The Norman Transcript

Sports

December 22, 2012

Who is best?

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Nick Johnson, Arizona: East Coast fans probably don’t get to see much of Johnson since Arizona’s games are usually on late, but he’s been the glue that’s held the Wildcats (9-0) together during their best start in 25 years. An athletic 6-3 guard, he was solid as a freshman last season, but has played with much more poise and confidence as a sophomore. Johnson has hit some big shots for Arizona while scoring 13.6 points per game, second on the team, and is a tenacious defender in the vein of his uncle, former Boston Celtics great Dennis Johnson.

C.J. McCollum, Lehigh: McCollum was fifth nationally with 21.9 points per game last season and drew plenty of attention by scoring 30 points in Lehigh’s upset victory over Duke in the NCAA tournament. Even with opponents geared toward stopping him, McCollum has been nearly unstoppable during his senior season. The 6-3 guard leads the nation with 24.9 points per game and is averaging 5.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists. McCollum is tied for fifth nationally in 3-point shooting, hitting 51.9 percent, and is generating plenty of attention from NBA scouts.

Isaiah Canaan, Murray State: Canaan may be the best player in his state, which is saying something with powerhouses like Louisville and Kentucky just down the road. The 6-1 senior guard led the Racers to national prominence last season and has been even better this season. A preseason All-American and the reigning Ohio Valley Conference player of the year, he’s seventh nationally in scoring at 21.3 points per game and has led Murray State to a 9-1 record. Relatively unheralded when he joined the Racers, he could be headed to the NBA after he leaves Murray.

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