The Naismith Award for men’s college basketball Player of the Year was first given in 1969 to UCLA’s Lew Alcindor. The winner of this year’s trophy will either be Kentucky’s Anthony Davis, Michigan State’s Draymond Green, Doug McDermott of Creighton, or Kansas’ Thomas Robinson.
Davis is averaging 14.3 points, 10 rebounds, and 4.6 blocks per game this season. The 6’10” freshman was named First Team All-SEC and is the conference’s Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year, and Defensive Player of the Year. He and the Wildcats face Indiana on Friday in the Sweet 16.
Green is averaging 16.1 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game. He was named the Big Ten’s Player of the Year after being the only player in the conference in the top 10 of all three categories. Green was 6th in scoring, 1st in rebounds, and 9th in assists. He was also named First Team All-Big 10. Against LIU last Friday Green registered a triple-double by having 24 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists. He and the Spartans face Louisville on Thursday.
McDermott led the Missouri Valley Conference in scoring (23.1) and finished second in rebounds (8.1). He posted 11 double-doubles and had 30+ points 6 times, including a 44-point outing against Bradley in January. McDermott was also named MVP of the conference tournament after leading the Bluejays to an 83-79 victory over Illinois State in the final.
Robinson is averaging 17.9 points, 11.8 rebounds, 1 block, and 1 steal per game. The 6’10” forward was named Big 12 Player of the Year and a member of the All-Conference First Team. He had season-highs in points (30) and rebounds (21) versus North Dakota in December. Robinson and the Jayhawks face North Carolina State on Friday.
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