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College Basketball Player of the Year Rankings: Week 16

It was only a year ago when a meteoric late-season rise from Notre Dame's Ben Hansbrough's helped the prolific guard take home the 2011 Big East Player of the Year award. Months before that, though, Hansbrough's name was barely a blip on the national radar.

And now, somewhat eerily, another Notre Dame February surge has been paced by yet another player who has begun to elbow his peers aside for that coveted national spotlight. The man in question, 6'9" Glenview, Illinois junior forward Jack Cooley, has been one of the league's most efficient players since Big East play kicked off back in late December, and makes his season debut in our national rankings this week at No. 19.

In league play, Cooley's 10.71 rebounds per game and 63.4% true shooting percentage each rank second in the conference. He also has a sizable advantage in offensive rebounds over clubhouse leader Kevin Jones, and sports a higher free-throw rate, a better blocks per game average, and a higher field goal percentage.

If Cooley is able to keep up his torrid pace (20.8 points & 14.3 rebounds in his last four) over Notre Dame's four remaining games, then it's entirely possible that Big East coaches will give him the nod over Jones when the time comes.

A fresh batch of rankings after the jump...

Rank Change Player-School Notes
1 -- Anthony Davis-UK Blocks are still climbing, but hasn't had 10+ rebs since January.
2 -- Thomas Robinson-KU
Five assists vs. TTU were a season-high. More like 1B at this point.
3 -- Draymond Green-MSU
Five assists in a game? Pfff...he's done it nine times this year. 3.7 apg.
4 -- Doug McDermott-CRE
36 points in Sat.'s doozy vs. Long Beach. First big game in a while.
5 -- Jared Sullinger-OSU
More easily frustrated than he was last yr. Could it be the lack of girth?
6 -- Kevin Jones-WVU Played 40+ minutes in nine straight games and 14 times this year.
7 -- Harrison Barnes-UNC
23.5 points/gm & 18.5 FGA/gm last week. Still time to make a mini-surge?
8 +1 Scott Machado-ION
15 assists and 8-for-8 FTs in BracketBusters win over Nevada.
9 -1 Marcus Denmon-MIZ
Has flirted with stardom often, but last year's #'s somehow look better.
10 -- Damian Lillard-WEB
Best ORating in college basketball (127.2). Second in scoring (24.5).
11 -- J'Covan Brown-TEX
Double figure points in 12 straight. Unheard of consistency from him.
12 +2 Isaiah Canaan-MUR
A big-stage performance vs. SMC (23 points, 9-13 FGs, 4 asts).
13 -- Will Barton-MEM
At his very best vs. Tulane last wk: 20 points, 9 rebs, 7 asts, 3 stls, 1 blk.
14 +3 Mike Scott-VIR
Strong game vs. Maryland (25 & 7). Muddying up the ACC POY picture.
15 -3 John Henson-UNC
Not-so-good: Riding a nine-game streak with sub-50% shooting.
16 +2 Reggie Hamilton-OAK
Last four games - 33.75 points, 5.0 rebs, 5.0 asts, 23-of-45 3Ps!!!
17 -2 Mike Moser-UNLV
Four rebounds on Sat. were a MWC-low. Productivity is sliding a bit.
18 UNR Royce White-IST
Good & Bad: 5.78 assists and 4.28 turnovers so far in Big 12 games.
19 UNR Jack Cooley-ND
Nearly five off. rebounds per game in Big East play. 70.8 FT% is nice too.
20 -- Tyler Zeller-UNC
Numbers don't lie: He's been the most efficient Tar Heel this season.

Five who just missed: Arnett Moultrie-Mississippi State, Dominique Morrison-Oral Roberts, John Shurna-Northwestern, Nate Wolters-South Dakota State, John Jenkins-Vanderbilt

Previous Rankings: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15