Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Why isn't Draymond Green in the national POY conversation?

Yesterday, I was watching "The Experts" on ESPNU and the topic of national player of the year came up. Not surprisingly, the debate was about Kentucky's Anthony Davis and Kansas' Thomas Robinson. It's the same debate everywhere you look.

Why isn't Draymond Green getting any love?

Also yesterday, Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo! Sports posted a side-by-side comparison of Davis and Robinson, which you can see here. (According to Eisenberg,'s straw poll had Jared Sullinger in third, so.... yeah). (Update: The latest poll has Green in a very distant third).

I decided to add Green to the comparison. Here is the result:

As you can see, Green's overall numbers are quite comparable. He's between Davis and Robinson in terms of points, but his field-goal percentage is lower because he frequently takes and hits jump shots. Green is making 41 percent of his three-point shots (44-for-108), while Robinson is 4-for-11 and Davis is 0-for-8. Green is on pace to become the first player to average 15 points, 10 rebounds and three assists since Tim Duncan, who won the award in the late 1990s.

Green is one of the most versatile players in the country, and perhaps no one is more important to his team. But this isn't a most valuable player award, or is it? Everyone seems to have their own definition of what player of the year means. 

The teams are comparable too. All are competing for No. 1-seeds in the NCAA Tournament. So why isn't Green getting in the conversation? I'm not saying Green should be the winner, but why isn't this a three-man race?

A two-person race is much easier to talk about. In recent years, we've had JJ Redick vs. Adam Morrison, Greg Oden vs. Kevin Durant and John Wall vs. Evan Turner. Last year, it clearly was Jimmer Fredette. (By the way, Turner won with comparable numbers to Green). It's a much easier debate when there are two sides. Also, this has been a two-man race for much of the season. MSU and Green didn't get much hype coming into the year, and expectations have changed, as Tom Izzo admitted when MSU won a share of the Big Ten title. 

Even though Green has been consistent all season, he didn't have the preseason hype. It's been an uphill climb. It's comparable to the importance of preseason football polls, as teams that are lower in the rankings have a harder time getting into the BCS National Championship Game, or the reason MSU was left out of a BCS game in 2010.

Green's performance against Indiana last night earned him some more support, but the loss might have balanced that out.

This isn't me trying to make the case for Green to win the award. He probably should be behind Davis and Thomas in the race, but it should be more than a two-man race.

1 comment:

  1. Kentucky & Kansas are still pretty good without those players, MSU struggles to make the tournament without Green. It's absurd that he isn't getting more love for the award.

    Maybe when he cuts down the nets in New Orleans they'll know they were wrong not to include him. We can only hope.