College Basketball Player of the Year rankings: Malik Monk jumps into top 10
Kansas' Frank Mason and Villanova's Josh Hart are at the top
The deadline to submit my "Wooden Award Late Season Top 20" ballot is Wednesday afternoon. So in attempt to make the CBS Sports Player of the Year rankings line up with that, I trimmed last week's list of 30 to 20.
Kansas guard Frank Mason remains at the top.
Villanova's Josh Hart is still second.
But things changed after that. And what you'll find below is an exact replica of my Wooden Award ballot with the first 10 players ranked in order of merit while the second 10 are merely listed in alphabetical order.
(Remember, National Players of the Year do not historically come from non-NCAA Tournament teams. So I do not consider players from such teams as candidates for this specific award. That's why, for instance, Washington's Markelle Fultz is not listed. He's terrific, a statistical monster and the likely No. 1 pick of the 2017 NBA Draft. But his team isn't good enough for him to be considered for a National Player of the Year award. I'm not saying it's fair. I'm just saying it's true.)
Player of Year rankings
1. FRANK MASON
G | 5-11 | Sr.
Previous rank: 1
|Mason has scored at least 15 points in nine consecutive games and is coming off of a 21-point effort in Saturday's win at Kentucky. The senior point guard is averaging 19.9 points, 5.1 assists and 4.3 rebounds for a Kansas team that projects as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. He's shooting 51.1 percent from the field and 51.6 percent from 3-point range.|
2. JOSH HART
G | 6-5 | Sr.
Previous rank: 2
|Hart wasn't great in Sunday's win over Virginia but he still helped Villanova avoid a home loss to the Cavaliers. The senior guard is averaging 18.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists for the reigning national champions, who are projected to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. He's scored at least 11 points in every game this season.|
F | 6-10 | Jr.
Previous rank: 5
|Motley is the main reason Baylor is ranked second in the CBS Sports Top 25 (and one) and 20-1 heading into Wednesday night's showdown with Kansas. The junior forward is averaging 16.2 points and 9.6 rebounds in 29.1 minutes per game. He got 32 points and 20 rebounds in a win over Texas last month.|
F | 6-9 | So.
Previous rank: 3
|Swanigan has 18 double-doubles in 22 games and is averaging 18.5 points and 12.7 rebounds for a Purdue team that's ranked 17th in the Top 25 (and one). The sophomore forward has four 20-20 games, which leads the nation. He's shooting 54.9 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from 3-point range.|
5. LONZO BALL
G | 6-6 | Fr.
Previous rank: 4
|Ball's Bruins have dropped two straight games -- first at home to Arizona two Saturdays ago, then at USC last Wednesday night. But the freshman point guard is still averaging 14.9 points, 8.0 assists and 5.8 rebounds for a UCLA team that's 19-3 and ranked 10th in the Top 25 (and one). He's shooting 53.8 percent from the field and 43.1 percent from 3-point range.|
6. ETHAN HAPP
F | 6-10 | Soph.
Previous rank: 8
|Happ finished with 32 points in Saturday's win over Rutgers, then got 14 points and 13 rebounds in Tuesday's victory at Illinois. The sophomore forward is averaging 14.5 points and 9.2 rebounds for a Wisconsin team that's projected to win the Big Ten. He's doing this despite playing just 26.6 minutes per game while the Badgers play at one of the nation's slowest tempos.|
G | 6-3 | Jr.
Previous rank: 7
|Williams-Goss scored 25 points in 26 minutes in last Thursday's win over San Diego, then got 12 points, eight assists and six rebounds in Saturday's win over Pepperdine that pushed the Zags to 22-0 and allowed them to move to No. 1 in the AP poll. The Washington transfer is averaging 14.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.9 assists. He's shooting 49.4 percent from the field and 86.5 percent from the free-throw line.|
8. MALIK MONK
G | 6-3 | Fr.
Previous rank: NR
|Monk got 37 points in Tuesday's win over Georgia and helped John Calipari avoid his first three-game losing streak since 2005. The freshman guard is now averaging 22.4 points in 31.3 minutes per game. He's shooting 41.2 percent from 3-point range and has eclipsed the 30-point barrier three times.|
F | 7-0 | Fr.
Previous rank: 10
|Markkanen has reached double-figures in points in all but one game and is averaging 16.8 points and 7.6 rebounds for an Arizona team that's ranked fifth in the Top 25 (and one) and projected to win the Pac-12. The freshman forward is shooting 52.6 percent from the field and 50.5 percent from 3-point range. He scored a career-high 30 points in last month's win over Arizona State.|
10. LUKE KENNARD
Duke Blue Devils
G | 6-6 | Soph.
Previous rank: NR
|Kennard is averaging 25.0 points and shooting 64.0 percent from the field in Duke's past two games, which were both road wins over quality opponents. The sophomore guard is averaging 20.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists on the season. He's shooting 54.0 percent from the field, 46.9 percent from 3-point range and 85.0 percent from the free-throw line.|
THE NEXT TEN (in alphabetical order): Joel Berry (North Carolina), Bonzie Colson (Notre Dame), De'Aaron Fox (Kentucky), Josh Jackson (Kansas), Justin Jackson (North Carolina), Jock Landale (Saint Mary's), Donovan Mitchell (Louisville), Alec Peters (Valparaiso), Sindarius Thornwell (South Carolina), Melo Trimble (Maryland)
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