Keeping ‘Kool’: Results over reputation

Posted: February 25, 2010 by Jared Field in College, High School

I recently wrote an article discussing the topic of whether it would be possible to just recruit Michigan and win a national title. That question wasn’t thoroughly answered, but what materialized was a debate over my starting line-up on the perimeter.

My starting perimeter guys were Xavier’s Jordan Crawford, Western Michigan’s David Kool, and Notre Dame’s Tory Jackson. Those three were routinely dissed in the comments in favor of the likes of Manny Harris, Kalin Lucas, and Durrell Summers [I actually thought Dar Tucker would garner more attention, but I forgot that he didn’t play for Michigan State or Michigan]. Look, I’m not going to act as if the latter three wouldn’t be worthy of starting, but I’m also not going to pretend as if that are clearly better either.

Jordan Crawford plays in the Atlantic Ten, which in some circles is high major. While I’m not in that camp, I do believe Xavier, like Temple, is a high major program. Besides, he was a really good back-up to Eric Gordon at Indiana back when they were good. But Crawford’s raw data speaks for itself. His percentages are sick, particularly from three-point land [nearly 40%, as opposed to Durrell Summers’ 25%]. None of the guys argued for can sniff his accuracy. Beyond that, ask Lebron James who he’d be more worried about defending, Manny Harris or Jordan Crawford?

David Kool drew the heaviest individual fire in the conversation, but that’s nothing new for Kool. People have been hating on Kool since he was in high school. After putting on one of the most brilliant performances ever at the Breslin as a junior, en route to a state title, he was thrashed probably more than Derrick Nix for winning the Mr. Basketball award. High majors weren’t in love with him. It could have been because of a torn ACL or it could have just been hating. But after three and a half successful years at WMU, Kool has proven the doubters wrong. This kid can play at any level. Against high major opposition, Kool scored in double figures in each contest and went off against a very good Temple for 30.

Beyond that he’s on his way to being a two-time MAC scoring leader, and perhaps third depending on how you look at it. So I ask, isn’t the best player in the MAC good enough to play and start at the high major level? Would he be the same star in the Big Ten that he is in MAC? No, but you better believe he could excel.

Finally Tory Jackson received a lot of indirect criticism because of who I have him starting over, Kalin Lucas. I’ve never been a huge fan of Lucas, primarily because I can’t get the image of him falling flat on his back after a dunk attempt at the state semifinals out of my mind. The biggest reason though is that I have a difficult time viewing Kalin Lucas as a pure point guard. He obviously has some ridiculous abilities, but I don’t like seeing a team’s leading scorer being a point guard, and by a pretty large margin at that. And the team’s back-up power forward averages just one assist per game less. My preference is for pass-first guys like Tory Jackson, who also plays almost every minute of every game. There’s things that Lucas can do that Jackson can’t, but there’s things that Jackson will do that Lucas just doesn’t. Oh, and lets also not forget that the Big East is the best conference in the country. These are just my opinions, but I don’t think that I’m way off here.

Gavin Raath

  1. Kevin Jackson says:

    My question to u is the Mr. Basketball trophy a career award on season award? Is it an award for the actual best player inthe state or somethin else?

    • Jared Field says:

      It’s an award for the best senior basketball player in Michigan.

      Nix wasn’t the best player on his team, let alone the best player in the PSL last season.

      The award took a major credibility hit last year.

  2. SBell says:

    The real shame of Kool’s career is he’s WMU’s all-time leading scorer, but never had a contending team built around him.

  3. Kevin Jackson says:

    So it didn’t take a credibility hit when Kool won it?
    I agree Nix is the worst Mr. Basketball since Jon Garavalia stole the trophy in 1993

    • PJR says:

      Think Kool’s “credibility” issue wasn’t that Kool wasn’t worthy, just that there was a better talent statewide to compete against and so the list of good candidates that year maybe was closer. Kool got a lot of flack from detractors for refs getting him too many FTs, like the Muskegon game. But other candidate guys like Neitzel and Manny and Lucas didn’t? But the big deal in the end was no MSU scholly, just a Western scholly. That MSU or UoM scholly just pollutes all BCAM voters minds, many who vote thinking that level scholarship means everything and overrules season results. It’s the only reason Nix got Mr. B. Think Kool deserved his Mr. B, while Nix so didn’t! Nix wasn’t even Mr. PSL. That says a whole lot.

  4. SBell says:

    As for a credibility hit, watch Kool’s state final, and watch Nix’ state final, and the two shouldn’t be in the same discussion.

  5. mainevent0043 says:

    I think it would be nice to open up Mr. Basketball to all grades at the same time, especially last year when no senior deserved it.

