Jackson snubbed in Big East awards

Rick Jackson should have been a First Team All Big East selection.

Jackson was the only one in the conference to average a double-double (13.1 ppg, 10.7 rpg) during conference play while leading the league in blocks and field goal percentage. To do that for a top-four team in the Big East has to have some added benefit.

“I guess coaches shouldn’t be voting for things like this,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said Sunday to The Post-Standard. “It doesn’t make sense. You have six guards on one team? He’s been the best big man in the conference all year. If you ask coaches ‘Who’s the most important player on your team?’ They’ll all say the big guy. But Rick’s not first team. It’s crazy.”

Boeheim is absolutely right in his argument.

The Big East coaches voted on the six guys for the first team by picking right down the points per game line and going with the top-six scorers in the league.

That doesn’t seem right, especially when you consider that all of them are guards. I can understand if you want to go “over slot” and take three guards or three forwards because sometimes that’s the way it works out.

But, six guards?  C’mon.

Kemba Walker and Ben Hansbrough are both hands-down first-teamers.

Marshon Brooks scored almost 25 points a game for a team that went 4-14 in Big East play. Dwight Hardy, Ashton Gibbs and even Austin Freeman could easily have been knocked down to the second team in favor of Jackson.

Ricky got hurt by the fact that he was 21st in the league in scoring, 3.3 ppg less than any of the guys who were selected to the first team.

But he led the league in rebounds by 2.4 rpg. He also shot 6 percent better than any other player in the Big East. And, he led the conference in blocked shots.

All of those stats should have led to Jackson being named to the first team.

In the end, it doesn’t really mean anything. But both Jackson and Boeheim have a legitimate gripe.

Matt Dagostino is a Senior Columnist for The Juice Online. He is also a host on the “Young Guns” on Sports Talk 790 The Zone in Atlanta. See more at http://www.790thezone.com/youngguns/

About Matt Dagostino 115 Articles
Matt currently works as an on-air talent and producer for Turner Sports in Atlanta, where he is from. Among his responsibilities are voicing over highlights for NCAA.com, NBA.com, WNBA.com, and PGA.com. He has also served as an associate producer for TNT’s coverage of the NBA Playoffs and TBS’s coverage of the MLB Postseason. Matt also has experience as a minor league baseball play-by-play announcer and as a PA announcer in D-I college athletics. Matt graduated from Syracuse University in 2005.