Anthony Davis covers so much ground defensively, he might just catch up to Thomas Robinson in the national player of the year race.
Kentucky’s freshman center made a huge jump in the latest PoY straw poll conducted by ESPN’s Mike Rothstein, going from fourth to second overall. He’s still well behind Robinson in first-place votes (20 to 34), but given that he was only on 4 when voters were last surveyed, that sends a signal that Davis might just become the second freshman to win this award. (Kevin Durant in 2007.)
It’s not really Robinson’s fault, either.
Kansas’ junior forward still posts impressive stats (17.8 ppg, 12.0 rpg) and has double-doubles in five of his last seven games.
But Davis’ jaw-dropping defensive plays – 26 blocks in his last four games – and offensive efficiency – over a four-game stretch, he missed three shots total – and the Wildcats haven’t lost since early December.
Also notable? It appears to be a two-man race.
Robinson and Davis garnered the only first-place votes and swamped the competition. (Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger was a distant, distant third.) This one may come down to how the teams finish. If Kentucky finishes its SEC slate unbeaten, Davis might just win this award. ‘Course, if Kansas wins its eight straight Big 12 title, Robinson will have a strong argument as well.
Might be a year to split the votes.
You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.