Having triumphantly returned to the South after driving over 5,500 miles to California and back, I return this series back to its former glory.
The Mr. Clutch Award is awarded to the player with the least amounts of minutes per free-throws made. This award is clearly representative of a player who can not only challenge his defender (mostly in the paint) but has a clean and efficient stroke from the line as well.
These guys generally have good numbers from any range and are crucial to have on the floor late in games.
Now, for the standard explanation of this whole process – you can skip this if you’ve read it before…
The winner is…
A.J. OGILVY – Vanderbilt, Junior – 5.83 – Last Year: 5.09
Ogilvy was the all-around subjective winner a year ago, but his efficiency numbers fell drastically from a year ago due to his increased burden after Foster’s departure. Ogilvy is one of the most purely talented players in the league and remains one of the most efficient. Despite a rap for being “weak”, Ogilvy’s ability to get to the line proves otherwise.
2. Jodie Meeks – Kentucky, NBA Draft – 5.86 – Last Year: 9.44
This number is especially impressive considering Meeks’ specialty as an outside shooter. Meeks attempted more free throws than anyone else in the league (234) and had the best percentage from that range as well (90.2%). Meeks was likely the best performer at the charity stripe that the league has seen in quite some time, if ever.
3. Chris Warren – Ole Miss, Junior – 6.41 – Last Year: 13.14
Warren is very Meeks-like in his speed and athleticism, but not the shooter and a better ball-handler. Warren speed and aggressiveness to the basket gets him a healthy amount of attempts from the stripe, and he is liekly the league’s best returning free-throw shooter.
4. Tyler Smith – Tennessee, Senior – 6.51 – Last Year: 9.00
Smith is one of the most well-known and well-respected big men in the conference, and certainly for his extreme versatility. Smith is easily the most versatile player in the conference, with one of the most aggressive attitudes – as this stat certainly proves.
5. David Huertas – Ole Miss, Overseas – 7.15 – Last Year: 20.70
Huertas had to step up in a big way after Ole Miss’ devastating injuries, and he did so with style. Huertas was an excellent slasher and great shooter, combining to make him a force on the free throw stripe.
6. Marcus Thornton – LSU, Graduated – 7.49 – Last Year: 11.10
Thornton was a do-everything, immortal SEC Player of the Year and this number comes straight from his load of carrying his team offensively. Thornton worked on increasing his driving efficiency and requiring less treys, and it paid off.
7. Kodi Augustus – Mississippi State, Junior – 7.81 – Last Year: 13.00
Augustus was one of the more unheralded players in the league last year, as most SEC fans knew he was a sleeping giant forced on the bench due to off-the-court issues. He proved himself in the SEC Tournament, and showed himself to be one of the most fierce competitors in the league.
8. Mikhail Torrance – Alabama, Senior – 7.92 – Last Year: 17.43
Torrance is an example of an exception, where his jumper isn’t the best around but his effort from the charity stripe is outstanding. Torrance is a solid role-player, but won’t be a force for the Tide next year, as this number comes mostly from his percentage: 88.4 percent.
9. Jeffery Taylor – Vanderbilt, Sophomore – 8.39 – Last Year: N.A.
Taylor was a tremendous player for the Commodores last year, starting every game. His overall percentages were outstanding, but his outside shot – and even free-throw shot – needs to increase. With his ability to make plays offensively, Taylor could be a force with a refined stroke.
10. Emmanuel Negedu – Tennessee, Sophomore – 8.43 – Last Year: N.A.
Negedu is a major work-in-progress for the Vols, but an efficient and potential-filled one. Negedu has a nice stroke but needs to work on his rebounding to be a consistent source of minutes.
The opposite end of the spectrum…
1. Drazen Zlovaric – Georgia, Sophomore – 85.00 – Last Year: N.A.
2. Chris Bass – LSU, Sophomore – 55.20 – Last Year: N.A.
3. Riley Benock – Mississippi State, Junior – 51.13 – Last Year: 45.60
4. Michael Porter – Kentucky, Left Team – 49.82 – Last Year: 55.00
5. Robert Wilder – South Carolina, Senior – 47.67 – Last Year: N.A.
6. Darshawn McClellan – Vanderbilt, Junior – 43.58 – Last Year: 21.77
7. Josh Tabb – Tennessee, Senior – 43.54 – Last Year: N.A.
8. Kevil Cantinol – Ole Miss, Sophomore – 43.50 – Last Year: N.A.
9. Joe Duffy – Vanderbilt, Junior – 42.00 – Last Year: 9.50
10. DeAundre Cranston – Ole Miss, Senior – 40.31 – Last Year: N.A.