– Man, those are some nice trophies. Wait, who are you again? Ohhhh…defensive master Bruce Bowen –
So far, this college basketball season has been about what I expected (minus the tanking of the Cats, of course). There are a ton of teams on the same level, anyone could lose on any given night, and there aren’t many players making the NBA scouts drool. Much like the 2010-2011 season, the entire country is having a transition year it feels like. The season in general has been so lackluster from all teams that I, as a diehard fan of the sport of basketball, struggle to care whatsoever about two top 10 teams playing each other.
I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that the superstars of this season don’t have the ‘star’ appeal of the likes of John Wall, Anthony Davis, or any other National Play of the Year candidate in the past five years. If you look around the NCAA scene, I think you’ll find some quality basketball being played, but not in the most exciting manner. One random piece of ‘evidence’ of the lackluster year may be seen by comparing the POY candidates versus the All-Defensive team candidates this season. For the first time in forever, I think I would take the defensive team over the superstar team. Let’s look at some of the top candidates for each squad according to CBSsports.com and Jimmy Dykes, respectively:
– Doug McDermott, Creighton –
– Trey Burke, Michigan
– Mason Plumlee, Duke
– Russ Smith, Louisville
– Ben McClemore, Kansas (took Withey off because he’s included below)
All-Defensive Team Candidates
– Aaron Craft, Ohio State
– Nerlens Noel, Kentucky
– Jeff Withey, Kansas
– Victor Oladipo, Indiana
– C.J. McCollom, Lehigh
I first thought about this last night (while trying to hold back tears of anger and not throw my beer bottle at the bar TV) when Dykes brought out his current All-Defensive team. If you think about years past, guys have been just so good on offense, like Kemba Walker, that the defensive team wouldn’t stand a chance. But this year, I’d take the All-Defensive team in a heartbeat. Who is C.J. McCollom? Who cares. There isn’t a player up for NPOY that I would bet on in a one-on-one situation with the defensive guys. Nerlens Noel and Victor Oladipo are two of the most exciting players in college basketball this year, and neither has a fully polished offensive game. To me, this goes to show you that when the superstar level is down, so is the whole year of basketball.