It is being reported that senior forward Jae Crowder from Marquette has won Big East Player of the Year over senior forward Kevin Jones from West Virginia. This has left not only Mountaineer fans baffled, but other basketball fans as well.
Jones led the Big East in scoring and rebounding. He averaged 20 points per game and 11.2 rebounds per game, while Crowder was third in scoring with 17.6 ppg and ninth in rebounding with 7.9 rpg. If there is one player who meant the most to their team and contributed the most, Jones was ahead of everyone by a mile. The Mountaineers finished the regular season with a 19-12 overall and went 9-9 in the Big East, while these records aren’t spectacular it doesn’t mean the best player should get left out.
To win Player of the Year for any sport means you contribute the most to your team on and off the court or field. It should also be noted that West Virginia relied on Jones time and time again to finish games and be the leader of the team. He did this and then some, KJ came to play every game and gave it his all even when the odds were stacked against him and the team. In some cases, he was the only player on the team who seemed to care at certain points. To get the record the Mountaineers did with Jones being the only player who was consistent, he more than deserves Big East Player of the Year.
Crowder on the other hand had tons of support around him and even though he put up good numbers they were nowhere close to Jones'. Senior guard Darius Johnson-Odom was ahead of Crowder in Marquette’s scoring department and even he would have been a more reasonable selection than Crowder. Johnson-Odom averaged 18.3 ppg and 3.4 rpg, which just shows what a great support player he was. Another player that helped out was sophomore forward DaVante Gardner who averaged 9.7 ppg and 5.5 rpg. With players like these of course they would make any player look good.
When these two teams played; Crowder had 26 points, 4 rebounds, one assist, two steal and two blocks while Jones had 12 points, 6 rebounds and two assists. This was a game where Jones was less productive than usual, but West Virginia only lost by one point. Even with this poor performance Jones had plenty of great games that would balance it out. In fact in West Virginia's next game against DePaul Jones had 22 points, 16 rebounds, one assist, one steal and two blocks. This just shows that one bad game is easily forgettable.
Jones did it all for the Mountaineers and he even made All-Big East first team, along with Crowder and Johnson-Odom. This is the only situation where both are equal, other than that Jones leads Crowder all the way. If one player on a team does everything he is asked of and more and puts up impressive numbers night in and night out than that is the definition of Player of the Year.
Obviously, putting up double-doubles almost every night and carrying a team with so many inconsistent players isn't enough to be considered for Big East Player of the Year. It seems like in order to win a player must have decent scoring and grabbing very few rebounds. It must also mean that a player who works hard and puts his heart and soul into the game isn’t enough to win either.
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