The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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The ReddZone raves about Roy, America’s team

 The ReddZone raves about Roy, Americas team
The ReddZone raves about Roy, America’s team

The ReddZone raves about Roy, America’s team

If a tree falls in the woods, and no one hears it, does it really make a sound? The question detailing the need for someone actually being present for an event also details the unbelievable season Brandon Roy has had in the shadows for the Washington Huskies.

Despite being ranked for nearly the entire season, Roy has managed to fly completely under the radar for mention on the National All-American team. The sure-fire pick for Pac-10 player of the year leads his team with 20 points, 4.1 assists, 1.4 steals and one block per game. For kicks, he also is second on the team in rebounds with 5.5, and field goal, free throw and three-point shooting percentage.

Stats don’t tell the whole story with Roy. Roy flirted with entering the draft after his junior season as he watched four seniors leave a Washington squad that reached the sweet 16 after winning the Pac-10 regular season and conference tournament titles.

Roy felt his legacy should be left with what was the most successful squad in school history, but the NBA folks told Roy to work on his three-point shooting, leadership skills and consistent aggressiveness.

Roy took those words to heart, as on any given night he guards the opponent’s best player, flirts with a triple double and gets in teammates’ faces to improve their effort. The biggest thing Roy has developed is a killer instinct, be it the two shots he hit to send a game against Arizona to both single and double overtimes or the cold-blooded threes he hits to stop opponent rallies.

Roy is the poster child for the lack of flash and publicity that hurts a player’s chase for post-season hardware. Hailing from the northwest, which makes the whole tree in the forest thing even more apt, seems to keep Roy from being mentioned much for the first team All-American team.

Roy is the nation’s best all-around player, so he gets my vote on the team to go along with the obvious choices of Redick and Morrison. Sheldon Williams should be just as much of a no-brainer with the effect he has on offense and defense for the Blue Devils. Hard to say that there isn’t a single Connecticut Husky on the first team, but with seven NBA prospects, there is just too much sharing going on. Hilton Armstrong has been the most consistent Husky but hasn’t done enough scoring to go along with his tremendous defense to make the first team.

My final selection comes down to Rodney Carney of Memphis and the dynamo from Villanova, Randy Foye. Everyone knows I love Carney, and I’m not quite sure he won’t be the best pro of this group with his ability to defend three positions, his 41 percent three-point shooting and his unbelievable play in transition.

This isn’t a best pro team though, because obviously Rudy Gay would be on it, so I’m taking Foye. All Foye has done is average 20.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.4 steals for a top five team in the nation.

Foye also routinely guards power forwards when the Wildcats go to their four-guard lineup and led Villanova to a rebounding edge against Connecticut’s star-studded front-line in Villanova’s upset of then No. 1 Connecticut. This toughness gets Foye the edge over the sometimes enigmatic Carney for the final spot on this All-America squad.

Speaking of All-American squads (well, that was a really corny segue), the USA basketball team named the 22 names that will represent the pool of U.S. players for the World Championships this summer and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

After the debacle of the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Jerry Colangelo was given autonomous control to name his coach and players. He selected Coach K from Duke (and if you think I didn’t want to look up how to spell his last name, you would be right) and a roster that would be a team, not a bunch of individuals.

Let’s start with what Colangelo did right, which starts with the selection of Michael Redd. The joke in Athens was that Redd needed to play more, the humor being that he wasn’t even on the roster despite begging to play.

In the international game, teams have to shoot the deep ball, and with Redd, Paul Pierce, Dwayne Wade, Joe Johnson and Kobe Bryant, the team has plenty of outside shooters. Two, Colangelo selected big men whose game is tailored for the international rules. With zone’s and the larger paint, big men must be able to hit the perimeter shot, pass from the high post, bang bodies, run the floor and attack the boards from further away from the basket. Brad Miller, Chris Bosh, Elton Brand and Shawn Marion (my personal favorite, who is literally owning the NBA right now) all fit four out of five of these skills, making them great selections.

The omission of Allen Iverson is Colangelo’s mistake. Many pros missing from the list told Colangelo they didn’t want to play, but that’s not the case with Iverson. Remember the fiasco that was Athens, and remember Iverson’s reaction.

He addressed the media’s questions from the heart, admitting he felt like he disappointed his country by not winning gold. Remember how he sacrificed his own game to be a pass first-point guard who defended well and genuinely tried to lead a squad that was ready to kill coach Larry Brown. Remember how he begged to play on that 2004 squad when literally 16 guys pulled their name off the roster due to terrorist concerns.

Continue to think of Iverson as the man who made questionable decisions while a teenager and in his early twenties if you want – I choose to look at the man who has matured like many of us will, and I see that he plays harder then anyone else in the NBA.

Giving a spot to the defenseless Luke Ridnour is a joke when Iverson has shown the willingness to change his game for the chance to win a gold medal.

USA Basketball, for very good reasons, wants to turn its back on the fiasco of Athens, but by removing Iverson it is only embarrassing itself by turning its back on the man who accepted blame for the organization-wide failure of Athens.

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