Monday, March 9, 2009

Randle and Christopher - First Team All Pac 10

Good for them. Been a while since Cal had 2 on the first team and were actually relevant in the conference race (though now the first team is 10 instead of 5, so who knows if Christopher makes the top 5 under the old system - I think probably not).

Can't really disagree with the first or second team picks. Regarding Cal players, I have only two issues:

First, Randle should have been most improved, hands down. Last year, the guy was an out-of-control point guard averaging a mediocre 11.8 ppg, 3.7 apg, and 42% fg, never really dictated games, and was not the most important player on his team.

This year, he is averaging 18.4 ppg (Pac 10 #3), 5 apg (Pac 10 #1), and shooting 50% fg, and he is at times the scariest cover in the conference because of his range. He is the #1 focal point of opposing defenses, and has singlehandedly carried this Cal team many times in what has been among the biggest turnaround seasons in the conference. And he is undoubtedly the most important player on this Cal team - ask yourself which conference games Cal wins without him...any of them other than Oregon?

Now ask the same question about Dentmon. Can't see any way that Dentmon's season even compares. Statistically, he is only in the top 10 in two category - seventh in scoring at 13 ppg and 4th in steals at 1.5 pg (tied with three others). And he's the third most important guy on his own team, after Thomas and Brockman. Plus, the guy made the freshman all Pac 10 team a few years back, so it's not like he came out of nowhere. He basically had a great freshman season, two lousy seasons, and then played decently well again (now that he had a good point guard and big man to pull defenders away from him). Just a real head scratcher.

My second issue is with Robertson getting left off even honorable mention, despite leading the conference in three-point shooting, averaging 12 ppg, and being the #3 guy on one of the top 3 conference offenses and third place conference team. I'd put him in over Lawrence Hill of Ariz or Schaftenaar of OSU (the Schaftenaargeschadenfreude love fest is somewhat bewildering).

As for Monty for COY, I think it's a toss up between him and Romar. Personally, I think the job Monty did taking a BDW like Cal to 22 wins and third place after losing its best player and having no legitimate big men, is pretty impressive. But I think Romar winning the conference title is pretty ridiculous too. All season, I kept assuming UW would come back to earth, but they never did. They just kept winning.

Personally, I don't think Romar's much of a tactics/x and o guy. In that respect, Monty could coach circles around him. But Romar does two things well. He recruits well and he gets his guys to play hard and fast. When he's got the athletic talent, his teams win. When he doesn't, he can't make up the deficit with schemes and sets, and his teams play poorly. This year he had the horses - good for him for getting the most out of them.

Link to Pac 10 release.


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