BOZICH | Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 Selections - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 Selections

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The good folks at the Los Angeles Athletic Club have added a feature to the John Wooden Award, college basketball's version of college football's Heisman Trophy:

The Late Season Top 20.

There has always been the pre-season Top 50, the mid-season Top 25, the final ballot Top 15 and then the announcement of the selection of the best player in college basketball in early April.

But this year they'd like to cut competition from 50 to 25 to 20 to 15 to 1.

That is why the ballot is due today at 3 p.m. for the Late Season Top 20.

Fine with me. I can follow up with a Top 19 tomorrow if needed. Nothing better than a good college basketball discussion. Here are the 20 names I submitted (IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER).

1. Justin Anderson, Virginia guard – Can't wait to get to Charlottesville Saturday for an in-person look at this kid who has turned himself into a 50-percent three-point shooter.

2. Ron Baker, Wichita State guard – You could argue that his teammate, Fred VanVleet, is more deserving but I had to pick one guy. I took the shooter.

3. Devin Booker, Kentucky guard – If the SEC names a player its Freshman of the Week four straight times, that player is going to make my list.

4. Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky, forward – Concentrate on the versatility of the player, not the numbers in the box score.

5. Yogi Ferrell, Indiana, guard – The smaller Indiana has gotten the bigger Ferrell has played.

6. Treveon Graham, VCU, forward – This is the guy who puts the “H” in the havoc that VCU's defense creates.

7. Jerian Grant, Notre Dame, guard – Averaging better than 17 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds while shooting 50 percent. I'll take two – and I believe he should be a legit contender to win.

8. Montrezl Harrell, Louisville, forward – Still has an outside shot to average a double-double. But please scrap the three-point shot.

9. Tyler Haws, BYU, guard – Only one player is averaging more points than the 22.6 per game Haws is giving BYU.

10. Buddy Hield, Oklahoma, guard – Every time I have watched this kid he's made shot after shot after shot.

11. Stanley Johnson, Arizona, forward – The guy most likely to make a play for Sean Miller late in the shot clock – and ranked second in Ken Pomeroy's player of the year ratings.

12. Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin, center – The most efficient player in America – at any position, according to Pomeroy. Remember this is a college award, not a mock NBA Draft.

13. Georges Niang, Iowa State, forward – Can't rebound like Harrell but a better perimeter shooter.

14. Jahlil Okafor, Duke, center – Love his hands, his determination, his footwork and his touch. Probably the guy to beat.

15. Chasson Randle, Stanford, guard – The Cardinal have started to fade but it has not been Randle's fault.

16. Terry Rozier, Louisville, guard – Did I mention that I can't wait to get to Charlottesville to watch Rozier match up with the Virginia defense?

17. D'Angelo Russell, Ohio State, guard – Some people are saying he'll be the second pick in the 2015 NBA Draft after Okafor.

18. Juwan Staten, West Virginia, guard – The best player on the most surprising team in the Big 12.

19. Kyle Wiltjer, Gonzaga, forward – Still needs to work on his rebounding and post game, but that 44 percent three-point stroke is a weapon.

20. Delon Wright, Utah, guard – Looked like the best player in the Pac-12 until his recent three-game slump.

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