Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Oram: Odds-on favorite for Pac-12 POY? Depends who you ask
College basketball » Player of the Year field remains wide open.


< Previous Page


Ask Colorado coach Tad Boyle who’s the best player in the Pac-12. He’ll say it’s a guy who hasn’t been named Player of the Week once; he isn’t even the leading scorer on his own team.

Boyle says it’s Cal guard Jorge Gutierrez.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Ask Oregon State coach Craig Robinson, and the best player is the Beavers’ leading scorer, the guard who often gets favorably compared to Gary Payton.

It’s Jared Cunningham.

Unless, of course, it’s Washington guard Tony Wroten. Or Gutierrez’s Cal teammate, Allen Crabbe.

Trying to determine the best player in a conference is typically fanatical folly. Having the best player is not as important as having very good players. The fact there is an end-of-year award to name the Pac-12 Player of the Year is good enough, the end of all debate and a note in a trophy case somewhere between Tucson and Seattle.

With the Pac-12 schedule more than half over, however, at least half a dozen players are strong candidates for the award. It’s hard not to wonder …

Cunningham is a high-flying steal wizard who could be the first Oregon State player to win the award since Payton. Gutierrez could be the first to wear a ponytail — although former Arizona State star James Harden had one coming out of his chin.

Then there’s Wroten, who has precedent going against him: Only two freshmen have won the award. So maybe his teammate, sophomore Terrence Ross, who averages 15.2 points and 6.8 rebounds is a more likely candidate.

The race for the Player of the Year award, which, rightly, isn’t quite yet on anyone’s radar, is much like that for the league title itself: wide open. And, according to Boyle, the two aren’t mutually exclusive.


story continues below
story continues below

"Whoever can help their team win their league is a guy who should be a player of the year candidate," Boyle said.

So does that rule out Cunningham, whose Beavers (15-8, 5-6) would need a historic run through the conference tournament to claim a conference championship. Still, in the 10 years since the Pac-10/12 instituted a conference tournament, player of the year has come from a team that won neither the regular season or tournament championships four times.

So does that open the door for Colorado’s Andre Roberson, the only player to average a double-double? Or Brock Motum, the Pac-12’s best big man?

"I don’t think the most valuable player or the player of the year is relegated to the team that wins the conference," Robinson said. "I think it’s the guy who does the most for his team."

Given that, here is the case for each of the early top candidates with (approximate and non-betting) odds that they win the award in March:

Jorge Gutierrez, Cal • The guard has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2-to-1 and, despite being 6-foot-3, he rebounds like a power forward. 3:1.

Jared Cunningham, OSU • The Oakland native leads the conference in points and steals. 9:2.

Tony Wroten, Washington • Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Kevin Love won the award as freshmen. Wroten’s jump shot is circumspect, but plays his best in big games. 15:1.

Others • Allen Crabbe, Cal, 20:1; Terrence Ross, UW, 20:1; Kyle Fogg, Arizona, 50:1; Andre Roberson, CU, 50:1; Brock Motum, WSU, 100:1; Devoe Joseph, Oregon, 100:1.

boram@sltrib.com

Twitter: @oramb



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.