Tag Archives: MOP

Today’s Sportstat: March 21, 2019

A Final Four ‘MOP’ Award does not always equal NBA stardom

Back in the 1950’s, future Hall of Famers like Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor and Jerry West were recipients of the NCAA basketball tournament most valuable player award, now known as the Most Outstanding Player (MOP) honor. In the 80’s, the MOP award went to eventual NBA stars like Isiah Thomas, James Worthy, Akeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing.

Being selected the MOP of a NCAA Final Four, however, does not always translate into an outstanding NBA career. In fact, I would be willing to bet that of the last 20 players to be chosen as the MOP of the Final Four, only two, maybe three, will eventually make basketball’s Hall of Fame. Carmelo Anthony was the 2003 MOP and will likely find a way into the Hall of Fame. Anthony Davis, the 2012 MOP, is another solid Hall candidate, as is Kemba Walker, the 2011 MOP from UConn.

But “great” NBA careers have not followed every MOP honoree. While 18 of the last 20 MOP players have played in the NBA, two, have not. The 2013 MOP, Louisville’s Luke Hancock, was undrafted and retired from basketball in 2014 after tearing a calf muscle playing over in Greece. Joel Berry II, the 2017 MOP from North Carolina, was also undrafted. He did, however, find a spot on the Lakers G League team, but was waived on March 2.

Here’s a look at the past 20 MOPs and how many career NBA points they amassed and how many NBA games they have played in (stats are through NBA games of March 19).

MOP player, Year                               NBA games     NBA career points

*Carmelo Anthony-2003 (Syracuse)     1,064                      25,551

Richard Hamilton-1999         (UConn)     921                      15,708

*Kemba Walker-2011 (UConn)                593                      11,651

*Anthony Davis-2012 (Kentucky)             465                      11,047

Shane Battier-2001 (Duke)                       977                        8,408

Emeka Okafor-2004 (UConn)                   616                        7,370

*Corey Brewer-2007 (Florida)                  802                         7,053

*Joakim Noah-2006 (Florida)                  665                         5,853

Mario Chalmers-2008 (Kansas)               646                         5,743

*Wayne Ellington-2009 (North Carolina) 633                        5,112

Juan Dixon-2002 (Maryland)                   436                        3,678

Kyle Singler-2010 (Duke)                         356                        2,326

*Shabazz Napier-2014 (UConn)              287                        1,833

*Tyus Jones-2015 (Duke)                         236                        1,119

Sean May-2005 (North Carolina)             119                           821

Mateen Cleaves-2000 (Mich. St.)              167                          609

*Ryan Arcidiacono-2016 (Villanova)           95                          488

*Donte DiVincenzo-2018 (Villanova)          27                          131

Luke Hancock-2013 (Louisville)                   0                              0

Joel Berry II-2017 (North Carolina)              0                              0

Of the 20 players listed above, exactly half (10) played/or are still playing in the NBA this season. They are listed with an * before their name in the above list.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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