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The curious case of ignoring Anthony Davis

Mar 27, 2012, 3:01 PM EST

spt-120227-anthonydavis AP

Kansas’ Thomas Robinson was the only unanimous All-American selection this season, which is an odd thing given Kentucky’s Anthony Davis has swept every major national player of the year award thus far. (Only the AP, Naismith and Wooden are left.)

But he was two votes shy of joining Robinson as a unanimous pick.

So, the voters who left Davis off their lists were soon tracked down: Scott Reid of the Orange County Register and Scott Mansch of the Great Falls Tribune. You can imagine the emails those two are getting right about now.

Is it a big deal that Davis isn’t a unanimous selection? Ultimately, no. He’ll be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft and probably take at least one of the remaining national awards, if not all three (Robinson has a chance to split the awards.)

But when Reid wrote a story explaining why he left off Davis, well, it shows how much offense is valued over defense by people. An excerpt:

[Michigan State's Draymond] Green and Robinson are the best two players in the country. Zeller was the player of year in what is year in and year out the best conference in the country: the ACC.

So it came down between [West Virginia’s Kevin] Jones and Davis for the final spot on the first team. If there was a bias in the vote it wasn’t anti-Kentucky or anti-Calipari but a belief that the Big East is a much tougher conference then the SEC. It’s just not even close.

I also liked Jones’ play against top opponents:

*Louisville, 22 points, 11 rebounds
*Syracuse, 20 points, eight rebounds
*Kansas State, 30 points, 12 rebounds
*Georgetown, 22 points, 16 rebounds
*Cincinnati, 26 points, 13 rebounds
*Notre Dame, 14 points, 12 rebounds

Then there’s the monster game he had against Baylor: 28 points, 17 boards while Perry Jones III finished with four points.

A couple of other factors: Davis had only seven points against North Carolina, only six against Indiana and he didn’t have a field goal in the final 18:03 of a SEC title game loss to Vanderbilt.

The Zeller reasoning is taken apart here. And the games he references for Davis are odd. Yes, no field goals late against Vandy. But he also combined for 43 points, 19 rebounds and 12 blocks in two other wins vs. Vandy. Not to mention 22 points, 12 boards and six blocks vs. Florida. Or 14 points, six boards and seven blocks vs. Kansas – in just his second game with Kentucky.

Davis is the leading scorer (14.3) and rebounder (10.0) for the nation’s best team, not to mention the best shot blocker in the country. If he were one-dimensional like Syracuse’s Fab Melo, then maybe leave him off. But there’s no better player in the country for both ends of the floor.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

  1. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - Mar 27, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    His reasoning seems fine. These votes are opinion.

  2. glawesome - Mar 28, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    Anthony Davis not coming to Illinois is just not right! I cant believe you went there plane and simple!

  3. coach1959 - Mar 28, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    I think Reid’s comments are disingenuous at best. Using his reasoning, he should have voted for the highest scorer in the country (anybody know who that is?). Anybody leaving Anthony Davis off the All-American team has something other than objective reasoning behind the decision.

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