vince me that out of the 1,700-plus start­ing play­ers in D-I, that the best 14 are so nar­rowly de­fined? The rea­son, as if we didn’t know, is tied up into 1), 2) and 3) above. Those are the play­ers every­one sees the most, be­cause they are play­ing for the big schools ranked in the top 10 and mak­ing the high­light reels. Of course, they are wor­thy of se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion. Many of them be­long on the All-Amer­ica team, but cer­tainly not all. Some play­ers who are far less known and don’t have other McDon­ald’s Al­lAmer­i­cans car­ry­ing the load may de­serve equal or greater sta­tus. | mman­[email protected]­star.com

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