Senior Send-Off

By Amsinger - March 10, 2007

The month of March is always bittersweet. Sweet because from day-one of the Tourney all the way to the Final Four, there's nothing better in all of sports. The "bitter part" comes from saying farewell to talented seniors who stuck around to get a degree and help their school.

March is taken to another disgruntled level when great players end their careers by NOT making the NCAA Tournament. It's sad, really.

So, I will continue to give equal love to both men's and women's basketball by honoring the seniors who stood out four years and will be forced to watch the NCAA's from their couches at home.

Morris Almond, 6'6 Sr. Rice: 26.4 pts, 6.6 rebs, 45% 3-pt shooter

Emerged as a standout scorer his junior season and flirted with the NBA, then took his name out of the Draft to come back to Rice and lead the Owls. As a senior, Almond was the only Owl that averaged double-figures in scoring, so he had little help. Still, he fought through consistent double and triple-teams to average over 26 points per game! I had the pleasure of calling Morris' most thrilling moment of his college career - a last second three pointer to beat UCF in the CUSA Quarterfinals...a moment that gave me goose bumps.

Morris Almond will play in the NBA, he'll be a second-round pick in my opinion. He'll never be a star, but he has the right attitude. Therefore, expect Almond to put together a Dell Curry-esque pro career.

It's a crying shame we never got to see this kid play in the NCAA Tournament.

Carrie Moore, 5'9 Sr. Western Michigan: 25.4 pts, 7 rebs, 3 assists, 45% FG shooter, 79% FT shooter.

What an amazing scorer. Ever since she stepped on the floor for the Broncos it was evident, she didn't fit in. Honestly, WMU's all-time leading scorer was too good for the MAC. Carrie was initially recruited by the Michigan Wolverines, but suffered a knee injury her junior year and the Big Ten lost interest in her. Big mistake, considering the nation's leading scorer will now make the jump from Mid-Major talent to a mid-first-rounder in the WNBA Draft.

Carrie Moore never played in the NCAA Tournament. When she signed with WMU, the Broncos were fresh off an NCAA automatic bid, so she thought the future was bright. Aside from Casey Rost (who's scoring record at WMU was broken by Moore), Carrie never had the tools to help her get to the Big Dance.

It's a shame, the Journalism Major - who holds a stellar 3.7 GPA, would have been fun to watch.

Jared Jordan, 6'2 Sr. Marist: 17.6 pts, 5.8 rebs, 8.8 assists per game (leads the nation)

For those of us who thoroughly enjoyed watching Wally Szczerbiak lead Miami (Ohio) into the NCAA Tournament his senior season back in 1999, would have LOVED watching Jared Jordan carry the Red Foxes into the Big Dance. Unfortunately, we'll never get that chance. Jordan led the nation in assists the last TWO YEARS!!! He's a gutsy player, never comes out of any game and could have a future in the NBA if he plays his cards right.

Jared, who is a mix of Steve Nash and Jason Kidd (his rebounding numbers have always been strong) and never had much help to get into the NCAA's.

He's not "Air Jordan"...more like "Share Jordan" and could share the rock plenty with NBA'ers next season.

Jillian Robbins, 6'1 Sr. Tulsa: 19.7 pts, 11.6 rebs, 52% FG shooter, 55 blocks

What a dynamic player and person. A parent who works just as hard off the court is a tenacious rebounder. The NCAA Tournament could use a story like Jillian's. Her 6'1 frame may hold back her WNBA aspirations, but her college career is nothing short of amazing.

Jillian is Tulsa's all-time leader in scoring, rebounding, field goals, blocked shots and double-doubles. The most decorated player in school history played in just two NCAA Tournament games. At the beginning of the season, I was clearly bias towards Tulsa. I thought Robbins deserved another shot in the Big Dance.

She didn't get it...and her college career is over.

Thanks for being such a great example on the floor and off - Jillian Robbins, a class act.

Al Thornton, 6'8 Sr. Florida State: 20 pts, 7.3 rebs, 52% FG shooter, 44% 3-pt shooter

Yeah, I said it. Florida State does NOT make the Tourney and Al Thornton's focus will turn to winning the NIT to end his college career. Which is too bad considering the Perry, Georgia native is one of the best all-around players in the game. Go ahead and check out the mock NBA drafts out there on the web - this guy is a top ten pick.

