2008-09 Bearing The Burden Award…

Kurt Wirth@Kurt_WirthCorrespondent IJune 19, 2009

This award will begin a series of awards based on efficiency numbers (category vs. minutes played) over the next few weeks. These are pure numbers – no bias involved. However, they can be misleading. Thus, here are some heads-ups…

  • These awards are meant to effectively and accurately pick the best (and worst) performers in each category. Thus, a line was drawn roughly around the area of 15 games played and/or 40 minutes – 1 full game – played as a minimum. This was done to limit the effect of outliers bringing to our attention surprising walk-ons that could be, according to the stats, future superstars.
  • Obviously, these awards are not all-encompassing. Players that transferred or any other players that didn’t play for any reason last season are not included.
  • Be sure to understand that each of these categories, alone, are misleading. For example, if a player won Least Minutes/Assist but also finished last in Least Minutes/Turnover, it is not as impressive. Combining these rankings and statistics will give a more clear and well-rounded picture, but these rankings are fun nonetheless.

With further ado, we will begin. Today’s award is the Bearing The Burden Award, given out to the conference’s most efficient field-goal-drainer. This is calculated by Minutes/Field Goals Made. This category clearly relies not only on Field Goals Attempted but also on Field Goal Percentage to prove truly accurate, although this list is not far from right-on.

The winner is…

MARCUS THORNTON – Graduated, LSU  – 4.36 – Last Year: 4.92
Thornton undercut last year’s winner,  A.J. Ogilvy, but .14 and wasn’t the only one to beat last year’s mark. Thornton, serving as LSU’s main offensive threat and facing defenses’ best, still had no problem draining three after three. Thornton was one of the more unheralded players in the game last season, and was absolutely unstoppable and extremely reliable.

The others…

2. Devan Downey – Senior, South Carolina – 4.41 – Last Year: 5.49
Downey joins Thornton in undercutting A.J. Ogilvy’s mark from a year ago, interesting that this year’s top three are all guards while last year’s top three were all forwards. Downey was also his team’s main offensive threat in 2008-09, with his size assisting in his speed and his ability to charge the basket. Downey will likely be one of the favorites for SEC Player of the Year next season.

3. Jodie Meeks – NBA Draft, Kentucky – 4.70 – Last Year: 9.44
One of this year’s most breakout stars, Meeks has won accolades from all across the nation. As a result of having no experienced ball-handlers, Kentucky’s offense was a sinking ship waiting to happen. Most nights, Meeks was the liferaft. Meeks led the conference in scoring and had the ball in his hand every posession.

4. Patrick Patterson – Junior, Kentucky – 4.78 – Last Year: 5.51
Patterson, after receiving SEC Co-Freshman of the Year, has proven himself in every aspet of the game. Kentucky dodged a bullet when Patterson dodged the draft, as he will be a first-round pick when he jumps. With a more well-rounded offense and help down low, Patterson’s production may decrease next year.

5. Alex Tyus – Junior, Florida – 4.84 – Last Year: 6.74
Speaking of dodging a bullet, Florida missed one of two this year. The heart and soul of their team in their star point guard Nick Calathes went pro – in Europe – and Tyus announced he was transferring, leaving many to wonder what was going on in Gainesville. Tyus changed his mind, and his production should increase with the loss of hot-handed Calathes.

6. Michael Washington – Senior, Arkansas – 5.06 – Last Year: 9.00
Washington rivaled Meeks in Most Improved in 2008-09, as he effectively had no choice when nearly his entire team graduated or left the team. The big-man stepped up big-time and relied upon heavily. Unlike others in this list, he had a tendency to be susceptible to double-teams and solid defense, but was an outstanding and otherwise reliable presence for the Razorbacks.

7. Tasmin Mitchell – Senior, LSU – 5.08 – Last Year: 9.43
With Thornton hogging all the lime-light, most forgot about Mitchell. And that was to his advantage, as his size and skill dominated nearly every defender he saw. Mitchell came on strong at the end of the season, enough to seriously consider jumping to the NBA draft. He’s back, and LSU has a chance to not be god-awful next year because of it.

8. Travis Leslie – Sophomore, Georgia – 5.23 – Last Year: N.A.
Leslie is the lone returning freshman on this list and likely the most underrated freshman from 2008-09. Leslie is absolutely awful from the charity stripe and isn’t fond of taking long-range shots, but is a reliable scorer that could turn into a star for the Bulldogs.

9. A.J. Ogilvy – Junior, Vanderbilt – 5.26 – Last Year: 4.46
The only player on this list whose production actually decreased from a year ago, ogilvy suffered from the loss of Foster. Foster was one of the greatest shooters the conference has ever seen, and distracted defenses enough to allow Ogilvy open shots underneath. Ogilvy is still outstanding at most every aspect of the game and should be a first-round draft-when he opts for the NBA.

10. Wayne Chism – Senior, Tennessee – 5.29 - Last Year: 5.94
Chism seems to be constantly battling teammate Tyler Smith for notice. And don’t look now, he may very well be better at the colelgiate level. Chism is an outstanding rebounder, is a force in the paint and likely doesn’t see enough touches considering his ability to get the ball in the basket. He and Smith will challenge Kentucky and Mississippi State for the conference’s most feared front-court.

The opposite end of the spectrum…

1. Marcus Monk – Inellgible, Arkansas – 9.92 – Last Year: N.A.

2. Rickey McPhee – Senior, Georgia – 9.69 – Last Year: N.A.

3. Brandis Raley-Ross – Senior, South Carolina – 9.67 – Last Year: 8.86

4. Chris Barnes – Junior, Georgia – 9.55 – Last Year: 8.86

5. Justin Knox – Junior, Alabama – 9.48 – Last Year: 13.80

6. Terry Martin – Graduated, LSU – 9.46 – Last Year: 7.75

7. Drazen Zlovaric – Sophomore, Georgia – 9.44 – Last Year: N.A.

8. Perry Stevenson – Senior, Kentucky – 9.44 – Last Year: 10.96

9. Zach Graham – Junior, Ole Miss – 9.35 – Last Year: 6.86

10. Sam Muldrow – Junior, South Carolina – 9.33 – Last year: 10.51


Please leave comments if you enjoyed this breakdown or have questions, and I will be releasing the next set soon!


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