- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. This could be a year where there is no consensus among the various player of the year awards from the Wooden, to the AP to the Naismith to the Oscar Robertson to the Rupp. That's why Indiana's Victor Oladipo, Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart, Kansas' Ben McLemore or Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk could win one or all of the awards over the previous four trendy picks a month ago: Creighton's Doug McDermott, Michigan's Trey Burke, Indiana's Cody Zeller and Duke's Mason Plumlee. Smart can make a strong case with a win over KU and McLemore Wednesday in Stillwater. Olynyk will be in the chase throughout as the Zags cruise. But Oladipo made his strongest case yet in Tuesday night's win over Michigan State in East Lansing. Oladipo finished with 19 points, including a clinching offensive rebound put back and a breakaway dunk. Oladipo is shooting 63.8 percent in the half court -- best among big six players -- and creates offense with his steals at the defensive end. He had five against the Spartans on Tuesday. In two games against Michigan State, Oladipo has 11 of the Hoosiers' 16 steals. The votes are fluid and there is still time but for this week my vote would go to Oladipo.
2. Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin said late Tuesday night that he was thrilled with the play of his big three: Trae Golden, Jarnell Stokes and Jordan McRae. They were the difference in the rout of LSU in Knoxville. The Volunteers have won four in a row, including the 30-point pounding of Kentucky last Saturday. If you're looking for an SEC tournament buster that could cause serious problems for bubble teams in the league -- and who knows maybe win the tournament -- then put Tennessee down. The SEC tournament is in Nashville and the Vols are clicking at the right time. This is exactly the type of team that could get hot over a three-day period in a conference tournament. The Vols have the size inside and can suddenly score (not resembling at all the team that lost to Georgetown 37-36 Nov. 30). The Vols have scored 88 and 82 points in the past two games.
3. Oregon coach Dana Altman said Tuesday night that freshman point guard Dominic Artis is still doubtful for Thursday's game against Cal due to his nagging foot injury. The Ducks are trying to avoid being swept by the Bears, who beat Oregon in Berkeley 58-54. Oregon committed 22 turnovers in the loss. Altman said the Ducks need to slow Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs to win. "Cal is the hot team in the conference,'' said Altman. If Cal beats Oregon on Thursday night (9 p.m. ET, ESPN2) then they are in a strong position to challenge for the Pac-12 title. If Oregon wins, then the Ducks will be in a tremendous spot to win the conference without having to play Arizona or UCLA again the rest of the season and winning a tiebreaker with both. The Ducks are 4-3 without Artis, the team's top point guard.
1. This could be a year where there is no consensus among the various player of the year awards from the Wooden, to the AP to the Naismith to the Oscar Robertson to the Rupp.