Add Oregon's Brooks to POY candidates

Updated: January 19, 2007, 10:35 AM ET
By Jay Bilas | ESPN.com
Aaron Brooks
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty ImagesThe 6-foot senior has been big man on Oregon's campus.
The Notebook has been pumping Texas freshman Kevin Durant since day one, so we shall refrain from doing so again this weekend, notwithstanding how much he might deserve it. His numbers and, more importantly, the way he produces them, have put him in a stratosphere not even a casual fan can ignore. In fact, his performances have thrust him into the national player of the year conversation. So, for POY, the strongest candidates have been Wisconsin's Alando Tucker (big shots, big plays in big games), Texas' Durant (the most talented player in America), Nevada's Nick Fazekas (he has been as good as any big man), Florida's Joakim Noah (no player is more productive in just 24 minutes), UCLA's Arron Afflalo (plays on both ends and is the Bruins' heart), LSU's Glen Davis (big-time college player),Oklahoma State's Mario Boggan (one of the most productive interior players in the country) and Tennessee's Chris Lofton (this year's Redick). Let's add another name ... Oregon's Aaron Brooks. Brooks is averaging more than 18 points, almost 5 assists and 2 steals, and he has taken it on himself to hit every big shot Oregon has needed to win key games. It was Brooks who shot down UCLA, and he was magnificent on the road at Arizona. There might be a long way to go in this whole player of the year debate, but Brooks deserves to be in it as much as anyone we have named so far.

Jay Bilas

College Basketball analyst