Player of the year hype, production, voter needs and more

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College basketball national player of the year award won’t be handed out for months, but the hype starts almost immediately. This year, it was UConn’s Kemba Walker who nabbed the early lead thanks to his heroics at the Maui Invitational, an obscene jump in his scoring average and some late-game winners in January.

But BYU’s Jimmer Fredette – the man with unlimited shooting range – and Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger – the force down low – are right with Walker thanks to their own impressive seasons.

Which brings me to two questions: What do voters seek in their player of the year, and does the media hype outstrip a player’s actual performance?

Luckily, I have two writers who can answer those questions.

Ken Davis tackled the first one in his weekly column, touching on if people vote for the player most crucial to his team’s success, the best player on the best team or the best player, period.

David Hess went to work on the second one, sorting out where players stood before the season began, what kind of media attention they’re getting now, and if said attention correlates to their on-court production. (Pay attention to how much support Sullinger has around him.)

It’s fabulous stuff. And with Ohio State and UConn playing tonight and BYU tomorrow, it couldn’t be more timely. Enjoy.

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