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Dilemma involving Jabari Brown

No, don’t worry this post is not about Jabari Brown’s eligibility. He’s eligible and with the exception of the two games he has to sit out to stay within the CIF”s 26-game limit, he’ll be on the court for Oakland High for the duration of this season.

The dilemma that I’m thinking of has to do with our postseason awards. I’ve seen two of the three games in which he’s played for Oakland, missing only his dazzling 33-point, 10-rebound performance in his debut, a win over Sacramento. Tonight he delivered 33 points, five ferocious blocks and four steals in a 92-84 win over Oakland Tech to move the Wildcats to 4-0 in OAL play.

Brown is definitely the best player I’ve seen in the East Bay this year, slightly surpassing his former teammate and our defending East Bay Player of the Year Desmond Simmons. The dilemma is that he’s likely to not play more than 12 games for Oakland this year. That includes the three he’s already played, the four more he’ll play in the regular season and the 2-5 he’ll play in the playoffs. I’m predicting a minimum of two playoff games because I don’t foresee a scenario where Oakland isn’t the top seed in the OAL playoffs, which would mean only one OAL playoff game and the guarantee at least one CIF NorCal game.  So along with those seven regular season games, one OAL playoff game and anywhere from 1-4 NorCal games, we’re talking about a maximum of 12 games for Jabari.

Right now, Brown is averaging 30.3 points per game for Oakland and has transformed a very good team into a contender to reach the state finals. If he helped them get there (I say helped because it’s not all about him with Oakland. T.J. Taylor and Dominique Taplin are very good and their role players will need to play well also), that would be supremely impressive.

The question is, does 12 games make someone worthy of being an East Bay Player of the Year candidate? Or even worthy of making the All-East Bay first team?

Talent-wise, he’s clearly at that level, but do we have to ding a guy because he only played 12 games in the East Bay this year? I don’t know how I’d answer that question right now. I guess we’ll have to see how things play out, but it could be a very tough question to answer.

Jimmy Durkin

I cover mostly San Jose State football for the San Jose Mercury News/Bay Area News Group, but also fill in from time to time with the 49ers, Warriors, A's and Giants.

  • E_CULB

    Jimmy cant give him POY but 1st team would be ok, yeah he gotta get dinged a little.

  • Mike

    agreed. He’s a superstar but its a little unfair to the guys who are also stars that have been playing since the beginning of the season here. but at the end of the season, it should go to the best player, who may or may not be on the best team.

    my short list is for NCS is

    Newark Khion Sankey
    O’Dowd Brandon Ashley
    Salesian Desmond Simmons
    SRV Chris McNeely

    based on the polls

  • Ballhawk

    Jimmy,

    If his limited play were due to an injury, and not related to the transfer process, would you view it differently? Imagine a player missing the first half of a season and then rejoining his team and elevating his team to a higher level. East Bay POY? Probably not, unless his play was distinctively higher than full-season players.

    CC Sabathia was by far the best NL pitcher in the second half of 2008 after being traded mid-season from the AL to the NL, and he ended up 5th in the Cy Young voting. As E-CULB said, 1st team yes, but not POY.

  • E_CULB

    Jimmy, have never really voiced my feelings about this before but I must admitt I felt cheated opening my paper this morning and not finding any OAL scores besides the O-High Tech score. No other boys or girls scores, whats up with that?

  • Jimmy Durkin

    E_CULB,
    That’s because the Oakland-Oakland Tech game was the only one being played. This was dead week and that was a make up of last week’s rain out when both school’s gyms had roof leaks and they had to postpone the game.

  • E_CULB

    Oh, okay well there I have it! LOL!!! Egg in my face!

  • HOOP-FAN

    POY IS FOR A GUY WHO MAKES HIS TEAMATES BETTER RIGHT, WHAT DESMOND HAS DONE AT SALESIAN IS CRAZY LOSING A STAR( JABARI) AND KENDALL AND STILL THEY ARE 18-1 IF THE COACH WOULD LEAVE DESMOND IN THE GAME HE WOULD HAVE GREAT NUMBERS…..BUT I GUESS 18 WINS OUT OF 19 GAMES IS WHAT ITS ABOUT !!!!!!

  • HOOP-FAN

    LETS REMBER SALESIAN IS BEST TEAM IN NOR-CAL REGARDLESS IF DIVISION……
    CHECK THE RESUME!!!!!!

  • Marshawn Lynch

    BRANDON ASHLEY IS NOT A FACTOR IN THE BAY…..PERIOD

  • http://www.ibabuzz.com/prepcorner/2010/01/25/east-bay-boys-basketball-poll-125/#comments bbfan2

    I’m stuck on this one. Jabari is awesome and everything everyone says he is. He’s the real deal and I am glad that he was cleared to play, but on the other hand, the other candidates should be given more consideration, especially Simmons. He’s the real deal, too and loyalty has to count for something, right? I certainly would’ve taken the opportunity to play for Findlay prep also, but Jabari already is getting to play for two different high schools. But then you could say an argument in his favor would be the fact that he has played very well for those two high schools.I guess I gotta go with Eculb, Hoop fan and Mike on this one. Yup, you gotta dilemna, alright(lol)

  • http://www.ibabuzz.com/prepcorner/2010/01/25/east-bay-boys-basketball-poll-125/#comments bbfan2

    Marshawn,

    I disagree, all four of the candidates should be considered. I would even throw Bobbit in there.

  • Hoopfan22

    We have to give credit where credit should be given if he is showing the qualities of the player of the year then he should be crowned player of the year, 30 a game and possibly a state title. what else does he have to prove

  • Hoopfan22

    simmons was also kept scoreless for 2 quarters against a not even top 10 san leandro team. No disrespect the kid can play but inconsistancy has to be considered when we bring up player of the year

  • http://www.ibabuzz.com/prepcorner/2010/01/25/east-bay-boys-basketball-poll-125/#comments bbfan2

    so simmons had a bad game…. who’s to say Jabari wouldn’t have had a bad game in the games he missed, who’s to say he didn’t have a bad game at the other high school he played for this season?