Early Voting for Most Improved Player this Year

This is a tough one for me. Roberts’ and Francis’ overall development, Shead’s last 4 weeks, turning it up to another level, Sharp’s willingness to be aggressive offensively and defensively. To be fair, I just included those players who played for UH last year.

  • Francis
  • Roberts
  • Sharp
  • Shead
0 voters

Francis going from unplayable more than 10 minutes to solid contributor is probably the biggest leap


I think Sharp’s overall improvement is staggering. He was already a pretty good offensive player, but he’s way more well-rounded offensively and not even in the same ballpark defensively as he was last year. This year he’s catching the toughest defensive assignments at the 2 or 3 positions and doing a really good job. He never would have gotten those assignments last year.


I have seen Shead crossed over like the And-1 Mixtape a time or two this year but his defense has improved.

Tyler , Jamal was the Defensive Player of the year last year in the American.
Your post suggests he has a deficit defensively……he does not.

He is again an elite defensive player, one of the best in the nation.

Even the best get beat every now and then….but the way that he gets up into an offensive player is elite….you have to be lighting quick and have a natural feel for what the other player is going to do in order to play “D” the way he does.

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I can’t argue a bit with those that chose Francis….he has grown the most.

I chose Roberts because IMO he has gone from serviceable to someone that has to be legitimately game planned for….

His line is against Baylor was insane.

17 points

8 boards

4 assists

6 steals

3 blocks

Not many players in the country can have a game like this….especially , 6’7” guys that play down low.


Really hard to choose, we have had several guys, really everybody that came back, elevate their game.

But I had to go with Francis. He went from a less than 10 mpg guy last season, to a starter on the #1 team in America, and is currently the second most valuable defensive player in the country, behind Jamal Shead, per EvanMiya.com. Just an insane jump in contributions from Ja’Vier.


To me it’s Roberts.

Roberts has stepped it up both offensively and defensively. He’s also improved his passing, so much so, that at times we’re running the offense through him. He use to take a lot of ill-advised shots. Not anymore!!

His offensive game has been incredible. He’s gotten SO much better at getting his defender on his hip, and depending on which way they overplay him he’s using a FANTASTIC spin move to blow by the defender (and it’s not just to use his left hand). He’s now a legitimate threat offensively and he does an incredible job of getting into the paint and he’s either scoring or kicking out it for a great looking 3 or dishing it off to teammate when someone slides over to stop him.

Francis, Sharp and Shead have certainly improved as well but not to the degree that Roberts has and in the number of areas that he has (in my humble opinion).


I had to look this up, and wow! UH has 6 guys in the top 50 defensive players. I’m shocked that one of those 6 isn’t Sharp.

Jamal - 1
Francis - 2
Tugler - 10
Roberts - 29
Wilson - 33
LJ - 45

Sharp is somehow #202 on this list.

Disclaimer: I have no idea how these are calculated. Math isn’t my strong suit.

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All of you are correct. Thanks for playing.


Occasionally he struggles to stay in front of his man. It’s true, it has happened, I think it was the Cincinnati game it happened in last

That comes from his aggression to jump in passing lanes, I think. Still the best on-ball defender in America, by many accounts from people smarter than me, and the odd on favorite to be National Defensive Player of the Year.

You should start your own “unpleasant hot take” thread instead of derailing this one.
Sheads D is elite


for me its shead…

i think most people see most improved as going from bad to good… and shead was already good last year… but for me most improved is “biggest jump”

from the perspective of nonsuper fans like us, shead went from a glue guy to being in discussion for national POY

this list just came out 2 month ago

2 days ago most iowa state fans are saying they hope tamin lipsey develops into jamal shead type player

he has had transcendental level in season improvements this year … he didnt make the player of the year midseason finalist… and had to be re-added back on.

i know francis will win because he went from liability to contributor, which the fit for Most improved. but going from glue guy to all american is a bigger jump to me

my #2 wouldnt be him, itd be sharp, sharp imo could actually be number 1 at the rate he is progressing by seasons end, he is actively still getting better, you could see it last game…

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Just a reminder, back when a couple folks still doubted Francis. Sampson knew what was coming


full video

Its almost as if CKS knows what he is doing. :joy:


Since Shead was MVP of the team last year, i don’t see how it could be him but he is now being noticed by the national media.
I love Sharp’s improvements. His D is much better and taking it to the hole really helps. He’s always been a fearless shooter, which is just what this team needs.
But Francis has made the biggest jump. No longer a foul machine. He has shown touches on offense. His dunking and alley ops are there now. His D was already good but this year he is a force.
What’s awesome is we’re talking about noticeable improvements in our players while they moved up to the toughest conference in basketball.
Sampson and the staff deserve so much praise.


Glue guys win DPOY for their conference…:-1:

I guess going from All-Conference to All-American fits the narrative.

For me it’s $harp$hooter and his improved DEFENSE and improved ability to drive and score.


sasser was 1st team all american, and conference POY, (while also being our top defender) not sure how shead was the MVP…
its more than being noticed, he has actually improved … there is a huge statistical difference from his entire career if we bench mark it “before and after the tcu loss”

he is averaging 18pts a game since the loss…
he was doing 10pts a game before the loss

I think $head is just actually 100% healthy this year… His hesitation move is just FILTHY… And he looks much quicker…


The great thing about this discussion is there’s a legitimate case to be made for all four of these guys and it’s a big reason why the team has taken it up another gear.