What a difference one year can make! After a 46-point performance at Allen Fieldhouse, Buddy Hield cemented himself as one of the top five players in the country. However, Bovada wants to take it one step further tabbing the Oklahoma Sooners guard as the odds on favorite to take home National Player of the Year honors. Currently Bovada's top four list shakes out like this:
Bovada Odds To Win Naismith Player of the Year
Buddy Hield - Oklahoma | EVEN
Ben Simmons - LSU | 2/1
Kris Dunn - Providence | 7/1
Denzel Valentine - Michigan State | 7/1
Hield averages 26.3 points per game ranking second only to James Daniel of the Howard Bison. If the Bahamas native were to win the award, the occasion would mark the third time a player born outside of US jurisdiction would do so. The first was NBA Hall of Famer, Patrick Ewing from Kingston, Jamaica in 1985 and the second was Andrew Bogut out of Melbourne, Australia in 2005.
While Ben Simmons may be the biggest competition for the award, Oklahoma and the LSU Tigers square off on January 30th. The match-up could easily sway voters depending on the individual performances and outcome.