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Angelo Roncalli
12-26-2012, 08:25 AM
according to Ken Pomeroy in an ESPN Insider column:


The first guy off the bench gets a lot of recognition. Some conferences have even started to recognize a "sixth man of the year" at the end of the season. Although the award is designed to highlight someone who deserves more recognition because he doesn't start, being the sixth man is becoming trendy.

In fact, the best sixth men in the sport have nothing to complain about, either in terms of recognition or playing time. Last season's winners of the award from the Big East, Big 12, and Big Ten each received more minutes than at least two starters. And you can bet that each of Syracuse's Dion Waiters, Missouri's Michael Dixon and Purdue's D.J. Byrd was on the floor during crunch time of big games.

The way I see it, in today's college basketball the seventh man is the new sixth man. There is no recognition for the guys who are second off the bench; they don't get starter's minutes and they rarely see action with a game on the line. Their plight is additionally frustrating because they're on the bench for one of two reasons: there's a bottleneck at their position preventing them from getting on the floor, or their coach doesn't recognize their abilities. Thus they are unlikely to gain Dion Waiters-type fame at any point during the season.

It's time for that to change. I've scoured the rosters across Division I and identified five guys who would be contenders for a mythical seventh-man award. The rules for qualification are simple: the player can't be in the top six on his team in minutes and can't be a regular starter. These are true bench players -- guys who see significant playing time only when something unusual takes a starter out of action. Which players among this group are the most valuable in the country?

Let's take a look.


1. Przemek Karnowski, Gonzaga Bulldogs. If frontcourt depth is your thing, then Gonzaga is your team. Between Kelly Olynyk, Elias Harris and Sam Dower, front-line minutes are mostly accounted for in Mark Few's rotation. Karnowski makes great use of whatever minutes are left, which has amounted to 15 per game thus far.

He has made 67 percent of his 2-point attempts thus far, has taken nice care of the ball and draws fouls in bunches. Part of his foul-drawing talents may be due to his woeful efforts when he gets to the line -- he has made just 39 percent of his attempts thus far. However, if the Zags find themselves in a situation in which Karnowski needs to play more minutes (Olynyk foul trouble, for example), they'll be in capable hands.

http://insider.espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/8777340/ncb-ken-pomeroy-picks-college-basketball-best-true-bench-players

DixieZag
12-26-2012, 08:32 AM
Agree completely.

And, though the article focuses on his offensive capabilities, I think that his defense has been very solid - it sure seems like his presence makes opponents change their shots when they come into the lane. He is seldom out of position.

Thanks for the posting - good article.

hooter73
12-26-2012, 09:21 AM
when I read the title, I immediately thought it was going to be about Hart. Maybe even within our own fan circles we look past a great great asset waiting his turn.

dnj116
12-26-2012, 09:26 AM
Thanks for posting, Angelo. We certainly are fortunate with our depth. I'm really enjoying the season, because I'm sure we will all look back on this season in the future with envy when we don't have nearly the front-court depth we're blessed with right now.

combatcorpsmangulaw
12-26-2012, 10:09 AM
I used to really enjoy watching Pendo's grit and wrongfully thought he as a complete anomaly until Mike Hart came along. His efforts on the court are wonderful to watch and have to be an inspiration to every other team player on the court. Hart's nose for the ball is incredible. Hart's fearlessness when going for a rebound is unsurpassed, especially for a 6'6" player mixing it up w/ 6'8" and taller under the Board.

I'm not taking anything away from Karnowski -- he's a phenom as a 7'1" freshman. But, Mike Hart is truly amazing as a player imo.

BobZag
12-26-2012, 10:21 AM
I used to really enjoy watching Pendo's grit and wrongfully thought he as a complete anomaly until Mike Hart came along. His efforts on the court are wonderful to watch and have to be an inspiration to every other team player on the court. Hart's nose for the ball is incredible. Hart's fearlessness when going for a rebound is unsurpassed, especially for a 6'6" player mixing it up w/ 6'8" and taller under the Board.

I'm not taking anything away from Karnowski -- he's a phenom as a 7'1" freshman. But, Mike Hart is truly amazing as a player imo.

+1

When I saw the thread title I thought Hart.

willandi
12-26-2012, 11:49 AM
Rem and his threetar!

MDABE80
12-26-2012, 12:07 PM
Hart just devastates the other team when he's put in. Can't say enough about him.
As with BZ, I thought it would be Mike they referenced.

ID ZAGFAN
12-26-2012, 12:18 PM
He's talking about the best 7th men on MBB teams--he probably considers Hart the 6th man for the Zags.

ZaGranny

MickMick
12-26-2012, 01:47 PM
I don't consider Hart a 6th man. I consider him a critical cog that will play at crunch time against the best foes.


Waldow is going to have his hands full with Karnowski. Can't wait to watch it.

ID ZAGFAN
12-26-2012, 01:55 PM
I don't consider Hart a 6th man. I consider him a critical cog that will play at crunch time against the best foes.


Waldow is going to have his hands full with Karnowski. Can't wait to watch it.

That's a kind of a distillation of KenPom's definition of a 6th man.

"The first guy off the bench gets a lot of recognition. Some conferences have even started to recognize a "sixth man of the year" at the end of the season. Although the award is designed to highlight someone who deserves more recognition because he doesn't start, being the sixth man is becoming trendy.

