This far into the season, I am suprised that so many talking heads are still gabbing about Hansborough on track for another POY award. Yes, he is consistently good in each game. He is averaging 22 pts/game which is very good. Nevertheless, looking around the country - it just looks like there are other players separating themselves as truly elite in their play. I look at the way Steph Curry, Blake Griffin, and even Jodie Meeks have played over the past month, and their performances seems just as stellar if not more so, and they too have good consistency night in and night out.
I love the ACC - best basketball conference. But when it comes to big men, the Big East rules the roost, and I can't help but think if we saw Hansborough go up against the likes of Dujuan Blair, Thabeet, Greg Monroe and Harangody numerous times, we wouldn't see POY stats for him. (Yes, I realize that he had a good game against ND this year, but we now know that Harangody had pneumonia at the time...) I know, that sounds like a cop-out, but its true. Put Hansborough in the Big East and his stats would be much more pedestrain, although I'm sure he would have the same work ethic and tough play. But if POY awards were given out for work ethic and heart, then Greg Paulus would have won it already.
I realize that, as a Duke die-hard, I'm not terribly open-minded about this. But I think its fair to say that Tyler is not the best college basketball player in the country right now - maybe not even in the top three. If things continue on the path they are now and he wins POY, then I think it will greatly cheapen the award.
He's a great player, don't get me wrong, but if I were picking my own starting five for a college team, he wouldn't be on it.
Hans and Currry have their supporters, but to me, it's a one man race. Blake Griffin has been the best player this season, to date.
Not many have noticed, as the powers that be at ESPN tend to ignore basketball west of oh, Chicago. Maybe they get to Kansas. But OU isn't discussed much.
My opinion is that Griffin is the Player of the Year and it's not particularly close right now. Curry is amazing, but he's not the contributor on both ends that Griffin is. Hans is not the most valuable player on his own team (that's Lawson). Most outstanding, maybe, but not most valuable.
Just my opinions.
I agree, my vote would be for Blake Griffin, with Steph Curry a close second. (...although my biased tendency would be for Curry, since I love the idea of someone from not-a-major-conference given what he deserves). Hans---- been there, done that, and....not, so far, doing anything spectacular.
Setting aside how any of us feel about Hansbrough, it's really hard for anyone to win a 2nd NPOY award.
Say you have an underclassman who wins an award that roughly translates to being the most outstanding player in his sport. We'll call him... Tim. The following year Tim faces tough competition from, say, Sam and, uh, Colt. But the even tougher competition for This Year Tim is Last Year Tim. People who decide these kinds of things are then super-inclined to spread the wealth. This Year Tim would have to make a quantum leap in improved play to even finish second.
This Year Tyler is even a more glaring case, because he's really Four Year Tyler, steady and consistent. Maybe sheer inertia will win him a few honors, but right now most everyone is looking for someone different. Heck, they're looking at UNC for someone different.
And last year, I actually thought it was silly that Beasley or Love didn't win it. Beasley's stats were out of this world. His reputation as someone who "doesn't work hard" (ask the Big 12 what that meant when he was dunking, rebounding, knocking down threes and blocking shots against everyone) got in his way. And Love was a far more efficient player, especially given the far slower pace that UCLA played which limited possessions with which to rack up points and rebounds. Oh yeah, and Love could pass the ball. I know I've got dark blue tinted glasses, but the stats did not indicate that Hansblah should have won. I think he is worthy of the award, but I think that both last year and this year there may be others that are just a little more deserving.