As the college basketball season enters its final weeks of the regular season, it’s a good time to update the watch list for the Wooden Award. Given annually to the best player in the country, the favorites for the Wooden Award haven’t changed much over the past week.
Grant Williams - Junior - Forward - Tennessee
After a terrific 2017-18 season in which Tennessee was one of the best teams in the SEC, Williams and the Volunteers came into the season with high expectations. With the help of senior guard Admiral Schofield and a slew of talented players, Williams and Tennessee own the No. 1 spot in the AP poll for the third week in a row. After winning SEC Player of the Year last season, Williams has elevated his game to an entirely new level. Averaging 20.1 points per game to go along with 7.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.6 blocks, Williams will surely get consideration for the Wooden Award when the season has reached its end.
Ja Morant - Sophomore - Guard - Murray State
After his freshman season at Murray St, Morant was considered to be a player who might have the potential to crack into the first round of the NBA draft. But, with the numbers he has put up this season, basketball fans should be shocked if Morant isn’t a top-5 pick. An athletic guard with a polished ability to create shots for himself and set up his teammates, Morant has exploded onto the scene this season. Averaging 24.1 points per game and a whopping 10.3 assists, along with an impressive two steals per game, Morant has the Racers in first place of the Ohio Valley Conference and with a chance to make the NCAA tournament for the second season in a row.
Zion Williamson - freshman - forward - Duke
The basketball world has become enamored with Zion ever since he stepped foot in Cameron Indoor Stadium. With his high-flying dunks, powerful rebounding, menacing rim-protecting, and skilled passing, Zion might have the most unique game in college basketball history. While his highlights are the best thing on the internet, his numbers this season have been just as astounding: 22 points per game, 9.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.2 steals and 2 blocks, all while shooting 68 percent from the field. Zion’s play this season has not made him the favorite to be the first pick in the NBA Draft, and made Duke the most dangerous team in the country, but has cemented his spot as the clear favorite for the Wooden Award this season.
Jack Flanagan is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email Jrf5738@psu.edu.
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Junior / Broadcast Journalism