Now that we're emerging past the top two spots on the community big board, the voting margins are starting to shrink just a tad. Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Dragan Bender took home the bronze yesterday, pulling 44 percent of the vote. Jamal Murray came in second place with 24 percent, and Wade Baldwin IV surprisingly beat out Kris Dunn by 2 percent of the vote. Marc Whittington, you're only supposed to vote once.
Between Bender winning yesterday and the group of players up for voting today, it's hard not to notice the international influence at the top of this year's draft. Jamal Murray was born in southern Ontario, and his efforts during the 2015 Pan American games led Canada to a silver medal. Murray averaged 16.0 points and shot 45.9% from the field for the tournament not too long after reclassifying for the recruiting class of 2015.
Bahamian Buddy Hield's trek from Freeport to Oklahoma is an incredible story about overcoming the odds. Regardless of our thoughts on his draft stock and ability to dominate the pro level like he did college, it's hard not to root for him to be successful.
French prospect Timothe Luwawu has done a real good job raising his draft stock since making the jump from France's second division to the Serbian League. I discussed the pros and cons of his game back in a film review from March.
Another interesting thing to note in this round of votes is whether or not Baldwin continues his takedown of Dunn, largely considered the best point guard in this draft.
We'll add Michigan State do it all forward Denzel Valentine to this round as well. Voting closes at 3 p.m.