Wooden Watch: Jan. 17

Story posted January 17, 2022 in Sports, CommRadio by Dale Ostrander

The new year has come and passed, but the college basketball season is still in full swing after a COVID-19 scare that saw many programs throughout the country shut down and miss games.

But many teams have made it through that period and players alike are back at full strength and some even better than before.

Johnny Davis

Since the start of the new year, Johnny Davis has been one of the hottest players in college basketball. Davis had a career-high 37 points and 14 rebounds against number three Purdue (at the time) and shot 13-24 from the field and 9-12 from the free-throw line as well.

He followed that tremendous performance with a 26 point game against Iowa, then 19 against Maryland, and 14 points and nine rebounds against another ranked opponent in Ohio State.

Davis has taken a huge leap in his sophomore year and has become the number one guy for the Badgers this year.

E.J. Liddell

The Ohio State big guy has been putting together a tremendous season and has been keeping his play going in the new year.

Liddell has averaged 23.6 points per game in his last three games including a monster 34 point game against Northwestern. In his next two games, Liddell kept the scoring going, but was active on the boards as well for the Buckeyes.

Liddell is not just dominant on the offensive side, he is on the defensive side as well, averaging 3.1 blocks per game this year to keep his impressive season rolling.

Jabari Smith

Coming into this season Smith was considered to be the outlier of the three guys being considered for the top pick in this year's NBA Draft. Now after his play in the last month and his teams’ record at 16-1, Smith has turned into the front runner for the first pick in the draft.

Smith has been doing everything for this Auburn team this season as they roll through the SEC conference.

In his best game of the year so far he had 25 points, seven rebounds with a career-high four blocks and two steals. All of this was done while defeating their biggest rival number 24 Alabama at Alabama.

Ochai Agbaji

The thirteenth leading scorer in the country is leading the Jayhawks to a 14-2 record so far this season and first in the Big 12.

Agbaji is bringing the Jayhawks to another great year in the Big 12, but it's not just his scoring that is getting it done for him and the Jayhawks this year. He is a great rebounder for this team and in his last five games, he is averaging 5.4 rebounds per game.

The rebounding he is doing added to his 20.6 points per game and 47.7% shooting from downtown and is making him an all-around threat for teams in the country to have to scout for.

Kofi Cockburn

Maybe the most dominant big man in the country and most dominant player since the new year started has been Kofi Cockburn.

Cockburn is averaging 21.9 points per game and 12.3 rebounds per game so far on the season. However, Cockburn is a double-double machine and this year he has put up a double-double in every game except two.

Cockburn is leading Illinois to first place in the Big Ten at an undefeated conference record so far on the season with many of the best Big Ten teams still on their schedule for him to prove he could be the best player in the country.

Dale Ostrander is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email dko5097@psu.edu.