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Irish Insights

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College Basketball Player of the Year Straw Poll No. 3

It's Blake Griffin -- and it's unanimous. Insights had a much smaller sampling of voters this time around, but the results were clear and it wasn't close.

The Oklahoma sophomore forward will likely sweep the Player of the Year awards, based on our poll and that Griffin has led since the first poll at the end of January.

"He's just kind of a freak athletically, 6-9, 6-10, can jump out of the gym," said Notre Dame forward Luke Harangody, a player who had been a Player of the Year candidate this season.

As for who might be better -- Griffin or Pittsburgh's DeJuan Blair, another elite big man and a potential Big East Player of the Year, Harangody said he'd give the edge to Griffin.

"I think he has more in his game," Harangody said. "They are both outstanding players but Blake just has more in his game to just take over."

Blair also finished in the Top 5 of the poll, which can be seen below -- in third place.

PlayerFirst Place Votes (Total Points)

Second Place Votes (Total Points)

Third Place Votes (Total Points)

Total Points

Blake Griffin, Soph., F, Oklahoma

35 (105)

00

105

Stephen Curry, Jr., G, Davidson

0

12 (24)

7

31

DeJuan Blair, Soph., F, Pittsburgh

0

10 (20)

4

24

Tyler Hansbrough, Sr., F, North Carolina

0

6 (12)

6

18

Hasheem Thabeet, Jr., C, Connecticut

0

2 (4)

7

11

James Harden, Soph., G, Arizona St.

0

3 (6)

1

7

Jodie Meeks, Jr., G, Kentucky

0

1 (2)

2

4

Tyreke Evans, Fr., G, Memphis

0

1 (2)

0

2

Luke Harangody, Jr., F, Notre Dame

0

0

2

2

Ty Lawson, Jr., G, North Carolina

0

0

1

1

Ahmad Nivins, Sr., F, St. Joseph's

0011

Sam Young, Sr., F, Pittsburgh

0

0

1

1

Toney Douglas, Sr., G, Florida State

0

0

1

1

Cole Aldrich, Soph., C, Kansas

0

0

1

1

Jerel McNeal, Sr., G, Marquette

0

0

1

1

ANALYSIS:

  • The 15 players are the most on any of the three polls this year. Eleven players had votes in the first and second polls conducted by The Journal Gazette and Insights.
  • The top two players -- Griffin and Curry -- were the top two in each of the three polls.
  • The player who took the largest drop was Harangody -- in part because of his team's inability to win. Harangody was third after the first straw poll. He received two votes -- both third place votes -- in the final one.

  • Wake Forest's Jeff Teague also had a precipitous drop. Teague was fourth on the first ballot, fourth on the second ballot and received none on the final ballot.
  • Blair made the biggest move up, going from receiving just three total points in the first poll to third overall, jumping over Hansbrough, Harden and Thabeet in the process.
  • In the final poll, this was the conference breakdown: Big East (5), ACC (3), Big 12 (2), Southern Conference (1), Pacific 10 (1), SEC (1), Conference USA (1), Atlantic 10 (1).
  • Four players made their first appearance on the final poll: Evans, Nivins, Aldrich and Douglas.
Questions? Thoughts? Comments? Direct them to mrothstein@jg.net or in the comment boxes below. Thanks to all the voters nationwide who participated in what will hopefully become a yearly thing here at Insights.

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