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Naming midseason picks for player of the year, coach of the year, All-America teams

Nick Schultz01/27/22
Article written by:Nick SchultzNick Schultz

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As the calendar flips to February — and with March fast approaching — it’s time to look at the top players of the year so far. The Athletic listed its picks for midseason preseason player, coach and freshman of the year, as well as its midseason All-American teams.

Twelve writers voted for the honors amid some heated conference races. Some awards were close, while others were runaways.

Here’s who The Athletic picked for its midseason awards.

The Athletic individual midseason award picks

Player of the Year: Johnny Davis, Wisconsin

Davis is having a monster year for the Badgers. He’s averaging 22.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per game while shooting 43.8% from the field. Wisconsin is 15-3 this year and the No. 11 team in the country — and Davis is a big reason why. He received eight of 12 possible first-place votes.

Others receiving first-place votes: Oscar Tshiebwe, Kentucky; Drew Timme, Gonzaga; Ochai Agbaji, Kansas; Kofi Cockburn, Illinois

Coach of the Year: Tommy Lloyd, Arizona

Arizona has gone from unranked in the preseason AP Top 25 to the No. 3 in the latest poll. The Wildcats are 16-1 this year, suffering their lone setback to Tennessee in Knoxville on Dec. 22. They’ve blown expectations out of the water, which is why Lloyd received eight of 12 possible first-place votes.

Others receiving first-place votes: Bruce Pearl, Auburn; Kelvin Sampson, Houston

Freshman of the Year: Jabari Smith, Auburn

Smith leads Auburn with 15.2 points per game this season and is a big reason why the Tigers are ranked No. 1 for the first time in program history. One of his biggest games came Jan. 11 against Alabama when he dropped 25 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Auburn to an 81-77 win over the Crimson Tide.

Also receiving first-place votes: Paolo Banchero, Duke.

The Athletic midseason All-America teams

First team: Johnny Davis, Wisconsin; Oscar Tshiebwe, Kentucky; Ochai Agbaji, Kansas; Drew Timme, Gonzaga; EJ Liddell, Ohio State

Second team: Paolo Banchero, Duke; Kofi Cockburn, Illinois; Bennedict Mathurin, Arizona; Keegan Murray, Iowa; Jabari Smith, Auburn; Jaden Ivey, Purdue

Others receiving votes: Max Abmas, Oral Roberts; James Akinjo, Baylor; Tari Eason, LSU; Zach Edey, Purdue; Collin Gillespie, Villanova; Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga; Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana; Johnny Juzang, UCLA; Orlando Robinson, Fresno State; Trevion Williams, Purdue