Saturday, October 10, 2009

We jump into the act

With a number of the columnists and beat reporters in the various WAC cities turning out "Best of" lists, we jumped into the act:

The Coming Season's All-WAC members

So who will be the five players on the All-WAC First Team in 2009-2010? Solid cases can be presented for close to 10 separate possibilities. Although we do have a call in to Miss Cleo -- who somehow couldn't forsee her own demise -- let's proceed and have some fun.

The initial three are easy pickings because they are the most un-guardable in the WAC:

Jahmar Young

As Young goes, so goes the New Mexico State. He's ready to move into the mid-20s scoring average per game and the non-conference absence of Wendell McKines and Troy Gillenwater will set this in motion. He'll get less shots when the missing duo return and that has the possibility of an Aggie hiccup. Young's height, quickness and athletic ability make him the hardest player in the league to guard. What we want to see is a better assist total and ratio than 43/32 in league play.

Mac Hopson

His scoring and assist averages make him the most logical candidate to challenge Young for POY honors. Hopson's 194/86 assist-to-turnover numbers -- 91/48 in league play -- were remarkable for someone who literally carried the Vandal offense on his back. His scoring may drop some this season due to better overall Vandal talent but not his value.

Adrian Oliver

Various injuries kept him out of some games and limited his effectiveness in others but, when healthy, he is closest to Hopson and Young. Oliver is capable of shooting better overall, from the three-point line and the foul line and he should feel the need to do less in 2008-2009. Oliver also has to demonstrate the knack for making his teammates more effective and rightsizing his WAC 30/42 assists-to-turnovers ratio.

So who from oh so many quality candidates comes next?

Is it Luke Babbitt or Armon Johnson or Roderick Flemings or Kyle Gibson or Jared Quayle or Magnum Rolle or Paul George?

We're going with these two:

Luke Babbitt

With a year of experience, Babbitt should be poised for a breakout season. Plus, Nevada has a limited roster so there should be plenty of shooting and rebounding opportunities for Babbitt. As for the latter contention, a similar case could be made for Johnson but we sense it's Babbitt who is going to take a big step up.

Roderick Flemings will be just fine and enjoy more open shots and lanes to the basket with a brand new backcourt ensconced in Hawaii and Kyle Gibson will put together another fine season of great shooting. Jared Quayle will score and rebound even more while Magnum Rolle could end up as a 20/10 guy. But our final selection is:

Paul George

Just a sophomore, George is already the best Bulldog shooter/scorer and his body should be just about to the point that contact doesn't disturb him. He'll be able to swing between the wing and the two guard, between facing the hoops and slicing to it.

So who will be named the most valuable player?

That's really going out on the proverbial limb but how about whichever team of these five wins league. Granted, Utah State isn't represented here so maybe we have to add 'finishes second' if the Aggies prevail.

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