Hart Holds off Mason for POY Despite Struggles vs. UVa and Marquette

Isaiah Wilkins, Eric Paschall
The Associated Press
Auburn, AL

Frank Mason is worth 12.35 additional points per game to Kansas, enough to turn a would-be 6-point loss to Kentucky Saturday into a 79-73 win according to www.valueaddbasketball.com. That performance moved Mason close to the No. 1 spot in the Player of the Year tally due to Marquette and Virginia holding Villanova’s Josh Hart (13.03) in check.

Prior to those two games, Hart made 12 of 19 shots against Providence and Seton Hall to surge his season Value Add to almost 14 points per game. However, he sat out most of the upset loss at Marquette due to foul trouble. Then UVa’s suffocating defense held him to 2 of 9 shooting with two turnovers Sunday to drop him to a season value of 13.03 points per game over how a team would typically do with a replacement player and teammates needing to force extra shots against tougher defense. (see Big Apple Buckets explanation of Domino Effect here)

Hart playing below his standards allowed Marquette to stun No. 1 Villanova, and it appeared his struggles against UVa would give Villanova a second straight loss until Hart’s final miss was tapped in by a teammate with 0.1 seconds remaining to give Villanova the win.

Mason temporarily fell way behind Hart when his Jayhawks were blown out at West Virginia, but he then scored 21 points and added four assists in the upset of Kentucky to finish the weekend a strong second place.

Meanwhile Luke Kennard has been the surprise bright spot in Duke’s disappointing season, including hitting all six three-point attempts to put up 34 points and save Duke 85-83 over Wake Forest to prevent them from dropping to 1-4 in their last five games. Duke would have had no chance against Wake Forest without Kennard, but his 11.98 Value Add projects Duke would be only 12-9 rather than 16-5 without him.

Kennard’s 11.98 Value Add indicates that would be his value if he played for a typical team whose seventh best player is near a 0.00 Value Add. However, since Duke’s 7th best player has a 1.08 Value Add, that is subtracted from Kennard’s 11.98 to indicate his actual value to Duke in a typical game is 10.90 points. If Kennard was not on the court, that projects Duke as a one or two point loser against Penn State (78-68), Rhode Island (75-65), Michigan State (78-69), Florida (84-74) and Tennessee State (65-55). A team projected to lose five games by one or two points would typically go 2-3 in those games, so we project Duke without Kennard as a 12-9 team rather than 16-5.

The top 25 players are listed below, and the entire 4000+ players will be released at www.valueaddbasketball.com late Sunday night.

Rnk Player Pts/Gm>Repl Team Conf Ht Class
1 Josh Hart^ 3 13.03 Villanova BE 6’5″ Sr
2 Frank Mason^ 0 12.35 Kansas B12 5’11” Sr
3 Luke Kennard^ 5 11.98 Duke ACC 6’6″ So
4 Monte Morris^ 11 11.37 Iowa St. B12 6’3″ Sr
5 Lauri Markkanen^ 10 11.15 Arizona P12 7’0 Fr
6 Yante Maten^ 1 10.41 Georgia SEC 6’8″ Jr
7 Ethan Happ^ 22 10.39 Wisconsin B10 6’10” So
8 Jevon Carter^ 2 10.35 West Virginia B12 6’2″ Jr
9 Ben Lammers^ 44 10.13 Georgia Tech ACC 6’10” Jr
10 Marcus Marshall^ 1 10.01 Nevada MWC 6’3″ Sr
11 Alec Peters^ 25 9.79 Valparaiso Horz 6’9″ Sr
12 Markelle Fultz^ 20 9.65 Washington P12 6’4″ Fr
13 Jaylen Adams^ 10 9.58 St. Bonaventure A10 6’2″ Jr
14 Jalen Brunson^ 1 9.49 Villanova BE 6’2″ So
15 Caleb Swanigan^ 50 9.48 Purdue B10 6’9″ So
16 Sindarius Thornwell^ 0 9.32 South Carolina SEC 6’5″ Sr
17 TJ Williams^ 10 9.32 Northeastern CAA 6’3″ Sr
18 Donovan Mitchell^ 45 9.29 Louisville ACC 6’3″ So
19 Lucas Woodhouse^ 34 9.26 Stony Brook AE 6’3″ Sr
20 Nigel Williams-Goss^ 5 9.21 Gonzaga WCC 6’3″ Jr
21 Jeffrey Carroll^ 30 9.20 Oklahoma St. B12 6’6″ Jr
22 Dennis Smith^ 4 9.15 North Carolina St. ACC 6’3″ Fr
23 Bonzie Colson^ 35 9.05 Notre Dame ACC 6’5″ Jr
24 Joe Chealey^ 13 9.05 College of Charleston CAA 6’4″ Jr
25 Jock Landale^ 34 9.05 Saint Mary’s WCC 6’11” Jr