Top 5 Candidates for Men’s College Basketball National Player of the Year
By: Brian 
March 8, 2024

Top 5 Candidates for Men’s College Basketball National Player of the Year

When it comes to college basketball, one of the most prestigious individual awards a player can achieve is the Men’s College Basketball National Player of the Year. It's a recognition that signifies excellence, consistency, and an indomitable spirit on the court.  As we enter the final stretch of the regular season, it's time to look at the top 5 candidates for this year’s award.


Zach Edey: Purdue's Dominant Center


Zach Edey, the 7-foot-4 center from Purdue, has been nothing short of a force to be reckoned with this season. Hailing from Canada, Edey has continued to dominate the paint, averaging 23.0 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game. His impressive performance has put him firmly in the driver's seat as the front-runner to secure the National Player of the Year honor again.


To provide some context, it's worth noting that it has been nearly four decades since a player secured back-to-back wins of the Wooden Award. However, Edey's remarkable performance suggests he might be on the verge of rewriting history. His odds have already shortened to -700 as we approach the end of January, indicating his growing dominance on the court.


Additionally, his consistent excellence has significantly impacted the team’s FanDuel NCAAB odds, reflecting the heightened expectations and excitement surrounding his performance.

RJ Davis: North Carolina's Sharpshooting Star

North Carolina boasts a veteran sharpshooter in RJ Davis, who seems to be a lock for ACC Player of the Year. Davis has been lighting up the scoreboard, averaging an impressive 21.2 points per game. His accuracy from beyond the arc, shooting at a 40.8% clip, and exceptional 92.9% free-throw shooting make him a standout performer in the Atlantic Coast Conference.


Davis leads the ACC in scoring and recently earned the title ACC Player of the Week for the third time. His consistency in scoring and record-breaking streak of multiple three-pointers in 17 consecutive games set him apart as a player of extraordinary caliber.

Dalton Knecht: Tennessee's Perimeter Scorer

Dalton Knecht, a transfer from Northern Colorado, has been a revelation for the Tennessee Volunteers this season. He has provided the team with the consistent perimeter-scoring threat missing in the previous year. In a remarkable stretch, Knecht has scored 30-plus points in three of his last four outings, proving his ability to carry the team on his shoulders.


While Knecht might not be considered an elite athlete in the traditional sense, his ability to shoot and score has pushed him into contention as a potential first-round pick in the upcoming NBA draft. His recent hot streak has kept Tennessee competitive and put him in a prime position to compete for individual accolades.

Tyler Kolek: Marquette's Ignition Switch

Tyler Kolek is the ignition switch for the Marquette Golden Eagles. He leads the Big East in assists with an impressive 7.1 per game while contributing 14.2 points of his own. In a recent game against Villanova, Kolek showcased his prowess by hitting five 3-pointers and scoring a career-high 32 points to secure a crucial win for his team.


Kolek's ability to step up when it matters most and his knack for making critical plays have been instrumental in Marquette's success this season. His performance against Villanova demonstrated his capability to lead his team to victory in high-pressure situations.

Mark Sears: Alabama's Scoring Leader

Meet Mark Sears, the star guard for the Alabama Crimson Tide. He's a scoring sensation in the SEC, averaging an impressive 20.0 points per game. His incredible three-point shooting at 43.7% sets him apart, making him a reliable long-range shooter.


But Sears is more than just a scorer. He's a versatile player who helps his team in many ways. He dishes out 6.5 assists per game, setting up his teammates for success, and he's a pesky defender, stealing the ball about twice per game.


Recent accolades further cement Sears' status as one of the brightest stars in the SEC. His recognition as the SEC Player of the Week underscores the consistency and excellence he brings to every game. Sears elevated his performance to a new level in high-stakes matchups against formidable opponents like Auburn and LSU. Averaging an astounding 21.5 points, 6.5 assists, four rebounds, and two steals in these critical games, he showcased his ability to shine on the biggest stages and lead his team to victory.


Mark Sears is a standout in the SEC and a national talent. Keep an eye on him as he leads Alabama in pursuing the conference title. With his scoring, three-point shooting, playmaking, and defense, he's a player to watch in the competitive world of college basketball. Alabama fans and basketball lovers are in for some thrilling performances from this talented guard.

Final Takeaway

The competition is fierce with Zach Edey's dominance, RJ Davis's sharpshooting, Dalton Knecht's scoring streak, Tyler Kolek's playmaking abilities, and Mark Sears' leadership. Who will ultimately be crowned the National Player of the Year? Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure - the journey to the top is nothing short of thrilling.

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