- Eamonn Brennan, ESPN Staff Writer
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This season, in addition to his ever-influential adjusted efficiency rankings, tempo-free stats guru Ken Pomeroy decided to begin offering a different, efficiency-based method of looking at the national player of the year award. Pomeroy's award is tempo-free through and through: It ignores reputation in favor of efficiency and usage rate, and while it's hard to quantify defense in tempo-free terms, it's not like the mainstream national player of the year awards focus much on defense anyway.
This season, Sullinger posted a 120.4 offensive rating while using 27% of the Buckeyes’ possessions while he was on the floor. The Buckeyes’ center also ranked in the top 50 nationally in both offensive and defensive rebounding percentage, and fouls drawn per minute. This, combined with Ohio State’s season-long excellence, allowed Sullinger to hold off an admirable post-season charge from UConn’s Kemba Walker.
Walker's strong finish in the Big East and NCAA tournaments surged him up the board to No. 2, while the Naismith Player of the Year, BYU's Jimmer Fredette, finished third. (Duke's Nolan Smith and Purdue's JaJuan Johnson finished fourth and fifth, respectively.) Does this mean the Naismith committee was wrong? I don't think so: Frankly, you can't go wrong with any of the Sullinger-Walker-Fredette trio, and Jimmer was the face of college hoops for the majority of the season. Pomeroy's findings put a concrete numerical rating beside the selection, but any of the three is deserving.
Next step, if you ask me, is making it official. Which means that Ken needs to get a trophy made. The Naismith has one. The USBWA Oscar Robertson award has one. Ken needs to pass out some hardware of his own. I'd happily donate one of my childhood soccer trophies to the cause. Imagine how stoked Sully would be to receive that.