After being eighth in the running for Rookie of the Year award, the Pistons’ young point guard received some much-deserved praise today, being named to the All-Rookie Team for the 2011-2012 season. The former Kentucky Wildcat received 13 first-team votes and 14 second-team votes.
Despite being drafted to one of the worst teams this past season, Knight proved naysayers wrong as he had one of the best seasons of any Pistons rookie in recent memory. Before the draft, many prognosticators had him going in the top 3-5 spots; he ended up sliding to the Pistons at eight. The early returns for Detroit so far have been great.
Knight averaged 12.8 points, 3.8 assists and 3.2 rebounds in 32.3 minutes per game. Only Ricky Rubio averaged more minutes (34.2), but he also played in 15 less games. His durability was also stellar, as he was just one of six rookies to play in all 66 games.
He finished the season second among rookies in scoring, fourth in assists, tied for 11th in rebounds and tied for seventh in steals. Knight made a Pistons rookie record 105 3-pointers, joining Golden State’s Klay Thompson as the only rookies to make 100 or more 3s.
His 847 total points were the highest for any Pistons rookie since 1994-95, and Knight’s 12.8 points per game was the fourth-highest average by a Pistons rookie since the 1980-81 season.
While recent Detroit draft picks have been named to all-rookie second teams (Rodney Stuckey in 2008, Jonas Jerebko in 2010, and Greg Monroe in 2011), Knight is the first Pistons rookie to make the first team since Grant Hill in 1994-95.
After receiving plenty of well-deserved heat for his draft misses, draft picks like Knight may help Pistons GM Joe Dumars stick around for a little while longer.
Ref: The Detroit News, ESPN.com