Sean Kilpatrick Delivers Latest Salvo In AAC Player of the Year Race

Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Kilpatrick, Russ Smith and Shabazz Naipier are all legitimate first team All America candidates. It seems increasingly likely that the trio will wind up on some combination of all america lists. And yet only one of them will be named player of the year in the conference. What makes this intriguing is that seemingly every night someone ups the ante.


That is what the last few weeks, this week in particular has felt like watching this conference. First Russ Smith broke UC hearts everywhere with his stupid shot to put the Bearcats into a tie with the Cardinals. Then Shabazz Naipier did the same thing a week later killing UC with an endless array devasting drives to the hoop and pull up jumpers. At the same time Sean Kilpatrick has been the only thing going on offense for the Bearcats averaging 24 points per over the last 10 games.

Then this week happened, and things hit another level on Wendsday. Last night Shabazz Napier heated up early en route to a a closer than expected 69-63 win for UConn over Rutgers. Bazz ended the night with 26 points, including a career high 7 three point makes.

Right about the time that Bazz cooled off Russ Smith caught fire late making six second half three pointers as the Cardinals gave SMU their first loss at home this season. Saying that is one thing, watching it was another thing entirely. There is nothing like a Russ Smith heat check, and when he popped on from the "U" on the SMU logo it was clearly over for the Ponies.

Tonight SK fired the latest salvo in the war for the AAC player of the year. Scoring 34 points on 18 shots and constantly coming up with a play whenever the Tigers started to get a sniff in the game. It was magnificent to behold, and leaves us right where we were before this week started.

SK, Russdiculous and Bazz neck and neck with one game to play for each. I think you know where my non existant vote would be cast, and its good to have some presidential support for it.

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