One Vote for Jamont Gordon

Just about everyone appears set to give the SEC Player of the Year Award to Vanderbilt shooter Shan Foster. That's understandable. Foster is a tremendous scorer with seemingly limitless shooting range. He has made the difference in a number of games this season and is a big reason why the Commodores are a decent bet to make a deep run in the SEC and NCAA Tournaments.

But scoring is all that Foster does. Thus, despite the protestations of Heath Cline FightinGators.com is tabbing Jamont Gordon as the SEC Player of the Year. The Mississippi State junior is such a unique player that I had to invent a position for him, power guard. (Cline prefers Foster)

Gordon was one of the toughest players in the SEC to match up with last season and he's even better now. He worked on his three point shooting and is in the SEC top 15 in that category with 55 made "threes" on the season. Gordon grabs 1.5 more rebounds a game than the taller Foster does and has dished out 91 more assists. He's also the main man on the SEC Western Division Champs while Foster led Vandy to a third place finish in the admittedly stronger SEC East.

So Jamont Gordon is our pick for SEC Player of the Year and he heads up our first team All-SEC selections.

Shan Foster, Vanderbilt --- Foster is the only SEC player averaging more than 20 points a game (20.6) for the entire season. He's not only a scorer; he's also a great shooter as evidenced by his .472 accuracy from beyond the arc. Foster will be making threes for money next season, and SEC teams will delight in knowing both he and Derrick Byars (last seasons' POY) are out of the college game.

Chris Lofton, Tennessee --- Even though Foster has the better numbers for the season, if my life was on the line it's Lofton that I'd want taking the shot. The Kentucky native has made the Wildcats suffer for not offering him a scholarship out of high school. He leaves as the SEC's All-Time leader in scoring from long range and shot an amazing .470 in SEC play (Foster shot .420).

Richard Hendrix, Alabama --- Don't blame this big fella for Alabama struggling to a 5-12 SEC record this season. Hendrix is the only SEC player to average a double-double (17.7/10.1) this season and he never seems to take a game off. He won't be a high NBA pick, but you have to wonder if he'll be signing up for another season considering the state of the Crimson Tide program.

Devan Downey, South Carolina --- South Carolina was a bottom feeder but Downey did what he could to make the Gamecocks competitive. His scoring average (18.3) is third best in the league and he blew away the rest of the SEC with 3.17 steals per game. Downey was also second in the SEC, averaging 5.2 assists a game. The next coach in Columbia will like finding this cat quick point guard on the roster.

Two other SEC players received votes from the extinguished panel of Vettel, Cline and Chmielenski.

Tyler Smith, Tennessee --- The most versatile player on the SEC Champs, Smith averaged just 13.3 points a game, but led the Vols in rebounding (6.8) and assists (3.5). He averaged 18/8.5 against the Gators.

Charles Rhodes, Miss State --- He was a load in the blocks (16.8/7.7) night in and night out for the Bulldogs. He gets the nod over a very similar player in Dwayne Curtis (14.7/9.3) because he helped his team win five more games than the Curtis' Rebels did.

So those are out picks, what are yours?

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Larry Vettel


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