Wooden Watch: Week 10

Story posted January 29, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Matt Noah

College basketball is well underway and many fans are happy to see their favorite teams compete. This season has been full of shake ups and surprises with typical powerhouses struggling, while new teams burst onto the scene.

There still remains uncertainty about the season as many games have already been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The John R. Wooden Award will be given to the best player in college basketball. Many players this season have made a case with their performance, so let’s take a look at the top contenders for one college basketball’s most coveted award.

Luka Garza, C, Iowa

The reigning Big Ten Player of the Year is currently the leading scorer in the NCAA. He is averaging 26.9 points per game at an efficient rate, 61 percent, to go with 8.9 rebounds.

Now a senior, Garza returned with hopes of making a deep run for the Hawkeyes. The team sits at 12-3, currently ranked No. 7 in the nation according to the AP poll.

Garza’s ability to be an offensive scorer and rebounder creates a strong Wooden Award case, especially with his play to start the 2020-2021 season.

Jared Butler, G, Baylor

Entering his junior season, Butler had high expectations as Baylor’s primary ball handler. He was named the preseason Big-12 player of the year and was on the Wooden Award watch list for portions of the 2019-2020 season. So far this season, he has only gotten better averaging 17.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game.

Butler has led the Bears to an undefeated 14-0 start and the No. 2 ranking in the nation. His Wooden Award contention is solid as the best player on one of the best teams in the country.

Ayo Dosunmu, G, Illinois

Dosunmu has led the Fighting Illini to a 10-5 record, good for No. 19 in the latest AP poll. The team may not be ranked as highly as the previous two candidates, but Dosunmu’s numbers show he is just as integral to his team’s success. This season, the guard is averaging 21.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game.

Illinois has not qualified for the March Madness tournament since 2013, however the team did have a solid case for the 2019-2020 tournament before it was cancelled. Either way, Dosunmu is propelling his team towards an appearance this year and has been one of the leading candidates for the Wooden Award through the first 10 weeks of the season.

 

Matt Noah is a sophomore majoring in journalism. To contact him, email matthewnoah29@gmail.com.