No. 1: Jaylen Nowell
This isn’t a homer pick. Jaylen Nowell, by virtue of being the best scorer on the best team, appears to be a shoe-in for the award. He, like Tinkle, has earned three Player of the Week honors, except all three of Nowell’s came this season. He, again, like Tinkle, puts his stamp on almost every element of the game, just from the guard position instead of from the front court. His 55.6% shooting from beyond the arc in conference play leads the Pac-12. Nowell can score from all three levels, tallying a team-high 16.1 points a game.
Nowell has managed to improve his overall game dramatically from last season. Entering the non-con this year, he was simply a great scorer, and not much else. However, he’s spent the last couple months adding a team-first element to his game. The Huskies zone defense has left much to be desired on the defensive glass, and Nowell has started to fill in the holes. Since the start of conference play, Nowell has the second highest rebounds per game among Pac-12 guards with 6.7.
Nowell has also added a playmaking ability for his teammates. While leading the Huskies in assists numbers, he’s in the top-ten assists leaders of conference play. His overall ability to get it done, matched with Washington’s continued dominance over the conference, down year or not, is setting Nowell up for a great Player of the Year campaign.