Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hold the Phone on the POY and All-State Awards Please

3/4/10
There has been a lot of talk about All-State and Player of the Year picks. And I just feel like, ah the heck with it. I'm just going to come right out and say it...voting for all postseason awards should not happen until AFTER the tournament is over. There I said it. Not exactly groundbreaking stuff here. But allow me to explain why I feel this way...

It is mind blogging that these awards are voted on before the most important part of the season. The tournament is where you really see who the top players are. The tournament separates the men from the boys. The stakes are higher and the competition is stiffer, hence tourney play is the best barometer of how good of a season a player had.

Now I'm not saying the All-State teams and Player of the Year awards should be based solely on tournament play. Because of course there is 18 regular season games that you must consider. You can't base it all on tournament play. But it is a no-brainer that you MUST at least take the way players play in the tournament into account when voting on these teams.

When the gyms are packed the most, the most pressure is on...it's in the tournament. That's when the scouts are watching. When it's win or go home. During THESE situations is when you TRULY see how good the players are.

So PLEASE, somebody tell me why it is BEFORE the tournament starts that the voting is done. Please...somebody...because honestly, it makes absolutely no sense.

The name of the award is "Player of the Year." It is not "Player of the Regular Season." The tournament is part of "the Year". It is the MOST important part of "the Year."

Allow me to offer this hypothetical scenario:

Player A could have a great regular season. Average 20 points a game. Lead their team to the #1 seed heading into the tournament. Then in the playoffs they play horrible. Shoot 1/15 from the floor, 7 turnovers, foul out in the third quarter. And his team gets blown out at home by the #16 seed. Meanwhile Player B was the second best regular season player, he was on the second best regular season team. He was an excellent player, just not quite as good as Player A in the regular season. But Player B raises his level of player when it matters most. He has an unbelievable tournament. Leads his team to the title. Every tourney win is by double digits and Player B scores 20 points or more in all 4 tourney games. But ooops! We already had the voting for Player of the Year! The voting was done before the tournament even started! Player A has already been given the award! Oh nooooo!

This could happen. And it might not even happen for Player of the Year. What if 2 players are really close for a first team All-State spot. One blows up in the tourney and the other is exposed as a player who only produces against weak teams. But oops! The voting already happened!

It could happen in Class L, it could happen in Class S. It could even happen for a second team or honorable mention spot. And it might even be as obvious as the examples I've already mentioned. You might just have two players who match up in the quarterfinals. It is a good match-up and both players play well. But everyone agrees that Player A definitely did get the better of the match-up, even if it was only a slight edge. But Player A's team also won the game. And after the regular season, the two players were a tossup for a second team spot. The spot SHOULD go to Player A. But since the voting was done before the tourney Player B gets it.

The point is that you wait until EVERY LAST GAME has happened. You let EVERYTHING happen, you let it ALL play out. THEN, and ONLY THEN do you do ANY voting WHATSOEVER. Because you just NEVER NOW what might happen.

Many companies have an "Employee of the Month Award." Do they hand out the award with a week still left in the month? Of course not. That would be ridiculous. Now let's suppose for this particular company that the last week of each month is always the most important for their sales. And again, they give the Employee of the Month award out with one week left in the month! They give it away before the most important week happened! That would be insanity!

That's exactly what NH is doing with the postseason awards! We give all of the awards out right BEFORE the most important part of the season happens! The NHIAA says, "The Class L Player of the Year for the 2009-2010 season is awarded to Player X". How can the NHIAA possibly say this when the 2099-2010 season is STILL BEING PLAYED. Not only that, but the part of the season that hasn't happened yet is the MOST IMPORTANT PART.

Now again, I'm not saying that you should only look at how the kids play in the tournament to decide All-State teams and POY honors. But You MUST use it as a factor. You MUST look at each player's entire body of work. You have to break it down, look at how the payers did over the course of the entire regular season AS WELL AS THE TOURNAMENT.

