Connecticut guard Kemba Walker is the NCAA player of the year (so far) according to a straw poll of 55 basketball writers nationwide. Votes were due Tuesday. If the deadline had been a day later, however, there might have been a different result.
On Tuesday, BYU senior Jimmer Fredette scored 47 points at Utah in the nation's second-highest scoring binge this year.
Fredette, a 6-foot-2 guard, is averaging 26.1 points a game, tops in the nation. Walker (25.3 ppg), the scoring leader the first two months, received 28 first-place votes in the straw poll to six for Fredette, who finished third.
In second place was Ohio State freshman Jared Sullinger (13). Others who received first-place votes were Duke seniors Nolan Smith (three) and Kyle Singler (three), Purdue senior E'Twaun Moore (one) and Morehead State senior Kenneth Faried (one), the nation's leader in rebounds (13.6 pg).
The poll, conducted by Michael Rothstein of AnnArbor.com, has accurately predicted the Naismith and Wooden Award winners -- Blake Griffin (2009) and Evan Turner (2010) -- in its two years of existence.
Who knows whether Fredette is destined for this year's award. Either way, it will be fun to watch.
On Tuesday night, the Glens Falls, N.Y., native had 32 of his points in the first half, including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from halfcourt. He hit 16 of 28 shots, including six of nine from beyond the arc. He also made all nine of his attempts from the free throw line.
Fredette is shooting 48.2 percent from the floor, 40.8 from 3-point range and 89.5 from the line, not bad for a player who averaged 7.0 points a game as a freshman.