CORONADO, CA - NOVEMBER 11: John Henson #31 of the North Carolina Tar Heels scores on a layup in front of Draymond Green #10 of the Michigan State Spartans during the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic on board the USS Carl Vinson on November 11, 2011 in Coronado, California. The Tar Heels won 67-55. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
As we all know, the race for player of the year is a marathon, and not a sprint. With that said, it was a certain Kemba Walker who took hold of the college basketball community early last season and proceeded to keep us on the edge of our seats well into April. With a bunch of select games on the docket this week pitting POY contenders from coast-to-coast, it's worth watching to see if anyone will ascend to Walker's early 2010-11 form and separate himself from the rest.
It's with little surprise that the top five from last week remains unchanged. You'll see a minimal amount of jockeying going on among players in the 6-15 range, but keep in mind this is more of a broad reflection than any one or two game comparison. At the bottom of the big board resides a pair of first-timers for 2011-12, Purdue's Robbie Hummel and Missouri's Marcus Denmon. Both guys narrowly missed in week one, and could easily be around for the long haul.
Week two big board after the jump...
||Jared Sullinger-OSU||3 blocks in opener was nice to see. Gets Florida & Patric Young on Tue.
|2||--||Harrison Barnes-UNC||Hasn't exploded yet. Hasn't needed to either. 17-5 in both games.
||Surprise, surprise: Zero turnovers in 28 min vs. Kennesaw St.
||Sat out opener on 1-game suspension. Back Tue. vs. IPFW
||UK freshmen look promising. Could be a crowded box score each night.
|6||+1||Jeremy Lamb-CONN||His 30 point, 4 steal performance was overshadowed by this
||2 games in, 2 games w/ less than 43% FGs. Frustrated by Clev St.
||Looked strong on glass in Carrier Classic. More tests are coming.
||Out until late November. Still plenty of time to go nuts statistically.
||Clutch shooter. Already has nine 3PMs in two games.
||Might be better than we imagined. Efficiency level is still unreal.
||Business as usual in opener (24-5-2). Gets upstart Clev. St. on Fri.
||Nailed a three on Fri. after making just one over last three seasons.
||Might not top his 14.6ppg from a year ago with Justin Cobbs around.
||Scary-good debut: 23 pts, 10 rebs, 5 blks, 3 asts in just 23 min.
Only blocked two shots vs. UNC-Ash. after swatting NINE vs. MSU.
|17||+2||Kendall Marshall-UNC||Can't ignore a 15:1 AST:TO ratio in one game. NCAA assist leader?
||Still suspended for that phony ruling. Might not hang on much longer.
||Flirted w/ the top 20 last year. Like that rebound #'s are up in 11-12.
||It's important that he looks healthy. Always a legit 20ppg scorer.
Five who just missed: Austin Rivers-Duke, Trevor Mbakwe-Minnesota, Deonte Burton-Nevada (LW: 19), Nate Wolters-South Dakota State, Andre Drummond-Connecticut (LW: 16)