College Basketball Handicapping: My Worst Players in the Nation List
by Robert Ferringo - 3/7/2014
This week I filled out my ballot for selecting college basketball All-Americans as well as offered my vote for National Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Coach of the Year. It's difficult every year, but I feel pretty confident with my selections.
Obviously, I went with Doug McDermott for POTY and Jabari Parker as FOTY. They should both win in a landslide. I went with Larry Brown as my coach of the year for the incredible job he's done with SMU.
You can vote for up to 10 All-Americans, but I only went with six: Shabazz Napier, Doug McDermott, Jabari Parker, Marcus Smart, Nick Johnson and Russ Smith. I feel like these are the best six college players in the country, talented, successful and reliable, and they are a collection of straight money players.
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But for every black there is a white, for every yin a yang. And for every big-money player, there is some absolute loser that has singlehandedly cost bettors with their stupidity or incompetence.
Below I have a list of the most maddening players in the country. These guys aren't pathetic players. Some of my most hated college basketball players in the country are guys that start on Top 10 or Top 20 teams. And I felt they needed to be recognized for their consistently inconsistent efforts and general incompetence.
These are the guys that I have watched do one absurd thing after another, one game after another, for the whole of the season (and for more of their careers).Turnovers? Absolutely. Ill-advised shots? As many as possible.Terrible game management and stunning failures in late-game situations creating a trail of shattered dreams and broken promises of potential? You better believe it.
With this group of players, I try to avoid betting on their teams in otherwise exceptional situations simply because I am worried that these guys will screw it up. Their idiocy knows no bounds, and for every good thing that they provide their team with you can bank on at least two other moments of jaw-dropping awfulness.
They are losers.
Here is my Anti-American All-Loser Team:
ANTI-AMERICAN ALL-LOSER FIRST TEAM:
Matt Carlino, PG, BYU
Despite what you may think, Carlino didn't make the list because he is a wacky Mormon. He made the list because I don't know if the phrase "keeps both teams in the game" has ever more accurately described a player. Carlino is a whirlwind of disaster. He plays in the same backcourt as Tyler Haws, one of the best scorers in the country. But Carlino figures, "Why pass it to a 23-point-per-game scorer coming off a curl when I can just pull up off the dribble for this 24-foot 3-pointer?" That type of reckless rationale can be tough to argue with. BYU's season started to take off once Dave Rose finally came to his senses and started bringing Carlino off the bench. But Carlino is still a player that makes you terrified to bet on or against the Cougars.
Trevor Cooney, SG, Syracuse
I commented last year that Cooney was a MAC-level player masquerading as a Syracuse guard. My friends - fellow Syracuse fans, all - mocked me. But I'd say I have the redshirt sophomore pegged. He looks like he is going to fall over every time he tries to dribble the ball for an extended period. And the term "shooter" applied to his game is used loosely. I admit he was brilliant against Notre Dame (33 points and nine 3's). But if you kick out that game, Cooney has gone 53-for-161 from the field and 31-for-128 from 3-point land since Jan. 1. That's 24 percent from deep over those 16 games after shooting just 26.7 percent from deep as a freshman. And he's a "shooter"? If you're looking for a reason the Syracuse offense is pathetic, you should start with this joker.
David Kravish, PF, California
I don't think that there is a worse big man in the country. Kravish is listed at 6-9 and 221 pounds. But he plays like he's about 6-1, 145. He is a major reason that California is a feeble rebounding team that has played its way out of the NCAA Tournament field over the past two weeks. Kravish looked like a middle schooler playing against Arizona and Arizona State last weekend and was a huge reason Utah snagged 13 offensive rebounds in a crucial game on Wednesday. Oh, and let's not forget his jumper, which he shoots without hesitation and which always looks like it is going to come up two feet short of the hoop. Lift a weight, dude.
Travis Trice, PG, Michigan State
His size and talent level are a lot closer to that of a guard in the Southern Conference. And he actually seems to play smaller and worse than you would expect. The junior point guard has served as a part-time starter the last two years and answered the bell by scoring 4.8 points as a sophomore and 6.9 points this season as a junior. He was charged with taking over the team when Keith Appling went down through most of February. How did he respond? Michigan State went 3-4 with home losses to Nebraska and Illinois. One of the highlights of my season was watching Iowa's Zach McCabe toss Trice like a ragdoll in Lansing on Thursday.
