For the first time in more than 10 years, the GW men’s basketball team is not represented on any of the Atlantic 10 all-conference squads.
The most obvious name missing from the awards is junior Rob Diggs, who led the program this season in scoring with 13.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Diggs was also 17th in the conference in scoring average, fifth in rebounding average, fourth in field goal percentage and 15th in blocked shots.
Diggs’ numbers rival those of the players who were named for the all-conference second and third teams. His scoring average is higher than that of Xavier’s John Duncan and Drew Lavender, who were both selected to the second team, and Xavier’s Stanley Burrell, who is on the third team. His rebounding average also topped 12 of the 15 selections to the three teams.
GW coach Karl Hobbs said he was not surprised that none of his players were selected.
“No one on GW should have made it,” Hobbs said. “I don’t think anyone could have beat out these guys that are on the list. When you look at the stats of the guys on (GW), the only one who would get consideration would be (Diggs). You could argue for (him) that he maybe should have made the third team.”
Diggs said Tuesday afternoon he had not seen the awards list and, when told neither he nor anyone else from his team was on it, he said he did not care. He said he and his teammates do not pay attention to things such as conference accolades.
For GW Director of Athletics Jack Kvancz, team performance plays a role in how individuals are evaluated.
“The only thing I can tell you is, if (the team doesn’t) make the tournament, I don’t know how you can put someone on the (all-conference) team,” Kvancz said. “If I’m a coach who’s voting, all I would ask is, how good are you if the team won nine games, five in the league?”
“When you get down to the third team, then I’m not sure how that works,” he added about the league picking so many players. “I would think that the overall record of the team in the league had a lot to do with (Diggs not) getting any kind of awards.”
Unlike Diggs, Burrell finds importance in the annual conference selections, and, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Xavier senior said in a press conference Monday afternoon that he feels his squad was snubbed. The Enquirer reported that Burrell chastised the 14 A-10 coaches, who voted on the honorees, for leaving Xavier off the first team.
Along with Burrell, Duncan and Lavender on the second and third teams, Duncan was awarded sixth player of the year and Burrell defensive player of the year. Head coach Sean Miller was also named the conference’s coach of the year. Massachusetts’ Gary Forbes was the player of the year.
Miller is one of a number of coaches who complimented Diggs during post-game press conferences over the course of the season.
“He’s one of the better low-post scorers in our league,” UMass’ Travis Ford said of Diggs after his Minutemen defeated the Colonials 67-63 last weekend. “He’s a guy who can affect the game in a lot of ways.”