Player of the Year Power Rankings

Player of the Year Power Rankings for Dec. 5

The national narrative is that Marcus Smart, Doug McDermott, and Jabari Parker are in a three person race for POY. This, of course, means that one of them will win it. Pundits don't like to be wrong, which leads to confirmation bias. Every good thing those players do will further reinforce how smart said pundit was when he identified that player as the best in the nation. This is how awards work. It sucks, but it is what it is. Regardless, here's my vote as it stands today.

1. Jordan Adams, UCLA (LW: 5)

Adams continues to put up ridiculous numbers. In three games he made 12-16 2s (75%), 25-28 FTs (89%), had 10 steals, 12 assists, and just 3 turnovers. Oh, and no one is talking about him.

2. Julius Randle, Kentucky (LW: 1)

After seven straight double-doubles to open his career, he finally was held to just 12 points and 8 boards (along with 4 assists) in Kentucky's win over Providence.

3. Sean Kilpatrick, Cincinnati (LW: NR)

Kilpatrick is another player – like Jordan Adams – who isn't generating near enough interest from the national press. In two games this week he made 11-20 3s, while averaging 21 points, 6.5 assists, and 3.0 rebounds.

4. Jabari Parker, Duke (LW: 2)

He had two pedestrian outings vs Arizona (a loss) and Michigan. He missed all seven of his 3s, and made just 14-28 2s.

5. Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State (LW: 3)

Like Parker, Smart put together back-to-back poor outings. Against Butler (a 69-67 OSU win) he made 1-5 3s, missed all three of his FTs, and committed five turnovers. Against Memphis (a loss) he was 0-5 from the arc, and committed five turnovers.

6. Shabazz Napier, Connecticut (LW: NR)

After scoring just four points vs Loyola MD (but adding 7 assists, 7 boards, 3 steals and 3 blocks), the Bazz hung 26 on Florida including the game winner at the buzzer. His defensive rebounding numbers continue to impress, especially considering he was virtually non-existant on the boards in his first two seasons, and was meh at best last year.

7. Doug McDermott, Creighton (LW: 6)

McDermott had a questionable week as well, really struggling in his team's loss to George Washington. Oddly, his rebounding numbers were really down. In two of his team's three games he had just four.

8. Brad Waldow, St. Mary's (LW: 10)

Who is leading the nation in offensive efficiency among high volume players? Brad Waldow. He only played one game this week, but made 8-9 2s and added 5 assists. His turnover count is now up to 3 in 153 minutes played.

9. Russ Smith, Louisville (LW: 7)

Russdiculous didn't do much as his team dominated Southern Miss (11 points, 4 turnovers), but bounced back with 10 points, 11 assists, 3 steals and just 1 turnover against an overmatched UKMC.

10. Lamar Patterson, Pittsburgh (LW: 9)

Patterson 18 points, 8 boards, 6 assists and 5 steals vs Duquesne, but then turned the ball over 5 times with his team struggling against Penn State. Still he had 16 points and 9 boards in that game.

Player of the Year Power Rankings

Player of the Year Power Rankings for Nov. 27.

1. Julius Randle, Fr., Kentucky

Randle has begun his career with back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back double-doubles. The fewest offensive boards he's had in a game is four. He's averaging 19.8 points and 13.7 rebounds. At this point he won't just be the first Wildcat to average a double-double since Anthony Davis, but he'll be the best rebounder that John Calipari has coached in his career. He's simply been dominant on the inside, and is a large reason Kentucky is the No. 1 offensive rebounding team in the nation, and the 6th best team at getting to the line.

2. Jabari Parker, Fr., Duke

It's nearly impossible for highly rated freshman to live up to the hype, but Parker (like Randle) has done just that, and more. He's using more of the possessions (32.9%) than any player for Duke since tempo free data became available in the late 90s, and he's doing it with astonishing efficiency. Not only is he making 57% of his 2s and 61%!! of his 3s, but he's also controlling the boards and bringing down 8.8 per game in less than 30 minutes. He's already had several signature moments, my favorite of which was his one man break through five defenders for the slam. The only other guys his size who can do that are making an awful lot of money in the NBA.

3. Marcus Smart, So., Oklahoma State

The Cowboys are cruising, and a large part of that is Marcus Smart. Despite continued issues with his shot selection, he's quickly developing into the player everyone erroneously thought he was last year. Yes, he stuffs the statsheet, but now he's doing it with much more efficiency. With the new rules he's almost impossible to guard (2nd in the nation at drawing fouls), and he's a terror on the defensive end. Now if he'll just stop jacking so many 3s and instead focus on what he does best, which is getting into the lane and scoring, drawing fouls, or kicking to any one of the Cowboys' ridiculously accurate shooters

4. Jahii Carson, So., Arizona State

There's something about watching little guys dominate college basketball games that never gets old. Carson is in total control of ASU's offense, scoring 23 per game and adding 5.3 assists. After struggling with the 3-ball last year, he's made 56% of his attempts from the arc this season.

5. Jordan Adams, So., UCLA

Despite averaging 15.3 points as a freshman last year for UCLA, Adams was largely overlooked by the national media. That won't be the case this year. Through five games he's upped that average to 22.2 points by making 63% of his 2s, 46% of his 3s, and 87% of his free throws. He also joins Marcus Smart on the All-Terror team by stealing the ball on 6.5% of opponent possessions (8th best nationally).

6. Doug McDermott, Sr., Creighton

Another ho-hum season for McDermott. Using more possessions? Check. Better defensive rebounding numbers? Check. Improved 3-pt%? Check. All he's done is average 26.8 per game, and he gets a neutral site game vs Arizona State on Thanksgiving. We can all be thankful for that.

7. Russ Smith, Sr., Louisville

It's been a strange season for Russ Smith. He's increased his usage, 2-pt%, 3-pt%, FT%, and assist rate, and yet he's not being talked about as much as he was in previous seasons. Maybe the Russidiculous has worn off, and now he's just Russ. Only Russ is better. Who can't like a guy who put 16 3s vs UNC? Through six games Russ is averaging 20.2 points per game.

8. Anthony Drmic, Jr., Boise State

Buy Anthony Drmic stock while you still can. Sure his numbers are great (24.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.0 spg) but if you look at how he's done it, it's more impressive. Now in his 3rd year he's upped the percentage of the Broncos possessions he uses from 21.3% to 26.2% to 31.6%, and he's gotten more efficient each season. He draws more fouls/40 then any player in the Mountain West, he's been called for just seven fouls in four games, he doesn't turn the ball over, and just for kicks he steals the ball on 5.2% of opponent possessions.

9. Lamar Patterson, Sr., Pittsburgh

The Panthers have been dominant in the early going. Their schedule hasn't exactly been a huge challenge, but not a single team has come within 20 points. And Lamar Patterson leads them in points (17.0) and assists (5.3). Pitt has the 312th tempo in the nation, so Patterson won't get the possessions to put up huge numbers, but he's scored over 20 in three of the past four games and has made 14-25 (56%) 3s in that span, and added 18 assists to four turnovers.

10. Brad Waldow, Jr., St. Mary's

Everyone expected his numbers to decline once he was separated from the supernatural pick-and-roll abilities of Matthew Dellavedova. Instead, they've gone through the roof. Waldow is averaging 17.6 points and 7.6 rebounds. He's made 65% of his 2s and has posted the 2nd highest offensive efficiency (142.3) in the nation among high volume players. An overlooked stat is his ability to take care of the ball, despite being the focus of almost constant double teams. In 132 minutes he's turned the ball over twice.