Postseason awards are a funny and fickle thing in the America East. The culmination of the season, they are often the highlight of the careers of players toiling in small-conference obscurity, many of whom will never experience the bright lights of March Madness.
Sadly, many times, the most deserving players don’t win the awards their play on the court should have earned. Awards are supposed to be based on merit, but the AE coaches and athletic directors often take other factors into account. Some of these factors are born from good intentions – the desire to give graduating seniors, many whom have previously been snubbed, one last piece for their trophy cases, one last “hurrah,” among them. But many elements that factor into the voting, sadly, fly in the face of what college basketball – and the America East – is all about. Grudges against opposing coaches and players, attempts to avenge previous players who were wronged, and trying to make a statement to 18-to-20 year old kids who are too outspoken are among the dozens of petty – not to mention stupid – reasons that have influenced the AE’s behind-closed-doors voting and contributed to countless snubs.
My awards are based solely on merit and merit alone. I don’t care what class someone belongs to – a fifth-year senior who has never won an award competes on equal footing with a first-year freshman. These are not “lifetime achievement” awards. Rather, these awards are simply based on my opinion about who has been the best player – or players – this season. I will update my rankings at the conclusion of the final regular season game of the America East slate for my final picks, but if the season were to end today, here’s how I think the awards should play out: (more…)