With the Virginia vs. Vanderbilt College World Series wrapping up 2014-15 NCAA action, voting has started for the best 2015-16 student-athletes in all 50 states.
Oregon’s early leaders are top basketball player Gary Payton II and Matthew Maton, who became only the fifth high schooler to match Congressman Jim Ryun’s feat of the sub 4-minute mile. Other states rankings are dominated by football players, but in any case you can vote by emailing your list of up to 10 players to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxing it to 334-460-9779.
To review the current leaders list go to http://bestreturningcollegehoops.blogspot.com/and scroll down the alphabetical list of states. The top 10 are listed, as well as anyone else who received at least one top-10 vote.
As for the only teams still playing, the top projected players in Tennessee for 2015-16 include Vandy’s Kyle Wright (pitcher, 3rd in state), Jeren Kendall (OF, 11th), and Will Toffey (3B, 19th).
Their surprising opponents from Virginia include no returning player projected to be among the state’s top-10 athletes next year. Their highest ranked returning player is Daniel Pinero (SS, 12th), followed by first baseman Pavin Smith and outfielder Adam Haseley at 19th and 20th.
The voting started with ballots being sent to newspapers and TV stations in each state, and one “statistical voter” was counted based on the highest rated basketball and football player in each state at Value Add Sports.