College Basketball's Wooden Award: Here Are the Top 10 Candidates
The Wooden Award. Along with the Naismith Award, the college basketball version of the Heisman Trophy. Named for Coach John Wooden who is the most decorated coach in the game's history, the Wooden award is one of sport's most prestigious awards.
Past winners include basketball icons such as Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and David Robinson. Recent winners include current NBA stars such as Kevin Durant, Jameer Nelson, JJ Redick, Tim Duncan, Andrew Bogut and Tyler Hansbrough.
This year's crop of contenders is talented. The competition is also wide open. The favorite last week may not be this week. But he might be next week.
Here are what I believe are the top ten right now
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Oliver, the former Washington Husky is having a phenomenal year for San Jose State. He is third in the nation in scoring at 24 points per game. He also averages five rebounds and three assists. Unfortunately, the Spartans don't have much to go with him.
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Hamilton is Texas' leading scorer at 19 points per game and third with seven rebounds per game. He has led Texas to a 14-3 start.
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Johnson's 20 points and over eight rebounds per game got the Boilers off to a 5-1 start. They have slipped to 15-3 this week. If they can rebound and beat the Buckeyes, Spartans and Badgers, look for him to be a strong contender.
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Marcus is not only the Jayhawks' leading scorer at 16 points per game, but he has a duplicate who averages another 13.
Twin brother Markeiff is also averaging over eight rebounds per game to go along with his brother's seven. Pretty good production came from mom's delivery room the day they were born—30 points and 16 boards worth.
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This year's feel good story is San Diego State.
Coming off the first bowl victory in about a half century, the basketball team is tearing it up out west. The Aztecs are led by Leonard who averages 16 points and 10 rebounds per game. Currently, the Aztecs are 19-0 at sit at No. 6 in the polls.
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The Big East again is the toughest league in the nation.
Syracuse is currently its toughest team. They are 18-0 and ranked fourth. Joseph is their leader in scoring with 15 points and five rebounds per game. The Cuse is talented and spread the wealth around, so Joseph's stats may not be as sexy sounding as the rest of the candidates. But he is a player.
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Already with an NCAA Championship ring, this guy is an assassin from the field. Give him a little room and he will hit it from anywhere.
He is averaging 18 points and six rebounds per game and is shooting 40 percent from behind the arc. A strong case could also be made for his teammate, Nolan Smith, averaging 20 a game and five boards.
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If he wants this award, he better win it now. Why? This guy is going to be getting paid to play next year.
He is a monster. He is turning Ohio State into a basketball school and a National Title contender. He scores over 17 per game and grabs 10 rebounds.
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Walker turned a rather overlooked UConn squad into a contender when he went off in the Maui Classic.
He has led the nation in scoring most of the year and has kept the Huskies near the top of the rankings. He averages an eye-popping 25 points per game. He also grabs five rebounds per game.
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Jimmer Fredette is the No. 1 candidate at this point.
He averages 26 points per game and has Brigham Young ranked 11th with a 17-1 record. He recently scored 32 points against rival Utah—in the first half.
Plus you gotta like a name like Jimmer.