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Brooks is Ballin'

SPECIAL TO ESPN.COM

January 23, 2007

I have spoken a lot about Alando Tucker for national Player of the year honors. The Badgers star has been terrific and Bo Ryan's squad currently enjoys the nation's longest win streak at 15.

Kevin Durant has been America's best diaper dandy and he should also garner consideration for Player of the Year honors. Yes, Villanova did a good job holding him in check (12 points), but you look at Durant's recent stretch where he averaging 34 ppg.

Let me tell you, one player not receiving enough notoriety is Oregon guard Aaron Brooks. How important has he been for the Ducks? In the last six games, he has either led or shared the team's scoring honors. He had 31 against USC, 25 vs. UCLA and his perrformance has been clutch. Overall he's averaging 18.4 ppg. on a squad that has a lot of talented offensive threats.

I received a phone call from former Sports Illustrated writer Curry Kirkpatrick, who told me that Brooks deserves a lot more ink. Curry is 100 percent correct. The Ducks are a solid team, top 10 in many circles, and Brooks is the key reason for the success.

I am going to my VBDI and Brooks is now number two in the race for POY honors. I stick with Tucker first, Brooks second, Durant third and Nevada's Nick Fazekas fourth.

To the victor goes the spoils.

Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in December 1979. Send him a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.

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