Georgia Basketball: Ranking the Bulldogs' Most Valuable Players

Will BrownContributor IJanuary 26, 2011

Georgia Basketball: Ranking the Bulldogs' Most Valuable Players

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    NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 11:  Dustin Ware #3 and Chris Barnes #4 of the Georgia Bulldogs celebrate afte their 77-64 win against the Arkanasas Razorbacks during the first round of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Bridgestone Arena on March 11, 2010
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Coming off an extremely tough loss in double overtime to the Florida Gators, the Georgia Bulldogs now stand at 14-5 overall, and 3-3 in the SEC. It is a slight roadblock as far as the SEC East goes, but Georgia is without question in the upper tier of the conference as a whole. With that said, I am going to list my rankings for the team’s Most Valuable Player.

    Ranking this starting unit was a very difficult thing for me to do, as all play such an important part in the team’s success, and just missing one of them sets the team back quite a bit on the offensive and defensive side. Every player in the starting lineup contributes in different ways, which makes it that much tougher.

    Without further ado, here are my Georgia MVP rankings.

5. Jeremy Price

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    2010-2011 Statline: 21.2 MIN, 8.4 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 0.6 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.9 BPG, 49.2 FG%

    Price being fifth on my list is by no means a knock on him, as I could have just as easily put him as high as third. Price is a tough rebounder and shows flashes of greatness on the offensive end.

    Price’s strengths on offense are his great size and agility, as he can back a guy down and then finish with a spin move to the rim.

    Price’s value is off the charts, as his ability to get offensive rebounds and finish only helps his overall game.

4. Dustin Ware

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    2010-2011 Statline: 31.5 MPG, 7.6 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 3.8 APG, 1.2 SPG, 42.9 FG%

    He is without a doubt Georgia’s best deep shooter, as he possesses a 41.7 percent mark from three-point range.

    Ware’s importance to the team was evident in the Florida loss, as two early fouls limited his play in the first half, and ended with him fouling out in the first overtime. This created an offensive mismatch in Florida’s favor.

    Ware’s shooting ability stretches out the defense, which only gives Price and Trey Thompkins more room to dominate near the basket. 

3. Gerald Robinson

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    2010-2011 Statline: 31.3 MPG, 13.7 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 4.2 APG, 1.1 SPG, 50 FG%

    I initially thought about putting him first. A case can be made for it, and like Ware, he got in early foul trouble against Florida, and Georgia was playing undermanned throughout the first half.

    Robinson was great down the stretch and in the first overtime though.

    The main reason I thought of him as the team MVP was his improvement in overall production in SEC play, as he was averaging 18 points per game up until he only scored seven against the Gators.

    Robinson is not the best passer getting the ball into the post (that would be Ware), but he does lead the team with the good assists rate, showing that he can make plays for those around him.

2. Travis Leslie

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    2010-2011 Statline: 30.4 MPG, 15 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.7 BPG, 52.1 FG%

    Man, this was a tough decision.

    Leslie is an elite athlete at any level of basketball, and his dunks have become famous in Athens and the SEC. He is Georgia’s second-leading scorer, leading rebounder, third-leading player in assists and has the highest field goal percentage on the team.

    The one thing lacking from Leslie is a great three-point shot (only 23.8%), but he more than makes up for that with his play in the rest of the categories.

    Leslie is a great slasher to the basket and probably the team’s biggest playmaker, but he plays second fiddle for team MVP. I'm hoping he will be back next season.

1. Trey Thompkins

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    2010-2011 Stateline: 31.3 MPG, 17.6 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.3 SPG, 1.7 BPG, 48.2 FG%

    He may be the best player in the conference, and he is the best player on the Georgia team.

    Thompkins is an elite level big man, rebounds well, hits his free throws, blocks shots and is athletic enough to intercept passes, and then you add in what he brings on the offensive side.

    Thompkins is sixth in the SEC in scoring, and leading the team by a margin of nearly three points a game. He is second on the team in rebounding, second in steals and first in blocks.

    Thompkins best game was probably the first meeting between Georgia and Kentucky, who the Bulldogs play Saturday on the road, with 25 points, seven rebounds, an assist and three blocks.

    Thompkins is not likely to be back next season, so Georgia fans should enjoy him while he is here.