Wooden Watch: Pre-NCAA Tournament
The regular season has ended, and it is officially tournament time. Every player has to step up their game during this time of the year so they can reach their goal of winning a national title. Another accolade for the taking is the Wooden Award—given to the best player in all of college basketball—and every top player wants the honor. Now, let’s look at the candidates leading the way before the NCAA Tournament.
Ayo Dosunmu, G, Illinois
Ayo Dosunmu is having a phenomenal year for the Fighting Illini. He has been the best player on a team that is competing for a Big Ten Tournament title as well as a national title.
Dosunmu has been on a different level this season, averaging 20.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game. He’s also been efficient, shooting 49.2% from the field and 40% from deep.
Dosunmu is arguably the best player in the nation, and he has played like the best player in the nation all year, especially down the stretch.
Cade Cunningham, G, Oklahoma State
Cunningham is projected to be the top pick in the NBA draft this year, and he is already showing scouts how good he can be.
Cunningham has the Cowboys near the top of the Big 12 and is playing phenomenal basketball. He is averaging 19.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.4 steals this year. Cunningham is an efficient shooter, too: 45.3% from the field, 41.2% from 3-point range and 85% from the free-throw line.
Cunningham is the best freshman in the nation and has gained experience all year to become one of the best overall players in Division I.
Luka Garza, C, Iowa
Garza has been amazing his entire Hawkeyes career, and his senior year may have been his best.
Garza is averaging an impressive 23.8 points and 8.7 rebounds while shooting 55% from the field, 43% from 3 and 70.6% from the free-throw line. Garza has especially been great inside, dominating opposing big men and getting them in foul trouble a lot of the time.
Iowa is one of the top teams in the country, and Garza is a big reason why the Hawkeyes have a shot at a Big Ten tournament title and national title this year.
Evan Mobley, F, USC
Mobley is one of the top prospects for this year’s NBA draft, and he is right at the top with Cade Cunningham as two of the best freshmen in college basketball.
Mobley has dominated the Pac-12 all year, averaging 16.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game. Mobley is also shooting 57.8% from the field and 70.7% from the free-throw line, making him one of the most efficient bigs in all of college basketball.
Mobley is also showing he can play big in huge games, scoring 26 points, grabbing nine rebounds and blocking five shots in the Trojans’ double overtime win over Utah in the Pac-12 tournament.
Mobley is undoubtedly one of the top players in the nation, and he has worked his way to be in consideration for the Wooden Award.
Adam Sheetz is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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Junior / Broadcast Journalism