The year 2010 seems like a long time ago, even though it really wasn’t. Or was it?! Our Pac-12 Fridays miniseries on basketball in the Conference of (real NCAA) Champions and its Midwest partners, the B1G, hopefully will remind us. Strangely, the Pac-10 only placed two teams in March Madness—and the Arizona Wildcats were not one of them! For the first time since 1984, the Wildcats were not invited to the NCAA Tournament. Shocker … as the B1G placed only 5 teams itself in the Big Dance. Odd!
2010 Pac-10 PoY: Jerome Randle, G, California (original); Quincy Pondexter, F, Washington (revised)
The California Golden Bears won the regular season title by 1 game over Arizona State and 2 games over Washington, which claimed the postseason tournament title. The Wildcats finished 3 games out in fourth place, as Cal guard Jerome Randle (5.0 WS) won the PoY vote. But two things stand out to us here: The Golden Bears placed three guys in the Top 5 for Win Shares—and Randle wasn’t even the most valuable guy on his own team. That honor went to fellow guard Patrick Christopher (5.2). Weird.
We see Huskies forward Quincy Pondexter (7.2) as the PoY, for multiple reasons: first, he led the conference in value by 1.3 WS over the next-best player, and he also only had one other teammate in the Top 6. Generally, that means he was carrying more of a burden than any of the three Cal players, and his team was still successful enough to win the conference tournament (beating the Golden Bears in the final) and gain an NCAA bid in the process. Pondexter’s our guy here.
2010 B1G PoY: Evan Turner, G, Ohio State (original); Draymond Green, F, Michigan State (revised)
Michigan State, Ohio State, and Purdue tied for the conference title during the regular season, with Wisconsin finishing one game behind this trio. The Buckeyes won the conference tournament, although it was the Spartans that reached the Final Four again, falling two points short of the title game. Ohio State G Evan Turner (6.8 WS) won the PoY vote at the time; however, the Buckeyes had four players in the Top 6, and the Boilermakers had two guys in the Top 5.
Even the Badgers placed two standouts in the Top 10, while Michigan State didn’t have a single player in the Top 10 for value. Odd, for sure, although Spartans F Draymond Green finished 11th in value—and third overall in WS/40. That is good enough for us to give him this award based on load carried and leadership qualities. How did MSU compete with the other three teams and their loaded rosters? Clearly, some very good coaching helped, too, but this is a players’ award, so we’re going with Green (again).