var _gaq = _gaq || ; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-39933530-1']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);
By Jesse Kramer
Entering the second week of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, a pair of mid-majors, Wichita State and Florida Gulf Coast, remain in the hunt for a national title. A few other stragglers are still playing in the NIT, CBI and CIT.
As the season winds down, here are my picks for Mid-Major All-Americans for the 2012-13 season. I put together a first team, second team, third team and defensive team mainly based on statistics. In some cases, I also factored in the “eye test” and importance to a school’s program.
Matthew Dellavedvoa, St. Mary’s—Dellavedova’s season ended on a bit of a sour note as he struggled in a NCAA tournament loss to No. 6 seed Memphis. But that does not take anything away from a great senior season and four-year career. This year, Dellavedova averaged 15.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game while shooting 38.2% from three-point range. He had three games with 30 or more points and four games with 10 or more assists. He single-handedly made the Gaels a NCAA tournament team instead of a borderline NIT team.
Nate Wolters, South Dakota State—Wolters has been one of the best players in college basketball each of the past two seasons. After averaging 21.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.9 assists last year, he posted 22.3 points, 5.3 boards and 5.8 dimes per game as a senior. Plus, his field-goal percentage jumped up to 48.5%, his three-point percentage improved to 37.9%, and he shot better than 81% from the foul line for the first time since his freshman season. He never recorded the triple-double that he deserved, but he did come awfully close with 32 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists against Cal State Bakersfield on February 20.
Doug McDermott, Creighton—McDermott is another mid-major star who struggled in his season finale. Although he had 21 points and nine rebounds in the Bluejays’ second round loss to Duke, he shot 4-of-16 from the field. Still, he is the No. 2 scorer in the nation and No. 1 among mid-majors with 23.2 points per game. He shot 54.8% from the field, 49% on three-pointers, and 87.5% from the foul line. During Creighton’s run towards the MVC regular season title, McDermott averaged 36.5 points during the last two games of the regular season. He had five additional games with 30 or more points.
Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga—After redshirting last season, the 7-foot Olynyk had a monster junior year. The Canadian averaged 17.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, and he also shot a whopping 65.2% from the field in the regular season, good for the fifth-best mark in Division I. Although the Zags’ season ultimately ended in disappointment, Olynyk was a significant reason why they lost only three times all season and earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. He could be a lottery pick if he declares for the 2013 NBA Draft, but if he returns to Spokane next season he would be a National Player of the Year candidate.
Mike Muscala, Bucknell—Muscala was simply spectacular as a senior. He averaged a double-double with 18.7 points and 11.1 rebounds, and he also posted 2.3 assists and 2.4 blocks per game. He struggled on the national stage in Bucknell’s NCAA tournament loss to Butler, but he was superb in three Patriot League tournament games, averaging 18.7 points, 12.7 rebounds and 90.9% free-throw shooting.
D.J. Cooper, Ohio (14.1 ppg, 7.1 apg, 2.0 spg, 36.4 3P%)—Cooper is the only player in Division I history to record 2,000 points, 900 assists, 500 rebounds and 300 steals.
Ray McCallum, Detroit (18.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 4.5 apg)—McCallum had 147 assists to 68 turnovers this season, and he also improved his shooting percentage to 49.1%.
Elias Harris, Gonzaga (14.6 ppg, 7.4 rpg)—Harris has been a tremendous four-year player for Gonzaga. He struggled in the NCAA tournament but was a driving force in the Zags’ run to a No. 1 seed in the Big Dance.
Jackie Carmichael, Illinois State (17.4 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 2.1 bpg)—Carmichael never made it to the NCAA tournament, but he received some national fame for his kung-fu flagrant I foul against Wichita State on February 17. The 6-foot-9 forward posted 15 double-doubles this season.
Zeke Marshall, Akron (13.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 3.7 bpg, 65.1 FG%)—The 7-foot Marshall led shot 65.4% from the field in the regular season, ranking No. 4 in the nation.
Isaiah Canaan, Murray State (21.8 ppg, 4.3 apg)—Canaan’s senior season was less spectacular than his junior season, but it was still good enough to earn Co-OVC Player of the Year honors. Although he had a costly turnover in the OVC final against Belmont, he still went out on a solid note with 22 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists.
Ian Clark, Belmont (18.2 ppg, 45.9 3P%)—Clark was the other half of the Co-OVC Player of the Year. His stellar three-point shooting led Belmont back to the NCAA tournament.
Colt Ryan, Evansville (19.8 ppg, 4.1 apg, 39.5 3P%)—Ryan has 2,228 points in his career at Evansville, and he is not done yet. Behind his 25 points against Eastern Kentucky, the Aces advanced to the quarterfinals of the CIT.
Jerrelle Benimon, Towson (17.1 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 1.9 bpg)—Benimon was at the front of Towson’s resurgance in the CAA. The Georgetown transfer dominated in basically every game and posted 20 double-doubles.
Taylor Smith, Stephen F. Austin (15.7 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 2.8 bpg, 69.4 FG%)—For the second straight season, Smith led the nation in field-goal percentage.
Kareem Jamar, Montana
Jake Cohen, Davidson
Will Cherry, Montana
Jake Odum, Indiana State
Tommy Brenton, Stony Brook
Ryan Broekhoff, Valparaiso
Duke Mondy, Oakland—A Providence transfer, Mondy ran away with the steals title in his first year as a member of the Summit League. Mondy averaged three steals per game and was a constant pest on defense. On four separate occasions, he had six steals.
Bernard Thompson, Florida Gulf Coast—During Florida Gulf Coast’s run to the Sweet 16, Thompson has been at the center with 23 points in each of his first two NCAA tournament games. In the Eagles’ third round game against San Diego State, he also had five steals, and that was nothing unusual for Thompson, who ranks No. 3 in steal percentage among mid-major players and averages 2.8 swipes per contest.
Rhamel Brown, Manhattan—Brown, who is undersized as a 6-foot-7 center, is as good of a shot blocker as anyone in college basketball. He won his second consecutive MAAC Defensive Player of the Year award after averaging three blocks and one steal per game, and he ranks No. 4 in the nation block percentage. He has led the MAAC in blocks in all three of his years at Manhattan. He had five games with six or more blocks this season.
Taylor Smith, Stephen F. Austin—Like Brown, Smith is an undersized center at 6-foot-6. His blocks per game lowered after averaging only one per game over his final three outings, but he still posted 2.8 swats and one steal per game.
Zeke Marshall, Akron—Marshall ranks No. 6 in the nation in block percentage and had four swats against VCU in the NCAA tournament. He finished the season with 3.7 blocks per game after averaging 2.8 as a junior and 2.6 as a sophomore.
Deric Hill, Florida International
Jalan West, Northwestern State
Jyles Smith, Savannah State
Michale Kyser, Louisiana Tech
NOTE: If you believe Iona guard Momo Jones deserves All-American honors, click here for why he did not make the final cut on this list of 21 players.