It was no surprise that when the college basketball betting AP All-America team votes were counted, the hottest commodity in the game tallied the most votes. No single player received more recognition down the stretch than BYU Cougars’ star Jimmer Fredette, although there has been criticism about whether or not he deserved all of the attention he got.
There was no doubt that Fredette rose to the occasion for BYU in the absence of suspended forward Brandon Davies through postseason play. His 28.9 points per game was the best mark in the nation, and since the voting was done before the March Madness tournament his accomplishments in helping the Cougars to a Mountain West title must have factored heavily.
[adinserter block=”2″]That said, as a senior Fredette is still unlikely to be a top-five pick in this year’s draft, and there are critics that question his ability to live up to expectations if a team makes him a first round pick. The college hoops’ world may very well have been “jimmered”, but there is a single player that was voted in to the All-America team that has helped his team remain alive in the NCAA national title tournament, and he definitely deserves recognition as one of the top players available in the coming NBA draft.
Kemba Walker of the Connecticut Huskies is in the Final Four, while the remainder of the class has already been eliminated. Duke guard and ACC MVP Nolan Smith average 21.3 points per game and over five assists in leading the Blue Devils to another conference title, while Jared Sullinger led the Ohio State Buckeyes to a Big Ten title and the top overall seed in this year’s Madness. Meanwhile, JaJuan Johnson was the key to the Purdue Boilermakers’ hopes this season, even if the team disappointed in postseason play. Including Fredette, all four men did their best but failed to get their teams to the Final Four, which makes it a lot easier to project which player it is that deserves recognition as the top talent available for the 2011 sports betting bonus draft.
[adinserter block=”1″]Walker represents Connecticut’s first AP All-American since Emeka Okafor in 2004, and the fact that he played for the best team from the best conference in college ball is even more important to consider. The Huskies came alive under Walker to prevail in the Big East title tournament, and if they can go all the way in the national title tournament then that would be another major addition to his pay per head resume.
Head coach Jim Calhoun said that he felt Walker was more important to his team than any other player in college ball, and it went beyond the stats that he put up. The senior forward scored 23.5 points per game with 5.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists, but more importantly has led one of the youngest teams in the country. All five young men that were voted to the AP All-American team deserved to be there, but none has brighter prospects for the future than Walker, who is the only player who has kept his team alive in the national title tournament.