First Team All-America over Anthony Davis? Sure, why not?
West Virginia fans and even West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins were none too pleased to learn that Kevin Jones didn't win Big East Player of the Year and was not even a unanimous choice for First Team All-Big East. Many felt his being left off some ballots was a sign of disrespect.
Well, good news West Virginia fans, Scott Reid of the Orange County Register finally gave Kevin Jones the respect he deserves! How did he do so? By submitting an AP All-America ballot that had Kevin Jones a First Team All-America. Oh, that ballot just so happens to have been one of only two that did not have Kentucky's Anthony Davis as a First Team selection.
So what was Reid's logic in choosing Jones over Anthony Davis? Agree with it or not, Reid liked the way Jones played and the numbers he put up against good competition in the Big East.
So it came down between Jones and Davis for the final spot on the first team. If there was a bias in the vote it wasn’t anti-Kentucky or anti-Calipari but a belief that the Big East is a much tougher conference then the SEC. It’s just not even close.
I also liked Jones’ play against top opponents:
*Louisville, 22 points, 11 rebounds
*Syracuse, 20 points, eight rebounds
*Kansas State, 30 points, 12 rebounds
*Georgetown, 22 points, 16 rebounds
*Cincinnati, 26 points, 13 rebounds
*Notre Dame, 14 points, 12 rebounds
Then there’s the monster game he had against Baylor: 28 points, 17 boards while Perry Jones III finished with four points.
A couple of other factors: Davis had only seven points against North Carolina, only six against Indiana and he didn’t have a field goal in the final 18:03 of a SEC title game loss to Vanderbilt.
At least Reid gives the Big East some credit in his decision, but sheesh, as much as we love the way Kevin Jones essentially carried West Virginia, sometimes the statistics just don't tell the entire story. Yes, Kevin Jones scored a lot of points in games for West Virginia, but that's because he was really the only reliable offensive option for the Mountaineers all season. Kevin Jones averaged 20 points per game this year and averaged 14 attempts per game. Anthony Davis averaged 14 points per game on half as many shot attempts per game. In fact, Davis is 5th on his own team in shot attempts for the season.
We at Big East Coast Bias appreciate Reid's acknowledgement that the Big East plays a quality brand of basketball and agree that it should be taken into account when considering postseason honors like this. Nevertheless, it seems peculiar to us to have your postseason award choice narrowed down to Kevin Jones and Anthony Davis and opt for Jones.
Be sure to also check out Jason McIntyre's post on the laughable claim that the ACC has been the toughest conference year in and year out on The Big Lead.