According to Bovada, the favorites to win AP National Player of the Year do not play for the Wisconsin Badgers. While disappointing, it was probably to be expected by most rational fans. Duke freshman center Jahlil Okafor is the preseason favorite to take home the award at 5/1, followed closely by sophomore small forward Stanley Johnson (6/1) of Arizona and junior forward Montrezl Harrell (7/1) from Louisville.
The Badgers have two representatives in the top 10, though, which has to be some sort of record for the program. Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker both clock in at 12/1 favorites to win the award. They may be suffering from a split-vote situation since they play on the same team and there is only one basketball on the court at the same time. I'm remembering that correctly from my high school JV basketball career, yes?
If Wisconsin stays ranked in the top 10 all year, you will continue to hear about Kaminsky and Dekker as player of the year candidates. This is nice, both for them and for the university since it keeps Wisconsin's name in the national conversation. It will also be a nice thing to show recruits who don't think the Badgers can develop elite level talent.
Here are the top 10 players most likely to win the AP National Player of the Year, according to Bovada:
|2014-15 AP National Player of the Year, per Bovada|
|Jahlil Okafor (C, Duke)||5/1|
|Stanley Johnson (F, Arizona)||6/1|
|Montrezl Harrell (F, Louisville)||7/1|
|Cliff Alexander (F, Kansas)||8/1|
|Myles Turner (F, Texas)||10/1|
|Karl Towns (C , Kentucky)||10/1|
|Tyus Jones (G, Duke)||12/1|
|Frank Kaminsky (C, Wisconsin)||12/1|
|Sam Dekker (F, Wisconsin)||12/1|
|Caris LeVert (G/F, Michigan)||14/1|
Kaminsky and Okafor will get a chance to duke it out (*nudges you*) during the Big Ten/ACC Challenge for early bragging rights for best big man in the nation.