He received 43 votes Friday from the 65-member national media panel that selects the weekly Top 25. Balloting was done before the NCAA Tournament.
The 6-foot-10 player is the Southeastern Conference’s Player, Freshman and Defensive Player of the Year. He averaged 14.3 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.6 blocks while shooting 64.2 percent. His block total is a school record and third best for a freshman.
Kevin Durant, of Texas, in 2007 is the only other freshman to win the award.
Thomas Robinson, of Kansas, was second with 20 votes, and Draymond Green, of Michigan State, received the other two votes.
TACO THEFT: Florida guard Erving Walker was charged with stealing a taco and running from police.
Walker, a senior who ranks first in school history in assists, was arrested and charged with petty theft and resisting an officer without violence, both misdemeanors. He was not taken to jail.
Gainesville Police say Walker ordered a $3 taco from a street vendor, got the food and ran away without paying. When a police officer caught up with him and told him stop, Walker kept going, according to the police report.
When officers finally caught Walker with help from “several marked patrol cars,” he told them he was “just playing around,” the report said.
CLASS ACT: Purdue star Robbie Hummel won the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award
The award is given to the player who demonstrates excellence in the community, on the court, in the classroom and whose character makes a positive impact on those around them.
ALL-STAR GAME: Jae Crowder, of Marquette, scored 25 points and Ramone Moore added 15 points and nine rebounds to lead the East to a 103-99 victory over the West in the Reese’s College All-Star game.
Ricardo Ratliffe, of Missouri, led the West with 21 points.