Just this morning I wrote about the reception Evan Turner received on the big show last night -- SportsCenter trotted out just about every college basketball analyst ESPN has, all of them agreeing on one salient and totally-true fact: Evan Turner deserves the player of the year award. For those of us who have been screaming Turner's name from the mountaintop for a few months now, this sudden consensus is gratifying.
Despite a very legitimate case from Kentucky guard John Wall, Turner has turned (sorry) a corner in the perception of the college basketball writerati, if not entirely among college basketball fans themselves. Today makes it more official, as Turner took a commanding lead in AnnArbor.com's straw poll of 49 national player of the year voters (who serve as voters on various real-life player of the year voting panels). Turner notched 41 first place votes. Second place went to Wall with eight first-place and 31 second-place votes, while third and fourth went to Syracuse's Wesley Johnson and Villanova's Scottie Reynolds, respectively.
There you have it. This is AnnArbor.com's final straw poll. The four actual player of the year awards (the Naismith, the Wooden, the Robertson, and the AP, which totally needs to name their award after, like, Shane Battier, or something) won't be handed out until later in March and early April. Technically, there is still time for Wall to mount one last challenge to Turner. It's unlikely, though; the Villain will almost certainly be your consensus 2009-10 player of the year. What's even better? He will completely deserve it.