I could go through all of the reasons that would eliminate Dudley from Alabama, Prince from Kentucky, and Haslem from Florida as the SEC's choice of player of the year this season. Instead I will focus on the reasons that Georgia's Jarvis Hayes should be the player of the year, and I won't even use scoring and all of those other statistics.
Georgia did not win the SEC East outright, but they are the number one seed and are also 3-1 against their supposed "co-champion" foes Kentucky and Florida. And who led Georgia through the trials and tribulations of this SEC season?
Who was the one player that neither Alabama, Florida, nor Kentucky could control?
What player in the SEC is just as deadly posting up on the baseline, shooting the three, hitting the charity stripe, playing the defensive end of the floor?
I think that you get the point. In other words, Hayes is the best all around player in the SEC. No one player in the SEC has the ability to guard Jarvis Hayes. In fact I would go as far as to say that he is unstoppable, but I will refrain from saying that until his time at Georgia has expired.
Hayes, lethal when posting an opponent on or around the baseline, is a transfer from Western Carolina University. He was unassuming at the beginning of the season. No one, except those from Western's conference really knew what he could do. But it did not take long for everyone in the SEC to realize how special of a player that he is.When watching Hayes live, he is a silent player. In other words, he moves well, yet draws little attention to himself. This is a powerful thing to have in your arsenal. Those with an education in basketball know how difficult that it can be to work without the ball for over 30 minutes a night. And that is what Hayes does. Night in and night out.
|Jarvis Hayes was named to the first team All-SEC (Photo: Dean Legge)|
Hayes' mid range game is just outstanding. He knocks down nearly everything around the baseline. He can shoot from the elbow quite well and knows how to work off of screens to get himself free. This is critical for a star player. If you cannot position yourself to score without the ball, you are pretty much useless against a good defense.
But more than any other reason, Georgia would be lost without Hayes. He is extremely happy when the Dawgs win, and tremendously upset when they lose. This is not the case with every "star" on each squad. Hayes is not only the best player on Georgia's team, he is the heart and soul of it. And for that reason and the ones mentioned above, he should be SEC player of the year.