Morning Brew, 1/06: Was Devin Harris A Better College Player Than Dee Brown?

You better make this morning brew hot, it's pretty nippy out there.

Good morning, y'all.

It's Cold. Real, Real Cold.

Midwest life outdoors today promises certain death. If the temperature doesn't kill you, the eight foot icicle hanging from your roof might, so don't slam the front door too hard on your way to work. Just stay inside and follow the cold and couped up groundwork you laid this weekend.

Charlie_bucket_family_willy_wonka

There you are, watching the NFL playoffs and leading the sedentary lifestyle that a negative-50 degree windchill breeds. When the weather forces your hand, follow it's guidance and grab a blanket. Just watch out for those bedsores. And the inability to walk.

The Brew Has A Beef

Yesterday, Jeremy Werner of ESPN Radio 93.5 and Orange and Blue News tweeted the following list after (presumably) watching a Big Ten Network special on the top guards of the 2000s.

To recap in proper list form:

1. Deron Williams (Illinois)

2. Devin Harris (Wisconsin)

3. Dee Brown (Illinois)

4. Kalin Lucas (Michigan St.)

5. Frank Williams (Illinois)

In terms of quantity, Illinois has a right to be proud now, just as we had a reason to boast then, when Frankie, Deron and Dee were filling it up en route to conference titles.

Their names on the list brings back some pride. But their order on the list brings a point of contention, primarily at spots No. 2 and No. 3. Following Werner's tweet last night, I chimed in with my thoughts and a mini-group debate started. Let's expand that debate now.

Was Devin Harris a better Big Ten guard than Dee Brown?

My initial thought was, "No." And after more thinking, my answer is still a biased but resolute, "No." Here is the data.

Dee Brown's Career (via Sports-Reference.com):

Season
G MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% TRB AST STL BLK PTS
2002-03 Illinois 32 1090 142 327 .434 51 155 .329 49 72 .681 119 159 57 0 384
2003-04 Illinois 33 1153 160 389 .411 71 205 .346 49 73 .671 123 147 51 3 440
2004-05 Illinois 39 1272 179 359 .499 99 228 .434 61 79 .772 104 177 70 3 518
2005-06 Illinois 33 1183 157 437 .359 78 243 .321 78 103 .757 102 191 53 1 470
Career Illinois 137 4698 638 1512 .422 299 831 .360 237 327 .725 448 674 231 7 1812

Devin Harris' Career (via Sports-Reference.com):

Season

G MP FG FGA FG%

3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT%

TRB AST STL BLK

PTS
2001-02 Wisc.
32 1094 117 283 .413

59 161 .366 101 130 .777 105 56 43 18 394
2002-03 Wisc.
32 1100 132 285 .463


53 137 .387 90 119 .756 147 98 65 18 407
2003-04 Wisc.
32 1162 189 412 .459


75 201 .373 171 216 .792 139 141 56 4 624
Career Wisc. 96 3356 438 980 .447


187 499 .375 362 465 .778 391 295 164 40 1425

Additional notes:

- In Devin Harris' and Dee Brown's junior seasons (2003-04 and 2004-05, respectively) each won Big Ten Player of the Year. Brown also won Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year his junior season.

- With Illinois, Dee Brown reached the Sweet 16 in 2004 and the National Championship game in 2005. His other two season resulted in second round exits.

- With Wisconsin, Devin Harris reached the Sweet 16 once, exiting in the second round in his other two tournament appearances.

- In Dee Brown's final season (2005-06)--often viewed as a letdown following the 37-win season--the Illini went 26-7 and lost in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

- In Devin Harris' final season (2003-04)--his most successful and best statistical season--the Badgers went 25-7 and lost in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

- Devin Harris had a significantly better NBA career than Dee Brown, a fact that is irrelevant for the sake of this argument.

- Dee Brown averaged 28.5 wins per season.

- Devin Harris averaged 22.6 wins per season.

- Dee Brown was an icon in both the state of Illinois and the country.

- Dee Brown wore a headband and high socks. He stuck his thumbs in his jersey, letting everyone know what motherf---ing team he played for. And he was the face, if not the best player, on the best Big Ten team of the decade.

- Dee Brown should probably be the list's No. 1.

Imgres

Every bullet point is fact, except the last one, which is gospel. Take them all into account and discuss. Was Devin Harris really a better Big Ten guard than Dee Brown?

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