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K-Rob's Korner 3-20
Who's b-ball's best?
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With March Madness in full swing, with most of the brackets already busted, including mine, the time is now to ask the question: Who is college basketball’s player of the year for the 2015-2016 season?
I’ve watched numerous games this season and have kept up with players I think should be worthy of the John R. Wooden Award for player of the year honors, and they include Oklahoma sharp-shooter Buddy Hield, Michigan State senior leader Denzel Valentine and Kentucky star point guard Tyler Ulis.
Before you ask why freshman phenom Ben Simmons from LSU isn’t on the list, the answer is because he is ineligible to receive the award due to underperforming in the academic department. So, here is my case for each player I see worthy of being a finalist for the award.
The case for Oklahoma senior Buddy Hield: Buddy who? Hield has been on fire this year for the Sooners. After underperforming in his first three years in Norman, Hield has led the Sooners to a No. 2 seed in the West of the NCAA tournament. Hield has averaged 25 points a game to go along with 5.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. He has arguably been the most dominating player in college basketball this year, since the season tipped off.
The case for Michigan State senior Denzel Valentine: Valentine, a senior who is the vocal leader for the Spartans, has averaged nearly a triple-double this year with 19.4 points per game, 7.6 rebounds and 7.6 assists. He has been a major factor for the Spartans over the years, and has improved throughout his career. Valentine and Michigan State hold the No. 2 seed in the Midwest, thanks to Valentine’s dominating play this year, although the Spartans were stunned Friday by MTSU.
The case for Tyler Ulis: How can a 5-foot-9 point guard win the award as college basketball’s top player, you may ask? Just because he is small in stature, Ulis has led the Wildcats since the start of the season, with clutch shooting and precision passing. Averaging 17 points, 3 rebounds and 7 assists, Ulis plays much bigger than he looks and deserves to be mentioned for this award. Size shouldn’t always matter in college basketball.
So after making my case for each player, I believe the award should go to Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield because he exemplifies a true leader and has showed how to dominate every opponent he plays, no matter what their ranking or the environment. He’s a determined player and lays it all on the line and that’s what the face of college basketball should do. Hield will definitely be a lottery pick in the upcoming NBA draft.