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Jeff Eisenberg

Voter survey: Kemba Walker is midseason player of the year

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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All Jimmer Fredette's scoring heroics the past few weeks haven't quite been enough to propel the BYU star to the front of the pack in the national player of the year race yet.

The pole position still belongs to UConn's Kemba Walker, according to an AnnArbor.com survey of 55 journalists who serve as voters on various national player of the year award panels.

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Walker (125 points) holds a substantial lead over Ohio State big man Jared Sullinger (85), Fredette (56) and Duke guard Nolan Smith (26). Each voter listed three players, with first-place votes worth three points, second-place votes worth two and third-place votes worth one.

It's a bit surprising that Walker holds such a substantial lead in the voting thus far because his production and efficiency have both tailed off a bit of late. While his two clutch shots in overtime against Texas are deserving of praise, the junior point guard is just 40 of 110 from the floor in his past five games as he struggles to adjust to Big East defenses focusing all their attention on him.

Fredette, on the other hand, has eclipsed 25 points in seven of his past nine games culminating in Tuesday night's 47-point explosion in a thrashing of rival Utah. Neither Sullinger nor Smith have been quite that flashy, but the Ohio State freshman has emerged as the nation's top freshman and best back-to-the-basket big man while the Duke senior has thrived as a scoring guard since Kyrie Irving's injury.

The only players to receive first-place votes besides the aforementioned four were Duke forward Kyle Singler, Purdue guard E'Twaun Moore and Morehead State forward Kenneth Faried.

All three of those guys have been excellent this season, yet this appears to be no more than a four-way race moving forward.

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