College Basketball Player of the Year Rankings: Week 1

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 25: Jared Sullinger #0 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates after a play against the Kentucky Wildcats during the first half of the east regional semifinal of the 2011 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Prudential Center on March 25, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

The dawn of a new season is upon us. Carrying over one of the staples of this blog from last year, every Monday we'll update the top 20 player of the year big board to reflect the previous week's action. But before we kick things off, here are a few thoughts on this weekly process that you should probably take note of:

  • Freshmen aren't going to get blind love from us here. Save that for the overzealous AP voters who dubbed Harrison Barnes the best player in the sport before he ever played a game. Kids like Drummond, Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist, Beal and Rivers are phenomenal talents, sure, but until they actually prove something, anything, they won't ascend this board on prep ranking alone. Having two freshmen in the initial rankings is already a tad generous to begin with, but we'll see how it plays out.
  • Secondly, it needs to be taken into consideration just how difficult it is to rank players outside of the top ten on a scale such as this without a serious benchmark. Our initial top ten probably won't draw much ire from fans, but the names outside of it, and the ones that were left off, probably will. Keep in mind that the difference between Jorge Gutierrez at No. 13, for example, and Marcus Denmon not making the cut, is much, much slimmer than it appears.
  • Finally, last year's inaugural edition debuted on December 6th, which was nearly a month into the season. Because we're kicking this thing off right now, it's safe to say that there won't be a ton of movement at the top of this board. Barring some magical depreciation of Jared Sullingers' skill-set, the elite players you see here aren't going to fall too far with a couple of early-season off nights. Perspective is key.
Rank Change Player-School Notes
1 --
Jared Sullinger-OSU Summer conditioning will improve def. stats. Likely a 20-10 machine.
2 -- Harrison Barnes-UNC Can't ignore the clutch factor. Will bury opponents w/ elite mid-range game.
3 -- Jordan Taylor-WISC
With Leuer gone, will increased scoring load lessen his PG efficiency?
4 -- Tu Holloway-XAV
Plans on vamping up his assist totals as a senior. Remains to be seen.
5 -- Terrence Jones-KENT
Which will win out: Immense talent or questionable maturity/desire?
6 -- John Jenkins-VAND Heavy expectations. Might be the most dangerous volume shooter in NCAA.
7 -- Jeremy Lamb-CONN
Was a star born last spring, or is he too passive to carry UConn nightly?
8 -- Perry Jones-BAYL
NBA scouts are enamored. Video game type numbers should follow.
9 -- Draymond Green-MSU
Mr. Do-It-All. Flying under radar now, but could post the best #'s in B10.
10 -- Ashton Gibbs-PITT
Quietly gets the job done, and makes Pitt a nightly threat. Legit sleeper.
11 -- Thomas Robinson-KAN
Tempo-free juggernaut as a soph. The stage is finally his. It's showtime.
12 -- Andrew Nicholson-BON
Could flirt with 25ppg. Interested to see his 3P ability (6 of 23 in 10-11).
13 -- Jorge Gutierrez-CAL
Solid pick for Pac-12 POY. Does it all. Should be an 18-5-6 type of player.
14 -- JaMychal Green-BAMA
Most efficient max player in SEC last yr. Chances hinge on team success.
15 -- Anthony Davis-KENT
The best unibrow in the country. But will he be the best freshman?
16 -- Tim Abromaitis-ND Went from a top 10 ORating as soph. to 124 last yr. Late bloomer this yr.
17 -- Andre Drummond-CONN Has a gateway to big minutes. But how soon will he be an impact player?
18 -- Kendall Marshall-UNC
Flashy passer will rack up insane assist totals in an ideal offense.
19 -- Deonte Burton-NEV
Darkhorse? Maybe. But the 6'1" guard can ball. Easy WAC POY choice.
20 -- John Henson-UNC
Lanky shot blocker could be UNC's x-factor. Needs to make strides on O.

Five who just missed: Austin Rivers-Duke, Robbie Hummel-Purdue, Trevor Mbakwe-Minnesota, Tyler Zeller-North Carolina, Marcus Denmon-Missouri

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