Wooden Watch: Week 2

Story posted December 5, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Austin Groft

With week one of college basketball coming to a close, it is easy to say who the frontrunners are for this year’s Wooden Award. Several players have played three-plus games already and have played tremendously in them. This top 10 list features players who have been dominating their competition early on this season.

1. Luka Garza, Iowa

There’s no argument here, just read these stats. In his first three games, Garza has averaged 34 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.5 blocks. It’s worth mentioning that he is doing this at a highly efficient rate, shooting 76% from the field. Garza has his first real test of the season against North Carolina on Dec. 8.

2. Drew Timme Gonzaga

Gonzaga is playing the best basketball in the nation right now, averaging 93 points per game as a team. Timme, the Bulldogs’ leading scorer, is averaging 23.3 points per game. Timme is an elite scorer in the paint, but he isn’t afraid to take a shot from the perimeter. His biggest performance of the year so far was against Auburn. He scored 28 points and brought in 10 rebounds.

3. Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois

Dosunmu had a great start to the season but struggled against Baylor. Aside from that performance, Dosunmu has been doing it all for the Fighting Illini. He has a history of hitting clutch shots, and he came up big in the game against Ohio, hitting two free throws to put the Fighting Illini in the lead at the end of the game.

4. Marcus Carr, Minnesota

Yet again another Big Ten player, Carr has taken on the role as “the guy” for Minnesota with the departure of Daniel Oturu. Carr is averaging 29.7 points per game through his first three outings. He is right behind Dosunmu for the top guards in the Big Ten, and at the rate he’s been performing, he could very easily pass Dosunmu on this list.

5. Corey Kispert, Gonzaga

That’s right, two players from one team make the top five in this list. Corey Kispert has been a veteran for Gonzaga. The senior is the leader for this elite Gonzaga team. Averaging 22.3 points per game, Kispert could be battling it out with teammate Timme for this year’s Wooden Award.

6. McKinley Wright IV, Colorado

Scoring more than 20 points in each of his first two games of the season, Wright has been overlooked as being a potential Pac-12 Player of the Year. With the loss of Tyler Bey, Wright was asked to step it up this year for Colorado. So far, he’s done just that.

7. Evan Mobley, USC

The only freshman on this list, Mobley has provided for his team early on, being the main point of attack offensively for the Trojans. He is projected to be a lottery pick in the 2021 NBA draft and has been the best-performing freshman this year.

8. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Villanova

Robinson-Earl has improved tremendously from last season. His mid-range jumper is pure, and he’s not afraid to shoot the 3-ball. He makes this list after his performance against Arizona State. He was the story of this elite matchup in the 2K Empire Classic, scoring 28 points for the Wildcats.

9. Jared Butler, Baylor

Butler is the best scorer for the Baylor Bears. Not only can he put the ball in the basket, but he provides for his team defensively, averaging 2.7 steals per game. The best player on one of the best teams in the nation deserves recognition on this list.

10. AJ Green, Northern Iowa

AJ Green is the biggest sleeper on this list. He averaged 29 points per game last year and might be the best shooter in college basketball. His Larry Bird jumper is entertaining to watch, especially when he shoots from deep with a defender in his face.

 

Austin Groft is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email him at atg5271@psu.edu.