I know that in most leagues, especially professional leagues, they do the same thing. Voting happens once the regular season concludes and then throughout the playoffs award winners are announced. I know that this is how many other leagues do it. But those leagues drive me crazy too! The worst is All-Star games like the NBA and MLB where they have the All-Star games in the MIDDLE of the season. And the voting starts a MONTH into the season. Give me a break! That's no honor to be selected as an All-Star in those leagues. All it means is that you were one of the top players for the first month and a half of the season! And that's the part of the season that means the less! And then when a player is up for election in the hall of fame in one of these sports, people will say things like, "Well he went to 8 All-Star games" and use that as a reason why he should or shouldn't get in. Are you kidding me?

Ok, enough of that tangent. We're talking high school here, not the pros. That example does support my argument, though. Bottom line is when you're voting for player of the year or All-State teams, you MUST look at the ENTIRE season, including the tournament. Not just the regular season. Because otherwise these awards mean nothing.

The final part of my argument is this. Coaches are the ones who vote on these awards. And coaches can't vote for their own players. So the players they actually are voting on they've only seen play once. And in Class I or M, you don't even play everybody. So you don't even see all of the teams. But if you wait until after the tournament is over, chances are the 2-5 teams that you didn't see in the regular season you WILL see at least one of those teams in the tournament. Either by playing against them or by watching them.

Let's remember that coaches are scouting all the time. If they're not playing on a particular night, but someone else is chances are they're at that game scouting. Most of these "scouting chances" happen in the tournament.

Maybe your the coach of a team that didn't make the tournament. You'll probably see at least 4 tourney games, and at least 6 different teams. or If you lost in the quarterfinals but still went to scout the semis and title game. You're seeing other games, other teams that you DID NOT SEE IN THE REGULAR SEASON. Translation: You're seeing more teams and more players and therefore your ballot for PO and All-State holds MORE CREDIBILITY.

Get it? This is especially vital in Class I, where each team has at least 6 or 7 teams in the league they don't play in the regular season. Chances are, either by playing against or scouting, they see at least 4 or 5 of those teams in the tournament.

And even in Class L, each team has one team they don't play. And even the teams you do play you only see them once. How good of an idea do you REALLY have of who deserves to be on the All-State teams and POY? Not a very good one. Now, add in seeing between 4-8 games and between 6-16 different teams come tournament time IN ADDITION to those 18 regular season games. Plus maybe 3 or 4 games during the season that you scouted. Now, and ONLY NOW are you as a coach able to fill out a credible ballot for these awards.

Lastly I pose this question. What's the rush? Honestly. Why is the NHIAA in such a rush to get these things voted on? In the final week of the regular season and in the few days leading up the the prelims, coaches have enough to worry about. They're trying to get their team ready for the tourney. They shouldn't have to waste time meeting with other coaches or filling out All-State ballots.

Heck, coaches are talking to each other about All-State, and making nominations in January. I know, I am an Assistant Coach at Sanborn. I was a part of these conversations. Coaches were having conversations with each other way back in January about who they were nominating, how many players from their team they were nominating...in January! You have to be kidding me! The coaches SHOULD NOT have to deal with any of that stuff until AFTER the tournament is COMPLETELY over. In January the coaches should be worrying about their team and their team only. How to get them playing better basketball, that's it. Along the way, you notice players on other teams of course. But that shouldn't be your focus. You shouldn't have to think about that stuff until AFTER the tournament is over.

What's the big rush? If the awards are given out 3 or 4 weeks after the championship game, what is the downside there? That the Player of the Year isn't able to accept his award in front of his home crowd before tip-off of one of his team's playoff games? That would only do harm. Because either a) The player is receiving the award after his team has been eliminated from the tourney in which case he probably shouldn't have been the one winning it! Or b) His team is still in it, however receiving the award while his team is still in it will put WAY too much pressure on his teenage shoulders.

