Washington’s Quincy Pondexter was the runner-up and could just as easily have won the award.
Whether you believe the selection committee got it right with Randle, or should have instead gone with Pondexter, there is always the concrete evidence to support each side.
And that’s what we’re bringing you today.
The following is a statistical comparison between Pondexter and Randle. Pondexter’s figures will be on the left, Randle’s on the right. Each individual played in all 30 of his team’s regular season games this year. Categories where Randle had better figures are marked with an asterisk(*).
Points per game: 20.2 (Pondexter)/18.7 (Randle)
Rebounds per game: 7.8/2.1
*Assists per game: 1.8/4.5
Steals per game: 1.4/0.7
Blocked shots per game: 0.5/0.0
Field-goal percentage: .543/.447
*Three-point percentage: .375/.404
*Free-throw percentage: .833/.927
Those are the major categories, i.e. the basic categories you would find on your typical box score. As you can see, of the eight total statistical categories, Pondexter has better numbers in five of them.
Now for a few minor categories, again with Pondexter’s figures first and categories won by Randle marked with an asterisk (*):
*Minutes per game: 32.2/34.9
*Assist-to-turnover ratio: 0.93/1.26
*Games with 10+ points: 25/27
Games with 20+ points: 17/14
Games with 30+ points: 4/2
Points per game (non-conference): 22.3/19.25
Points per game (conference): 18.8/18.3
Now take a look at that last statistic and ingrain it in your mind. Because if we’re truly giving this award to the Pac-10 Player of the Year, in essence the player who performed best in conference play, then Randle isn’t it.
In fact, I’d wager that there are numerous players out there who scored more points per game in conference play than Randle. And while other statistics can come into play, Randle is taking home this award almost entirely on his ability to score points, because let’s face it, that’s what he does.
Points per game (last 10 games): 20.9/17.9
Points per game (last five games): 19.4/12.8
Percentage of team’s total points (season): 25.1% (606/2,416) / 24.1% (560/2,323)
Team wins (season): 21/21
*Team wins (conference): 11/13
In conference play, Randle’s Bears were two games better than Pondexter’s Huskies. Overall, however, the teams were even.
Furthermore, Pondexter was a full percent more valuable to his team (in terms of points) than Randle was.
And if you look at the “down-the-stretch” numbers (the points per game in the past 10 and five games, respectively), Pondexter is clearly better.
So should Jerome Randle really have won this award? My initial thought was that he was very much deserving of the honor. But after carrying out my own statistical analysis I’m convinced.
Convinced that Quincy Pondexter is the real Pac-10 Player of the Year.