Who should be named the most valuable player in a basketball league--the league's best player or the one that contributes the most to a championship team?
Not a new question, but one that came up again in the Metropolitan Conference, where Harbor College's Kelvin Tyes was named the most valuable basketball player and El Camino Coach Paul Landreaux, whose team won the conference title, sees that as a snub of his best player, Roland H'Orvath.
"I'm very upset," Landreaux said.
Landreaux was upset enough to walk out of the meeting when he was nominated for coach of the year.
Tyes, a 6-7 low-post player out of Gardena High, had the most imposing personal statistics in the Metro Conference, including the scoring championship with a 20-point average (22.3 in conference games). Harbor finished fourth. H'Orvath is El Camino's scoring leader with a 15-point average and, at 6-5, covers the league's big men--including Tyes--defensively.
H'Orvath, a sophomore, and freshman guards Otis Livingston and Larry Lockley were named to the All-Metro first team. But Landreaux was livid at the 4-2 MVP vote for Tyes.
"Tyes is a good player. But the award says most valuable, not most outstanding," he said. "Every year we've won the conference we've had the MVP. H'Orvath's been my blue-collar worker for two years. He's lost one conference game in two years. It just shows you the insensitivity of some of the coaches in this conference. It's a terrible snub of Roland. Maybe they thought they were getting back at me."
Loyola Marymount University's high-scoring duo of Keith Smith and Forrest Walton-McKenzie will need some post-season games to become the third pair of players in NCAA history to attain 2,000 career points apiece in the same season. McKenzie had 1,978 points going into Wednesday's last regular season game at Pepperdine but Smith, who appeared to be a certainty six weeks ago, played at a sub-par level for several weeks on a sprained ankle and had 1,935 points going into Wednesday's game.
If Loyola gets an NIT bid and Smith is able to get the necessary 65 points, the Loyola duo would be the second pair to total more than 4,000 points this year. Duke's inside-outside combination of Mark Alarie and Johnny Dawkins did it last week.
According to the Sporting News, the first pair in NCAA history to reach 2,000 points simultaneously were Mike Olliver and B. B. Davis of Lamar University in 1981.
For historical perspective, the NCAA scoring record is 3,667 held by Pete Maravich, who accomplished that in three varsity seasons at Louisiana State. The all-time collegiate scoring record belongs to Travis (Machine Gun) Grant of Kentucky State with 4,045, accomplished over four varsity seasons on the NAIA level. Maravich averaged 44 points for his career. Grant averaged 33.4.
McKenzie and Smith, both four-year varsity players, are the top scorers in Loyola history. They have respective averages this season of 19.3 and 21.7.
Duke's Dawkins holds that school's career record and ranks among the all-time NCAA leaders with more than 2,400 points. With the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament and NCAA's coming up, Dawkins should pass Elgin Baylor (2,500) and Bill Bradley (2,503) and is within range of Calvin Murphy (2,548), Austin Carr (2,560) and Calvin Natt (2,581).