Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The "Woolpert Award Watch": The Top 15 Players in the WCC Thus Far

Which WCC Player Will Win CCH's First-Annual "Woolpert Award" for the Best Player in the WCC? The list has been narrowed down to 15.

In lieu of the Wooden Award announcing their annual Mid-Season Top 25 list, I wanted to name an award on this blog for the best player in the WCC. My best idea centered on former USF coach Phil Woolpert, who led the Dons to two NCAA titles in his tenure with the Dons in the 1950's. Maybe there is already an award on Woolpert, and if there is, I can change it, but for now, Woolpert it is darn it!

Anyways, here is the criteria for the Woolpert Award player:

  • Has to be at least a significant contributor on his team (Ken Pom characterizes this as at least a 20 percent usage rate). The more significant, the better their chances. I want to look at the player who is most essential to his team's success.
  • Record is not the end-all, be-all, but the better the team is, the better the chances are for that player (especially if he is more of a major contributor).
  • Advanced numbers will be what determines a player's candidacy. Traditional per game stats are thrown out the window here (I will write a post in due time why I don't rely solely on per game stats, and in fact use them as little as possible).
  • Has to play a significant amount of games. Guys who miss significant time due to injury or suspension are not considered (sorry, but you need to play to have an impact on your team; I consider significant time if you have missed about four or more games so far, i.e. Gary Bell of Gonzaga).
  • Can be a starter or bench player, but needs to have played at least 50 percent of his team's minutes (which correlates with the statement above).

Okay, here is a very early list of the Top-15 candidates who have earned their spot on the "Woolpert Watch" so far. Roughly, it comes out to 

(Note: this is not in any particular order nor a ranking. I'm just putting in guys randomly.)

  1. Brad Waldow, St. Mary's
  2. Sam Dower, Gonzaga
  3. Brandon Clark, Santa Clara
  4. Tyler Haws, BYU
  5. Anthony Ireland, LMU
  6. Brendan Lane, Pepperdine
  7. Kruize Pinkins, USF
  8. Andrew Bock, Pacific
  9. Johnny Dee, San Diego
  10. Kevin Pangos, Gonzaga
  11. Kevin Bailey, Portland
  12. Eric Mika, BYU
  13. Stephen Holt, St. Mary's
  14. Thomas van der Mars, Portland
  15. Stacy Davis, Pepperdine

As stated before, the list above is NOT a ranking. This is just an initial list. And, much like the Wooden Award, if a player makes significant strides in the second half of the WCC season, I can also put them on the Woolpert Watch as well. Right now, I wanted to have no more than two players from a team on this list and at least 1 representative as well from each WCC squad. So while this list is a good gauge in terms of who is the most valuable player in the WCC this season, it's not an end-all, be-all list either.

If you feel I snubbed anyone, let me know and I would definitely be open to discuss about it. (Beau Levesque was a tough snub for me, but I didn't want to have three Gaels on there, especially considering they're in 3rd place as well).

I'll have a poll on the sideboard of the blog soon to take a tally of who "fans" should think should earn the award (though to be frank, I'll be awarding the vote myself, since it is a statistical award, not a fan vote...sorry guys).

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