As a voter for the AP all-SEC awards, I plan to vote for Georgia guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as SEC player of the year.
Caldwell-Pope is, in my opinion, the most complete player in the league and a future NBA shooting guard because of his size (6-5, 205 pounds) and scoring ability. He’s second in the SEC in scoring (18 ppg), eighth in rebounding (6.9 rpg) and second in steals (2.1 spg). In other words, he’s this season’s Bradley Beal.
But there are some who believe that the SEC player of the year should be the best player on the best team (like Chandler Parsons was in 2011). Only this season, it’s a fair question to ask who is Florida’s best player.
The reason why the Gators won the SEC this season is that Florida has a collection of very good players but no great ones. Even Florida coach Billy Donovan admitted following the Alabama game that there were no Lottery Picks on his team, no players who could create their own shot. But through unselfish play, four of UF’s five starters are averaging double figures. The fifth, Scottie Wilbekin, is close to double figures at 9.1 points per game and is second in the SEC in assists (5.2).
Here’s arguments for and against Florida’s starters as Team MVP.
– Kenny Boynton. Florida’s most complete player (offense, defense, passing) but an inconsistent shooter who fails to come up big in big moments.
– Scottie Wilbekin. Florida’s best defender and passer. Most steady player at the point with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.5-1. But still limited offensively.
– Mike Rosario. Has led Florida in scoring 13 times this season but at times is erratic. Was benched the final 12 minutes of UF’s comeback home win against Alabama because of his out-of-control play.
– Erik Murphy. Florida’s best shooter (an SEC-high 46.5 percent from 3-point range) and has improved offensively in the post. But rebounding and interior defense remain inconsistent.
– Patric Young. Florida’s best post defender and low-post scorer. But Young is inconsistent with his jump hook and is a poor free-throw shooter. Also, should rebound better for his size.
There’s my breakdown of UF’s five starters. What are your thoughts? Who deserves to be Florida’s MVP this season?