2008-09 SEC Pinball Award

Kurt Wirth@Kurt_WirthCorrespondent IAugust 9, 2009

So my titles are creative, what of it?

This award will cap off the shooting awards, as it focuses on the players who are most aggressive with the ball and least afraid to draw a foul. This, obviously, is calculated by minutes per free throws attempted.

This category is unique in that it has absolutely nothing to do with shooting, and everything to do with less tangible aspects of the game. A player who gets to the line a lot tends to…(A) Handle the ball a great deal, (B) Be very physical and fearless, and (C) Be a post player. This category can help single out potential leaders for teams as well as identify young players who understand the game well.

Now, for the standard explanation of this whole process—you can skip this if you’ve read it before…

  • 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—one full gameplayed 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. 

    The winner is…


    A.J. OGILVY – Vanderbilt, Junior – 4.08 – Last Year: 3.91
    Ogilvy places as the first player in the league to claim two titles, and he does so from the charity stripe. Ogilvy is often regarded as “soft”, but this statistic alone proves otherwise. Despite his quiet demeanor on the court, Ogilvy is fierce offensively and is super-aggressive under the basket.

    The others…

    2. Tyler Smith – Tennessee, Senior – 4.99 – Last Year: 6.36
    Smith has a well-known mean-streak, and handles the ball excessively due to his extreme versatility. Smith is a decent three-point shooter, has a solid jumper and can drive the basket along with handling the ball unlike most any other big-man in the league.

    3. Brian Johnson – Mississippi State, Graduated – 5.14 – Last Year: 14.36
    Johnson was never more than a solid role-player for the Bulldogs, and tended to be haphazardly aggressive in his limited minutes. He had a very poor 0.30 assist-to-turnover ratio, and served often times as more of a liability than an extra body.

    4. Michael Washington – Arkansas, Senior – 5.27 – Last Year: 7.67
    Washington had to all but carry his entire team, much less the paint, a season ago. He did so by becoming one of the league’s most outstanding big-men, absolutely dominating his area offensively. Washington also has a fiery temper, and is clearly the emotional leader for the Razorbacks.

    5. Jodie Meeks – Kentucky, NBA Draft – 5.29 – Last Year: 7.50
    Meeks was probably the best all-around player in the league last season, as he once again makes a Top Ten list. Especially impressive here, as he was also the league’s best three-point shooter. Meeks served as about 40 percent of his team’s offense, and in the process handled the ball a great deal. That coupled with his speed to the basket earned him this spot.

    6. Chris Warren – Ole Miss, Junior – 5.48 – Last Year: 10.54
    Warren would’ve been in the discussion for SEC Player of the Year if he hadn’t gone down in his 11th game last season. Warren is tremendously talented and is extremely potent on every end of the floor. Serving as the Rebels’ point guard, he serves as the team’s ball-handler and also owns impressive speed.

    7. Marcus Thornton – LSU, Graduated – 5.58 – Last Year: 9.07
    Yet another guard who shows up on this list. Thornton, to be fair, is the least guard-like of them as his frame says more forward. His shot doesn’t, though. Thornton was much like Meeks in that he carried his team offensively, and was aggressive with the ball in his hands.

    8. Storm Warren – LSU, Sophomore – 5.74 – Last Year: N.A.
    For a freshman to show up on this list is nothing short of impressive. Warren is a bit of a work-in-progress and effectively served as a big-man for Johnson’s squad. His shooting isn’t exactly impressive, and neither is his ball-handling, but with this passion Warren could step up into the shoes of the departing Thornton as the team’s leader on the court.

    9. David Huertas – Ole Miss, Overseas – 5.76 – Last Year: 16.27
    Huertas, much like Meeks and Thornton, carried his team offensively a year ago. Unlike those two, however, Huertas was forced into that position by a string of injuries that sidelines three Rebel starters. Huertas had speed and athleticism to spare, and certainly filled the roles of “leader” exceptionally well.

    10. Jeffery Taylor – Vanderbilt, Sophomore – 5.79 – Last Year: N.A.
    As impressive as Warren’s appearance on this list was, Taylor’s is probably moreso. Taylor exhibited a much higher willingness to take a jumper and proved to be a solid all-around defender and ball-handler. Taylor has the makings of a future SEC star.


    The opposite end of the spectrum…


    1. Michael Porter – Kentucky, Left Team – 38.50 – Last Year: 48.13

    2. Riley Benock – Mississippi State, Junior – 34.08 – Last Year: 28.50

    3. Joe Duffy – Vanderbilt, Junior – 31.50 – Last Year: 9.50

    4. Marcus Britt – Arkansas, Junior – 28.30 – Last Year: 20.22

    5. Brandon Hollinger – Alabama, Graduated – 25.82 – Last Year: 24.00

    6. Ravern Johnson – Mississippi State, Junior – 23.91 – Last Year: 18.70

    7. Dan Werner – Florida, Senior – 23.79 – Last Year: 14.85

    8. Evaldas Banilius – South Carolina, Senior – 22.68 – Last Year: 76.29

    9. Branden Conrad – South Carolina, Graduated – 22.58 – Last Year: 7.67

    10. Darshawn McClellan – Vanderbilt, Junior – 21.79 – Last Year: 10.89


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