Player of the Year Power Rankings for Nov. 27.
1. Julius Randle, Fr., Kentucky
Randle has begun his career with back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back double-doubles. The fewest offensive boards he's had in a game is four. He's averaging 19.8 points and 13.7 rebounds. At this point he won't just be the first Wildcat to average a double-double since Anthony Davis, but he'll be the best rebounder that John Calipari has coached in his career. He's simply been dominant on the inside, and is a large reason Kentucky is the No. 1 offensive rebounding team in the nation, and the 6th best team at getting to the line.
2. Jabari Parker, Fr., Duke
It's nearly impossible for highly rated freshman to live up to the hype, but Parker (like Randle) has done just that, and more. He's using more of the possessions (32.9%) than any player for Duke since tempo free data became available in the late 90s, and he's doing it with astonishing efficiency. Not only is he making 57% of his 2s and 61%!! of his 3s, but he's also controlling the boards and bringing down 8.8 per game in less than 30 minutes. He's already had several signature moments, my favorite of which was his one man break through five defenders for the slam. The only other guys his size who can do that are making an awful lot of money in the NBA.
3. Marcus Smart, So., Oklahoma State
The Cowboys are cruising, and a large part of that is Marcus Smart. Despite continued issues with his shot selection, he's quickly developing into the player everyone erroneously thought he was last year. Yes, he stuffs the statsheet, but now he's doing it with much more efficiency. With the new rules he's almost impossible to guard (2nd in the nation at drawing fouls), and he's a terror on the defensive end. Now if he'll just stop jacking so many 3s and instead focus on what he does best, which is getting into the lane and scoring, drawing fouls, or kicking to any one of the Cowboys' ridiculously accurate shooters
4. Jahii Carson, So., Arizona State
There's something about watching little guys dominate college basketball games that never gets old. Carson is in total control of ASU's offense, scoring 23 per game and adding 5.3 assists. After struggling with the 3-ball last year, he's made 56% of his attempts from the arc this season.
5. Jordan Adams, So., UCLA
Despite averaging 15.3 points as a freshman last year for UCLA, Adams was largely overlooked by the national media. That won't be the case this year. Through five games he's upped that average to 22.2 points by making 63% of his 2s, 46% of his 3s, and 87% of his free throws. He also joins Marcus Smart on the All-Terror team by stealing the ball on 6.5% of opponent possessions (8th best nationally).
6. Doug McDermott, Sr., Creighton
Another ho-hum season for McDermott. Using more possessions? Check. Better defensive rebounding numbers? Check. Improved 3-pt%? Check. All he's done is average 26.8 per game, and he gets a neutral site game vs Arizona State on Thanksgiving. We can all be thankful for that.
7. Russ Smith, Sr., Louisville
It's been a strange season for Russ Smith. He's increased his usage, 2-pt%, 3-pt%, FT%, and assist rate, and yet he's not being talked about as much as he was in previous seasons. Maybe the Russidiculous has worn off, and now he's just Russ. Only Russ is better. Who can't like a guy who put 16 3s vs UNC? Through six games Russ is averaging 20.2 points per game.
8. Anthony Drmic, Jr., Boise State
Buy Anthony Drmic stock while you still can. Sure his numbers are great (24.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.0 spg) but if you look at how he's done it, it's more impressive. Now in his 3rd year he's upped the percentage of the Broncos possessions he uses from 21.3% to 26.2% to 31.6%, and he's gotten more efficient each season. He draws more fouls/40 then any player in the Mountain West, he's been called for just seven fouls in four games, he doesn't turn the ball over, and just for kicks he steals the ball on 5.2% of opponent possessions.
9. Lamar Patterson, Sr., Pittsburgh
The Panthers have been dominant in the early going. Their schedule hasn't exactly been a huge challenge, but not a single team has come within 20 points. And Lamar Patterson leads them in points (17.0) and assists (5.3). Pitt has the 312th tempo in the nation, so Patterson won't get the possessions to put up huge numbers, but he's scored over 20 in three of the past four games and has made 14-25 (56%) 3s in that span, and added 18 assists to four turnovers.
10. Brad Waldow, Jr., St. Mary's
Everyone expected his numbers to decline once he was separated from the supernatural pick-and-roll abilities of Matthew Dellavedova. Instead, they've gone through the roof. Waldow is averaging 17.6 points and 7.6 rebounds. He's made 65% of his 2s and has posted the 2nd highest offensive efficiency (142.3) in the nation among high volume players. An overlooked stat is his ability to take care of the ball, despite being the focus of almost constant double teams. In 132 minutes he's turned the ball over twice.
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