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No. 1 Is Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield is the most unstoppable force in college basketball?

Buddy Hield is easily the front-runner for national player of the year honors. Barring a complete collapse down the stretch, he’ll likely win it. The senior guard might be the greatest import from the Bahamas since Sidney Poitier.

Hield is the nation’s second-leading scorer (26.1 points per game). He is shooting 51.4 percent from the field, 90.4 from the free-throw line and 51.5 from 3-point range (second in Division I). Stats guru Ken Pomeroy rates Hield as his player of the year – with Iowa’s Jarrod Uthoff a distant second.

On Saturday at Baylor, Hield was deadly efficient (19 points on 7-of-10 shooting, 4-of-7 from beyond the arc) with 8 rebounds. The only thing that stopped him was first-half foul trouble. The top-ranked Sooners won 82-72 at No.13 Baylor.

Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger told ESPN’s Dana O’Neil that Hield keeps working hard to get better.

“People get to college and realize, ‘Oh, there’s a hole in my game,’ but when they get to the gym, they work on what’s comfortable and the things they do well,” Kruger said. “That’s easy. We challenged Buddy to work on the things he wasn’t comfortable with and because he was so receptive to it, he’s where he is.”

About Michael Grant

Born in Jamaica. Grew up in New York City. Lives in Louisville, Ky. Sports writer. Not related to Ulysses S. Grant, Anthony Grant, Amy Grant or Hugh Grant.