In a conference as deep as the Big East, there are sure to be some snubs when it comes to selecting the All-Big East teams. Perhaps none was as big as Jamine “Greedy” Peterson only walking away with a Big East Honorable Mention.
Peterson finished the 2009-2010 regular season fourth in the Big East in scoring, with 19.0 PPG, and second in the conference in rebounding with 10.0 RPG. On top of that, Peterson was first in the league averaging 4.17 offensive rebounds per game. Peterson led the Big East with 15 double-doubles on the year, and Peterson was one of three players in the entire country to have two 20-rebound games for the year. So how did Peterson seem to fly so under the radar?
For one, playing at Providence, a young team that went 4-12 in Big East play, and finished the season losing 10 straight, and 12 of 13 could not have helped out his cause. Providence’s big win this season was their 81-66 victory over a Connecticut team then ranked #19 in the country. That win was their last. But Providence has remained competitive throughout the season against some of the best in the Big East, nearly beating #17 Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh last Thursday night, if it was not for a last second, buzzer-beater by Pittsburgh G Ashton Brooks.
Perhaps making All-Big East First Team is still a stretch for Peterson, who still has some holes in his game, such as a .539 free throw percentage on the season. But taking a look at the second team, and even the third team, it is hard to see how Peterson was not able to find a spot. Of the ten spots between the All-Big East Second Team and All-Big East Third Team, seven of the players selected were guards. It is that type of unevenness between positions that disallowed Peterson a spot on one of the teams.
If the NBA can put two guards, two forwards, and a center on each the All-NBA First, Second, and Third Teams, why do All-Conference Teams in the NCAA follow the same criteria? Yes, the depth at each position may not be the same in conferences, even in one as deep as the Big East. The biggest problem may come at center, where truly defined centers in the NCAA are often times few and far between, as more often teams will list their lineups as including two guards and three forwards. But following some sort of structure, maybe requiring a minimum of two guards and two forwards would not be a horrible idea for structure, would it? It might be a start, and although more snubs are almost a certainty in the future no matter what type of guidelines are followed for selection criteria, Peterson only making Big East Honorable Mention is perhaps one of the biggest snubs in the country this season. However, Peterson is young, talented, and showed much improvement this season. Barring injury, it would be shocking not to see him one of the All-Big East teams next season.