tampabay.com

Faceoff

Who should be the NCAA men's basketball player of the year, Adam Morrison, or J.J. Redick?

By Times staff writers
Published March 12, 2006


REDICK

Adam Morrison is bigger, faster, taller, more athletic and probably has more pro potential than J.J. Redick.

But we aren't arguing about the first selection in the NBA draft (and even if we were, the answer would be C, Temple's Mardy Collins). We're arguing about who most deserves to call himself the best player in the NCAA.

Those making the case for Gonzaga's Morrison will point to the slight edge he holds in most major statistical categories, including scoring, rebounding, 3-point and field-goal percentage.

But let me introduce you to my friend, No. 10. As in, Morrison plays in the 10th-best conference in the NCAA, according to the latest Sagarin ratings. Duke's senior guard plays in the third best.

WCC, ACC. One letter, big difference.

Morrison faced the 87th-toughest schedule in the country. Redick faced the third. While Redick was playing teams such as North Carolina, Morrison was picking on the Future Business Leaders of America. Statistically, Redick was just as good as Morrison.

When you consider the teams both faced, he was even better.

- DAVID MURPHY

GOTTA BE MORRISON

Adam Morrison has hair like Randall "Pink" Floyd (Dazed and Confused) and plays like Larry Bird.

What more do you want?

He's a creator (more than J.J. Redick), shoots well off the dribble (better than Redick), finishes with huge dunks (harder than Redick) and writes better poetry (who couldn't?).

An excerpt from some of Redick's finest prose presented by si.com: "I move forth with the strength of a condor, the courage of a warrior, the commitment of an American soldier, despite this weight on my shoulder, my inner forces circulate to form a nucleus of an unbreakable bond."

Jeepers, creepers.

Okay, Morrison plays for Gonzaga, which isn't Duke. That means he doesn't get the exposure Redick does, and most important, doesn't have the support around him Redick does.

Redick gets almost all his points off screens. He's a gifted shooter and scores about the same (nearly 30 per game) but he's not as dynamic as the Zags junior forward.

Three-point contest, go with Redick.

Game time. Hair. Poetry. No doubt, it's gotta be Morrison.

- SCOTT PURKS