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Ranking candidates for college basketball’s national player of the year: Purdue’s Zach Edey leads tight race

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Selection Sunday for the 2023 NCAA Tournament is just two months away as the college basketball season hits the halfway point and the national scene begins to take shape. The essence of conference play is still ahead, but we’ve seen enough action to know who the contenders for the sport’s individual awards are, including National Player of the Year.

Much like the Heisman Trophy in college football, the National Player of the Year in college basketball is often something of a team award. Winners rarely come from programs that weren’t among the nation’s best programs during the season. Detroit Or Jordan “Jerry” Walker’s UABthat is the reality.

The reality of the award’s team-oriented nature is that it also has high profile contenders from powerhouse programs struggling in the race.Oskar Zibwe kentuckyArmando Baco north carolinaTrace Jackson-Davis Indiana Michigan’s Hunter Dickinson ranked highest in college basketball’s preseason rankings. Top 100 and 1 best player. Each team has been underwhelming, however, and that may need to change before we can even sniff out this year’s player conversations.

So who are the frontrunners for the award? Let’s take a look at the five most obvious candidates.

PPG: 21.9 | RPGs: 13.2 | FG PCT: 63.1%

Purdue’s 7-foot-4-inch center towers over Big 10 Player of the Year competition, and after starting the season off the charts, the No. 3 Boilermakers are off to an amazing 15-1 start. I was. After splitting time with Trevion Williams last season, where he played just 19 minutes per game, the junior seamlessly translated his efficiency into a much larger workload. Currently, Eady, who has clocked 31.3 minutes per game, ranks him first in the Big Ten in scoring and rebounding, and he is second in blocks.

Edey shoots 63.1% from the field and makes a career-high 74.5% free throws. He’s also fouled less despite playing significantly more minutes than in his first two seasons of college basketball. What’s scary for the Big Ten and college basketball is that Edy can play at least one more season in college basketball after this season. Given the lack of outside shots and limited defense on the perimeter, it’s easy to imagine Edie avoiding the pro game and returning to Purdue. For now, he’s in a great position to be the sport’s Player of the Year.

PPG: 20.6 | RPGs: 9.1 | FG PCT: 57.4%

Arizona lost three NBA Draft picks to last season’s team, which was the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. But the No. 9 Wildcats have barely lost thanks to Tuberis’ excellent offensive play. The 6-to-11-year-old junior leads the Pac-12 in scoring with 20.6 points per game and 9.1 rebounding boards per game. He has played more minutes than at any point in his career, but has shot a career-high 57.4% of his free throws from the field and a career-high 79.3% of his free throws from his line. He has demonstrated touches from the outside by making eight of his 18 attempts from his range on three points.

The Wildcats often play second big man alongside Tuberis at Umar Balo, so Tuberis’ ability to stretch the floor and pull defenders away from the basket with perimeter shots is a nice touch. He has achieved his double digits in every game and has fewer basketball turns than in the first two his seasons, despite his increased workload. Perhaps the most notable thing about Tuberis’ season so far is the fact that he has scored at least six of his shots from the field in every game. Regardless of the opposition, Tubelis has found a way to score buckets with one of his teams topping the country.

PPG: 20.0 | RPGs: 8.8 | FG PCT: 40.7%

After losing stars like Remy Martin, Ochai Agbazi, Christian Brown and David McCormack from last year’s team, how did No. 2 Kansas stay on track for a championship level? There are, but none stand out as much as Wilson. The redshirt juniors lead the Big 12 in scoring with 20 points per game, and he is second in rebounding with 8.8 boards per game.

He has a career-best shooting percentage of 34% and has been in double digits every game this season. Wilson is averaging a career-best 2.7 assists per game and a career-best 76.4% shooting percentage from the free-throw line. He has also reached his stripes for charity on his 5.6 attempts per game. In Kansas’ undersized rotation, Wilson’s 6-8 versatility makes Bill Self the perfect marquee for his coach’s team.

PPG: 21.8 | RPGs: 7.9 | FG PCT: 61.5%

Much to the chagrin of Gonzaga’s competition in the West Coast Conference, Tim is back and better than ever. The senior forward Chet on his court this season.He doesn’t share the spotlight with Holmgren, with 21.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. He is also posting his career-high 3.5 assists per game and blocking his career-high 1.1 shots per game as he has been scoring more minutes at center after Holmgren’s departure. increase. But the statistically most impressive element of Tim’s game this season is his offensive efficiency. He’s shooting 61.5% from the floor with his 14.1 shots per game.

No. 8 Gonzaga hasn’t been as dominant for much of his career and Tim hasn’t developed much of an outside shot yet, but there’s no doubt he’s still one of the best players in the country. . After a relatively disappointing 5-3 start, Zags quietly returned to the top 10 with a nine-game winning streak. Timme and Zags, as usual, are having a lot of fun with the meeting dissenting voices, and I have no doubt they’ll hear from you in March.

PPG: 18.8 | RPGs: 8.2 | FG PCT: 43.9%

The last freshman to win Naismith Player of the Year was Zion Williamson in the 2018-19 season. Williamson averaged 22.6 points, making him the #1 overall pick in his 2019 NBA Draft.Miller is not that Though productive, he was an elite member of the 4th Alabama team that looks like the SEC’s class. His stocky 6-9 forward has made 44.5% of his 3-point attempts, proving himself to be a versatile all-purpose weapon that can help the Tide even on those rare days when his shots go awry. Prove it.

He leads the SEC in scoring with 19.1 points and is fourth in rebounding on 8.2 boards per contest. He also has his second-highest defensive rating in the Crimson Tide, and seven-footer Charles He is his second-best behind Bediaco. evanmiya.comOf the players on this list, Miller is the best pro prospect and his dark horse contender for National Player of the Year only if the Crimson Tide continues to dismantle everyone in their path. will gain momentum.

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