I'd love for someone to please explain to me how in the world the 15th-ranked team in the nation had just two players honored for their play in a mediocre mid-major league. The CAA unveiled its 2012–13 all-conference teams on Wednesday night and Elena Delle Donne and Lauren Carra were the only Hens who received recognition.
Mind you, Delaware has won 39 consecutive conference contests, including all 18 they played this year. Yes, a large part of the reason for this is the presence of Delle Donne—indisputably one of the two best players in the country—but you don't win that many straight games in the league with just one player.
Delle Donne was named to the all-defensive team, the overall first team and as the conference's player of the year—three things that were never in any doubt. Carra was placed on the second team thanks to her lights-out perimeter defense and her 11 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.
But what about Danielle Parker? All she did was put up nine points, nine rebounds and one steal per contest on the season. If that wasn't enough to deserve recognition, she also spent the entire year shutting down the opponents' best inside scorers.
Evidently, the league's media and coaches felt that was not good enough. Somehow fifth-seeded Northeastern, who UD destroyed twice during the campaign, had more all-conference performers (with three) than the Hens, and sixth-seeded William & Mary, who Delaware handled in Williamsburg, had just as many.
Something seems off there.
It marks the second consecutive snub for Parker. The fifth-year senior was shockingly left off of all three teams a season ago as well. That slight hurt Parker, and she spoke openly last week about how much being recognized this year would mean.
"You can't control it so you don't worry about it, but it certainly would mean a lot to have your hard work honored," Parker said in the days leading up to Senior Night. "It's been a long journey so hopefully it will end with some recognition from conference. That'd be a great way to finish [my career] off."
She will have to settle for being the third-best player and backbone of a team that just won back-to-back regular season championships. She shouldn't have to though.
Also incredible was the fact that Kayla Miller did not win the Dean Ehlers Award for leadership and service. A four-time nominee, the Delaware native was beaten out by Drexel guard Hollie Mershon.
Now, Mershon's gesture to make t-shirts in honor of the Newtown shooting victims was inspired. It was a heart-warming and incredibly selfless act. Also, I should point out that I'm not around Drexel's team enough to accurately evaluate how much the first-year nominee's leadership means to the Dragons.
I do spend an awful lot of time around UD though, and I can say with 100 percent certainty that Miller's impact on the Hens is profound. Her head coach Tina Martin calls Miller her fifth assistant coach. You can't go to a practice or a shoot around without hearing Miller's voice echoing through the gym in support of her teammates.
From a community service standpoint, even the vast space of the World Wide Web doesn't allow enough room to list everything she does.
I've personally seen Miller visit hospitals, volunteer with Special Olympics, read to children and work with cancer survivors at Kay's Camp. She has time for any fan who needs anything, and she does it all without seeking attention.
In my opinion, she was robbed. But then again, so was Parker and the Delaware program as a whole. The Hens have dominated the league for three straight years, but you'd never know it if you attended Wednesday's CAA banquet.
I have a funny feeling the rest of the league is about to have it hammered home again during the conference tournament this weekend. The Hens are far too classy to ever admit it, but they have a little extra motivation now.