Isaiah Austin, C, Baylor
Hey, remember all those ass-clowns that talked about Austin as a one-and-done player? How about those guys predicting him as a lottery pick before he even suited up for the Bears? Austin is 7-1 and averages all of 5.6 rebounds a game.Most of his boards are by accident, and he is still averaging less than 6-1 Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier averages (5.9 RPG). Austin doesn't let his 29.8 percent 3-point shooting dissuade him from jacking it up from deep. That is always comical to see. But watching him s-l-o-w-l-y wind up for one of those threes when the Bears are leading by four with 4:20 to play and there's still 18 seconds left on the shot clock is just sad. Austin's going to look great in a Pistons jersey someday.
ANTI-AMERICAN ALL-LOSER SECOND TEAM
DeAngelo Harrison, G, St. John's
What a gunner. You can just feel the seething from his teammates every time Harrison jacks up another wild, out-of-control shot. He is one of the few players in the country where there is a realistic chance he could be kicked off the team in the middle of the game.
Matt Gesell, PG, Iowa
Gesell is the reason that Iowa is one of the sketchiest, most underachieving teams in the country right now. He has singlehandedly lost games for the Hawkeyes - *cough* Iowa State *cough* - because he is such a terrible free throw shooter (67 percent). Yet the Hawkeyes continue to set up out of bounds plays to get him the ball in late-game, need-free-throws-to-ice-it situations. Gesell is small and weak and can't guard the opposing point guard even when the opposing point guard has a Northwestern jersey on. I am convinced that if Aaron Craft replaced Gesell then the Hawkeyes would be 30-1.
Lenzelle Smith, SF, Ohio State
I went back and forth on adding either Smith or teammate LaQuinton Ross. But since Smith is a senior and his numbers are worse across the board, I gave him the nod. Buckeye fans have been waiting for Smith's play to match his hype for the past three seasons. And he never ceases to disappoint. The team's second-leading scorer has been held to 10 points or less in 13 of 31 games this year and five points or less five times. Again: he's the team's No. 2 scoring option, and he's scored five or less three times in the last month alone! Bravo, good sir.
David Stockton, PG, Gonzaga
In a way I feel bad for the guy. It can't be easy to be the son of an NBA legend. But you know how sometimes in pickup games down at the Y there is always that one 14-year-old girl that wants to play, even though she isn't big enough or strong enough to mix it up with the guys? And no one wants to be a dick and tell her that she can't play so every few games some group of guys has to suffer through everyone going half-speed and trying to take it easy on her, but not easy enough where her team can win and have to stay on the court for another run? Stockton is like that 14-year-old girl.
Travis and David Wear, C, UCLA
It is like they are fighting over which one gets to be Ozzie Conseco. Has any pair of brothers ever done less with more? They are both seven-feet tall. They can both step outside and shoot effectively. They can pass and handle the ball. They, really, have all of the tools that you could ever hope for in a college big man. They should be combining to average nearly 30 points and 20 rebounds per night. Instead, they are offering up 13.7 points and 7.2 rebounds. To put it another way, take 14-feet, 460 pounds of Wear and it still doesn't equal the output of the next guy on our list.
ANTI-AMERICAN ALL-LOSER HONORABLE MENTION
Mike Moser, F, Oregon
Moser has actually been pretty good this year, averaging 13.8 points and 8.1 rebounds. But I feel like I need to reward him with a careerunderachievement award. This is Moser's third school in four years after previously failing at UCLA and UNLV. And I have to chuckle every time I hear an announcer talk about the "veteran leadership he brought to Oregon this year". Right. Instead of pick-and-pop he can show the rest of the Ducks how to fail-and-bail.
Everyone, Kentucky Wildcats
Remember when people were talking about this as one of the A) best recruiting classes of all-time and B) one of the best teams in college basketball?Hysterical. Don't ever change, crazy Kentucky fans. Don't ever change.
ANTI-AMERICAN ALL-LOSER COACHES
Craig Robinson, Oregon State and Johnny Dawkins, Stanford
Want some easy money? Find someone that will give you odds that either one of these coaches is back next year - and bet against them. They'll be nice assistant coaching hires back East for next season.
Robert Ferringo keeps proving himself to be one of the best college basketball handicappers in the nation. Robert has posted 11 of 15 winning college hoops weeks and 17 of 20 winning college hoops months. He has banked over $10,000 in profit with his side plays this year and $17,300 in profit since Nov. 11, 2012. Robert is a profit machine and you can take advantage of our free, no-strings-attached $60 credit to use toward a purchase of Robert's college basketball selections. CLICK HERE for $60 absolutely free!
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