Okay, time to answer some of the critics of my original article.
I have been criticized for not having stats or much logic to support my argument. Okay, last year, Hansbrough averaged 22.6 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 0.9 apg, 1.5 spg, and 0.3 bpg in 33.0 minutes per game. These are respectable numbers—I respect the fact that his hustle and drive can produce these numbers.
In comparison, Michael Beasley averaged 26.2 ppg, 12.4 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.3 spg, and 1.6 bpg in 31.5 minutes per game. So Beasley produced better numbers while playing fewer minutes per game.
To take it one step further, Kevin Durant averaged 25.8 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.9 spg, and 1.9 bpg while playing 35.9 minutes per game during his award-winning year. So again, Beasley produced more in fewer minutes per game.
However, Hansbrough won the Player of the Year Award. Why? Every analyst I heard that supported that pick stated that there is no player in the country who plays harder than Hansbrough. While that may be true on the surface, it also may help to make my argument.
When projecting Beasley's numbers over the 33.0 minutes per game that Hansbrough played, his numbers increase to 27.5 ppg, 12.96 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.7 bpg, and 1.3 spg. To go one step further and project Beasley's numbers to Durant's 35.9 minutes per game, the numbers increase even more to 29.9 ppg, 14.1 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.9 bpg, and 1.5 spg.
While Hansbrough gives "110 percent" every night, doesn't every college player? Should a player be criticized or penalized for "making it look easy"? I would argue that Stephen Curry's game looks "smoother" than Hansbrough, but is it easy to average 30+ points in the NCAA tournament?
Now I admit that people look at Hansbrough and see the type of effort that they would want every basketball player to play with, or they see the type of effort that they would give if they were in the same situation—again, I commend him for that effort.
But to give him an award based on his effort is essentially the same thing that I have been criticized for: stating an opinion without much logic or statistics to back it up.
Now if we factor in North Carolina's record to give Hansbrough the edge over Beasley, then why don't we just wait and give the Player of the Year award to the best player on the NCAA championship team?
Now you may ask how the manner in which his game translates to the NBA has to do with anything. In terms of the Player of the Year award—nothing, but we already discussed that. In terms of how good of a basketball player he is—everything.
Let's not fool ourselves: The end goal for the majority of college basketball players is an NBA career. If Hansbrough says at the end of the year that he is going to forego the NBA draft to pursue a medical career or some other career, then I'll admit that my argument will not hold any weight. But I seriously doubt that will happen.
He came back to college to improve his draft status—he was projected as a late-first round pick last year. Why would the National Player of the Year be a late-first round pick? Interesting question. Even this year, the last first round mock draft I looked at had him projected as the 21st pick.
So I understand that this may be a hot button topic and many people may not agree with me, but it looks like there will be a number of NBA teams in the upcoming draft that agree with me. Now if Hansbrough is a top-five pick, then I'll eat my words, but again, I don't see that happening.
So, I was accused of writing an article driven by emotion, I was called an idiot or a UNC hater, and my article was "the worst article I've ever read," according to a couple of people. That's cool—everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I respect everyone's opinion that responded. But I didn't see much stats or logic to back up the arguments.
Again, Hansbrough is a decent player, but I don't see him repeating as Player of the Year with players such as Blake Griffin and Stephen Curry having monster seasons so far.
Best player in ACC history, as someone stated? Are we forgetting players that have played in the ACC? Now does being the all-time leading scorer in ACC history make you the best player in ACC history? If it does, then is J.J. Redick is the best player in ACC history?
It's amazing how on one hand, people use statistics to make their argument, like best player in ACC history, but then use "intangibles" like effort to justify winning an award.
In the end, I appreciate everyone reading, and I welcome all comments.
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