Wooden Award

Buddy Hield
Associated Press

Hield, Simmons among 25 on midseason Wooden Award list

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Wednesday evening the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 list was released, and many of the names on the list should come as no surprise. Among those are LSU freshman forward Ben Simmons and Oklahoma senior guard Buddy Hield, two of the top candidates for national player of the year honors in the eyes of many. The same can be said of Providence guard Kris Dunn and Michigan State guard Denzel Valentine, who also made the cut.

Twenty of the 25 players on this list were on the award’s preseason top 50 list. The exceptions are Arizona senior forward Ryan Anderson, Oakland junior guard Kay Felder, Louisville senior guard Damion Lee, Kansas junior guard Wayne Selden Jr. and Iowa senior forward Jarrod Uthoff.

Below are the 25 players on the midseason list, and it should be noted that not making this list does not prohibit a player from winning the Wooden Award.

G Grayson Allen (Duke)
F Ryan Anderson (Arizona)
G Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia)
G Kris Dunn (Providence)
F Perry Ellis (Kansas)
G Kay Felder (Oakland)
G/F Daniel Hamilton (Connecticut)
G Buddy Hield (Oklahoma)
F Brice Johnson (North Carolina)
G Damion Lee (Louisville)
G Caris LeVert (Michigan)
G Nic Moore (SMU)
G Jamal Murray (Kentucky)
F Georges Niang (Iowa State)
G Marcus Paige (North Carolina)
G Gary Payton II (Oregon State)
F Jakob Poeltl (Utah)
F Domantas Sabonis (Gonzaga)
G Wayne Selden Jr. (Kansas)
F Ben Simmons (LSU)
G Melo Trimble (Maryland)
G Tyler Ulis (Kentucky)
F Jarrod Uthoff (Iowa)
G Denzel Valentine (Michigan State)
F Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga)

Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky wins John R. Wooden Award

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Already the most decorated player in the history of the Wisconsin basketball program, 7-footer Frank Kaminsky added another major national award Friday morning.

Kaminsky was announced as the winner of the John R. Wooden Award, his fourth major National Player of the Year honor of the season. The Big Ten Player of the Year also won Player of the Year awards from the USBWA (Oscar Robertson Award) and Associated Press, and he was also the winner of the Naismith Trophy.

Kaminsky received all three of those awards at the Final Four last weekend.

Kaminsky helped lead the Badgers to a 36-4 record, the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles and their first national title game appearance since 1941. Projected to be a first round pick in this year’s NBA Draft, Kaminsky posted averages of 18.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.5 blocks per game.

Rounding out the top five in the voting for the Wooden Award were Duke’s Jahlil Okafor, Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein, Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant and Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell.

The Wooden Award is down to 15 finalists

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Wisconsin senior center Frank Kaminsky and Duke freshman center Jahlil Okafor headline a group of 15 finalists for The Wooden Award. The finalists were announced on Saturday during College Gameday.

Here are the 15 finalists for college basketball’s biggest individual honor:

Ron Baker, Wichita State
Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia
Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky
Rakeem Christmas, Syracuse
Jerian Grant, Notre Dame
Tyler Haws, BYU
Buddy Hield, Oklahoma
Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin
Georges Niang, Iowa State
Jahlil Okafor, Duke
Bobby Portis, Arkansas
D’Angelo Russell, Ohio State
Seth Tuttle, Northern Iowa
Kyle Wiltjer, Gonzaga
Delon Wright, Utah

While the Wooden Award released a top 20 list in February, there are some notable changes to this finalist list. Malcolm Brogdon was added to the list and presumably replaced Virginia teammate Justin Anderson while Northern Iowa senior forward Seth Tuttle was also new among the 15 finalists.

Not making the cut from the previous list is Anderson, Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell, Arizona’s Stanley Johnson, Duke’s Tyus Jones, Stanford’s Chasson Randle, Louisville’s Terry Rozier and West Virginia’s Juwan Staten.

The Wooden Award list will be whittled down to five finalists on March 30 before the award is announced on April 10 during a televised awards show.

It’s interesting to note that three players in Rob Dauster’s College Basketball Talk Player of the Year Power Rankings this week didn’t make the list for the Wooden Award.