College Basketball Player of the Year Rankings: Week 12

MOREHEAD, KY - JANUARY 18: Isaiah Canaan #3 of the Murray State Racers dribbles the ball during the OVC game against the Morehead State Eagles at Johnson Arena on January 18, 2012 in Morehead, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

There's something magical about an undefeated team this late in the college basketball season. Seeing a group of guys manage to climb over every hurdle put in front of them is an impressive feat. Say what you will about the level of competition, but what Murray State head coach Steve Prohm has managed to do in his first year on the job is nothing short of amazing. The media attention that this program is getting alone is enough to make Prohm a coach of the year frontrunner.

Much like Syracuse, who fell from the ranks of the unbeaten on Saturday, the Racers are balanced offensively and can beat teams a variety of ways. But while the Orange are largely devoid of a consistent lead scorer most nights, Murray State seems to have found one in junior Isaiah Canaan. And wouldn't you know it, the kid is slowly creeping up the player of the year rankings.

The not-quite-six-foot guard sports the 36th best ORating in the nation, is averaging 18.7 points per game and shoots nearly 50% from the perimeter. As the Racers have continued to win games, Canaan has piled up 20-point performances with ease. He's also scored at least 35 points twice this season, and is a threat to get hot and pour in a half-dozen three-pointers on any given night.

Canaan's numbers don't immediately jump off the page, but it's hard to discount his role on an undefeated basketball team. The phrase 'player of the year' can be interpreted in a variety of ways, but even so, it's hard to overlook Canaan right now regardless of the criteria.

Week 12 after the jump..

Rank Change Player-School Notes
1 -- Thomas Robinson-KAN Showcase performance in W vs. Baylor: 27 pts, 14 rebs, 11-18 FGs.
2 +1 Anthony Davis-KEN
Totaled 23 rebounds and 11 blocks over two games last week.
3 -1 Jared Sullinger-OSU
Recording a stellar 17 & 9, but has only gone 20-10 twice this season.
4 -- Doug McDermott-CRE
Avg. shot% of the 6 guys ahead of him in eFG%=18.9%. Doug? 35.1%
5 +2 Kevin Jones-WVU
Scored 22+ in five straight. Shooting 59.2% on FGs over same span.
6 -- Draymond Green-MSU Hauled down double-digit rebound totals in 13 games this year.
7 -2 Marcus Denmon-MIZ
Scoring is way down & is only a 33% 3P shooter in Big 12 play.
8 -- Harrison Barnes-UNC
Getting to the line nearly 2X more per game than as a frosh. 38.5 FTRate.
9 +3 Scott Machado-ION
You want a stud PG? Try 11 pts, 9 rebs & 15 asts vs. Rider last wk.
10 -1 Jeremy Lamb-CON
Shooting a terrible 26.4% from deep in Connecticut's five losses.
11 +3 John Henson-UNC
Still hard to place him. 0-for-7 FTs vs. FSU, then 16-16-6 line vs. VT.
12 -2 John Jenkins-VAN
A deadly shooter, but his role carries with it a harsh POY ceiling.
13 -- Will Barton-MEM
A pair of 24-point nights last week. Still ridiculously underrated.
14 +2 Damian Lillard-WEB
Trying to find his weakness is quite hard. Maybe a lack of steals?
15 -- J'Covan Brown-TEX
Shots to go around: Attempted 54 FGs in 2 losses to KU/KSU last wk.
16 -5 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist-KEN
Averaged 23.5 min/gm last wk. Made some noise, but is fading fast.
17 UNR Perry Jones III-BAY
Back on the board after I cut him randomly. Now let's see something.
18 UNR Isaiah Canaan-MUR
Deadly-accurate 3P shooter. Drained 60-of-127 attempts (47.2%).
19 -- Kenny Boynton-FLA
0-for-4 3P game vs. LSU was his first 3P-less day of the season.
20 UNR Anthony Marshall-UNLV
On a flat-out tear since Dec. 23: 18.4 pts, 7.1 rebs, 5.0 asts

Five who just missed: Mike Moser-UNLV, Arnett Moultrie-Mississippi State, Nate Wolters-South Dakota State, Herb Pope-Seton Hall, Tu Holloway-Xavier

Previous Rankings: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

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