  6. bbfan says:

    Kool puts up good numbers on a bad team. Part of the reason the team is bad is because he is their best player. If Manny was on Western they would win more and he would average 30 in a down MAC the last few years.

    As far as Mr. Basketball goes the award lost more credibility when when Paul Davis won than Nix. His team never won big and he missed most of his Senior season. How AR lead his team to the Breslin and was clearly the best player in the state. If AR stay in state he probably wins the award.

    • Jared Field says:

      I agree with the second part. I think it was an embarrassment that Davis won the award. That being said, at least he was acually good at basketball, unlike Nix.

      As for you opening statement, I think you’re right: Manny would average 30 a game — 30 shots. And, last I checked, Michigan (relatively speaking) is in worse shape than Western.

  7. Kevin Jackson says:

    When have they gotten Mr Basketball right name me 1 time if u name me a yr I will tell u who the real winner should have been

    • Jared Field says:

      2009 Derrick Nix: Wrong (anyone would have been better)

      2008 Brad Redford: Right

      2007 Manny Harris: Debatable with Dar Tucker

      2006 David Kool: Right

      2005 Wilson Chandler: Right

      2004 Drew Neitzel: Debatable with Malik Hairston

      2003 Dion Harris: Right

      2002 Paul Davis: Wrong (Peeper)

      2001 Kelvin Torbert: Right

      2000 Marcus Taylor: Right

  8. Murph says:

    You don’t think Manny Harris would dominate the MAC?

    • Jared Field says:

      Of course he would. But so does David Kool.

      • PJR says:

        Having watched WMU not so sure Harris would fit and dominate. Very structured offensive set that are Kool based perimeter or Big Man down low. Not much poor shot selection jacking for Manny to fit in with. Another great point is to flip Manny at WMU to Kool at Michigan. Kool is EXACTLY the guy Beilien needs for his Magic Bus to work. Kool at Michigan would be Manny times ten, and first team All Big Ten. If you don’t believe that, then you don’t believe anything about Beilein’s scheme.

  9. Kevin Jackson says:

    2009 Nix wrong
    Corey Van dussen

    2008 Radford wrong
    Draymond Green

    2007 Manny Harris wrong
    Dar Tucker

    2006 David Kool wrong
    Ramar Smith

    2005 Wilson Chandler right

    2004 Drew Nietzel right

    2003 Dion Harris wrong
    Brandon Cotton

    2002 Paul Davis wrong
    Anthony Roberson

    2001 Kelvin Torbert wrong
    Ben Reed. Woulda been whaley if off court issues

    2000 Marcus Taylor right

    1999 Jason richardson wrong
    Lavelle Blanchard

    I can keep going if u want

    • Jared Field says:

      Ben Reed over Torbert? LOL.

      KVD did not have a better season than Ben Simons, by the way. Come on.

      Lavelle Blanchard was awesome in high school. Come to think of it, I agree with you on that one.

      As for Redford: In 20 years, will anyone remember Day Day’s senior season? Probably not. Everyone will remember Brad’s

    • PJR says:

      Like most of your corrections. I am in agreement with most except where noted here:

      2008 Dominique Buckley for Redford. Buckley led Romulus to good stuff against toughest schedule in state.

      2006 David Kool was correct. Ramar Smith not even close!

      2001 Kelvin Torbert was correct. Dominated high school ball.

  10. Kevin Jackson says:

    Ben reed was better than Torbert just no major aau curcuit time!

    Simon was tough I just gave Kvd the nod

    Day Day sr. Was tough ask urself this 20 yrs did raford win back to back state championships what do u think green would have done in frankenmuth? We talking bout player not stats day was across the board

    • Jared Field says:

      I don’t think he would have scored 50 points three times. Skill-wise, there was no comparison. Stats-wise, no comparison. And yet, because of the championships, I still thought it was a close race. This is not a slap at Green. Redford had an incredible season and was double and triple-teamed every game. And, if you recall, he killed the city teams he played as well.

  11. Kevin Jackson says:

    Radford is a talent but getting triple team by eskimos and moose hunter is a little different

    • PJR says:

      Redford’s coach stat padded Redford big time. 50 point games playing 4 quarters of a 40 point blowout just don’t count, in fact they are negatives. Outside of FSW and killing Noopy, when it counted Redford disappeared, and this against pretty weak competition. Let’s not forget there were 3 D1 players on TVC Frankenmuth, and Redford took them to nowheresville! List Bros where better impacts for Frankenmuth as team, and Redford actually played a better brand of ball when servicing the List Bros. Redford’s Senior year more of a circus act 3 baller padding up personal stats.

    • Jared Field says:

      Shot Flint Southwestern out for 40 twice man.

      Or would you rather lean on your stereotypes?

  12. No way Torbert shouldn’t have won…

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