Monday, April 7, 2014

My Big Sky Awards, Part 2

Before leaving for vacation, I posted part 1 of my Big Sky awards, so it's time for part 2 - the award teams. While my part one did not differ much from what actually happened, I suspect I will have some differences to the actual selections made for the teams.

I will use the same amount of players as the Conference has for these awards, for consistency sake.

- Davion Berry (Weber State) - Berry was a deserving POY, an all-around play without many weaknesses. It was a great two-year Weber State career for him.
- Kareem Jamar (Montana) - For Jamar, it was a great four-year career that included a POY award and three first-team selections. He was a great player for the Grizzlies, and I will miss watching him.
- Troy Huff (North Dakota) - Perhaps the most dynamic player in the Big Sky with his above the rim ability, people forget he led the Big Sky in steals too.
- Tyler Harvey (Eastern Washington) - Harvey's story is a great one. Last year, he was a freshman not on a scholarship. He got his chance late in the year and thrived. This year, all he did was lead the Big Sky in scoring at almost 22 a game.
- Joel Bolomboy (Weber State) - He got snubbed from the first team, but he could be the POY next season. His offensive game is still developing, but it's a good sign that he shot 72% on FTs this year. It's also a good sign that he is perhaps the best rebounder in the entire country, and was the defensive POY in the Big Sky. He is a star.
- Derrick Barden (Northern Colorado) - Early on, he looked like a contender for Big Sky POY, but that fizzled a bit when UNC struggled in the second half of conference play. Still, he was a great player for the Bears that improved even on an excellent debut season. He shot 60% from the field, was a tenacious rebounder, and versatile defender. He was a star in his two year career for the Bears.

- Dylan Garrity (Sacramento State) - He got overshadowed a bit by McKinney, but Garrity hums along as a great offensive player. This year, he shot 48% from three on about five attempts per game. That is ridiculously good.
- Mikh McKinney (Sacramento State) - McKinney was one of the most improved players in the conference. His two-point percentage jumped from 41% to 53%, and he draws a ton of fouls. This year, he also became a great assist man, while cutting down turnovers. The Hornets could have two first-teamers next year, as they will continue to have the Big Sky's best backcourt.
- Aaron Anderson (North Dakota) - Throughout his career, I thought Anderson was very underrated, as shown by his honorable mention status (rather than first or second team). He did it all offensively, shooting from outside, getting to the rack, drawing fouls, and keeping his turnovers down. Troy Huff got the pub, but I'm not so sure that Anderson wasn't UND's best offensive player.
- Tate Unruh (Northern Colorado) - Unruh developed nicely in his career, as a guy who started as just a shooter, and ended as a complete offensive player. Of course, he retained his elite shooting skills... in his career, he missed nine free throws out of 149 attempts.
- Quinton Upshur (Northern Arizona) - Upshur had a great debut season, and was rightly named Newcomer of the Year. He has unlimited range, but was efficient inside the arc as well. If he can take the next step in his development, NAU will be a Big Sky title contender.

- Kyle Tresnak (Weber State) - Tresnak always showed flashes, such as his great effort in the Big Sky title game, but never quite became the dominant force we thought he might be. That is OK, because he was still very good - a capable scorer and solid rebounder and defender.
- Jordan Gregory (Montana) - He was the toughest omission from the top two teams, as he grew as expected to be a reliable contributor. He is a good outside shooter, but has a nice ability to get inside and make baskets.
- Kyle Richardson (Portland State) - Richardson was quietly one of the best big men in the conference during conference play, even though he was at times the Vikings only reliable big man. He had a big impact in his one season in Portland.
- Tomas Sanchez (Idaho State) - I wanted to find a way to get him in one of the top two teams, but couldn't quite make the leap. Still, he was an iron man for the Bengals, as basically their only PG. He took and made big shots, and was a solid distributor. Without him, it would have been an ugly year in Pocatello.
- Chris Hansen (Idaho State) - Hansen is an excellent shooter, making 40% on a ton of three-point attempts. He will need to work a bit on creating his own shot, because they are going to rely on him a lot next season.
- Max Jacobsen (Northern Arizona) - All Jacobsen did as a senior was shoot 61% from the field, as perhaps the best low post scorer in the Big Sky. He was not above average in any other skill, but in a league without a lot of great frontcourt scorers, Jacobsen stood out.
- Keron DeShields (Montana) - He was greatly improved this season, becoming a better distributor and better offensive scorer. His two-point shooting jumped from  40% to 56%, which turned him from a liability to a reliable contributor for the Grizzlies.
- Gary Winston (Portland State) - Winston is a solid all-around offensive player, with the ability to hit threes and get to the rim. He is part of a deep backcourt for PSU which should be a strength next season.
- Tevin Svihovec (Northern Colorado) - Svihovec played off the ball a lot more this year, and I think that suited his game well. He still forces too many shots, but he is a solid outside shooter that can get to the rim and draw fouls. They need him to be an offensive centerpiece next season.
- Paul Egwuonwu (Montana State) - He was one of the best defensive rebounders in the country last season, and that was huge for the Bobcats. He wasn't a great offensive player but he wasn't a negative either. Combined with his rebounding, and he will be sorely missed.


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  1. I am a biased Sac St. fan but I believe you have slighted Mikh McKinney by not placing him on your first team. He was 5th in scoring, 1st in assists, 1st in assist/turnovers ratio, 7th in steals, 13th in ft%, 14th in fg%, and 5th in minutes played, beside tying for his teams lead in rebounds. He was IMO the most entertaining player in the league. He should of been first team over a guy who is (at this time) a one dimensional player (Joel Bolomboy). I think you over valued potential instead of actual results in this selection. A good case could be made for Bolomboy as a second team selection but he definitely didn't improve his team as much as McKinney improved Sac St. If you take both of these players off of there respective teams Sac St. suffers much more than Weber St. would. Those are my thoughts but otherwise you're doing a fabulous job keeping all the Big Sky fans informed. Thank you.

  2. I think that case could definitely be made.

    Of the selections, I thought Bolomboy was the most questionable first-teamer, and McKinney/Garrity were most questionable second-teamers (as in, most likely that they could have been named first-team).

    I think either McKinney or Bolomboy would make a good first-team selection, both guys are really excellent.