One Year Later: Mike Bibby or Corey Hawkins?by Andy Morales on Feb. 16, 2011, under Sports
About this time last year, the media and message boards from up north all but crowned former Estrella Foothills guard Corey Hawkins the best Arizona basketball player ever after he broke Mike Bibby’s high school scoring record.
Really, I’m serious, they didn’t just claim he was better than Bibby. They threw Fat Lever and Sean Elliott in the mix.
Bibby scored 3,002 points for 5A Shadow Mountain while Hawkins scored 3,164 for 3A Estrella Foothills.
Now, there is no bigger defender and promoter of the “small” schools than me but common sense should have prevailed when comparing the two.
Hawkins was a great high school player no doubt. I am more than certain he should be considered as one of the top five of all time. Not the best.
They claim that he “elevated” his game when he played the bigger schools and then mentioned the three or four he played against his senior year as proof. But, then, he only shot 3-10 and had only 12 points in the 3A final his senior year.
Explanation? His coach said we aren’t allowed to judge him based on one or two games.
OK, then they shouldn’t have judged him based on a few games either.
The fact is Bibby only played three years (only 100 points came during his freshman season) at Shadow Mountain and he did it against 5A talent while Hawkins took four years against 3A talent.
That should have been enough to end the silliness but it wasn’t. How many points would Bibby have had he played for Estrella Foothills for four years?
They said it would be unfair to judge Hawkins based on the fact Bibby won an NCAA championship his freshman year at the University of Arizona. They claim that was just luck and that we should compare them based on where their respective teams finished in the PAC-10 after their freshman seasons.
We all know Arizona finished 5th in the PAC-10 in 1997, the year they won it all. We also know the Sun Devil fans and media thought Herb Sendek would have ASU riding high about this time – after all, the claim was ASU was “closing the gap.”
So, let’s see if Hawkins elevated ASU to a top five finish in the PAC-10 this year……
As of Monday, February 14:
Washington State 7-6
Oregon State 4-9
Let’s look at freshman stats so far:
Hawkins: 13 Points (0.8)
Hawkins vs. Arizona
January 15, 2011 (UA 80, ASU 69)
Hawkins did not play
February 13, 2011 (UA 67, ASU 52)
Hawkins, 4 minutes: no points
Bibby: 458 Points (13.5)
Bibby vs. ASU
January 15, 1997 (UA 127, ASU 99)
Bibby, 23 points
February 14, 1997 (UA 83, ASU 82)
Bibby, 16 points
So, was Hawkins a great high school player? Obviously.
Was he better than Bibby? No, but he still has time.
The message boards are full of transfer rumors for Hawkins. Even if they prove to be false, I agree with the fans who wonder why Sendek hasn’t utilized his obvious talents more (or at all it seems).
What does Sendek have to lose?
And, I didn’t even get into the “John Thompson-picked-Hersey Hawkins-over-Sean Elliott-Olympics” disaster………
My brother wrote about him last year: