Talk hoops all year long in Luke Winn's blog, a journal of commentary, news and reader-driven discussions about the college game.
10/10/2006 10:59:00 AM
Presenting ... The All-Attribute Team
Aaron Gray's rebounding percentage lands him on the All-Atribute team.
All-America teams are everywhere. But where else can you get an All-Attribute squad? As an encore to last week's All-Breakout Team, this starting five was formed by piecing together players with unique statistical attributes (all non-traditional stats are from kenpom.com):
THE TIRELESS POINT GUARD: Jared Jordan, Sr., Marist.
The ultimate floor general never takes a break. Alabama's Ronald Steele was called an Ironman in this space a few weeks ago, but there's one returning player in Division I who logged more minutes than the Tide's point man: Jordan. He was on the floor for an absurd 97.4 percent of the Red Foxes' overall minutes last season -- 1,130 in total, which meant he averaged a few ticks under 39 per game. A Hartford product who led the nation in assists last season (8.5 per game) was lightly recruited -- for a reason: he wasn't much of a prospect -- Jordan is now good enough to start for UConn.
THE HIGH-VOLUME SHOOTING GUARD: Rodney Stuckey, Soph., Eastern Washington.
That title is somewhat of a euphemism for ballhog, which Stuckey is to some degree, but he's enough of a pure scorer -- and a 49.0 percent shooter -- for me to be willing to let him get away with it. (And with a nickname like "Hot Rod," did you expect him not to shoot?) As a freshman last season, Stuckey lit up the Big Sky Conference with 24.2 points per game, in the process taking a stunning 38.0 percent of his team's total shots when he was on the floor -- which ranked him as the No. 7 high-volume shooter in the nation. Rod ripped off 510 field-goal attempts on the season ... and his next-highest teammate had 208.
Stuckey plays the point, but we'll use him at the two and let him take feeds from Jordan. Not that Rod couldn't handle the point; he averaged 4.1 assists and EWU coach Mike Burns once described his contribution to the team as thus: "He's kind of waiting on the table, bussing the table and he's back in the kitchen cooking the food. He's doing quite a bit."
THE SMALL(-TIME THIEF AT) FORWARD: Jacob Burtschi, Sr., Air Force
Every squad needs a defensive playmaker, and I'll take Burtschi, who's considered a big man at the Academy but only 6-foot-6, so on this All-Star squad he'll play the three. The NCAA's raw stats make Jake look decent -- at 2.3 steals per game last season, he was one of just two non-guards among the nation's top 50 pickpockets -- but significantly underplay his thievability (it's a new word, like truthiness). How? The Falcons were the second-slowest team in D-I last season, at 56.8 possessions per game; compare that to a fast team, such as Washington at 73.4, and you realizes how many fewer opportunities Burtschi had. In the NCAA's standings he ranked 37th in steals, but in that new-fangled thing called steal percentage -- the percent of possessions on which he had rips -- Burtschi ranked 19th. He and Stuckey (at 2.2 steals/game) would wreak havoc on the perimeter.
THE NON-BRICK-LAYING POWER FORWARD: Nick Fazekas, Sr., Nevada.
I wanted a four who wouldn't be a liability at the free-throw line, and Fazekas, at 6-11, is hardly a liability. The Nevada star got to the stripe a healthy 182 times last season and made 154, a rate of 84.6 percent. Only two players as tall as Faz bested him from the charity-stripe, and they were both seniors: West Virginia's Kevin Pittsnogle (85.7) and Michigan State's Paul Davis (87.0). Lest you think Fazekas is all finesse -- and that, somewhat, has been NBA scouts' knock on him -- he is capable of crashing the boards, grabbing 10.4 per game last season. Not that he'd need to, with this center ...
THE GLASSMASTER-AT-BOTH-ENDS CENTER: Aaron Gray, Sr., Pitt.
Rebounding percentage -- not total rebounds, but the percent of available boards grabbed while on the floor -- was the determining factor in this pick. And in that department, no one comes close to Gray, who ranked in the top-10 nationally in both offensive and defensive rebounding. The Panthers' 7-footer, who matured from reserve to national star last season and was a late scratch from the 2006 NBA Draft, got his hands on 15.7 percent of offensive boards (seventh in the country) and an amazing 27.0 percent of defensive boards (fourth in the country) -- better than such monsters as Tyrus Thomas of LSU, Leon Powe of Cal and Paul Millsap of Louisiana Tech. The pros may have been skeptical about Gray's athleticism, but he's welcome on this team any time.
Readers, do you agree with these picks? Discuss the All-Attribute team and offer your write-in votes in the comments.
I'm surprised to see a lack of SEC names on these lists, considering the conference had a bunch of NCAA teams last year, 2 final 4 teams, and the nat'l championship. And the conference is getting better players and coaches.
What about Chris Lofton for the high volume shooting guard? With JJ Redick gone, he could be the best catch and shoot guard in the NCAAs.
It doesn't matter if you're trying to use little-known players or not; you've got to put Joakim Noah on this list. He brings an insane amount of energy on both ends of the floor, and he looks like a natural in at least 3 different spots.
Gray from Pitt? How about Joey Dorsey and Robert Dozier from Memphis? Look at rebounds per minute. Dorsey and Dozier averaged 7.5 and 5.5 rebounds per game while averaging 21 and 18 minutes per game/respectively. Yeah, Gray got 10.5 per game, but it took him 28 minutes per game to do it.
Anonymous said... Gray from Pitt? How about Joey Dorsey and Robert Dozier from Memphis? Look at rebounds per minute. Dorsey and Dozier averaged 7.5 and 5.5 rebounds per game while averaging 21 and 18 minutes per game/respectively. Yeah, Gray got 10.5 per game, but it took him 28 minutes per game to do it.
You might want to whip out a calculator, Newton. If you are looking at rebounds per minute, Gray still wins that race.
Thanks, Luke, for spotting Jake Burtschi. We thought he was our secret here at AF, but you also found out about Dan Nwaelele (in a column last season), the best 3-point shooter in the country (in my opinion). You've been doing your homework on Air Force, and how one needs to look closer at the stats surrounding a team with fewer possessions per game. You, clearly, won't be surprised this year.