Sunday, November 28, 2004
Maui All-Tournament Team
I finally made it back from the Thanksgiving trip, and tonight I took a quick look at the all-tournament team from last week's Maui Invitational. North Carolina won the tournament easily and was the only team with two players on the all-tournament squad. Jeff Horner led Iowa to two upsets and a berth in the championship game. The two remaining players played for teams that lost to Iowa but won their other two games in the tournament.
Raymond Felton, UNC........9.3 ppg...3.0 rpg...8.3 apg...2.3 spg...Tournament MVP
Rashad McCants, UNC....20.7 ppg...4.3 rpg...4.3 apg...1.7 spg...23-39 FG (59%)
Jeff Horner, Iowa............21.0 ppg...6.0 rpg...5.7 apg...1.7 spg...15-23 3-ptrs (65%)
Brad Buckman, Texas......12.0 ppg...8.3 rpg...1.7 apg...1.0 spg...24.7 mpg
Taquan Dean, Louisville....19.7 ppg...3.0 rpg...2.0 apg...1.0 spg...20-35 FG, 9-19 3-ptrs
Iowa held Dean to 8 points, who went on to score 21 and 30 in his next two games.
I still think you can make a case for Horner as Tournament MVP. He led the tournament in scoring and was the main reason Iowa found itself in the championship game. However, most of his numbers (18 pts, 9 reb, 5 ast) in that game came in the second half when the outcome was all but decided. His lack of productivity in the first-half was mainly due to Raymond Felton's stifling defense.
I think my main beef with Felton winning is the conventional wisdom that the MVP has to come from the winning team. The last time a Maui Invitational MVP came from a team that didn't win the tournament was 1992 (Penny Hardaway, Memphis State, was co-MVP), and there are only 4 such cases in the tournament's 21 year history. Felton certainly played well, but Horner's week was more impressive to me.