Even with only a few more games remaining for each team in the conference during the regular season, the standings are still kind of a mess, so it should come at no surprise that the Pac-12 Player of the Year race is very much the same. With no player clearly asserting himself as the supreme ruler of the conference and a number of players holding similar statistics on teams with similar records, it is very, very hard to sort out right now.
While I still wouldn't feel confident casting a vote for one guy yet, there are about 12 players that I think will be in the running with various reasons why or why not they shouldn't get that vote.
Jahii Carson Fr. G Arizona State
Why? No player may be more important to their give team than Carson. He played a huge role in transforming the Sun Devils from laughing stock into tournament contender in just one year. He is in the Top 5 in the conference in scoring and in assists.
Why Not? The Sun Devils are still a mid-level Pac-12 team and he is a freshman. Also, Carrick Felix deserves some of the credit that has been showered upon Carson.
Allen Crabbe Jr. G Cal
Why? The conference leader in points always has to be considered and Crabbe is the best player on a team that very well could at least tie for the conference championship in the regular season. Throw in that Crabbe has good rebounding, passing and defensive numbers and you have a guy that very well could be the front-runner for the award if Cal keeps winning.
Why not? As good as Crabbe has been at times during Cal's run, he has also been very inconsistent and has look unmotivated in spurts, especially early in conference play when the Bears were struggling. It might be hard to cast a vote for a guy who may not have had a complete season.
Spencer Dinwiddie So. G Colorado
Why? Okay, so some of these guys are a bit of a stretch, but really Dinwiddie is only a few points from being the conference's leading scorer while also being a guy who only shoots when he needs to. He leads one of the best teams in the conference and is a great all-around player.
Why not? An argument could be made that Dinwiddie isn't even the best player on his own team. There are other guards who have better scoring and assists numbers than him.
Carrick Felix Sr. F Arizona State
Why? One of the most underrated players in the country, Felix average 14 points and 8 rebounds while also being one of the front runners for defensive player of the year in the Pac-12.
Why not? As underrated as Felix is, I still would say that Carson is the Sun Devils' best player and heart and soul and it would be hard to vote for a guy who is probably the second-best player on a mid-level Pac-12 team.
Solomon Hill Sr. F Arizona
Why? Hill fills the tough and savvy veteran role maybe better than anyone in the conference and he does it on a team that could still win the Pac-12. He has a knack for stepping in close games when everything is on the line too.
Why not? His team hasn't played well all Pac-12 season and Mark Lyons might actually play the tough, savvy, veteran role better than he does. Also, he doesn't score as much as most player of the year type guys.
Mark Lyons Sr. G Arizona
Why? Lyons is a bit like a basketball Russell Wilson in that he showed up on an already good team as a one-year senior and immediately became the leader of the team. He scores well, and as mentioned earlier, he is a crafty veteran.
Why not? That team that he is supposed to be leading has floundered all Pac-12 season and he doesn't have the assist numbers you would like to see from a point guard.
Brock Motum Sr. C Washington State
Why? Averaging basically 18 points and 6 rebounds per-game, Motum might have the best stats of anyone in the league and probably beats out Carson in the guy that is most important to his team category.
Why not? The Cougars are the worst team in the conference and he doesn't really do much else other than score and is only an average rebounder for a 6'10 guy.
Shabazz Muhammad Fr. F UCLA
Why? Shabazz is simply the "best player" in the conference. If there was a Pac-12 draft, he would assuredly be the first player you take. He started slow, but has been unreal at times as he has led the Bruins' resurgence while also being the conference's second-leading scorer. He rebounds as well as the best big guys in the conference and also shoots a very high percentage, even from behind the arc.
Why not? People might have a tough time voting for a freshman, especially one that they know will be gone in just a few weeks after the season. However, if the Bruins end up at least tying for the regular season title, it would be hard not to vote for him.
Dwight Powell Jr. C Stanford
Why? In a year where the conference is really lacking good 6'7-9 guys who can do a little bit of everything, Powell is the best and arguably has the best stats of any big man in the conference.
Why not? Stanford is in the bottom-half of the conference and he simply doesn't have good enough stats to overcome that.
Andre Roberson Jr. F Colorado
Why? The only guy in the conference to average a double-double and add his defensive prowess to that and you have a guy who is as good of an all-around player as the conference has seen in recent years. And Roberson doesn't average 10.0 rebounds per-game, he averages more than anyone in the entire country.
Why not? The Buffs aren't going to win the conference and he only averages 10 points per-game and you just don't see guys win MVPs who don't score that much.
E.J. Singler Sr. F Oregon
Why? He's the best player on the best team in the conference and a lot of times that is the golden equation to win these kinds of awards. Singler scores well, is the ultimate team player and does everything well by being a sneaky good defender.
Why not? Singler's stats aren't that impressive as Oregon is more of an "team" team with no true stars. He is also a sneaky overrated shooter whose percentages inside and outside of the arc aren't as good as you would think.
C.J. Wilcox Jr. G Washington
Why? When healthy (And even when injured) Wilcox is simply one of the best shooters, scorers and overall players in the conference. Along with being a great streak shooter, he rebounds well for a guard and is a deceptively adept defender when healthy.
Why not? Wilcox' production has fallen off as the season has progressed and he tends to disappear in games when his shot isn't falling and he is hounded by a good defender. Also, the Huskies are near the bottom of the conference.