Tuesday, March 11, 2008

SEC Coaches Name Foster Player of the Year

Congratulations to Shan Foster, who was just named the SEC Player of the Year by the league's coaches, marking the second straight time and fourth total that this award has gone to a Vanderbilt player.

Along with Jamont Gordon, Foster was one of only two unanimous selections to the all-conference first team. A.J. Ogilvy was named to the All-SEC Second Team and unanimously to the All-Freshman Team as well. Nice work, Croc.

Two things jump out at me about the SEC's awards:

1) Chris Lofton evidently barely made the first team, tying with Alabama's Richard Hendrix for the eighth spot. Remember during the UT games when there was all the talk of two potential SEC POYs going head to head? Yeah, me neither.

2) Bruce Pearl and Billy Gillispie tied for Coach of the Year honors. Who would've seen that one coming after UK's utterly depressing start to the season? 12-4 in conference ain't bad, especially considering the recent wins under huge pressure that probably are going to get them in off the bubble.

Now, two final words regarding Shan:

First, let's hope the AP doesn't blow it again this year by giving their POY honor to someone other than Shan (recall last year's Lofton selection over DB).

Finally, what interests me even more than the POY award (come on, we all knew he was going to win after this week's 42- and 21-point performances, right?) is this article by Andrew Skwara at Rivals.com. Rivals now has Shan as their #1 shooting guard in the nation in their final weekly position power rankings, which measure both overall career performance and recent output. This puts him ahead of the likes of OJ Mayo, Eric Gordon, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Jerryd Bayless, Wayne Ellington, Mario Chalmers, and DeMarcus Nelson. I think the discussion at this point has to be whether Foster should be a first- or second-team All-America pick. Please let that conversation ensue.


David Rutz said...

My thinking is, where is Vanderbilt without Shan Foster this season?

He's SEC Player of the Year. He leads the conference in scoring and 3-pointers made.

It was his shooting performances that gave Vanderbilt wins over Tennessee, Mississippi State, Massachusetts, on the road against South Carolina (he kept us in it). In Vanderbilt's 10 conference wins he averages 22.3 points a game, in the six losses he averaged 16.3 points.

I'm not sure where Vanderbilt is without him. My main argument against him as a First-Team All-American is, as many people have pointed out, that he's one-dimensional. He's decent defensively but not spectacular, and he has trouble creating his own shots off the dribble.

I'm thinking Second-Team All-American.

Jarred Amato said...

I don't think there's any doubt that Shan deserves to be, at worst, a second-team All-American, and here's why:
On numbers alone, The Truth gets in. Look at his stats compared to some of the players in the discussion:
Foster: 20.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.7 apg, 52.5 FG%, 47 3PT%
Mayo: 20.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.1 apg, 45 FG%, 41 3PT%
Douglas-Roberts: 17.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.6 apg, 55 FG%, 44 3PT%
Gordon: 21.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.5 apg, 45 FG%, 36 3PT%
Ellington: 16.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.1 apg, 46 FG%, 41 3PT%
For those counting, that's No. 2 in scoring, No. 1 in rebounding, No. 2 in FG% and No. 1 in 3PT%.
Foster may not attack the rim like some of these guys, but when if you were the nation's best shooter and pretty much impossible to stop, would you go inside? I didn't think so.
Foster has also established himself as an above-average defender and rebounder, which is a credit to coach Kevin Stallings, who has pushed him to become a complete player.
Finally, the intangibles...It's hard to imagine the Commodores without Foster, on or off the court. He is a great teammate and humble human being who works hard every day, and it rubs off on the rest of the team. Foster is a big reason why Vandy's chemistry is so high. If you take away Foster, the Commodores are a NIT team at best.
Sounds like an All-American to me...

Anonymous said...

First team all-american, o'toole.

But with spring practice starting, I'm not as worried about the o-line as I am about Nickson, i.e., he's the biggest question mark.

I like Mackenzie...but he does not have the demonstrated passing skills that Nickson showed in '06.

IMO, the defense is going to be fine. A winning season next year is in large part dependent on CN.

Anonymous said...

I am happy for Shan for winning SEC POY and think that he should be at least a second team All-American. However, I think the high profiles of Eric Gordon and OJ Mayo could sway voters away from Shan on name recognition alone.

But to be honest, I really think we should be discussing more important things like that kid who forgot his lyrics on American Idol last night. Bobby, where is the AI analysis? You are on spring break, I know you have time to go into details.

Anonymous said...


I don’t expect Shan Foster, as well as he’s played lately, will end up in front of Douglas-Roberts on too many AA ballots. Shan may score more PPG, but he also doesn’t share the backcourt with Derrick Rose, who might be the most talented player in the country. And while CDR might not have a 9-three game to his resume, he should get credit for playing big in every big game all year long -- and not having to explain any games where stumbled.

Meanwhile, my vote goes to Pyscho-T for player of the year, player of the decade, player of the millennium and scariest eyes of all time.