Marcus Smart

Player of the Year Power Rankings: Marcus Smart leads the way

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The 2013-2014 season is sure to be a thrilling Player of the Year race, so to keep track of it, we will be posting weekly Player of the Year Power Rankings for your reading goodness.

Who’d we miss? Who’s ranked too high? We love to overlook your team’s best player and overrate your rival’s superstar.

1. Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State): Smart had three good-but-not-great games against overmatched competition to start the season, but he turned in one of the most dominant performances on both ends in a blowout win over Memphis on Tuesday.

2. Jabari Parker (Duke): Parker is averaging 22.4 ppg, 8.8 rpg and 2.0 bpg, becoming the first Duke freshmen to hit for 20 in his first five games.

3. Shabazz Napier (UConn): Napier is quietly having a dominant season, averaging 13.5 points, 9.8 boards and 7.5 assists in four games with one triple-double under his belt already.

4. Doug McDermott (Creighton): Dougie McBuckets has been as awesome as we expected. He’s averaging 25.7 points with one game-winner on his resume already.

5. Jahii Carson (Arizona State): Carson, like Smart, had three good games against cupcakes before going off for 40 points and seven assists in a win over UNLV.

6. Julius Randle (Kentucky): The numbers — 20.8 points, 13.4 boards, five double-doubles — speak for themselves. The turnovers — 17 in five games, eight against Michigan State — need to get cut down.

7. Perry Ellis (Kansas): With all the talk about Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, it’s Ellis and his 19.0 points and 8.0 boards that is leading the Jayhawks.

8. Joseph Young (Oregon): Young is averaging 26.7 points in three games, including a 24 point performance in a win over Georgetown in South Korea.

9. Tyler Haws (BYU): Haws is averaging 29.5 points and 10.5 boards in wins over Weber State and at Stanford. He hasn’t played in more than a week due to an abdominal strain.

10. Keith Appling (Michigan State): Appling has been terrific this season, averaging 15.3 points, 6.3 assists and 4.0 boards. Is he (gasp!) a point guard?

Others: Aaron Craft, Aaron Gordon, Rodney Hood, Nick Johnson, Roberto Nelson, Russ Smith, Noah Vonleh, Andrew Wiggins,

POSTERIZED: Pensacola State’s Jamal Thomas dunks through block attempt, makes coach go nuts

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A solid poster dunk went down in the junior college ranks last night as Pensacola State sophomore Jamal Thomas finished a dunk through a block attempt against Northwest Florida State.

The 6-foot-3 Thomas used his power and momentum to go through the opposing shot blocker and the play made his head coach, Pete Pena, go nuts with an over-exaggerated fist pump. The video is short, but be sure to watch for Pena’s reaction near the logo at the top right of the screen.

VIDEO: Boise State robbed of insane, buzzer-beating win on incorrect timing by officials

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It looked like James Webb III of Boise State had hit the season’s craziest buzzer-beater.

With 0.8 seconds left, he caught an in-bounds pass on the run on the right wing, hoisted up a prayer of a three and watched as it banked it as the buzzer sounded.

It’s pretty fantastic:

And it also clearly left his hands before time expired, but there was a reason for that. According to the officials, the clock (for the road team, mind you) did not start when the ball was caught.

They were right.

Where they were wrong was determining that it took more than a second for Webb to catch and release the shot, meaning that they were wrong to waive off the bucket.

This awesome slo-mo clip of the shot from Matt Stephens of the Coloradoan is all the evidence I need, but if you need more, Sportscenter anchor Scott Van Pelt clocked it at 0.7 seconds:

The game would go to overtime, where Colorado State would go on to win, 97-93.

As you can imagine, Boise State players and coaches were livid with the call.

“I hope it’s not a situation where you get an apology later but don’t get the win. I don’t understand it,” head coach Leon Rice said in a radio interview after the game. “I hope they got it right somehow, some way. I don’t know. It didn’t look right to me, but I’m not the official.”

This comes just four days after officials blew a call in a game between New Mexico and San Diego State that allowed the Aztecs to force overtime and eventually beat the Lobos. (That call may have determined the outcome of the Mountain West regular season title, to boot.)

New Mexico was essentially told, “my bad”, but the league as a result.

And Boise State will probably get the same treatment despite the fact that, if the league determines that the referees botched this call as well, the tame technically was over then.

Will they have the guts to award the Broncos a road win that they earned and deserve?

I doubt it.

UPDATE: Here’s a statement from the officiating crew: