ESPN has been taking a straw poll of 54 national basketball writers over the course of the season to track the outlook in the Player of the Year race. Each of the writers surveyed has a vote in at least one of the four major POY awards (USBWA, Wooden, Naismith and AP), so it is probably the most accurate projection of how the actual voting will look as it goes down over the season’s final weeks. That’s why I’m pleased to tell you that Anthony Davis, for the first time this season, came out on top of the voting.
After gradually closing the gap between himself and Thomas Robinson the last few weeks, Davis finally overtook the Kansas big man in the straw poll, although he was in first by the slimmest margin in the history of the voting. With a first-place vote worth three points, a second-place worth two and third-place worth one, Davis topped Robinson 146-143 in the voting. He took 32 first-place votes to Robinson’s 26, and was on top despite being completely left off of one person’s ballot. That person is an idiot, and it would be a lot more comical that they left Davis off if the idiot didn’t have a real vote for a real award. Still, it’s a testament to how much of an impact Davis is making that he can win the poll even without appearing on every ballot, which Robinson did.
Michigan State’s Draymond Green is the only other player to appear on a significant number of ballots and finished third, while Murray State’s Isaiah Canaan got 1.5 third-place votes, putting him in 7th place. The most interesting part of this week’s update, though, may be finding out when each of the POY ballots are due. The USBWA ballot is due this Sunday, the Naismith is due March 9th, the AP is due on Selection Sunday and the Wooden Award ballot allows for some postseason play to be included and is due on March 19th. That means it’s likely that we’re looking at some kind of a split of the major honors, and that there’s still time for each of the frontrunners to make final impressions for some of the awards. This is one of the closest POY races ever and it’ll be interesting to see how it turns out. Interesting, that is, as long as Anthony Davis wins some awards. Otherwise, it’s crap. You can see the full breakdown of the voting at the link below.
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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