With just over a week until the close of NCAAB's 2015-2016 regular season, it's time to talk National Player of the Year. Let's humor each other by ungluing the Big Blue googles from our heads and attempting objectivity in determining who is most-deserving of the NPOY award. I have listed individual statistics for those players whom I believe are the top six candidates.
The players are identified as letters for purpose of eliminating bias. That said, I offer this: I took team success into account, and that resulted in an exclusion that was painful for me to accept. And this: one of their names kind (kind of) of rhymes with valar morghulis.
I've already extolled the virtues of per-40 minute stats (though I've foregone pace-adjusted numbers again) and they're nearly perfect for this exercise because all of these kids are playing 30+ minutes per game. I've also used shooting percentages, and a few select general advanced statistics for the comparisons.
FYI -- PER is player efficiency rating; OWS is offensive win shares, which are the estimated wins contributed by a player due to his offense; DWS is defensive win shares, which are the same as OWS, but for defense; USG% is the estimated number of team plays used by a player while on the floor; and TS% is true shooting percentage, which is a holistic shooting efficiency measure and takes into account 2FG, 3FG & FT.
Apologies in advance for the formatting. It's the best I could do in the editor tool with this many columns of data. To make your comparisons somewhat easier, I've emboldened a player's number if it's the best in that category.
3:30 p.m. EST: I've identified the players below under the SPOILER ALERT heading.
Player A (48%FG, 52%2FG, 41%3FG, 88%FT, 25.3 PER, 3.6 OWS, 1.5 DWS, 28.6 USG%, 60%TS)
FG FGA 2P 2PA 3P 3PA FT FTA TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS 7.6 16.0 5.0 9.7 2.6 6.3 4.1 4.7 5.1 3.4 1.0 0.1 1.8 2.6 21.8
Player B (47%FG, 50%2FG, 45%3FG, 85%FT, 29.8 PER, 3.9 OWS, 1.8 DWS, 28.5 USG%, 62%TS)
FG FGA 2P 2PA 3P 3PA FT FTA TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS 8.3 17.6 4.2 8.4 4.2 9.2 3.0 3.6 9.2 8.9 1.1 0.2 3.2 2.1 23.8
Player C (50%FG, 51%2FG, 48%3FG, 89%FT, 29 PER, 4.3 OWS, 1.6 DWS, 30.5 USG%, 67%TS)
FG FGA 2P 2PA 3P 3PA FT FTA TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS 9.3 18.8 4.5 8.9 4.8 9.9 5.7 6.3 6.3 2.5 1.5 0.5 3.3 2.3 29.0
Player D (44%FG, 51%2FG, 33%3FG, 86%FT, 24.2 PER, 4.2 OWS, 1.5 DWS, 22.1 USG%, 57%TS)
FG FGA 2P 2PA 3P 3PA FT FTA TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS 5.7 13.0 4.1 8.0 1.6 5.0 5.3 6.1 3.5 7.7 1.7 0.2 2.1 1.9 18.3
Player E (45%FG, 48%2FG, 40%3FG, 81%FT, 28 PER, 2.9 OWS, 1.6 DWS, 28.7 USG%, 56%TS)
FG FGA 2P 2PA 3P 3PA FT FTA TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS 8.5 18.9 5.9 12.4 2.6 6.5 4.7 5.9 8.5 1.4 0.9 3.6 1.5 2.3 24.4
Player F (62%FG, 62%2FG, 0%3FG, 77%FT, 33.1 PER, 3.3 OWS, 1.9 DWS, 25.6 USG%, 65%TS)
FG FGA 2P 2PA 3P 3PA FT FTA TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS 10.1 16.3 10.1 16.3 0.0 0.0 5.0 6.5 15.6 1.9 1.7 1.8 2.5 4.0 25.1
My pick is Player C. A 30.5 USG% paired with a 29 PER is remarkable, he leads in OWS, points, 3FG%, FT%, has a competitive DWS and possesses the best all-around game.
Cast your vote in the poll below and then leave a comment announcing your pick and your rationale for the selection. Though you'll probably have discerned player identities by the late afternoon, I'll update this post with them around 4:00 p.m. EST.
*Top 25 Roundup...no upsets last night.
#18 IU trampled Illinois on the road.
#15 Duke defeated Florida State by 15 at home and Grayson Allen tripped someone again.
#24 SMU edged out Memphis at the FedEx Forum in what might be the waning hours of Josh Pastner's tenure as head man for the Tigers.
