By: gonzo (370 posts) - 2/24/2006 5:41:00 AMhereBy: Free Quebec (6,340 posts) - 2/23/2006 7:30:00 PMI think you meant Washington Post story, not AP.Unfortnuately, we really miss Dan Steinberg right now. The first thing I was struck by was Stephen Goff calling Pops GW's most influential player this year. That may be true in terms of being the emotional leader (and if that's what he was trying to say, I think he should have said it openly), but I think Carl Elliot has been our most infleuntial player and our MVP this year. Do others agree with me? By: gonzo (370 posts) - 2/24/2006 4:27:00 AMFor what it's worth, it was an AP story when I posted. Goff's story must have replaced it once they had it on their own.By: LONG SUFFERING FAN (4,106 posts) - 2/24/2006 4:43:00 AMOne of the nice things of this team is when you ask who is the most influential player, the answer doesn't come right to mind. Clearly an argument can be made for Elliott, but during the second half of the season, the argument can be made for Pops. Or even Pinnock. Or even Rice. In my opinion, Pops has truly involved from a third forward on the team to a legitimate, post up, physically strong center. The shot blocking and highlight reel ally oop dunks have been there since his freshman year. This year, he has become the pound it to inside center, now power dunking flat-footed (as oppose to leaping over everyone) and becoming more of the rebounding machine, while on defense anchoring the trap and starting the break with his outlet passing. Unfortunately I think we will miss him more than Elliott. If Elliott went down, yes we would miss him, but Rice is just as good, if not better, both running the point and draining the three. Nobody is close to Pops (at least the second half version of him) at the 5. The combination of physical strength, speed and leaping ability will be impossible to replace. Not to mention the intangibles.By: Free Quebec (6,340 posts) - 2/24/2006 5:03:00 AMWow, LSF. Major credit to you. I saw more of what you are describing last year when you were still ripping him, but there is no question he's stepped up his game. Glad to see your basketball acumen is still so finely tuned -- and not clouded by opinions formed in previous years -- that you see it.By: herve (9,159 posts) - 2/24/2006 5:08:00 AMIn eplaining the situation to an outsider last night, I said Elliot was actually the one guy this team couldn't lose without very adverse consequences. I still believe that, with Mike Hall being second on my "protected" list. It doesn't matter and it's all just opinion which I hope we do not have to test.By: Z (2/24/2006 5:19:00 AM)Forget about wins, losses, seeds, RPI, glasses half-full or empty. It just hit me that we will never see one of Pops' trademark jumps in the Smitty again. Allow me to mourn a little....By: Dolphin Michael (2,188 posts) - 2/24/2006 5:41:00 AMFolks, don't you think that maturation of both Pops and Elliott is the reason for our great run?Both had sparkling moments in the past and some real dog games. Elliott could get out of control and not feel the game. Pops could be putting everything down on night and then disappear the net or just make a series of silly fouls.Both players would end up on the bench during serious stretches of games in previous years. Now, that isn't happening. While they have good games and weaker performances, they are both usually producing predictably fine play.I remember Elliott's amazing play at the end of the West Virginia game at the BB&T and knew that we had a scorer. There were those amazingly brilliant passes as a freshman. Of course, they would also indicate that you had better be watching the game if you were at courtside, or you could end up with a facial.For Pops, we see a player who has developed a sense of how to seal his defender and block out his opponent without the use of his arms and hands. Pops gets into them with his weight and power and he is carving out large pieces of the lane. That is making the rest of Pops' game so much better. The better the seal, the easier the catch.Hobbs has gotten the point guard that he recruited in Elliott. AND, he has him for net year, as well. I gave my tickets to the LaSalle game to an old AU friend who is a writer and used to cover sports before moving onto bigger and better things. He made an interesting point that GW is a great slashing team, but sensed that we may not shoot from the outside as well as we happened to perform against LaSalle. When he heard the figures for the season, he was a bit surprised. Elliott was the most interesting. He is built like a linebacker, can really handle the ball and pass like the best, but he is also hitting college 3's at an amazing rate. If Elliott's shot keeps improving, I don't think that he will have to look to football for his pro sports future. He is playing his game right now.