Player of the Year Power Rankings: Zion Williamson is the runaway leader

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1. ZION WILLIAMSON, Duke

Zion is the runaway favorite at this point. There is not legitimate argument for anyone else at this point in time. As of today, this is what he is averaging: 22.3 points, 9.0 boards, 2.3 assists, 2.1 steals and 2.0 blocks while shooting 68.7 percent from the floor. According to sources, that’s pretty good.

2. GRANT WILLIAMS, Tennessee

Williams is the best player on the No. 1 team in the country and averaging 20.4 points, 7.5 boards, 3.4 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.3 steals. He’s a monster, and he’s doing it for the No. 1 team in the country. Did I mention Tennessee is the No. 1 team in the country?

3. MARKUS HOWARD, Marquette

The Golden Eagles played two road games since the last time we checked in with them. Howard averaged 31.5 points in those two games, shooting 24-for-45 from the floor and 6-for-14 from three as they won two games.

4. JA MORANT, Murray State

Morant has continued to put up astronomical numbers, but unfortunately, with a home loss to Belmont and a loss at Jacksonville State in recent weeks, it looks like the Racers are going to have to be auto-bid or bust to get the nation’s leader in assists into the NCAA tournament.

5. ETHAN HAPP, Wisconsin

Wisconsin bounced back from a stretch where they lost four out of five to win five in a row During that stretch, Happ put up 26 points, 10 boards and seven assists against Michigan, had one game where he went for a triple-double with two blocks and two steals and another where he finished with 18 points, 11 boards, six assists, two steals and two blocks. He’s a machine, and no one is giving him enough credit.

6. CASSIUS WINSTON, Michigan State

Michigan State played their two worst games in Big Ten play in their last two games, losing at Purdue and then dropping a home game to Indiana on Saturday. In those two losses, Winston averaged 24.5 points, 8.0 assists, 7.5 boards and 2.5 steals while shooting 44.4 percent from the floor and 8-for-16 from three.

7. DEDRIC LAWSON, Kansas

One of the changes that Kansas made on Saturday in their blowout win over Texas Tech was that they let Lawson operate more on the perimeter and took him away from the post. This made it more difficult for the Red Raiders to double him and take the ball out of his hands, and he responded with 25 points and ten boards while hitting all three of his threes and shooting 9-for-14 from the floor in a 16 point win.

8. R.J. BARRETT, Duke

As the season progresses, it’s nice to see that Zion Williamson is carrying more of the load for Duke offensively. He’s much more efficient, and while Barrett is more advanced as a go-to guy that Zion is, we’ve seen what happens when Barrett is forced to be the guy that takes 25 or 30 shots in a game.

9. JARRETT CULVER, Texas Tech

Jarrett Culver has forgotten how to shoot. Through nine games in Big 12 play, the Texas Tech star guard is shooting 4-for-36 from three. That’s a cool 11.1 percent, which is actually up from 9.1 percent after he went 1-for-3 from the three-point line on Monday night. It is worth noting that he shot 4-for-5 from three against Arkansas in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, a game played in the middle of league play, and that he shot 38.2 percent from three last season while taking more threes per game. I don’t think his shot is broken, but this is certainly something to track.

10. DE’ANDRE HUNTER, Virginia

I think I’ve settled on Hunter being the best all-american candidate from Virginia, and I think that he is a better all-american candidate than either Rui Hachimura or Brandon Clarke from Gonzaga, but it’s so close. There are arguments to make either way.

IN THE MIX: Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Virginia Tech), Jordan Caroline (Nevada), Brandon Clarke (Gonzaga), Carsen Edwards (Purdue), Rui Hachimura (Gonzaga), Ty Jerome (Virginia), Charles Matthews (Michigan), Shamorie Ponds (St. John’s)