The SOBs - Day Two - Most Improved Player

trophyGood morning ladies and gentledudes, and welcome to Day Two of the Syracuse Orange Blogger Awards. There is another tasty menu of accolades to come today. If you missed Day One of the awards, you can go to SOB-HQ at Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician for links to all the awards that have been given so far, and a schedule of today’s presentations.

Folks, yesterday we at Cuse Country had the honor of bringing you the award for Worst Moment of the year. But we are not all so jaded that we can’t also celebrate something positive about the basketball season just concluded. The team as a whole accomplished exactly what the 2006-07 team did — a quarterfinal loss in the NIT. So from that perspective, nothing can be said to have “improved”. But if we instead focus on individual players, it was obvious that great strides were being made right before our eyes.

So to kick off Day Two of the SOB awards, we at Cuse Country are proud to present the award for Most Improved Player. Unlike certain other contests, the winner in this category will not be awarded a fabulous SU nightlight. However, he will win the knowledge that the SU blogging community recognizes the leaps he made this year and that we will be summarily disappointed if he doesn’t do it again next season.

The nominees are:

1. Paul “The Hustle” Harris

Jameson of CuseAdelphia: “The kid figured out during Big East how to not get
every one of his shots blocked in the paint. For that I give him kudos.”

Brian from Orange44: “He developed his mid-range jump shot, his baseline moves, free throws, and even a slight outside game. How anyone could think that he is not the most improved player on the squad would even surprise the great DOCTOR Gross.”

SeƱor Axeman: “It is amazing how big of a stride his game took this season. See kids, that is why you stay in school!!! “

Howie Mansfield of Sports Night With… : “Harris is evolving, and next year will be ready for big numbers.”

2. Kristof “K-Ong” Ongenaet

Matt of HoyaSuxa: “He went from Ethan Cole clone to viable option.”

3. Arinze “Beefcake” Onuaku

Nick from Nick’s Two Cents: “He’s no Otis Hill yet, but he could get there, which is amazing considering where he was a couple years ago.”

Josh from Cuse Country (i.e. me): “When the season began did you ever imagine he’d be such a huge part of the offense? No. No you did not.”

Sean of TNIAAM: “Expectations were probably so low for Arinze that any mild improvement would have garnered him this award. But he gave the SU offense (and defense) a dimension that was unexpected this season…. He built a solid foundation for the next two years in the paint.”

Syracusan from Cuse Country: “To go from nothing to 13 points and 8 rebounds per game, virtually overnight, is astounding.”

4. Devin Brennan-McBride

Just kidding. Nobody voted for him. But I thought I’d give D-B-Mac one last bit of love before we completely forget that he ever existed. Just like David Patrick.

(Look it up.)

This was a close tally, with only one vote separating the winner from the runner-up. But with six votes, your 2007-08 SOB MIP is:

Paul Harris!

Congratulations, kid. We’re all looking forward to you averaging a double-double next year. No pressure.

We now are pleased to pass the mic to veteran Cuse blogger Matt Glaude at his latest endeavor, HoyaSuxa, your #1 source for Orange-flavored Schadenfreude. (My favorite taste so far, on the occasion of Davidson beating Georgetown in the NCAAs: “Roy Hibbert weeps tears of unfathomable sadness; they are yummy and sweet.”) In the 11 o’clock hour, HoyaSuxa will be presenting the award for “Biggest Villain/Nemesis” which should be right in Glaude’s wheelhouse.


  1. Posted April 26, 2008 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    Questionable results here from the panel. As a freshman Paul averaged 8.5 points and 7 rebounds. As a sophomore he made a nice leap to 14.5 and 8. A 6 point jump is pretty sweet, but only improving by 1 rebound isn’t amazing. Arinze, meanwhile, averaged 0 and 0 last year while he was hurt, and all of 2 points and 3 rebounds as a freshman. This season, out of nowhere, he put up 13 and 8. That’s crazy improvement, the likes of which we rarely see from SU players. Arinze got robbed!

  2. Posted August 3, 2008 at 3:36 am | Permalink

    Very nice!!

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