Kemba leads, but it’ll be a crowded field for Player of Year

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Who ya got in college hoops player of the year race? There’s no shortage of worthy contenders.

UConn’s Kemba Walker – thanks to some early heroics and impressive scoring numbers – has the early lead in AnnArbor.com’s player of the year poll. (The poll’s a fair representation of who’s impressed writers around the country.)

Just not sure it’ll last.

Kentucky’s John Wall streaked to an early lead last season, only to be passed by Ohio State’s Evan Turner. With guys like Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger, BYU’s Jimmer Fredette, Duke’s Nolan Smith, Kentucky’s Terrence Jones and Purdue’s JaJuan Johnson having spectacular seasons, a Walker mis-step or two would make that race awfully tight.

Consider: Sullinger’s perhaps the nation’s best freshman and plays for an unbeaten team who’s likely to be No. 1. Fredette’s the nation’s leading scorer and routinely turns in jaw-dropping games perfect for SportsCenter. Smith’s the best player of Duke (always a plus), Jones is killing it for a surprising Wildcats squad and Johnson may be the nation’s best player NOT getting heaps of attention.

Like I said. It’s a crowded race.

Want more? I’m also on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.