#22 Utah destroyed Arizona State 81-46. At one point in the first half, Utah was up 27-2.
*CBT's Rob Dauster sits down in the film room to analyze Derek Willis' emergence and his part in the transformation that the 'Cats have undergone in recent weeks.
*Here are Luke Winn's most recent Power Rankings for SI. The 'Cats check in at #9 and there's a colorful Jamal Murray-related graph in there.
I'm continuing to support Xavier as my non-UK NCAAT pick, especially after the big home win against Villanova on Wednesday night.
*Tennessee G Kevin Punter (remember him?) remains sidelined due to a stress fracture in his foot.
*Arizona head coach is the latest big name to weigh in on court storming. Miller's Arizona Wildcats, currently ranked #9, were upset by Colorado in Boulder on Wednesday night.
*Coach K has added former player, A-A and 2010 NCAA Champion Nolan Thomas to his coaching staff.
My guess is that Coach K believes that either Jeff Capel or Nate James, current Duke assistants, figure to get head coaching jobs sooner rather than later. It's been approximately five years since Capel buried the post-Blake Griffin Oklahoma Sooners, so people have likely forgotten about it, and James has developed into a premier recruiter.
*UK Hoops beat Mizzou by 10 in Memorial on Senior Night. Janee Thompson was recognized pregame as the squad's only senior.
Here are Jason's postgame notes.
*Below is your daily Tennessee football scandal digest.
Former UT official warned school about sexual assaults.
A recap of UT AD Dave Hart's press conference from yesterday afternoon.
SI's lengthy and fairly comprehensive description of the Title IX suit, which was updated yesterday afternoon.
*Positive Andrew Harrison D League update! Of particular note: he's shooting 44% from distance in February. He's currently the only 'Cat listed in the D League Prospect Watch, coming in at #21.
Statistically speaking, Harrison has been the best Kentucky product in the D League this season, as he's logged 37.5 minutes per game, notching 18.9 points, 5.1 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per contest.
*R.I.P. Vancouver Grizzlies. Here is a fantastic read from SI's Gerald Narciso on the franchise's birth north of the border, and its move to Memphis in 2001.
*Ken Berger ponders how much influence an organization's primary star should have on the direction of the organization. This is a very intriguing and relevant question when it comes to the NBA.
*After 55+ games of experimentation, Philadelphia head coach Brett Brown has settled on starting Nerlens Noel at the 5 and Jahlil Okafor at the 4.
Speaking of Noel, his numbers have dipped lately because his minutes have decreased. Brown has opted to see what he has in the rest of the roster (as he should) when the Sixers are inevitably losing by 20+ points midway through a game's third quarter. In Wednesday night's loss to Detroit, Noel had four rebounds, three blocks, two steals, and four points in just 20 minutes of action.
*Jameis Winston reflects on his rookie year. I offer it without my own comments, but consider perspectives from Deadspin's Tom Ley and PFT's Michael David Smith. There is sizable merit in both.
*Former Arkansas QB and 2016 NFL Draft hopeful Brandon Allen is doing a number of things to ensure that he gets selected as early as possible, including stretching out his tiny hands to make them larger. Poor Mr. Allen apparently had the tiniest hands at the Senior Bowl.
Measure yours (pinkie tip to thumb tip) and we can compare! Mine is just a quarter inch smaller than Allen's, at 8.25 inches. Which is alarming.
*Here is a draft profile for former 'Cats S AJ Stamps, from Hogs Haven, SB Nation's Washington Redskins site.
The Draft Combine starts today and here are live updates from CBS Sports.
*FiveThirtyEight's Katherine Hobson offers proof that BMI, an 150+ year old measurement for body health, is basically worthless.
*Every now and then, an unconventional film garners Best Picture accolades at the Oscars. Here are ten of those.
*Michael Specter examines how damaging and unproductive the Zika conspiracy theories are, for The New Yorker. Your move, matt10!
Player A: Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia / Player B: Denzel Valentine, Michigan State / Player C: Buddy Hield, Oklahoma / Player D: Tyler Ulis, Kentucky / Player E: Jarrod Uthoff, Iowa / Player F: Brice Johnson, UNC
So, as of 3:40 p.m. EST, ASoB's NPOY is Buddy Hield in a landslide, followed by Denzel Valentine, Brice Johnson, and Tyler Ulis. Poor Jarrod Uthoff.