I thought the league did a poor job with the Weekly Awards this week, so I'm going to try to quickly resolve the injustice.
In case you haven't seen yet, here's what the league came up with:
POW: Keith Wright, Harvard– 18 pts (8-11), 15 rbs, 6 blk at Monmouth; 11 pts (4-4), 8 rbs vs. George Washington.
ROW: Shonn Miller, Cornell– 12 pts (5-10), 7 rbs, 3 blk vs. Princeton; 19 pts (8-13), 10 rbs, 4 blk vs. Penn.
Honor Roll: Tyler Bernardini, Penn
12 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists vs. La Salle
16 points, 4 rebounds at Columbia
18 points, 8 rebounds at Cornell
T.J. Bray, Princeton
12 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists at Cornell
12 points, 4 rebounds, 6 steals at Columbia
Sean McGonagill, Brown
30 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists vs. Longwood
23 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists at Yale
Austin Morgan, Yale
18 points, 3 rebounds vs. Brown
David Rufful, Dartmouth
13 points, 5 rebounds vs. Longwood
Reggie Willhite, Yale
12 points, 6 rebounds vs. Brown
First off, how do you leave off Brian Barbour? On Friday, the junior outplayed Zack Rosen for 35 minutes, scoring 25 points on 8-16, dishing out 6 assists and coming within an inch of leading Columbia to a shocking last second comeback against Penn. He followed that up with another 25 point performance (on 7-11) in another tough loss to Princeton. How does Barbour get left off the Honor Roll? In favor of Rufful who put up 13 and 5 against the worst defensive team in the country? C'Mon Man! Am I missing something here?
Reggie Willhite and Austin Morgan came up big down the stretch to help Yale to a season-opening win at home against Brown, but if any team deserved two players on the Honor Roll, it had to be Penn with the road sweep. Also, if Penn was only going to get just one, it had to be Zack Rosen. The highlight of the senior captain's opening conference weekend was draining two Levien-deflating daggers in the final two minutes. He followed that up with a complete game on both ends in a comfortable victory in Ithaca. While Rosen's dominance stretches far beyond the stat sheet, his box score was nothing to scoff at: 8 pts (3-10), 9 ast vs. La Salle; 15 pts (6-13), 5 ast at Columbia; 18 pts (8-15), 5 ast, 5 stl at Cornell.
I feel like the people making these weekly award decisions have a pretty simple job. Watch or listen to the games, talk to people who know the league well, take a look at the box scores, weigh the importance of the game and strength of opponent, and make an informed decision. In past weeks, we've seen a disappointing lack of attention to opponent strength and a few inexplicable omissions. Get it together Ivy League office.
Update (7:00PM, 1/17/12): Turns out one of our wise commenters, Bob Marley, is spot on. A SID from one school confirmed in an e-mail that each school is responsible for nominating a player each week for the awards. It seems that Columbia was late in submitting their nomination for Barbour and Penn decided to go with Bernardini over Rosen. Fine.
But given that basketball is one of the Ivy's few marquee sports, don't you think someone in the League Office would have watched the games or been aware enough to know that Barbour was a lock for the honor roll whether they heard from Columbia or not? Ultimately, the weekly awards don't mean much, but c'mon man, I don't think it's too much to expect that someone at the League Office would look over the weekend's results before picking a POW and going to press with each school's nominee thrown blindly onto the Honor Roll.