First Team All American Selections
As posted on the blog 2 days ago, the First Team All American Selections included Wesley Johnson (Syracuse), Evan Turner (Ohio State), Scottie Reynolds (Villanova), John Wall (Kentucky), and DeMarcus Cousins (Kentucky).
Second Team All Americans were James Anderson (Oklahoma State), Sherron Collins (Kansas), Jon Scheyer (Duke), Greivis Vasquez (Maryland), and Da’Sean Butler (West Virginia).
My thoughts on the selections? On the whole I thought the AP did a good job in the selections. Scottie Reynolds and Wes Johnson were arguably the 2 most productive players in the Big East, although Greg Monroe also had a great year. Evan Turner was the National Player of the Year. John Wall was a freshman sensation that brought energy back to Lexington and was, at times, the most explosive player in college basketball. DeMarcus Cousins was an inside force that helped Kentucky to advance to the top spot in the country.
However, if the AP made a mistake, it was the selection of DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins averaged 15.1 points per game and 9.8 rebounds per game, which are very impressive statistics. However, he only played 23.5 minutes per game, or just over half a game per night. While the production is there, I find it difficult to name someone an All American who wasn’t consistently on the floor. Every other first team All American selection averaged over 30 minutes per game. Cousins’ consistent foul trouble and his unsportsmanlike antics at times limited his play and effectiveness. Therefore, Cousins was a very talented, productive player, but he was not on the floor long enough to be deserving of an All American honor.
So who should have replaced Cousins? There are several good candidates on the second team. James Anderson averaged 22.3 points per game with 5.8 rebounds per game. He would be the primary suitor to replace Cousins, because of both his stats and what he meant to the Cowboys. He was by far the best scorer on the team and almost singlehandedly led the team to the NCAA tournament. He was double covered every night and still put up impressive, consistent statistics in the biggest moments, including 27 points and 30 points in the season defining wins over Kansas and Kansas State, respectively.
Another candidate for that spot is Maryland’s Greivis Vasquez. He averaged 19.6 points per game and 6.3 assists per game, and most notably led the Terps with 20 points in an emotional win over Duke on Senior Night. Greivis’ statistics and importance to the team should have been impressive enough to jump Cousins in the voting.
When comparing these two very deserving second teamers, James Anderson’s season was more impressive than Greivis’ season. His numbers and his leadership were unbelievably impressive, and he led the Cowboys to the NCAA tournament because of his ability and poise. Although both DeMarcus Cousins and Greivis Vasquez had very impressive seasons, Anderson was more deserving of the First Team All American honor than either Cousins or Second Team All American teammate Vasquez.