- Jason King
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Kentucky’s Anthony Davis retained his No. 1 ranking on this week’s ballot, but it’s not as if he had much competition. Thomas Robinson of Kansas has played just one game since the last ballot was released, and that was against Big 12 doormat Texas Tech. He’ll have a chance to shine on a national stage when the Jayhawks host No. 3 Missouri on Saturday.
Anthony Davis, Kentucky: Davis had 13 points and 11 rebounds against arguably the best player he’ll face in the SEC all season in Mississippi State’s Arnett Moultrie. What’s strange is that Moultrie finished with the exact same stat line. Davis is still the biggest reason Kentucky is 27-1 and ranked No. 1 in America.
Thomas Robinson, Kansas: The junior forward had 16 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals in just 24 minutes against Texas Tech on Saturday. Robinson continues to move up NBA draft boards and is now projected as a top-five pick by most media outlets, meaning this is likely his final year in college.
Draymond Green, Michigan State: A senior, Green cracked my top five for the first time last week, and he responded by scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in each of his next two games. He also averaged six assists in those contests, both of which were wins. Green is the leading candidate to win Big Ten Player of the Year.
Isaiah Canaan, Murray State: The junior has played as well as any point guard in America in leading the Racers to a 26-1 record. Canaan scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half of Saturday’s BracketBusters win over Saint Mary’s. He’s shooting 48 percent from 3-point range but can also blow by defenders to get to the basket.
Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette: The Golden Eagles have won 10 of their past 11 games and are tied for second place in the Big East thanks to Johnson-Odom, a senior guard who averages 18.6 points and shoots 45.1 percent from the field. Johnson-Odom is averaging 23.3 points in his past three games and will push West Virginia’s Kevin Jones for Big East Player of the Year honors.
On the cusp:
Harrison Barnes, North Carolina: Much like he did as a freshman, Barnes is playing his best late in the season. He’s averaging 22.3 points in his last three games.
Marcus Denmon, Missouri: The senior guard had 19 points in Tuesday’s home loss to Kansas State but was just 7-of-19 from the field. He needs to have a huge game Saturday at Kansas to stay on this list.
Kevin Jones, West Virginia : Jones (20.4 points, 11.3 rebounds) has fallen out of the top five for the first time all season. I’ll move him back up if he leads the Mountaineers to a win against either Notre Dame or Marquette this week.
Kris Joseph, Syracuse: It just wouldn’t feel right to not have a player from the nation’s second-best team on this list. Joseph, who leads the Orange with 14 points per game, gets the nod.
Damian Lillard, Weber State: The junior ranks second in the nation with a 24.5-point scoring average, but he’s tallied just 17 points in each of his last two games.
Scott Machado, Iona: The Gaels lead the nation in scoring with 83.1 points per game. Machado, who averages 10.1 assists, is the main reason. He had 15 assists against Nevada on Saturday.
Doug McDermott, Creighton: The son of head coach Greg McDermott had 36 points in Saturday’s BracketBusters victory over Long Beach State before scoring 21 in Tuesday’s overtime win against Evansville.
Mike Scott, Virginia: Scott averages 17.2 points and 8.2 rebounds while shooting an eye-popping 58.9 percent from the field. He’ll have a chance to help Virginia pull off its biggest win of the season in Saturday’s home game against North Carolina.
Cody Zeller, Indiana: NBA draft analysts are saying that Cody, a freshman, could be a lottery pick after this season. He averages 15.6 points and 6.6 rebounds.
Tyler Zeller, North Carolina: Cody’s older brother ranks second on the Tar Heels in both points (15.6) and rebounds (9.5). He also projects as an NBA lottery pick.