It’s every college basketball fan’s favorite time of the year, March. But let’s set down the brackets for a minute and take a look at the nation’s top individual performers who are up for the annual Wooden Award. Fifteen finalists were named on March 8. The top candidates include the following:
Doug McDermott, senior (Creighton)
If there’s one thing “Dougie McBuckets” knows how to do it’s how to put the ball in the hoop. McDermott led the nation in scoring in 2013-14 and is fifth all-time in NCAA history with 3,150 points. Although Creighton was just eliminated from from the tournament due to a loss from Baylor, I don’t believe it will hurt his chances because of his great career and season.
Russ Smith, senior (Louisville)
Russ Smith, like McDermott, is a rare case of a talented player deciding to stay in college all four years. He averaged 18 points and 4 assists throughout the 2013-2014 season. He was a big part of the Louisville team that reigned as national champions last season, and he hopes to repeat it this year.
Jabari Parker, freshman (Duke)
Parker was just one of the outstanding players in this year’s freshmen class. He averaged 19 points and 8 rebounds throughout the season. However, an early exit out of the tournament caused by the Mercer Bears might hurt him in his chances to win.
Andrew Wiggins, freshman (Kansas)
Wiggins is another freshman everyone had their eye on this season. Wiggins put up 17 points and averaged 6 rebounds a game for the Jayhawks. Wiggins, along with Parker was not able to carry his team to the championship as the Jayhawks got upset by Stanford in the round of 32. This loss might not have hurt his chances, but he only put up 4 points and went a measly 1-6 from the field.
Tyler Ennis, freshman (Syracuse)
Ennis was also among the stellar freshman class. He averaged 12.9 points and dished out 5.5 assists a game during this season. He has been a big part of Syracuse’s success this year entering the tournament. However, Syracuse was upset by the Dayton Flyers in the round of 32. Ennis put up 19 points in the loss.
If I was on the board to vote for this, Doug McDermott would have my vote. “Dougie McBuckets” has just accomplished too much to not get this award. He made the most of his four years and climbed up to fifth all time on the all time scoring list. We will find out the winner on April 4.