Yesterday, the All-League teams were announced , as voted on by the coaches. Having gone 15-1 and wrapped up the sixth straight conference crown, one would expect the Jayhawks to be well represented. Mostly, they were.
Cole Aldrich —Defensive Player of the Year
James Anderson—Player of the Year
Freshman of the Year —Alex Burks
Sixth man of the Year —Jamar Samuels
Coach of the Year —Frank Martin
Personally, I’m OK with most of what went on here. POY and DPOY they got right. And they got the first team right, even if sixth member Donald Sloan shouldn’t be on it…
The second team looks pretty good to me, and would look better with Sloan. Where things get laughable is the third team inclusions of Kim English, Tommy Mason-Griffin, and Bryan Davis over Xavier Henry—or any number of the honorable mentions—because the list is not short of guys I would take over those three, particularly English.
I’d also contend Henry had a better freshman year than Burks, but that one is close enough that I won’t argue too extensively.
And Jamar Samuels probably had the best year as a sixth man, even if he was only coming off the bench because he wanted to win the award. Hell, call him a starter, call him a sixth man, call him whatever you want: I’d take Markieff Morris over Samuels any day, but that’s me.
Lastly, you have the coach. Prior to Saturday, I don’t think too many would argue against Martin. But short-lived top five ranking or not, one would now be pretty hard-pressed to say he did a better job than any of these three guys: Self, Drew, or Turgeon.
Self probably would have had to go 16-0 to get it, because the 'Hawks came in the prohibitive favorite. But as Texas and Barnes proved, preseason accolades mean very little and 15-1 deserves a great deal of recognition. Pass on the guy because of expectations all you want, but for my money, nobody did a better job. If you want to go the other route, there are some options there, too.
Drew and Turgeon both fall in the same boat as Martin, except their teams came in much less acclaimed. The Cats were predicted to be a top 3-4 seed in the league, and they lived up to just that, tying with…Baylor and Texas A&M, for the second best record in the league at 11-5. Both A&M and Baylor came in with much less expected of them, the Ags lost their best player, and yet here we are at the end of the year with them sitting in the same position as K-State. I guess they didn’t get the same national recognition, but if you’re giving the award based on exceeding expectations, both of these guys seem like better choices to me.
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