Again, what's the big rush? Why not wait til the season is COMPLETELY over. Then start the voting process. A month later you hold a ceremony. Maybe on a Wednesday night for example. Either have a different ceremony for Class L, Class I, etc. or have one ceremony for all four. Present all of the first team, second team and honorable mention All-State awards. Then present the Player of the Year Awards. That way, it's done after the season, no distractions. The voting doesn't start until the tournament's over. The coaches are able to see more teams, more players. The most important part of the season (the tournament) is taken into account for the awards. And the players are all recognized together, and in front of a large crowd.

What's wrong with that, NHIAA?

You will not see me make any POY, All-State or Coach of the Year picks until after the tournaments for those leagues are over. It just doesn't make sense to me. People have posted on here what their picks are, or their predictions for different awards. But not me. Because even though the regular season is just about over in Class L and Class I, there is still A LOT of basketball left to be played.

I will wait until each division's tourney is over. THEN I will give out my awards...and so should the NHIAA.

38 comments:

  1. Jeremy, you kind of made the argument yourself...you mentioned in like the second paragraph that Player A was the best player, and then say Player B. With that thinking, your admitting even though Player A only had one game, he was the best.

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  2. But YOU have already decided on a ALLSTAR SHOWCASE SELECTIONS?

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  3. love the way you think,but nhiaa won't do it because it makes to much sense.

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  4. Hat's off to you Jeremy for voicing what so many of us have been thinking for years!!!!! Let the season play out. Then and only then can a "true" player of the year, and all-state selections be made.

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  5. Jeremy, they select the MVP and CY Young award winners in MLB before the season ends...they just don't announce it until November (after the World Series). All-State is based on your performance for the entire year. Players go on hot streaks all year, at different times, for games at a time. Would you penalize Kyle Rollins or Derick Jenness of Winnisquam for losing in the first round to a red hot Wht Mtns team? after the great regular season they had? or players from Colebrook who didn't advance to Plymouth? I think, for the most part, coaches who care to get it right, ask opinions from another coach who may have seen a certain player more often...

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  6. It is impossible to do it with the finals on the 20th senior all state game on 21st and spring sports starting on 22nd.

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  7. If the award is for PLAYER of the Year... this implies that it is an Individual award. This implies that it could be awarded to a player whose TEAM did not make the tourney. If this is true, then including tourney play in deciding the POY winner makes it a TEAM award and no one that fails to make the tourney will ever win the award.

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  8. If you wait you will forget the great players on bad team. Its about more than the final four. The tourney is about the team not the player.

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  9. When do they anounce the selections?

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  10. So whose your pick? ha,haaa. just kiddin. Great points! One of my fav. hoop quotes is "The Five players on a basketball team work better as a fist than fingers"....

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  11. Mcclung gets no reconition to poy. He leads his team and the league.

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  12. 5:54, in my example above Player A was a SLIGHTLY better play in the REGULAR season. But in the tournament he had a meltdown as a player, crumbled under the pressure of the playoffs. Player B did not just have one good game in the playoffs. I say above how he led his team to the title with 20 points or more in each tourney game. That's FOUR big games, not one. Point is Player A was a SLIGHTLY better player in the regular season. But over the corse of the WHOLE season (regular season + playoffs) Player B had the better season. Player B should get Player of the Year. But in our current system, where the voting happens before the tourney Player A would get it.

    Apples and oranges, 7:49. POY and All-State Awards are NHIAA awards, based solely on the 2009-2010 NHIAA season. The event that I'm having is not an NHIAA event. There's Mass. players as well as NH players coming. I'm picking players for the evnt NOT based on what kind of a season they are having in 2009-2010, but rather what kind of a college prospect they are.

    8:34, YES you do penalize a player who is only good in the regular season but crumbles in the tourney. I explained all of this in the above post. You don't base everything on tournament play, but you do take te tourney into account. You have to.

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  13. When you take into consideration the system McClung is in and that he spends more time on the bench than any other top guy his numbers are even more impressive. If you average 20 a game with Mignaults system of yank you on a mistake and players in like hockey lines imagine what he could do paying 27-30 minutes like others do. Scary
    Doesn't make him POY but puts his numbers more in perspective.

