Introducing the First Annual Arci Craft Award! This award will be given out to the college basketball player that displays the most grit and heart. Essentially this award will be handed out to the player that most encompasses the being of a true “college basketball player.” The name comes from the combination of two of the most grittiest players in college history, Ryan Arcidiacano and Aaron Craft. Another past example of someone who perfectly fits the criteria, is TJ McConnell, formerly of the University of Arizona.
On to 2016…
James Robinson, G (Pittsburgh)
Nic Moore, G (SMU)
Matt Costello, F (Michigan State)
Justin Robinson, G (Monmouth)
Tyler Ulis, G (Kentucky)
And now the official award recipient…
Roosevelt Jones, F (Butler)
Roosevelt Jones is one of the most unique players in the history of high-level college basketball. Standing at 6′ 4”, you would assume that he would solely play the guard position; this is not the case. At his size you would also assume that he is quick or a good athlete; no and no. Maybe he makes up for this lack of size and athleticism, with a great jump shot? No, he cannot shoot the ball at all. So, what does he do well? Roosevelt Jones is one of the smartest, toughest, and craftiest college basketball players. He continuously finds creative ways to get by bigger and more athletic defenders. He also uses his tremendous strength to force his way in to the lane and will the ball off the backboard and into the basket. He is certainly not selfish either, as he reads the game perfectly and is more than happy to share the ball with his teammates. This year, in his senior campaign, Jones is averaging, 14.0 PPG, 6.6 RPG, and 4.7 APG. This is all while playing great defense and leading his team in the mental category. Roosevelt Jones truly is an awesome player, that has had a great career, and perfectly sums up what it means to be a tremendous “college” player.