When the Big East announced its all-conference teams on Sunday there was a glaring mistake. Sir'Dominic Pointer was left off the first team and thus disqualified from the running for Big East Player of the Year. This is a tragedy. While this article can in no way give Pointer the actual award, at the very least it can point to the many reasons Pointer had a stirring case for it.
1. He only does everything
During its early marketing run, the PlayStation 3 had a slogan which was; 'It only does everything'. Who knew that Sony was really making up a tagline for Pointer. If you try to find another player in the Big East who is putting up the kinds of numbers he is, you will be undertaking an impossible task. The 6-foot-6 swingman is scoring 13.7 points per game, leading St. John's in rebounds (7.6 RPG) and steals (2 SPG), while finding time to block 2.5 shots and rack up a little more than three assists per game.
Oh, traditional statistics aren't enough for you? Fine. Let's get analytical. Efficiency has become an increasingly valued skill, and Pointer is as efficient as they come. He is third in the Big East in effective field goal percentage, but that isn't all. He also is 18th in the country and tops in the Big East in NBA efficiency (20.94), which is calculated by adding points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks, then subtracting missed field goal attempts, missed foul shots and turnovers, and dividing all that by games played. In addition, he ranks ahead of the likes of LaDontae Henton, D'Angelo Harrison, Darrun Hilliard, Kris Dunn and Ryan Arcidiacono in win shares (5.0).
2. He saved the Red Storm
In early January, trying to make an argument for Pointer as Player of the Year would have been ridiculous, especially with the direction St. John's was headed. After opening the season at 11-1 and reaching as high as No. 15 in the AP Top 25, the Red Storm began to regress and regress hard. They lost four of their first five league tests and fell to 13-7 overall before the calendar turned to February. In the 11 games since then, they have turned things around, winning eight times over the last month of the season.
Pointer has his fingerprints all over the surge, which rescued Steve Lavin's squad from another disappointing absence from the NCAA Tournament. In those last 11 tilts, Pointer averaged 16.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and three blocks per game, including his impressive efforts in wins against Creighton (10 points, eight blocks, seven rebounds), Xavier (19 points, nine rebounds, six blocks, four steals), Seton Hall (22 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks) and Georgetown (24 points, seven rebounds). All those games ended in victories.
Without his production, St. John's could be starting down another NIT appearance, rather than sitting at 21-10 and all but assured of a spot in the field of 68.
3. Making the leap
This is Pointer's last season in Queens. In his first three, he was a constant force, playing in 97 total games, but he was never the star. Unfortunately, he appears to have been looked over again this season, despite being, easily, the most important player on the roster for the Red Storm. Harrison can score, Chris Obekpa can defend and Rysheed Jordan has hit some big shots. Pointer does all of those things. What's even more spectacular is how much his game has improved this season. His career-high in scoring before this season was 6.9 PPG, a mark he tallied in his sophomore season. His former personal bests in rebounds (5.5 RPG), blocks (1.1 BPG), steals (1.6 SPG), assists (2.8 APG) and field goal percentage (.510) have all been shattered this season as well.
Pointer was awarded the league's Most Improved Player award on Monday, as well as co-Defensive Player of the Year with Providence's Kris Dunn. Just being improved, even by such an incredible margin, doesn't mean Pointer should be the conference's Player of the Year as well, but it should have at least put him in the final discussion.