East Lansing — A potentially big week of awards began on Tuesday as Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine was named National Association of Basketball Coaches National Player of the Year.
The Spartans senior has already been named the top player in the nation by the likes of Sports Illustrated and USA Today and is a finalist for three of the biggest — the Oscar Robertson Trophy, Naismith Award and Wooden Award.
The Robertson Trophy will be announced on Friday and the Naismith Award will be handed out on Sunday. Both will take place at the Final Four in Houston. The Wooden Award is announced April 8 in Los Angeles.
Valentine averaged 19.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.8 assists a game as a senior. No player had averaged 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in a season since assists became an official statistic in 1983-84.
He is the second Spartan to earn the top honor from the NABC, joining Draymond Green (2012) and Shawn Respert (1995). Valentine will be presented the award at a ceremony on Sunday in Houston.