RJ Davis earns national respect in Player of Year discussion

Some of the best players in college basketball includes the likes of Purdue big man Zach Edey, Duke center Kyle Filipowski and Tennessee guard Dalton Knecht.

All three guys are leading their teams in scoring, with Purdue and Tennessee looking like legitimate NCAA Tournament threats.

How about star UNC guard RJ Davis for Player of the Year?

Davis leads the ACC and ranks 20th nationally with 20.2 points per game. He’s consistently the Tar Heels’ top scoring option, as he mixes an ability to knock down deep jumpers with a hot shooting touch at the free throw line.

It’s been 15 straight games with double-digit point outings for Davis, including a team-high 16 on Saturday against Boston College.

What do the experts have to say about Davis’ Player of the Year chances?

“North Carolina has jumped into the top five of the rankings thanks to Davis, who usurped Armando Bacot as UNC’s best player this season,” CBS Sports senior writer Matt Norlander wrote. “Davis is averaging 20.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists and is shooting 41 percent from beyond the arc. We’re at the midway point of the season and he is unquestionably a First Team All-American at this stage. Put it this way: If you took (Zach) Edey off Purdue and Davis off North Carolina, I think UNC’s drop-off is steeper than the Boilermakers’. That speaks to Davis’ value in this turnabout season of promise for the Tar Heels.”

Despite Carolina having players like Armando Bacot and Harrison Ingram on its roster, there’s not another guard in Chapel Hill with Davis’ skillset. Elliot Cadeau is a talented freshman, but he’s raw and has plenty of room to further develop.

Follow us @TarHeelsWire on Twitter and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of North Carolina Tar Heels news, notes and opinions.

Story originally appeared on Tarheels Wire