Although the AP votes for All-Americans before the beginning of the NCAA tournament, leaving a few who think that the final results regarding the five first-team players should be different, it seems to be somewhat of an agreement that most of the guys on the 2013 list – Trey Burke, Victor Oladipo, Otto Porter Jr., Kelly Olynyk and Doug McDermott are deserving to be on it.
While Burke seems to be the favorite at this point to win the national player of the year, being the only one of the players on the list still in the NCAA tournament, leading Michigan to the Final Four, Doug McDermott might be the most noise-making name on it, despite being from a mid-major like Creighton, only for the fact that he is on it for the second consecutive time.
McDermott, a Junior, was second in scoring in all of college basketball with 23.2 points per game, leading Creighton to the MVC titles in both the regular season and the conference tournament. He led the Bluejays to a 67-63 win over Cincinnati in the opening round of the tournament, but despite scoring 21 points against Duke, couldn’t prevent a third round exit.
Burke got the most first-team votes on this list along with Otto Porter. The Michigan Sophomore is averaging 18.8 points this season, which wasn’t enough to win Big Ten titles with the Wolvernies, but did lead them to a number one AP ranking at one point, not to mention their first Final Four in 20 years, averaging 15.5 points per game in the tournament so far.
Otto Porter Jr. of Georgetown is probably the player to make the biggest progress among the five during his second year in college, averaging 16.2 points for the Hoyas, helping them win a share of the Big East title before the conference heads in a different direction. However, the season did end in two consecutive losses – first to Syracuse in the Big East tournament, and then being stunned by Florida Gulf Coast in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.
Oladipo seemed to be the favorite to win player of the year, but Indiana had a slow finish to the season, not to mention losing in the Sweet Sixteen to the incredible defending of Syracuse. The 6’5 Junior is often compared with Dwyane Wade or anyone else who has the ability to be a clutch difference maker on both ends of the floor, averaging 13.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.2 steals this season, probably his last in college.
Kelly Olynyk of the disappointing (in the tournament) Gonzaga is the only big-man on the list, making a huge jump from fringe bench player to one of the best players in the country, averaging 17.8 points and 7.3 rebounds, leading the Zags to an undefeated season in the WCC, winning the regular season title and the conference tournament. This led to a number one ranking on the polls and a number seed in the tournament, which didn’t stop them from losing to Wichita State in the third round.