Wooden Watch

Story posted March 20, 2023 in CommRadio, Sports by Sam Kirk

As we get deeper into a really fun and unpredictable NCAA tournament, certain stars are standing out and are continuing to make their case for the Wooden Award.

There are also teams who have already lost their first or second-round games with players who still deserve consideration.

Currently, the Wooden Watch has cut down its list to only 17 players who are eligible to win the award this year. Here are some of the favorites from that list.

Zach Edey - Purdue

You can say whatever you would like about the Boilermakers season but there was no question that Edey was an unstoppable force throughout the country this year.

Purdue lost a heartbreaker to Fairleigh Dickinson in its first-round game but that shouldn’t necessarily exclude Edey from potentially winning this award.

Edey was the only unanimous first-team AP All-American this season and carried his team to a Big Ten conference title.

He is one of two Big Ten players to score at least 700 points and have 400 rebounds in one season. There were eight separate occasions during the year where he went for 30 points and 10 rebounds.

When teams played Purdue this year the game plan needed to be surrounded by the Boilermaker big man.

Edey averaged 22.3 points and 12.8 rebounds on the year which also included 26 double-doubles leading the country.

Some say there hasn’t been a season as good as this from a player since decades ago. Edey is the top candidate to win this award.

Brandon Miller - Alabama

Despite some off-court controversy, no one can deny that Brandon Miller is having a truly special season for the Crimson Tide.

In 31 games played, Miller averaged 19.6 points per game while shooting over 40% from three and over 50% from the field.

He was named SEC player of the year, and also was a semifinalist for the Naismith award. Miller is arguably the best NBA prospect in college basketball.

The guard skills this freshman has and his shooting ability will fit very nicely into the NBA.

If the Crimson Tide can keep this amazing run going that will certainly help Miller stay in the conversation for the Wooden Award even with his off-the-court situation.

Trayce Jackson-Davis - Indiana

Jackson-Davis, son of former NBA star Dale Davis, is undoubtedly one of the better players in the country. Without Jackson-Davis this year Indiana would’ve missed the NCAA tournament in such a hard Big Ten conference.

The 6-foot-8 210 lbs senior, might be the most NBA-ready prospect in college basketball.

While bringing his team to a second-place finish in the Big Ten, he averaged over 20 points a game and 10 rebounds.

Shooting a magnificent 58% from the field. Jackson Davis shows up all over the stat sheet leading Indiana in scoring and rebounding while finishing second in assists.

Jackson-Davis, like Miller, probably needs a big run for the Hoosiers in March to be considered for this award.

It seems as if he is ready for the moment though where in their first-round game against Kent State he shot 10 of 17 from the field totaling 24 points and 11 rebounds.

Jackson-Davis is going to need a few more performances like this in order to climb ahead of Edey and Miller.

Marcus Sasser - Houston

Watching the Cougars play a few games without Sasser, who was injured early in the American conference tournament really makes you know how valuable he is to this team.

Houston was arguably the best team in the country all season long and was led by Sasser who averaged 16.7 points per game.

Sasser has been starting for Houston since he was a freshman; he's averaged over 16 points in back-to-back seasons now and has made Houston a relevant threat heading into March.

The senior guard was held to only 14 minutes in Houston’s opening-round game but should be good to go for the rest of the Cougars' ride in the tournament.

Without Sasser, Houston looks shaky and could be on the verge of an upset. His name definitely deserves to be in the mix for the Wooden Award considering what this program has done this season.

Jalen Wilson - Kansas

The amount of experience Wilson has combined with the depth and youth of this Kansas team has allowed him to have a great season. The Jayhawk forward is averaging over 20 points and eight rebounds a game.

Wilson has scored over 700 points on the year making him one of 11 former Jayhawks to do so.

He currently also sits at ninth in all-time scoring for Kansas after this incredible year.

If Kansas is able to repeat once again Wilson will contend with Edey to take home this award.

Expect Wilson‘s name to be in conversations regarding the NBA Lottery as we inch closer to the draft in April. Kansas will go as far as the star takes them.

Sam Kirk is a junior broadcast journalism major at Pennsylvania State University to contact him by emailing sjk6325@psu.edu.