Plumlee leads the Player of the Year watch

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Duke senior Mason Plumlee has the Blue Devils off to a hot start. (Getty Images)  
Duke senior Mason Plumlee has the Blue Devils off to a hot start. (Getty Images)  


By Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish | College Basketball Insiders

It's early in the season, so that means there's bound to be plenty of changes with the Player of the Year Race. We've got a new leader in the clubhouse, a senior who hasn't exactly blown people away throughout his first three seasons in college. We've also added three newcomers to the list. However, Creighton's Doug McDermott is starting to get things going with his offensive game -- and that could spell trouble for everyone else. Especially if the Bluejays keep on winning.

Player of the Year Watch List
Week 2
1. Mason Plumlee--Prev. 5
PF | 6-10 | SR | Duke

He's the best player on arguably the best team in America right now. Plumlee averaged 17.7 points and eight boards in three wins down in the Bahamas as the Blue Devils claimed the Battle of Atlantis crown. For the season, the middle Plumlee is averaging 19.7 points, 10 boards and nearly two blocks per game. He's also making 80 percent of his free throws after shooting below 55 percent in each of his first three seasons in Durham.

2. Doug McDermott--Prev. 4
F | 6-8 | JR | Creighton

After coming out of the gates slowly, the skilled forward has gotten it going. He scored 30 and grabbed eight rebounds in a big win against Wisconsin and followed it up with 29 points and nine boards in a victory over Arizona State. His overall numbers: 21 points, 7.8 rebounds and 52 percent from the field. The one area he's struggled thus far is his perimeter shooting -- as he's making 30 percent from long distance.

3. Marcus Smart--Prev. 1
G | 6-4 | FRESH | Oklahoma State

Has burst onto the scene and immediately made a difference in Stillwater. In fact, he's the reason why the Cowboys remain undefeated and are ranked. Smart had eight points and nine assists in a win over Portland State and is averaging 13.4 points, seven boards, 5.8 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.4 blocks per game this season.

4. Jeff Withey--Prev. N/A
C | 7-0 | SR | Kansas

He's arguably the best interior defender in the nation and his scoring continues to improve. Is coming off a triple-double (16 points, 12 rebounds, 12 blocks) and is averaging 14.2 points, 8.7 rebounds and 6.2 blocks per game this season.

5. Cody Zeller--Prev. 3
C | 7-0 | SOPH | Indiana

Still hasn't been dominant yet this season despite putting up impressive overall numbers. He averaged 16 points and eight boards in his last two games -- wins over Georgetown and Ball State -- and his overall numbers are 15.2 points, 7.7 boards and 1.2 blocks per game.

6. Alex Len--Prev. 7
C | 7-1 | SOPH | Maryland

The season-opening performance against Kentucky was his breakout, but the skilled Ukrainian has shown it was hardly a fluke. He's averaging 15.6 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game this season and remains far from a finished product.

7. Aaron Craft--Prev. 5
PG | 6-2 | JR | Ohio State

Don't judge Craft by numbers -- although they are impressive enough to merit inclusion. But Craft does just about everything: Runs the team, leads the team, defends and now even scores. Craft is averaging 14.3 points and 5.3 assist per game while shooting 47 percent from 3-point land and 84 percent from the line.

8. Isaiah Canaan--Prev. 10
PG | 6-1 | SR | Murray State

Canaan is as prolific of a scoring guard as there is in the nation. He had 32 points against Lipscomb and 30 in a win over Old Dominion. He also made 6-of-11 trifectas in each game and is averaging 20.6 points, 3.4 assists and 3.0 boards this season while shooting 40 percent from deep.

9. Tim Hardaway Jr.--Prev. N/A
SG | 6-5 | JR | Michigan

On a team with arguably the best point guard in the nation, it's been Hardaway who has been the team's best player thus far. He's matured and is averaging 18.2 points and 6.8 rebounds while shooting 48 percent from deep.

10. Archie Goodwin--Prev. N/A
G | 6-4 | FRESH | Kentucky

The Wildcats have a few talented frosh, as usual, but it's been Goodwin who has made the most significant impact -- despite having to spend time at the point guard spot. Goodwin averaged 25 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists in wins over LIU-Brooklyn and Morehead State and is averaging 19 points, 5.2 boards and 4.4 assists overall this year.

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