Friday, April 2, 2010

Appel over Wright? Get serious

Stanford's Jayne Appel is a wonderful player. She has not been one of the five best players in America this season. So with all due respect, she does not belong on this year's five-player John Wooden All-American team.

If healthy, Appel would have very likely fit nicely in this group. She may have even made a run at national player of the year. But Appel hasn't been healthy. She wasn't 100 percent for Stanford's season opener, and she's not 100 percent now. Because of these injuries, Appel's scoring and rebounding averages are the lowest since her freshman year.

Virginia's Monica Wright, on the other hand, was a statistical marvel who also carried an otherwise not-quite-ready-for-primetime Cavaliers bunch all season. Obviously Appel is a key player on a Stanford team that's still playing, while Wright's team couldn't make it out of the first round. But if you compare the individual seasons of an injured Appel and a healthy Wright, it's not even close.

It's as though the Wooden folks put Appel's name at the top of the list in the preseason - a no-brainer at the time - and then stopped paying attention.

Of course, it's not as though Wright is starved for postseason acclaim. Her list of honors so far:
- ACC Player of the Year
- ACC Defensive Player of the Year
- First team All-ACC
- WBCA National Defensive Player of the Year
- AP First-team All-American
- USBWA First-team All-American

No disrespect to Appel, but Wright should have had to make room on her mantle for Wooden honors, too.

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