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It’s All About the Brow: Anthony Davis Sweeps the SEC Awards

Freshmen Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist both made the all-SEC first team.

FIRST TEAM

F Anthony Davis, Kentucky: 14.4 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 4.7 bpg

Anthony Davis was outstanding this season. The native Chicagoan is going to rack up a lot of awards and honors in the next few months: first team All-America, National Player of the Year, National Unibrow of the Year, No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, etc.. More on Davis later.

F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky: 11.9 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.1 apg

Kidd-Gilchrist might be the second best freshman in the country, but he also happens to be the second best freshman on No.1 Kentucky. As outstanding as Anthony Davis has been, Kidd-Gilchrist has been great in his own right. The future top-five pick is an all-around stud with one hell of a motor. Kidd-Gilchrist’s offensive rating of 111.o ranked eighth among SEC players who used at least 20 percent of their team’s possessions. The 6-7 forward also ranked among the SEC’s top 25 in effective field goal percentage (49.8), true shooting percentage (56.0), offensive rebounding percentage (10.3), defensive rebounding percentage (17.3) and block percentage (3.3).

G John Jenkins, Vanderbilt: 20.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.1 apg

The sharp-shooting junior was one of the most efficient offensive players in the country. Jenkins’ offensive rating of 127.3 ranked first in the SEC and fifth in the country among players who used at least 20 percent of their team’s possessions. The 6-4 guard was one of the best shooters in the SEC and the entire country. Jenkins led the SEC in points per game (20.2) while ranking second (behind Anthony Davis) in effective field goal percentage (63.8) and true shooting percentage (67.0). He also ranked eighth in the nation in effective field goal percentage and 12th in true shooting percentage. Jenkins shot a blistering .461 percent from behind the arc (third in the SEC), and led the conference in three-pointers made (118). He also was second in the SEC in free throw percentage (.849).

G Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt: 17.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.8 apg

Taylor teamed up with teammate John Jenkins to form one of the sharpest-shooting duos in the country. Taylor, the SEC’s second leading scoring (17.1), ranked sixth in effective field goal percentage (59.2) and ninth in true shooting percentage (60.2). Taylor shot .451 percent from three, the fourth highest mark in the SEC. His offensive rating of 114.5 was best among the 14 SEC players who used at least 24 percent of their team’s possessions.

G Kenny Boynton, Florida: 16.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.5 apg

Boynton was the most-efficient guard in the Gators’ crowded, talented backcourt. The 6-2 junior ranked second in the SEC and 29th in the nation in offensive rating (125.2) among players who used at least 20 percent of their team’s possessions. Boynton is an accomplished scorer. He was the fourth leading scorer in the SEC (16. 8 ppg) and ranked fifth in both effective field goal percentage (59.9) and true shooting percentage (62.2). He also ranked fourth in three-point percentage (.434) and second in three-pointers made (102).

Gators Brad Beal and Erving Walker both made the all-SEC second team.

SECOND TEAM

F Terrence Jones, Kentucky: 12.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.9 bpg

F Arnett Moultrie, Mississippi State: 16.1 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 1.1 apg

G Bradley Beal, Florida: 14.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.0 apg

G Erving Walker, Florida: 12.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 4.7 apg

G B.J. Young, Arkansas: 15.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.3 apg

Trae Golden is one of two Volunteers on the all-SEC third team.

THIRD TEAM

F Patric Young, Florida: 10.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.2 apg

F Jeronne Maymon, Tennessee: 12.6 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.2 apg

G Dee Bost, Mississippi State: 15.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 5.3 apg

G Trae Golden, Tennessee: 13.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.5 apg

G Doron Lamb, Kentucky: 13.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.7 apg

AWARDS

Never shave it, Anthony.

Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year: Anthony Davis, Kentucky

Um, Anthony Davis is pretty good at basketball. Let’s start on offense. Davis’ offensive rating of 138.1 was No. 1 in the SEC and No. 2 in the nation. He was first in the SEC and fourth in the nation in effective field goal percentage (66.7), and first in the SEC and fifth in the nation in true shooting percentage (68.4). The 6-10 freshman also ranked ninth in the conference in offensive rebounding percentage (11.7), first in turnover rate (9.3) and sixth in free throw rate (55.4). On defense, no player impacted the game like the unibrowed Chicagoan. He was the best shot blocker in the country, ranking first in blocks per game (4.7) and third in block percentage (14.7). He also averaged 1.4 steals per game and ranked 14th in the SEC in steal percentage (2.7). Say what you want about the one-and-done rule, but it’s been a ton of fun watching Davis play at the college level this season.

I’ll use any excuse I can to get more Derrick Rose on this blog.

Coach of the Year: John Calipari, Kentucky

Yes, John Calipari is coaching the most talented team in the country, but if your team goes a perfect 16-0 in conference play, you’re going to win coach of the year in that conference every time. Calipari has led the young and immensely talented Wildcats to 30 wins and a No. 1 ranking.

As always, all stats come from Ken Pomeroy’s amazing website.

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RG3, The Heisman and SEC Arrogance

Robert Griffin III is the clear favorite to win the Heisman, and for good reason, his numbers are flat-out ridiculous (3998 passing yards, 36-6 TD/INT ratio, NCAA -record quarterback rating of 192.3, 644 yards and 9 TDs rushing). But apparently some people don’t find RG3 worthy of the Heisman, or even a spot on the three deep Heisman ballot, for one reason: Baylor isn’t a member of the SEC. Here’s a tweet that radio personality Paul Finebaum sent out this morning:

“Much heat leaving RG3 off my Heisman ballot. Nice player- but SEC defenses would have eaten him alive. Haters get a clue.”

There is so much wrong with this, starting with the fact that someone over the age of 13 used the word “hater.” The SEC has reigned over college football recently. They’ve won the last five BCS National Championships, and the conference is guaranteed a six consecutive title next month as LSU and Alabama will battle for all the Tostitos (or is it Nokia cellphones this year?) next month in New Orleans.

No one will argue the fact that LSU and Alabama have elite defenses. Each squad is loaded with future NFL draft picks, and feature stars like Morris Claiborne, the Honey Badger, Dre Kirkpatrick and Mark Barron. Georgia also rode a strong defense to the SEC East title, and almost every SEC roster features at least a couple future NFL defensive players (well, maybe not 2-10 Ole Miss…).

That said, to claim that Griffin would have gotten eaten alive by SEC defenses is idiotic, uniformed and delusional.  Geno Smith, Kellen Moore and the Georgia Southern rushing game all faced off with SEC defenses this season and lived to tell their tales.  West Virginia’s Smith put up 486 yards passing on the Bayou Bengals in September. Georgia Southern, of the FCS, rushed for over 300 yards against the Crimson Tide in November. Boise State’s Moore tallied 286 yards and 3 TDs through the air against Georgia in the season opener.

Those are just some of the performances against the SEC’s best defenses, a look at the rest of the SEC reveals a lot of mediocre teams that hardly put any fear in opposing quarterbacks. Defending National Champion Auburn gave up 236 total yards and 2 TDs to Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton in his very first college game. Two weeks later, Clemson’s Tajh Boyd embarrassed the Tigers with a 386 yard, 4 TD performance through the air.

Let’s also not forget that Cam Newton, a QB with similar tools to Griffin, ate up SEC defenses last year on his way to the Heisman. Griffin may not be as talented as Newton, last year’s first overall pick, but Griffin possesses Olympic sprinter speed and a rocket arm and is projected to be a first round pick in the 2012 NFL draft.

The SEC has been home to some great football players and teams over the last decade, but let’s not carried away. The SEC is not home to the 12 best teams in college football every season. Ole Miss was putrid this season, losing to BYU and Louisiana Tech. Kentucky lost to Louisville, Florida struggled to beat FCS Furman, and Auburn needed a great comeback to top Utah State.

All in all, it’s time for Paul Finebaum to get a clue.

 

 

 

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