Eye on POY: West Virginia boys basketball

The window on the Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year race is closing, and the search for elite student-athletes is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our ESPNHS team that administers the program’s selection process.

Nathan Adrian

Junior Forward, Morgantown High (Morgantown, WV)

2011-12 Team record: 18-7

2011-12 Team standing: Lost to Fairmont in Regional tournament

2011-12 Points per game: 19.4

2011-12 Rebounds per game: 10.6

2011-12 Assists per game: 1.7

2011-12 Blocks per game: 1.1

2011-12 Steals per game: 1.8

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: West Virginia (verbal)

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: First Team All-Conference; 20 double-doubles.

Andrew Wiggins

Sophomore Forward, Huntington Prep (Huntington, WV)

2011-12 Team record: 28-2

2011-12 Team standing: Season complete

2011-12 Points per game: 24.2

2011-12 Rebounds per game: 8.5

2011-12 Assists per game: 4.1

2011-12 Blocks per game: 2.7

Academics: B average

Collegiate destination: HS sophomore

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Ranked No. 1 sophomore by ESPNHS; three triple doubles; Flyin' to the Hoop All-Tournament team.

Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year race isn’t over yet. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list. Here are some more of many who’ve been in the conversation throughout the 2011-12 campaign.

Mark Winters: Junior Forward, Magnolia High (New Martinsville, WV)

Q.J. Peterson: Senior Guard, Hedgesville High (Hedgesville, WV)

Boo Lathon: Senior Forward, Wheeling Park High (Wheeling, WV)

Stevie Browning: Senior Guard, Logan High (Logan, WV)

Jon Elmore: Sophomore Guard, South Charleston (South Charleston, WV)

Elijah Macon: Senior Forward, Huntington Prep (Huntington, WV)

Jordan Simpson: Senior Guard, Man High (Man, WV)

Think we're missing a deserving Gatorade State Player of the Year candidate in your state? Let us know via e-mail at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com.