The Washington Times - February 12, 2009, 09:53AM

Another week, another player of the year straw poll from Michael Rothstein of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.

This probably seemed like a good idea for Rothstein (whose blog is called Irish Insights) a month ago, when Notre Dame was a top-25 team and Luke Harangody was churning out double-doubles every night.

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Unfortunately, voters have a way of basing votes for individual awards on team performances, so Harangody is severely trailing at this stage (his clunker at UCLA did him no favors).

Right now, it’s Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin in a runaway leader, with Stephen Curry of Davidson and North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough comfortable in the second and third spots, respectively.

I would say anyone who isn’t paying that much attention to the Pac-10 to give Arizona State’s James Harden a long look; for now, he’s tied for fifth in the straw poll.

Oh, and seven  of the 11 players mentioned came from the Big East and ACC.

Patrick Stevens