There’s no way to make everyone happy when it comes to our Star-Advertiser All-State selections. That’s one thing I’ve learned over the years.
This year is a little more interesting. Some folks actually asked me detailed questions about the All-State picks a week, two weeks ago, thinking that we published ours already. But no, our boys and girls basketball selections — voted on by coaches and media — will be released on Sunday morning.
Some people actually thought our picks were the same as ScoringLive.com. I mean, they think SL’s All-Hawaii team and the Star-Advertiser All-State team are one and the same. So I gently corrected them. I don’t know how many other people are assuming the same thing. But from what I can piece together without having looked at the SL selections, our list is significantly different. That’s fine. Different is good.
This isn’t just about other all-state lists, though. It’s about this: when coaches sit down in a conference room to determine All-League picks, it’s painful. Nothing is easy in this kind of thing, even with all the available statistics. It’s not an exact science.
So I rarely look at all-league picks. Over the past 24 years, I’ve experienced too many lopsided lists by coaches, and it doesn’t really help me as an All-State voter when the coaches are looking strictly at league play — not preseason/nonconference and postseason/state tournament performances.
Besides, I’ve heard one too many tales of certain positions in various sports being log-jammed, and coaches then “negotiating” and trading off the ties. A you-give-me-this and I’ll-give-you-that scenario. Doesn’t make the coaches wrong. But that’s the gist of these things. Nothing is easy and human nature often prevails.
It’s one reason, many years ago, we installed a Fab 15 format for basketball and volleyball rather than position selections. Slicing things up strictly by position is a must in football, baseball and softball. But in most other sports, the game has evolved, and a pure listing and ranking is fundamentally stronger.
That being said, I always appreciate the coaches who do vote in the process of All-State balloting. Some of them even voted in the All-Defensive team and Most Improved Player selections. I’ll post those results here on the blog in the morning.
For now, there’s one good byproduct after the process is pau: I often feel refreshed about the amount of talent we have in the islands. Some years more than others, but this year gives me hope that the upswing in the current talent cycle — particularly in girls basketball — is real.