Did Frank Kaminsky Deserved Big Ten Player of the Decade?
Do you ever see a headline and wonder how did this happen? Frank Kaminsky got named Big Ten Player of the Decade. While I write about the Wisconsin Badgers basketball, I’m not a fan of the Badgers basketball. Therefore to hear Frank Kaminsky as the Big Ten Player of the Year is kind of shocking to me. Did I underrate his career? Is it my personal bias? This isn’t me being a hater either. That’s a great accomplishment for Kaminsky and the Wisconsin Badgers. Let’s dive into what Kaminsky has done compared to those who he’s competing against.
Only one award left to reveal for the 🏀 Edition of #BTNAllDecade.
There can only be one Player of the Decade. Who deserves the honor? 👀
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) June 25, 2020
Kaminsky won the National Player of the Year in 2015. He finished with 18 points per game and eight rebounds with shooting 41 percent from three. The year prior he averaged 13 points per game and six rebounds. It also helped that Wisconsin went to back-to-back Final Fours and Kaminsky played a huge part in that. Looking at the other competitors, it is Trey Burke, Draymond Green, Denzel Valentine, Evan Turner.
Trey Burke, like Kaminsky, made the NCAA Tournament final with his team, Michigan. Burke played two years at Michigan. He scored 18 points per game with six assists in his final year. There isn’t one thing that puts him over Kaminsky honestly. I cannot make a case for him. As for Green, I don’t get it honestly? Green had a great college career, but there isn’t something that stands out in three years of work. He did average a double-double but did not average more than 10 shots per game.
Two guys could compete with Kaminsky. Valentine and Turner. Valentine had an awesome career and a monster senior year that could be considered better than Kaminsky with 18 points per game, seven rebounds, and seven assists per game. He also averaged 44 percent from three. But there’s a huge difference with Valentine and Kaminsky, postseason success. Valentine did make a Final Four but his junior year where he was in more a supporting role. Then in his senior year, they lost to Middle Tennessee State in the first round. Turner had a great senior year with 20 points per game, nine rebounds, and six assists per game. But he shot a ton with nothing from three at all. Turner got buckets, but that’s it. Additionally, there is no postseason success to speak of. They lost as an eight seed in his sophomore year in the first round and the Sweet 16 in his junior year.
Based on strong stats, National Player of the Year distinction, and his postseason efforts, Kaminsky is deserving of the All-Decade Big Ten Player of the Year. Maybe I underrated what he did there or maybe it’s because I’m more of a Sam Dekker guy.