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Posted On: 11/23/18 10:47 AM
You could have made a case for about a dozen Mr. Basketball preseason candidates last year. After that, we would have realistically narrowed it down by cutting half of that list. This year, however, the award is up for grabs.
As we know from our research last year, there’s three components of a résumé that voters gravitate towards: talent, productivity, and, ultimately, team success. The bench marks that have normally been hit is Division I talent, 20 points per game, and a team who threatens to make a playoff run. The more one exceeds those unofficial qualifiers (e.g. high-major Division I prospect, 25-plus points or 20 and 10 rebounds, no. 1 ranked team in the AP Poll) is where the separation occurs.
Considering those standards, along with common sense, we’ve identified candidates from each region of the state. For Cincinnati, we have their three candidates ranked in order.
You might think McBride would be the state’s front-runner considering Moeller’s no. 1 spot in our preseason rankings, his Division I talent (West Virginia signee), and the two-way impact he has on each game. However, there’s significant data that puts his candidacy in doubt. Since 2001, Jared Sullinger is the only Mr. Basketball who finished below 20.0 PPG. Sullinger, though, did put up 19.9 PPG with 14.8 RPG that season. Meanwhile, there’s only been two GCL South players to over that 20-point marker since 2010, none of which were Moeller Crusaders. McBride averaged just 10.9 points in his last active season.
Still, in a relatively wide-open race, McBride would have a strong case if Moeller ends up no. 1 in the AP Poll and he can fill up the stat sheet in other metrics. After losing four starters, too, McBride may take more shots than we’ve come to expect from a Moeller player.
Edmonds’ scoring numbers ballooned last season as he adjusted his playing style on an inexperienced Wyoming team. While he may not attempt over 325 field goals again, it’s still reasonable to expect Edmonds’ statistics to keep him in the race. The challenge, however, will be his status as a Division II recruit and the fact that Wyoming needs to turn it around as a team. We believe it’s likely, but the Cowboys definitely need to end up top ten in the Division II AP Poll at years end.
As we wrote last week, Wise put up gaudy statistics last season but still didn’t lead the team in points, rebounds, assists, or steals because of 2018 graduate Damani Mcentire. Presumably, Wise himself will make up for the loss of Mcentire by being even more productive as a junior. That would mean exceeding his averages of 17.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 3.0 steals. So, all in all, we expect the numbers to be there.
Wise will have to overcome any bias against small schools with Deer Park competing at a Division III level. In fact, he may even need to undermine a bias against Deer Park, an undefeated team who somehow didn’t place anyone above Honorable Mention in Division III. It will help that they have a great chance at being near the top of the polls all season, though.