In fact, the best sixth men in the sport have nothing to complain about, either in terms of recognition or playing time. Last season's winners of the award from the Big East, Big 12, and Big Ten each received more minutes than at least two starters. And you can bet that each of Syracuse's Dion Waiters, Missouri's Michael Dixon and Purdue's D.J. Byrd was on the floor during crunch time of big games."

ZaGranny

ZagNative
12-26-2012, 03:04 PM
While we're on the subject of Karnowski, I came across this Polish-language story about his experience to date at Gonzaga (google translation (http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=pl&u=http://www.pomorska.pl/apps/pbcs.dll/article%3FAID%3D/20121226/SPORT03/121229671&prev=/search%3Fq%3D%2522Przemek%2BKarnowski%2522%2BOR%2B %2522Przemyslaw%2BKarnowski%2522%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D %26client%3Dfirefox-a%26sa%3DN%26tbo%3Dd%26rlz%3D1R1GGLL_en___US409%26 biw%3D1358%26bih%3D560%26tbs%3Dqdr:d&sa=X&ei=93XbULKkBajfiAKO4YDoDQ&ved=0CDkQ7gEwAA)).

Most interesting to me: He has the second-highest GPA on the team, 3.46. Congrats to PK!

OZZY
12-26-2012, 03:49 PM
While we're on the subject of Karnowski, I came across this Polish-language story about his experience to date at Gonzaga (google translation (http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=pl&u=http://www.pomorska.pl/apps/pbcs.dll/article%3FAID%3D/20121226/SPORT03/121229671&prev=/search%3Fq%3D%2522Przemek%2BKarnowski%2522%2BOR%2B %2522Przemyslaw%2BKarnowski%2522%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D %26client%3Dfirefox-a%26sa%3DN%26tbo%3Dd%26rlz%3D1R1GGLL_en___US409%26 biw%3D1358%26bih%3D560%26tbs%3Dqdr:d&sa=X&ei=93XbULKkBajfiAKO4YDoDQ&ved=0CDkQ7gEwAA)).

Most interesting to me: He has the second-highest GPA on the team, 3.46. Congrats to PK!

A very postive article, I have a hunch that this and Elias' experience as a Zag will continue on the European pipeline for the Zags. Tommy Lloyd could have no two better examples of how the team has nurtured their players along. Love the line (obviously Google's take on his Polish). "we have 2.5-hour training sessions, where there is no forgiveness"

NotoriousZ
12-26-2012, 04:41 PM
He's talking about the best 7th men on MBB teams--he probably considers Hart the 6th man for the Zags.

ZaGranny

At 13.0 minutes per game, Hart is tenth for the Zags. I would love to see Hart's +/- stats. Kenpom probably did a quick look at points, rebounds and assists.

I also thought of Hart when I saw the title, but Shem's gonna do some major damage near the end of the season.

VaBeachZAG
12-26-2012, 05:13 PM
A point of interest to me in the article was PK's comment about wanting to improve through the remaining games this season AND next season. This certainly demonstrates a mind set by PK that he will be back next year. That comment, plus the lofty GPA, suggests that PK can recognize what is best for him and will not be easily lured into prematurely chasing a quick buck in pro ball.

Martin Centre Mad Man
12-26-2012, 05:27 PM
Waldow is going to have his hands full with Karnowski. Can't wait to watch it.

I can't wait for that match up. Waldow will be exhausted from trying to run with Harris and K.O. before Karnowski even sets foot on the floor. I foresee a lot of foul trouble for St. Mary's against our bigs.

maynard g krebs
12-26-2012, 05:33 PM
At 13.0 minutes per game, Hart is tenth for the Zags. I would love to see Hart's +/- stats. Kenpom probably did a quick look at points, rebounds and assists.



On statsheet.com, Hart leads the nation by a wide margin in 2 of their categories, offensive rating and floor percentage. In the former, his rating is 182, and the second player is at 150. In the latter, Hart is at 87 and the #2 player is at 74. I couldn't find a detailed explanation of what goes into calculating either category, but he's shooting a very high % in addition to his rebounds, steals, and assists all being pretty good on a per-minute basis for his position.

I wouldn't consider him a 6th man, though. The 6th man role is traditionally that of instant offense; the guy who comes in and changes the flow of the game. IMO the role is defined by 2 players, initially Havlicek for the Celtics, and then taken on by Billy Cunningham with the 76ers. Both hall of famers who scored in the 20's coming off the bench. I can't think of anyone who has come close to those 2 as bench players in the last30-40 years.

Ekrub
12-26-2012, 06:34 PM
Hasn't Hart started some games this year?

SteelZag
12-26-2012, 07:49 PM
I can't wait for that match up. Waldow will be exhausted from trying to run with Harris and K.O. before Karnowski even sets foot on the floor. I foresee a lot of foul trouble for St. Mary's against our bigs.

That's exactly the way I feel our offense should run. Wear down the defense and then pound it inside. I can't think of many teams' subs that can compete with whichever two bigs come in. Find two bigs that are working well together, sub in the other two. Rinse. Repeat.

ZagaZags
12-26-2012, 10:26 PM
[QUOTE=Ekrub;845838]Hasn't Hart started some games this year?[/Q
Hart has 1 start this year. I hope to see much more from Hart this season.