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  14. Player A vs B discussion. Select a tounament MVP?
    POY for regular season and tournament MVP.

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  15. Jeremy, tough statement about how you are picking kids for your all star tournament based on "what kind of college prospects they are" there are a lot of kids who are "college prospects" who you did not invite. These are just the kids in your opinion and like POY you do not get to see all the kids all the time you see them every now and then and some more than others so you are able to get a better read on those kids but there are still a lot of kids you do not get to see... your only one person.

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  16. my selection for POY is Jesse Gould. And I am from Auburn so I am completely unbiased.

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  17. agreed with the above comment. Jesse Gould is the best player in the state.

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  18. 12:00 McClung shouldnt be player of the year as he is not a complete player. He is truely a scorer and a shooter. He doesn't see the court very well when it comes to passing the ball. Forces shots often times when teammates are open. No wonder he leads in scoring! And the number of rebounds he's had this year is prob. close to the number of assists he's had. Great scorer but, POY should have high numbers in all areas.

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  19. 12:00 McClung shouldnt be player of the year as he is not a complete player. He is truely a scorer and a shooter. He doesn't see the court very well when it comes to passing the ball. Forces shots often times when teammates are open. No wonder he leads in scoring! And the number of rebounds he's had this year is prob. close to the number of assists he's had. Great scorer but POY should have high numbers in all areas.

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  20. I think the voting weighs too heavily on scoring. Players like St Lawrence and proulx only average 14 a game but do so much more for their teams. They have possesion of the ball almost as much as the point guards do, they rebound, they cover the other teams best player alot and both don't shoot a ton. These are two kids I would put on my first team but probably won't get 1st team all state because of their scoring average. Other players such as Cannone from Salem, and Knowles from Winnie do alot of the same things as well without filling up the scoring column.

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  21. I would put my son in that group as well. He isnt the biggest scorer but if you count what he does with assist and leadership you can argue he is as important to our team as anyone.
    However I think O'loughlin is the POY for class I. He is our leading scorer,had big rebounding responsibilities and when other teams have a big strong kid who can score we throw Mike O at him. TO me he is class I's POY

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  22. Just to through this out there-
    NH Mr. Basketball award is given out to a senior. There coach must nominate them. If their coach does not nominiate the player they are not considered. It is totally political & picked by a committee of coaches (from all different classses).
    This award generally goes to the player who is good and their coach has the most pull among his peers. But RARELY THE BEST PLAYER!!!!!!!
    C.F. all the way!!!!!!!!

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  23. Yes, Mr. Basketball is givin to a nominated senior...but does go to the BEST PLAYER...know your facts...Hojlo, Petzy, Roche...can you name better senior players in their winning years??? Doubtful...the NHBCO actually came up with an additional award, The Jack Ford Award, to give to the player who displays talent in the community, court and classroom...making the MR Basketball award ALL about the game.

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  24. FYI...the NHIAA has nothing to do with all-state and POY selections/timing...it's the NH coaches association...

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  25. I agree with some of the comments about Mclung. Yes, he scores alot of points, but he gets very few assists, and very few defensive rebounds. Just watch him a game some time. As soon as the opposition shot goes up, he starts releasing to the other end of the court, and his teammates make the long pass to him for layups. But at 6'4, he really should be in helping on the boards. When he gets the ball, he just puts his head down and goes to the basket ignoring open teammates. So if POY, or All-State, is selected on the basis of scoring average, yes, he is a contender. But I think most coaches that watch him realize that he is a one-dimensional player.

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  26. most coaches know the difference between a "scorer" and the best all around player. The POY last year in class M, Sean Martin, wasn't even the highest scorer on his team, and wasn't this year...but i'll bet he gets the award again because the coaches undersstand that in the big games, he takes them over, and rises above everyone else on the court...and when a player does that over and over...he wins POY.

