Since posting my All-Decade team here just before New Year's, I've heard from some readers regarding my choices. Surprisingly (or should I say thankfully) most thought my picks were decent. To those people, well, thanks for your support.
There was a group, however, that had some bones to pick, some even offering decent alternatives. Just a word for everybody going forward: the easiest way to pique my interest and get yourself mentioned in the blog, aside of course from bribery (just kidding!) is to actually come with some cold hard facts to sell your point. I know, I know, seems obvious, doesn't it? Yet you'd be surprised at what I get.
To show you I don't mind being second guessed, here are a few of the players I have been pitched to help "upgrade" my original selections. I'll let you be the judge on whether to vote people on or off the All-Decade Island.
The bulk of the debate centered on the men's squad. The three players that gained the most support were Kyle Stanley, Clemson;Jamie Lovemark, USC; and__Alejandro Canizares__, Arizona State
To compare apples to apples, here are their stats:
Kyle Stanley, Clemson, 2006-09
2x first-team AA, 71.63 avg., 07 ACC POY, 2x NCAA runner-up
Jamie Lovemark, USC, 2006-09
2x first-team AA, 71.51 avg., 07 NCAA medalist/POY, 4 wins
Alejandro Canizares, Arizona State, 2003-06
2x first-team AA (2x 3rd-team), 71.46 avg., 03 NCAA medalist, 2x Pac-10 POY, 6 wins
Lets start by saying that all were top-notch players. My comment on Stanley is that as solid a career as he had, he only won twice, causing him to slip just a notch below the rest. Lovemark had an amazing freshman season, but seemed to struggle to live up to all that acclaim he good as a rookie. By the end of his junior season, he was battling an injury and his sudden departure after a season with a 73.41 average to turn pro caused him to miss the final cut.
The most intriguing argument for me is the one that's made for Canizares. In the interest of full disclosure (or to cover myself) he was the final player I cut to get down to my original list of 12.
A reader from Tempe wrote to me in defense of Canizares:
"I know you have to kick people out, so I will do it. He had as many first-team AA as Dustin Johnson and Alejandro was a four-time overall pick. He had a better stroke average (71.46 to 72.11) and was a two-time Pac-10 Player of the Year.>
Also, how many freshmen won the NCAA title in the decade? I think only two (Oklahoma State's Jonathan Moore and Alejandro)>
Alejandro had a better stroke average and more wins than Brock Mackenzie and a better stroke average and more wins than Troy Matteson. Below, using your format, is the comparison.>
Alejandro Canizares, Arizona State, 2002-05>
2x 1st-team AA, 71.46 avg., 6 wins, two-time Pac-10 POY>
Dustin Johnson, Coastal Carolina, 2003-07>
2x 1st-team AA (1x 3rd-team), 3x Big South POY, 72.11 avg. >
Brock Mackenzie, Washington, 2000-04>
2x 1st-team AA (1x 2nd-team & HM), 71.65 avg., 4 wins>
Troy Matteson, Georgia Tech, 1998-2003>
2x 1st-team AA (1x 3rd-team), 02 NCAA medalist, 71.91 avg., 5 wins>
Suffice it to say, Canizares' fans have a fairly good argument.
On the women's side, the two names I heard of for further considerations were a pair of teammates at USC: Mikaela Parmlid and Dewi-Clarie Schreefel.
Again to compare apples and apples:
Mikaela Parmlid, USC, 1999-2003
2x first-team AA, 73.99 avg., 03 NCAA medalist, 5 wins
Dewi-Claire Schreefel, USC, 2004-08
1x first-team AA (2x 2nd-team), 74.34 avg., 06 NCAA medalist, 3 wins
For as good a player as both Parmlid and Schreefel were, neither holds the USC record for best scoring average (Candie Kung has that distinction) or the low single-season average (Irene Cho). Both are high quality players, but come up just shy of the threshold set by the other 12 on the All-Decade team.
OK ... What do you all have to say now? Am I still overlooking anybody?