Al had his share of huge games at FSU. He scored 37 inside Cameron Indoor against Duke and 37 against Boston College back in 2006. He's versatile and dominant at times and carried the Seminoles numerous times throughout his college career.

Al Thornton, a great player. One that won't walk away with an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2007.

Joi Scott, 6'0 Sr. Murray State: 21.7 pts, 8.5 rebs, 58% FG shooter, 40% 3-pt shooter

Hard Worker. Leader. Scoring Machine. The best way to describe one of the nation's best players. After transferring from Northern Illinois following her sophomore season, the Reynoldsburg, Ohio native simply dominated the Ohio Valley Conference her red-shirt junior and senior seasons. Joi averaged 20.3 points as a junior, which was 5th best in the nation. She came back her senior year and stepped up her game even more.

Murray State, once a laughing stock in the OVC - finished 21-9. Scott never played in the NCAA Tournament, she'll get a shot at the WNIT. Not good enough for a player that is "good enough" to play at many other top-notch programs.

Rashad Jones-Jennings, 6'8 Sr. Arkansas-Little Rock: 12.5 pts, 13.1 rebs, 50% FG shooter

Many of us haven't watched this guy play in person. What a shame! Rashad is an animal on the boards. The nation's best rebounder did everything he could to get the Trojans to the NCAA Tournament in the two seasons he played in Little Rock. I'll never forget watching highlights of Rashad pulling down 30 rebounds versus Arkansas Pine-Bluff his junior season. That's right 30 rebounds in one game!!!!

This guy is a "short" 6'8, but his heart is larger than most future 1st round picks in the upcoming NBA Draft. Jones-Jennings may play overseas and if he does he'll be a celebrity in Europe. If an NBA team rolls the dice on this guy - they'll land one of the best role players around.

Rashad Jones-Jennings...a great rebounder, fantastic player - one that unfortunately won't be playing in the NCAA Tournament.

Amanda Brown, 6'4 Sr. Penn State: 14.2 pts, 10.2 rebs, 59% FG shooter!!!

Amanda is the kind of young lady you want your daughter or little sister to look up to. She's the definition of consistent. A strong post player who can pass out of the post will go down in head coach Rene Portland's record book as one of the finest student-athletes she's ever coached. Brown, a three-year starter who's an Academic All-Big Ten Honoree is a leader in every sense of the word.

During her career she played in the Elite Eight as a true freshman - then was knocked off by Liberty in the 1st round of the Big Dance her sophomore season. While Amanda Brown's college career is over, everything she stands for at PSU will last for years to come.

Mario Boggan, 6'7 Sr. Oklahoma State: 19.2 pts, 7.6 rebs, 54% FG shooter.

What an outstanding player. Mario a young man who was forced to lead his team when the legendary Eddie Sutton dealt with alcoholism his junior year had a fantastic senior campaign...highlighted by the incredible showdown with Kevin Durant back in January. You know, the game where Boggan scored 37 points and grabbed 20 boards to lead the Cowboys to a triple-overtime victory.

From there, the season sort of went downhill for OSU, while Boggan remained at the top of his game throughout. His leadership and poise during some of the darkest days for this program will keep him a fan favorite in Stillwater for years to come.

Okie State is used to Dancin' in March, unfortunately for Mario Boggan that won't happen this year.

Tiffany Jackson, 6'3 Sr. Texas: 16.8 pts, 9 rebs, 80 steals, 41 blocks

Remember when Tiffany Jackson showed up in Austin as a blue-chip recruit? Many believed she was the best player to put on a Texas uniform in decades. Statistically, she's there. Overall team production while she was a Longhorn? Not so much. So here we are, Tiffany's senior year and Texas doesn't make the NCAA Tournament.

After two fantastic seasons - where Texas made strong NCAA Tournament runs, Tiffany Jackson took a major step back her junior year. Granted, the supporting cast was completely replaced after sophomore year - Jackson suffered a serious drop-off. She led the Longhorns in scoring all four years she played in Austin, yet sadly...she'll enter the WNBA without a taste of the Big Dance for the second consecutive season.

Posted by Amsinger at 04:35 PM on March 10, 2007

Post A Comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

The Slogger... Archives... Favorites