I know I have been doing a lot of these lately, but it's crazy how unfounded a lot of claims experts make are.
Most recently, ESPN.com college hoops experts picked UNC's Tyler Hansbrough over KSU's Micheal Beasley (by an 8-3 vote) for what I assume is the NCAA version of the MVP.
They even provided a handy stat comparison - in which Beasley is ahead in almost every measure. Three more points (third in the country) and two more boards (first in the country) per game. Marginally more assists and blocks per and nine more double-doubles. His slightly lower shooting percentages are offset by the fact Beasley shoots the three.
This goes back to the "what does MVP mean" argument. I will never understand giving an MVP to a guy on a better team with worse numbers. This award is "College Player of the Year" - there is no pretense of value anywhere. Who's the best. That is all.
Let's look at some of the mind-numbing quotes:
"he has been the toughest and most relentless player in the country." - Jay Bilas on Hansbrough.
He is a shoe-in for the Toughest Player in the Country award then!
"Hansbrough's numbers compare favorably to Beasley's, but Hansbrough's heart is bigger." - Bilas again.
Replace "compare favorably" with "are almost across the board less than" and I agree. Oh, and an enlarged heart is a serious medical disorder, he might want to get that checked out.
"No one should dispute who is a better NBA prospect or who has produced the better numbers." - Andy Katz
Finally, a vote for Beasley.
"But Hansbrough has had to carry the Tar Heels in a different manner than Beasley. Sure, UNC has more talented supporting players than Kansas State, but Hansbrough still had to do more. He had to take on even more of a leadership role." - Andy Katz
Hansbrough carried them on his head, while spinning plates. Beasley just carried them on his back, riding a unicycle. What a jerk.
I think being the sole good player on a not-so-great team (but still probably tounament bound) involves more leadership than being on a team with a ego-maniac, celebrity coach and a ton of other blue-chip players. But that's just me.
"Hansbrough has been too valuable, too genuine and too dominant to deny him this honor." - Katz
Too genuine. Beasley peeks out from behind trees, twirling his waxed mustache and tying damsels to train tracks while cackling menacingly. Hansbrough saves puppies and kitties from trees while curing AIDS, always tells the truth, helps tutor high schoolers in math and is an overall good doobie.
"After point guard Ty Lawson went down with a severely sprained ankle in early February, Hansbrough stepped up and prevented North Carolina from taking a big step back." - Mark Schlabach
Funny story. I was looking through some box scores (not really) and noticed Hansbrough hasn't played a single game at point guard.
Here's my version of that paragraph, let me know what you think: "After running back Laurence Maroney went down with a hamstring injury, Tom Brady stepped up and threw a million touchdowns, preventing the Patriots from taking a big step back."
This goes on for far too long. The ghosts of articles past, present and future about David Eckstein and Darin Erstad are hovering around this "article," rattling their chains of grit, hustle and never giving up-ness.
Beasley has similar numbers to Kevin Durant, lauded as one of the best college players ever. And Durant was a near unanimous pick. Could it be that Hansbrough is on the better team? No, I think it is something else...
Let's leave it to the venerable Dicky V. to explain:
"While Beasley may be the more talented of the two, Hansbrough is [white]*."
*edited for accuracy