I read Carl's blog from last night and wanted to chime in because it's everywhere right now. Shit, I even said it last night too:
It hit SVP right after the game too:
And here's the truth about it all. Ayo should be the favorite to win NPOY right now, but Ayo won't win NPOY. Why? Because of all the preseason hype that Luka Garza had. He was declared the NPOY the moment he decided to return to college. And listen, what Luka is doing this year is unreal. It's not like he should lose NPOY because he's playing like shit. He's 24.5 and 8.4 while shooting 43% from three. So let me be clear about that, Luka has been damn good. But the fact is Ayo has been better. He's putting up 21.3/6.0/5.1 while shooting 42% from three. To make it even more clear, Ayo is having a completely historical season (h/t Rob Dauster)
Care to guess how many Division I players before Ayo have averaged at least 21 points, six boards and five assists? Two. Someone named Ricky Minard at Morehead State in 2004 … and Penny Hardaway back in 1993. Throw in his efficiency as a shooter, and Dosunmu is in a class all his own.
Pretty fucking good! Oh, not to mention he's quite literally the best player down the stretch of games. There's not even a debate who you want to have the ball when the game is on the line in college basketball. Need proof?
(h/t nman95 on reddit for the last stat)
It's not a one-game overreaction because he two big shots against a bad Northwestern team. The fact is the NPOY race should be closer than what it appears. If everyone who puts out preseason shit didn't ultimately say it's Luka Garza vs nobody for the NPOY race we'd be having a massive discussions between Ayo, Garza and even Jared Butler and Corey Kispert. Those are the 4 locks for All-American too and then debate Evan Mobley, Cade Cunningham, Jalen Suggs and Drew Timme for that last spot.
You want to poke another hole in the Luka NPOY debate and it's something that should be discussed, he's not a positive defensively. That gets lost a little bit in discussing awards and shit like this. Now he's not Trysta's version of Ben Simmons, but Luka is still bad defensively. He's a major part as to why Iowa has to run that 2-3 zone that's just horrendous. Fran makes him be the middle under the hoop but rotate out to guard a wing. He can stick with wings. Ayo on the other hand is a positive on the defensive side of the ball (Jared Butler is the best, I know). Not to mention, Iowa fans seem to scream about missing CJ Frederick and how important he is whenever Iowa loses. Yes, he's an important piece but if Luka is this dominant, generational college talent, you don't get swept by Indiana. You can blast Illinois for needing OT against Nebraska and being in a close game with Northwestern, the fact is they win and it's because of Ayo.
To sum it up - Ayo should be a favorite right now for NPOY. At the minimum it should be talked about more how close the race is with him and Luka. But it won't happen because of the preseason hype for Garza and the fact that he ultimately performed on the offensive side like everyone projected.