The difference between seeing a player twice a year and throughout the season was reflected today when the All-KCAC Women’s Basketball Team was announced.
McPherson College’s Bailey Brown was relegated to the third team in a vote of coaches and Sunny Smart was shockingly nowhere to be found.
When I posted my selections for the All-KCAC team earlier this week, I put Brown on the first team. While some might see it as being biased, I really believed Brown had the credentials and anyone who watched her on a regular basis thought of her as a player who put it all on the line every game.
But in the end, I believe the coaches couldn’t get past the Bulldogs’ 4-26 record for a first-team player. And when coaches see a player just twice, one of those games might be an off game and the player might not stick in a coach’s mind.
You had to watch Brown game in and game out to appreciate her ability. She finished second in the KCAC in scoring, seventh in free-throw shooting percentage, seventh in double-doubles and a remarkable 10th in rebounding, remarkable when you consider she’s only 5-4 and slight of frame. She shot and made more free throws than any player in the KCAC by a wide margin.
She logged more than 1,000 minutes in 30 games, often going 35 or 36 minutes a game. She also joined the 1,000-point club with a season to go despite the fact opposing defenses designed their schemes primarily to stop her. I really hope she has more help around her next year, because I’d like to see her go out with a winning season.
The five players who made the first team were excellent and I congratulate them on their honors. I had Tabor’s Tonisha Dean, Friends’ Kayla Mollere and Bethel’s April Harpe on my first team. The other two actual first-team picks, Mikayla Skidmore of Ottawa and Jordan Hobbs of Southwestern, were on my second team, with Brown and Ashley Romig of Ottawa replacing them.
I thought the Bulldogs also got ripped by Smart not making at least the honorable mention team. She averaged 13.3 points (9th in the KCAC) and hustled her way to 7.0 rebounds (6th), while being the best 3-point shooter with 82 (15 more than the second-most player). Again, I think the Bulldogs’ record worked against her as I could have seen her ahead of at least two players 0n the honorable mention list.
I did agree with the selection of Mac’s Alicia Demaret to the All-Freshman Team. She averaged 6.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and was among the leaders in blocked shots, including a Mac single-game record with 10. She had 48 for the year.
Those three players give the Bulldogs a good foundation for next year. Coach Gordon Reimer did not have a single senior on his team and already is hitting the recruiting trail. The Bulldogs have to get bigger and more athletic. They need a true point guard who can keep turnovers at a minimum as that was the team’s Achilles Heel this season. I also believe they need about two or three junior college players who can provide instate stability and experience.