Even with the universal kudos for the Big East’s fantastic year, St. John’s Sir’Dominic Pointer (left in photo) and Georgetown’s D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (right) are not getting All-American talk despite analytics showing they are among the top 10 players in the country at www.valueaddbasketball.com through this weekend’s games.
Both have the complete games that include fantastic defense–Pointer blocking shots at one end and scoring at the other and Smith-Rivera grabbing rebounds for a big upset at Butler–often overlooked by voters looking at pure offensive numbers.
Certainly there is no denying the great seasons by Darrun Hilliard (Villanova’s best player) and the fantastic Providence duo of Kris Dunn and LaDontae Henton–the three players that were unanimous selections to the Big East 1st Team announced this weekend.
However, Smith-Rivera went into Butler and powered the upset that put the Hoyas into second place–letting them join Villanova with a double-bye for the Big East tournament after Providence fell to the same Butler team at home.
Smith-Rivera scored 16 points on just 9 shots, and despite playing the point grabbed 7 rebounds for the fifth straight game and played lockdown defense to stop Butler. In his last five games he has put up 34 three-pointers and hit half of them in four of five games. He scored 29 points to beat Indiana, and pulled down a ridiculous 10 rebounds and dished six assists to almost stun Kansas in two of the games that helped establish the Big East as second only to the Big 12 this season.
Pointer stands out as one of the few players ever to be among national leaders in both steals and blocked shots all four of his years in college. Evaluations often overlook defense, as Pointer was picked as long 2nd team All-Big East despite also being a Top 10 scorer who can hit from outside or grab the offensive rebound.
It is an abundance of riches for the Big East this season. But two of the diamonds that may not be getting their due have been truly dominant this season.