When Traci Carter picked Marquette over Xavier and UConn I was thrilled - but also scared of him being thrown in the gauntlet against Big East Point Guards. Not only is Kris Dunn National Player of the Year in my calculation of experts posted today (click here), but Marquette's starting point guard will play 12 games against a point guard ranked in the top 300 at www.valueaddbasketball.com - more than any other conference (see table below).
By the way, my first flight up will be for the Iowa game - and I am having a get-together in Mader's private room from 5-7 p.m. before the game for the www.takeback.org non-profit that I run, but please call 334.329.7258 and leave your name if you are going to stop by so we can order appropriate food.
One thing I noted in the All-American piece was that the seniors making the list averaged rating outside of the top 1000 as freshman - so Traci was higher than all of them.
The only other conference with six point guards in the top 300 is the ACC, and that is six out of 15 teams. An ACC point guard would therefore go up against no more than 10 point guards in the top 300 in a season even if all four of their home-and-home games were against these elite point guards. After the ACC and Big East, no conference has more than four point guards in the top 300.
|Rnk||Big East Point Guards||Team||Ht||Yr||Value Add||NBA|
|5||Smith-Rivera, D'Vauntes 4||Georgetown||6'3||4 Sr||9.68||10%|
|6||Dunn, Kris 3||Providence||6'3||3 Jr||9.60||84%|
|75||Jones, Roosevelt 21||Butler||6'4||4 Sr||6.97||0%|
|133||Arcidiacono, Ryan 15||Villanova||6'3||4 Sr||5.91||6%|
|192||Wilson, Duane 1 - move to PG?||Marquette||6'2||2 So||3.69||5%|
|231||Watson, Maurice||Creighton||5'10||3 Jr||4.93||-0.21|
|298||Whitehead, Isaiah 15||Seton Hall||6'4||2 So||4.50||0%|
|299||Garrett, Billy 5||DePaul||6'6||3 Jr||4.48||0%|
|993||Carter, Traci||Marquette||6'0||1 Fr||2.10||0%|
|1002||LoVett, Marcus||St. John's||6'0||1 Fr||2.09||0%|
|1284||Austin, Larry 0||Xavier||6'2||2 So||1.64||0%|
|1949||Stewart, Marlon||Creighton||6'1||1 Fr||1.00||0%|
Granted, I am not sure if Isaiah Whitehead is ultimately the point guard at Seton Hall - which will be playing someone out of position there. But Mo Watson already rated very high at Boston University before his transfer year to Creighton, and while you can argue the order of the rest, it is a gauntlet.
I did not agree with the co-MVP for Ryan Arcidiacono, but most would rate him higher than my 133rd (still top 3% of all players), and many also believe Billy Garrett should be rated even higher. Obviously Roosevelt Jones is a different kind of point guard, but he would outweigh Carter by 50 pounds. I have D'Vauntes Smith Rivera ranked higher than most, but the guy can play.
So while I would love to have the option of Duane Wilson ending up having 30-point games at point guard, I would assume he ends up taking the load at point guard against this elite level of play. I believe Carter will be awesome, but he is a freshman and let's protect him a little!