Best of Meh: The 2011-12 Big East All-Disappointment Team

This weekend, following the nail-biting excitement of the Big East Tournament (and apparently some other stuff), we will arrive at Selection Sunday, the epic culmination of the regular season. It is a day that has come to symbolize so many things, like hope, suspense, office gambling and more than anything else…

Disappointment!

Selection Sunday Disappointment (SSD) isn’t limited to the teams whose bubbles get popped. There’s plenty of SSD to go around. We get high seeds that draw tough early-round matchups, teams that have to play “neutral” site games in their opponent’s back yard, and anyone who gets stuck watching a team from the Big Ten.

In honor of this year’s impending dose of SSD, I present to you my own 2011-12 Big East All-Disappointment Team!

» Who would be on your All-Disappointment team?
» Basketball Notebook: Joseph, Jardine, Waiters named to All Big East teams
» More from Mike Chandler: Winter of our discontent: Syracuse players struggling in NBA

In honor of this year’s impending dose of SSD, I present to you my own 2011-12 Big East All-Disappointment Team!

G: Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh

We start at the top. Gibbs was named the Preseason Big East POY after receiving less-than-stellar reviews from NBA scouts. It was assumed that his return would single-handedly keep Pitt among the conference elite. This proved quite wrong. The loss of playmaker Brad Wanamaker and a complete lack of size has proven too much of an obstacle. Not only is Pitt barely over .500, Gibbs is having a season statistically inferior to both of his last two.

G: Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut

Lamb came out last season like a lion (zing!). He was the smooth-shooting, chillaxed yin to Kemba Walker’s hard-driving yang. Without Walker to draw defenses and lead the team in the crunch, UConn wasn’t even able to hold serve with last year’s record in a conference that was notably light at the top this season. Lamb has improved on his raw numbers largely by upping his minutes and attempts, but he’s been unable to establish himself in any sort of leadership role on a team that badly needs it to avoid some serious SSD this weekend.

F: Yancy Gates, Cincinnati

Gates could easily have made this list based solely on his classy performance following the Xavier game. What really clinched it, however, was what happened after: Cincinnati went undefeated during his suspension. It wasn’t exactly facing the heart of the order, but it played well in every game and even took down Pitt on the road (an impressive feat, even this year). The Bearcats’ streak exposed Gates as a black hole in Ohio (he halved his assist percentage from last year), and not even the best one in Ohio.

F: Deniz Kilicli, West Virginia

I don’t really have any stats to back this up. By most accounts, Kilicli is a solid player who has improved each of the last two years, but he is killing me. He looks like Turkish Kimbo Slice, and he plays like it, too. He’ll get a few touches in the post, and he’ll spin, he’ll bull rush, he’ll dominate for about five minutes. And then, like the real Kimbo, he’ll just disappear, and you’ll never see him again. Is it foul trouble? Conditioning? I don’t get it, and it’s been driving me nuts for three years.

C: Andre Drummond, Connecticut

Thought about Rakeem Christmas here. He was Syracuse’s highest-ranked freshman and was supposed to provide instant help on defense. But then I remembered Mr. Drummond. He’s had a pretty good freshman year, and he is still a likely top draft pick, but his arrival was greeted with a serenade of “Repeat!” He then proceeded to remind everyone that athletic high school big men usually don’t learn how to do much but dunk on people who are shorter than them. His half-court offense doesn’t really exist and will continue to not exist until he’s very rich.

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