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  27. Mr NH Basketball can go to anyone any grade. You do not have to be a senior. It is an accumulation of 50%basketball skill, 25% Sportsmanship and 25% academics. Laguerre was noimnated last year I believe but grades hurt. Jones from salem won it last year not hojlo. Potential winners this year for underclassman could be Green, Mcclung, Oloughlin, and Spirou

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  28. gotta think by the time all these things come out most of these athletes have moved into their next season. its just not that big of a deal.

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  29. Dear 4:49,
    FIRST YOU MUST GET THE FACTS STRAIGHT!
    Go to the NHBCO website http://www.eteamz.com/nhbco/news/index.cfm?cat=266514
    And you will see that Hojlo was not Mr. Basketball last year. JOSH JONES WAS! Jones is being redshirted at FPU (D2), Your boy Hojlo is out of basketball (no longer at D3 PSU)
    Petzy beat out Styes. Doc never shows up (unless he wins & had Roche), so Styes who is a D2 scholarship player was not even nominated. Petzy who played for the NHBCO's president plays D3. Kirk Grecco is playing at Dartmouth, while it doesn’t give scholarships, it is still D1
    You didn't bother to mention the year before that when Savage beat out Pat Luptowski. People don't even know who his coach was. Savage was a great system guy but not a great player and he has gone on to be a sub-par player at DWC which is a D3 school, while Pat L. is a full scholarship player and starts at St.A's (D2).
    The year before that Roche- No Brainer I AGREE WITH YOU!
    The year before that Bowen beat out Hassan. Bowen had to transfer to SNHU (D2) and was good, but Hassan transfers to Sacred Heart (D1) and is in the top 25 in D1 in scoring IN THE NATION!!!
    If you would like me to continue to go back in time I am OCD and could do this all night.
    So 4 out of the past 5 years Mr. Basketball could be argued did not go to the best player in the state!!!
    IT DEFENITLELY DID NOT GO TO THE PLAYER WHO DID THE BEST AFTER HIGH SCHOOL

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  30. Who picks POY? Jeremy said it was the NHIAA, or is it the NHBCO?
    I know the NHBCO picks the Rotary team that has lost the past two years to VT.

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  31. My bad on forgetting Jones over Hojlo...but remember...POY is based on the best "high school year"...not college prospect or the most successful college player...I recall Heisman winners like Rashan Salaam, Danny Wuerffel, Andre Ware...had great college seasons, but bombed as pros...you are making an arguement not consistant with the selection process. Some kids bloom later (with better coaching) in college...others just make bad decisions in the school they select...thus not succeeding like some may have thought they would. I totally understand your arguement, but remember the criteria used to choose the award winner...best player with the best year...not the player most likely to have a successful college career.

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  32. My understanding is that all state nominations and selections go through NHBCO. Assuming you've paid your annual dues, you can nominate up to 4 players from your own team. For all state selection process you must completely fill in (6) 1st and (6) 2nd team all state selections and you can't select your own players. There are points (5) for 1st team (3) for 2nd team and (1) for honorable mention. I could be mistaken but I believe POY is the player who receives the most points from the coaches.

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  33. I heard this year it changed. It will not be most points for POY. It will actually be the coaches to pick one POY each and top guy gets the nod. Not sure if that will work if everyone votes different.

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  34. That was for class I only I believe

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  35. Then the NHBCO decides the awards and not the NHIAA.

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  36. It is a known fact that All-State and POY awards are not given to the best players. It is a political process within the "good old boys" network wherein coaches get the players selected that they have pre-determined should be selected. Many athletes have been excluded from these honors simply because their coaches don't have the connections within the "good old boys" club.

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  37. 4:00 After reading your post I hope that the coaches are wise enough to pick an all around team player for POY and for the All State Team. Again, to much emphasis is put on the highest scorer of each team. They are, as someone already stated, usually a 1-dimensional player. Lets see someone get the award who is a great rebounder, has a lot of assists, is able to take a charge for his team, and can play defense. Let's be smart and not just look at points.

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