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SEC Basketball Player of the Year race: Oscar Tshiebwe leads the way

 Chris Lee   in Basketball

Here are our top 14 candidates for SEC basketball Player of the Year, as of January 21.

Oscar Tshiebwe photo courtesy of the University of Kentucky.

1. Oscar Tshiebwe, Kentucky: He's currently the best player in the country, according to Ken Pomeroy.

2. Jabari Smith, Auburn: Versatile player posts a 1.2 assist-to-turnover ratio, which is outstanding for a big man.

3. Walker Kessler, Auburn: Shows tremendous value on offense (63.4% true shooting percentage) and defense (7.2 blocks per 70 possessions).

4. Tari Eason, LSU: Nobody scores more points per 70 possessions than his 26.7 and at a 57.3% effective field goal mark, too.

5. TyTy Washington, Kentucky: Really stepped up his game when Sahvir Wheeler was hurt.

6. Iverson Molinar, Mississippi St.: Ranks third in scoring (17.6) and seventh in assists (4.5).

7. Colin Castleton, Florida: Will likely drop out of the rankings soon due to a shoulder injury costing him time. 

8. Santiago Vescovi, Tennessee: Leads the Vols in minutes (492) and scoring (14.0). 

9. Wendell Green Jr., Auburn: The Tiger point guard has scored in double figures his last 10 games. 

10. Darius Days, LSU: Likely sidelined for a couple of weeks with a sprained ankle.

11. Keon Ellis, Alabama: Players who are efficient and do a little of everything are underrated, and that's exactly what Ellis is.

12. JD Notae, Arkansas: Leads the SEC with 42 steals while ranking second in the league in scoring.

13. Jaden Shackelford, Alabama: Our preseason SEC Player of the Year leads the league in minutes played (33.4).

14. Scotty Pippen Jr., Vanderbilt: Efficiency numbers have suffered, but he's still the guy that makes Vandy go.