Evan Turner appears headed toward National Player of the Year honors.
The Ohio State junior received 41 of 49 first-place votes in the final AnnArbor.com National Player of the Year poll to take a commanding lead over Kentucky's John Wall. Syracuse's Wesley Johnson, Villanova's Scottie Reynolds and Duke's Jon Scheyer rounded out the top five. Turner was the lone player to appear on all 49 ballots. He was first or second on 48 of them.
My ballot looked like this:
- Evan Turner
- John Wall
- Wesley Johnson
It was the right thing to do.
Here's a recap of Turner's season: Changed positions, posted insane numbers, broke bones in his back, missed six games, returned to the court, posted more ridiculous numbers and led Ohio State to a Big Ten title and Top 10 ranking. He's averaging 19.5 points, 9.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. So while I still believe Wall is devastating, the country's best NBA prospect, and somebody who could get hot and overwhelm opponents while leading Kentucky to a national championship, Turner is the correct pick for Player of the Year at this moment.
Remember, Derrick Rose wasn't the Player of the Year in 2008.
He wasn't even a serious candidate for that award.
But Rose was ultimately heralded as college basketball's best guard after the nation watched him tear through Drew Neitzel, D.J. Augustin and Darren Collison in consecutive NCAA tournament games. This could be similar. But there's no denying Turner has had the better season to date, and he deserves every first-place vote he got, plus whatever other honors come his way.