Another day, and another Player of the Year honor for Creighton senior forward Doug McDermott. Friday afternoon, hours after McDermott was given the Oscar Roberton Award by the USBWA, he was announced as the winner of the John R. Wooden Award.
McDermott received 3,930 votes, with Duke’s Jabari Parker and Louisville’s Russ Smith finishing second and third, respectively. McDermott is the first winner for a Big East member since Walter Berry won the Wooden Award in 1986.
McDermott shot 52.6% from the field, 44.9% from three and 86.4% from the foul line as a senior, averaging 26.7 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.
Rounding out the top five were Wichita State’s Cleanthony Early and Arizona’s Nick Johnson.
Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.
Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.
Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.
The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.
John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.
We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.
For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.
Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.