East Carolina v Duke

College Basketball Talk Player of the Year Power Rankings

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source: Getty Images

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. Jabari Parker, Duke: Duke knocked off Eastern Michigan last week and Parker was terrific as always, finishing with 23 points and eight boards. The Blue Devils kick off ACC player on January 4th against Notre Dame.

2. Shabazz Napier, UConn: 15.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 5.9 apg, 2.8 t/o’s, 51.4% 3’s

There are six point guards on this list if you count Russ Smith as a point guard (Why not? He needs to be if he’s going to play in the NBA) so for those six players, we’re going to take a look at the numbers that Synergy has compiled for possessions they use vs. their efficiency when you factor in their assists.

A quick explanation of the numbers you’re looking at: PPP means points-per-possession, which is essentially a measure of how efficiency a player is offensively. Points-per-assists is a measure for how many threes those assists create; 2.500 PPA would mean that half of the player’s assists lead to three-pointers. %Rank tells you where that player ranks nationally in that stat.

PPP + assists is the key number here. It combines the points that player scores and creates off of assists, giving you a number for how much scoring a point guard creates:


3. Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State: 17.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 4.1 apg, 2.9 t/o’s, 32.8% 3’s

4. Doug McDermott, Creighton: McDermott continues to roll along, scoring 24 points and chipping in six boards in Creighton’s win over Chicago State. The Bluejays kick off Big East play on New Year’s Eve with a 10 p.m. tip against Marquette.

5. Julius Randle, Kentucky: Randle put together one of his best performances of the season in the first half against Louisville, going for 17 points on 7-for-8 shooting and completely dominating the Louisville front line. In the second half, he was saddled on the bench with cramping issues.

6. Tyler Ennis, Syracuse: 12.8 ppg, 5.1 apg, 1.1 t/o’s, 40.0% 3’s

7. Chaz Williams, UMass: 15.3 ppg, 7.7 apg, 3.3 t/o’s, 41.8% 3’s

8. Casey Prather, Florida: Prather had just 10 points and five turnovers in Florida’s only game last week, but it came in a 76-34 blowout where Florida had given up just 11 points at half time. 

9. Russ Smith, Louisville: 16.9 ppg, 4.9 apg, 2.5 t/o’s, 31.2% 3’s

10. Keith Appling, Michigan State: 15.9 ppg, 5.0 apg, 1.9 t/o’s, 47.7% 3’s

Others: Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson, Ron Baker, Cameron Bairstow, Jahii Carson, Jordan Clarkson, Aaron Craft, Joel Embiid, C.J. Fair, Aaron Gordon, Rodney Hood, Nick Johnson, Marcus Paige, Lamar Patterson, Adreian Payne, Elfrid Payton, T.J. Warren, Andrew Wiggins, Joseph Young

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
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Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.