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John Collins Deserved All-American Recognition

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The super sophomore was snubbed to an unbelievable extent by the so called “media experts”

NCAA Basketball: Pittsburgh at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

65 members of the national media panel voted on the All-American teams today for NCAA basketball. Not a single one of them mentioned John Collins on any of their ballots.

I would link you to the All-American page but it’s not worthy of getting the clicks from this readership.

This is a perfect example of why these types of national awards should be ridiculed, mocked, and treated like the garbage that they really are.

John Collins of Wake Forest averaged 19.2 PPG and 9.2 RPG in 27 minutes per game. He shot 62% from the field on 375 field goal attempts this season. He finished 3rd in the ACC in points per game, and 2nd in the ACC in RPG.

Forget the 53 other players in the nation that Collins finished behind find me 15 players that put up those numbers night in and night out on any other team in a major conference.

I’ll save you the work—-there aren’t any. John Collins is the only “Power 5” player in the entirety of NCAA Division 1 basketball to average at least 19 points and 9 rebounds per game.

Collins finished the year with the highest Player Efficiency Rating in the country, and the second highest overall since 2009. He had 17 double-doubles while playing in (contrary to what the national writers continue to chirp on about) one of the two hardest conferences in America throughout the course of the regular season (ACC and Big 12).

His 124.8 offensive rating led the nation among players who used more than 28% of their team possessions, and was three points higher than Jock Landale’s of Saint Mary’s.

What makes this even more incredible is that offensive rating isn’t even a schedule adjusted statistic.

Landale put up a 121 in the WCC (playing against 12 Tier A/B teams). Collins put up a 124 in the ACC (playing against 21 Tier A/B teams), and being the sole focus of nearly every single team on the back half of the schedule

I’m sure there are many out there who will use the argument that the media watches these guys more than anybody else does. Sure that’s supported to an extent, as John Collins managed to be the runner-up in the ACC Player of the Year race.

Collins only lost to UNC’s Justin Jackson, which we wrote our thoughts on at the time.

He finished ahead of Luke Kennard, who was named a Second Team All-American on this list.

He finished ahead of Bonzie Colson, who was named a Third Team All-American.

He also finished above Dennis Smith Jr, and Donovan Mitchell in All-ACC voting, yet they both managed at least one vote to secure an Honorable Mention on the All-American list.

If you want to just reward the blue bloods, or the best teams year in and year out, then just come out and say it. Say you don’t care about really good players on bad teams, or in Collins’ case, really good players on an average, to slightly above average teams.

That’s clearly not true though, because Markelle Fultz of Washington was named a Third Team All-American despite playing on team that went 9-22 overall this year.

I’m not insulting Fultz, he deserved the honor, as he averaged 23.2 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 5.9 APG. This just shows the hypocrisy and the ignorance of the voters though.

If you are a household name coming out of high school then you are going to get the benefit of the doubt. Once you have been looked down upon by the ranking system and forgotten by the national media, it’s virtually impossible to get back onto their radar.

Guys who are “destined for stardom” from the beginning get all the attention, even if they fail throughout the year. Meanwhile, guys like John Collins, even while playing on a team in the ACC, which gets ungodly amounts of media attention throughout the year, are pushed to the back row and forced to perform every single night to the best of their ability or they will fall off the radar of the talking heads and the media who votes for these antiquated awards.

A more apt comparison to John Collins is Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ, the 6-10 big man who averaged 13.9 PPG, 9.1 RPG, and 2.8 APG (while shooting 49% from the free throw line) in the Big 10. Somehow this stat line earned Happ a Third-Team nomination, despite being dwarfed by Collins in every single positive statistical category except for blocks.

I’m not making the argument that John Collins should have made any of the primary All-American teams, although I think he’s closer to being a First Team All-American than not getting an Honorable Mention. My primary argument here is that it’s absolutely comical that the media as a whole was able to come up with 53 players not named John Collins who were worthy of even a single Third Team All-American selection.

There is obviously some bias here from Blogger So Dear, a Wake Forest-centric blog, but just look at the damn stats and use your head and anybody can see that this was an egregious decision.

I view these awards as a complete popularity contest among national media writers. These guys have somehow managed to seemingly get worse at their jobs year in and year out, despite the extraordinary amount of resources at their disposal to help paint a complete picture of the entire college basketball landscape.

The problem with missing out on these types of awards is that every single school in the NCAA promotes All-Americans, their college basketball history, and who the team is overall in their recruiting.

By simply choosing the best players off the best teams (or however the hell Fultz got on the list), this helps control the narrative from year to year of why the great teams stay great and the bad teams stay bad.

Does it really impact where he will get drafted this year if he stays in the NBA Draft? Absolutely not, NBA GM’s and scouts don’t give a damn about NCAA awards because they want guys that will help them win.

It does matter to me though because Collins is absolutely worthy of at least an Honorable Mention when discussing the best basketball players in the country this year. To say otherwise is completely asinine, uninformed, and a slap in the face to the hard work and successful year of this young man.