I know I can’t be the only one that’s noticed that the discussion regarding player of the year has ignored defense or any other aspect besides scoring. It’s like the award has been renamed scorer of the year. And even if it was, Randy Foye deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as JJ Redick and Adam Morrison. But I have had this nagging feeling that Redick is not even the best player on his team. After looking at some things, it does appear close. I’ll let you be the judge. First, the vitals on offense.

          O-Rtg  %Poss   MPG
Redick    122.5   27.9  35.6
Williams  121.1   25.7  32.2

They are essentially equal in efficiency, although Redick uses more possessions which makes his efficiency more impressive. While Redick scores more, Williams doesn’t miss many shots himself and makes up most of the scoring difference with his offensive rebounding.  I added minutes per game because that has importance in this discussion. Redick’s skills get three more minutes per game than does Williams and that can’t be ignored.

So advantage Redick on offense.

While defensive analysis is lot more subjective (and that’s part of the reason why it’s largely ignored), I think nearly everybody with a clue would say that Williams is more important defensively. He is one of the better defenders in the nation when you consider his blocks and his 23% defensive rebounding percentage. And even besides all that, Williams has more steals than does Redick (18 to 13). In fairness to Redick, Duke is 2nd nationally in three-point percentage defense, which he probably has something to do with.

So the question you have to ask yourself is: which is the bigger difference between the two, the defensive gap or the offensive gap? I think there’s a legitimate case that Williams’ advantage in defense is bigger than Redick’s advantage in offense. If it weren’t for the playing time difference, it would be a much easier case to make. But like I said, you be the judge.

Line o’ the Night

                           FG    3pt  FT   Reb
                      Min  M-A   M-A  M-A  O-T   A F S TO BLK Pts
Chris Oliver           29 12-15  1-2  8-8  6-14  0 4 1  1  0   33
Result: Win. Radford 85, Dartmouth 78.