Naismith Award Watch: Week 3

Story posted March 2, 2018 in Sports, CommRadio by Camden Tofil

Now that we have entered March, the anticipation for March Madness is high. Final regular season games are on Saturday and most of the conference tournaments begin next week. But, its time for another look at the leaders for the Naismith Award.

1. Trae Young (Guard, Oklahoma)

The freshman sensation from Norman looks to push the Sooners to a tournament berth. Once seemed a lock for the NCAA tournament, a recent 3-10 stretch has put Oklahoma on somewhat of a bubble watch. Having the No. 1 strength of schedule in the country should be enough to put the Sooners in the “Big Dance.”

Even through Oklahoma’s struggles, Young has been one of the best players in college basketball. He remains in the lead for scoring (28 ppg) and assists (9 apg). With Oklahoma probably needing a good run in the Big 12 tournament, look for Young to put on his best Kemba Walker act to lead this Sooner team.

2. Deandre Ayton (Forward, Arizona)

The potential No. 1 pick in this upcoming NBA draft has continued to be one of the best players in college basketball despite the recent scandal going on in Tucson. Ayton is putting great numbers this season with averages of 19.7 ppg and 11.1 rpg.

With the Pac-12 being relatively weak this season, the Wildcats should be considered the favorites to win the conference again. Arizona, led by Ayton, will look to climb to a higher seed over the next week.

3. Marvin Bagley III (Forward/Center, Duke)

The superstar freshman for the Blue Devils has returned from injury at the perfect time. Bagley returned last Saturday in a win versus Syracuse. Now, Bagley and the Blue Devils prepare for part two of the Tobacco Road Showdown tomorrow night in Durham versus North Carolina.

Even with the injury, Bagley has continued to stay near the top of the Naismith Award watch. He is averaging 20.7 ppg and 11.1 rebounds per game. Bagley and the Blue Devils are considered one of the favorites to win the ACC along with Virginia.

4. Jalen Brunson (Guard, Villanova)

The junior guard for Villanova has continued to lead the Wildcats to a potential No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Jalen Brunson has been the best player for the No. 4 team in the country all season and has Nova on the brink of winning another Big East championship.

Brunson is averaging 19.1 ppg and 4.8 apg this season and has been quietly one of the best players in the country this season. Villanova, led by Brunson, looks to close out their season strong with a win over Georgetown tomorrow night.

5. Miles Bridges (Guard/Forward, Michigan State)

Despite dealing with the scandals in East Lansing, sophomore Miles Bridges is pushing the Spartans to a Big Ten championship. Michigan State plays their first game of the Big Ten championship on Friday against Wisconsin.

Bridges has made the decision to return to Michigan State a good one as he is averaging 16.8 ppg and 6.9 rebounds. Bridges looks to lead the Spartans towards another Big Ten championship.  He continues to lead the No. 2 team in the nation toward a top seed in the NCAA tournament.

 

Camden Tofil is a freshman majoring in advertising. To contact, email him at camdentofil@gmail.com.