April 21, 2011

Who is the real NorCal MVP?

Kevin McCarthy
 

Choosing a most valuable player is more often than not an attempt to define the undefinable because there is no agreed upon criteria or checklist. So offering and/or defending selections typically bounces erratically from this point to that, a la the metal spheroid in a pinball machine. But having typed the above, the unimpeachable answer to who was the MVP of northern California high school hoops in 2010-2011 is...

photo of Aaron Gordon
Aaron Gordon (Archbishop Mitty)

But first, just what are at least some of the factors that should be considered? The descriptions below touch down at both ends of the spectrum but reality is often somewhere in between. With such in mind, here are my ingredients:

Here are my nominations, which will spark an entirely separate round of inclusionary/exclusionary disagreements:

Juan Anderson
Castro Valley High, records: 30-2/15-0, talented teammates: Roderick Bobbitt, Chris Read

Last few games of the season: beat Franklin 68-63 on March 10, beat Oakland 63-60 on March 12, lost to De La Salle 49-43 on March 19

Roderick Bobbitt
Castro Valley High, records: 30-2/15-0, talented teammates: Juan Anderson, Chris Read

Last few games of the season: beat Franklin 68-63 on March 10, beat Oakland 63-60 on March 12, lost to De La Salle 49-43 on March 19

Jabari Brown
Oakland High, records:19-9/7-3, talented teammates:TJ Taylor, Dom Taplin, Jalen Headspeth but minus 6-foot-7 Marcelus Clay (ineligible)

Last few games: beat McClymonds 59-56 on March 5, beat Jesuit High 73-57 on March 10, lost to Castro Valley High 63-60 on March 12

Aaron Gordon
Archbishop Mitty, records: 32-2/13-1, talented teammates: Colin Wan, Kyle Toth, Neil Vranicar, Brandon White

Last few games of the season: beat Las Lomas on 73-61 March 12, beat Woodcreek 67-44 on March 19, beat Summit 53-50 on March 25

Darius Nelson
Sheldon High, records:24-8/10-0, talented teammates: D'erryl Williams, Kyiron Thomas, Dakarai Allen, Ramone Eaton

Last few games of the season: beat Jesuit 84-69 on March 5, beat Santa Teresa 73-57 on March 10, lost to De La Salle 47-45 on March 12

Josiah Turner
Sacramento High, records: 27-6/12-2 (lost Turner on or about January 12), talented teammates: Robert Garrett, Erik Kenny, Darius Graham, Aaron Cameron, De'Von Boyd)

Last few games of the season: beat Center 53-48 on March 4, beat Foothill 66-62 on March 10, lost to El Cerrito 63-51 on March 12

Anderson and Bobbitt, Bobbitt and Anderson -- Do they cancel each other out? Not necessarily but the season-ending loss to De La Salle, albeit up in Concord, is a big minus for the pair. Falling to a squad bereft of any D-I players when your team possesses two top college talents and a strong third possibility, makes winning a most valuable player award a Sisyphus-like endeavor.

Like Anderson and Bobbitt, Brown is an obvious big time talent but a 19-9 overall record with three guys moving on to D-I and a fourth also landing a college scholarship is enough to knock him out of contention. Not having 6-foot-7 Marcelus Clay available was a big blow because he was someone who could have brought the height and size the Wildcats missed inside all season.

Nelson had strong numbers and his squad was breezing through the playoffs until eliminated upon hitting the De La Salle buzzsaw. That loss, however close, is just too big of an MVP obstacle to overcome. Some of the talent is still young but the Huskies possessed two guys moving on to D-I and with others expected to follow suit in the next couple of years and yet fell to DLS.

Turner not finishing out the season as a Sacramento High Dragon actually is enough to exclude him from consideration.

Yes, that leaves Mitty sophomore Aaron Gordon and his set apart component: winning a state championship game in which he put up 17 points and 21 rebounds. Sure, he is surrounded by talent but they are teammates with role-playing skills sets and not at the D-I college level. It was a three-point, early season road loss to Jesuit and a mid-January seven-point defeat at the hands of host St. Ignatius that kept the Monarchs from an undefeated season, one in which Gordon averaged a double-double. Collectively, this is why he is the most valuable player in northern California high school basketball in 2010-2011.