Thursday, August 11, 2005

Preseason Wooden Award List Released

Nothing extremely exciting has happened lately in college basketball, besides the Brandon Rush recruiting saga and a couple of other stories. I needed a college hoops fix. When the Wooden Award list was revealed a few days ago, I immediately printed it out and began studying the 50 names on the list. I wasn't really expecting many surprises because I was expecting something very similar to Andy Katz's list, which he released last week. Everyone on that list seemed like a solid choice to be on this Wooden list. However, there were several players that I thought were snubbed from the list and should have been included over some less-deserving players. What better way to get back into the swing of college basketball than to discuss the top players in the country? Here are some guys that I thought should have been on it:

Marcus Williams, Connecticut: How can you leave off possibly the best point guard in the country, outside of Dee Brown? He lead the country in assists a year ago and had eight games where he totaled double-figure assists. Williams also averaged almost 13 points per game against NCAA Tournament teams. This was the one omission I was shocked with.

Allan Ray/Randy Foye, Villanova: One of these two Wildcats should have been included. Ray is one of the best shooters in the Big East, while Foye can beat you with a jumpshot or driving to the basket. Foye is probably the more dangerous of the two, as evidenced by his 28 points against UNC. Ray had only 3 games in the regular season in which he didn't reach double-figures in points.

Caleb Green, Oral Roberts: The mid-majors got a severe lack of love from the Wooden people. Green averaged almost a 20-10 game every night. He was one of the most dominating players in college basketball last season, and his numbers were not inflated because of the lesser competition. He had 23 and 16 against Maryland, 26 and 10 against Georgetown, and 22 and 10 against UAB.

Eric Hicks, Cincinnati: Hicks has been overshadowed by Jason Maxiell his whole career, but he has been the better, more consistent player. The underrated Hicks averaged close to 14 points and 9 boards per contest last season, and those numbers should go up this season. Other than the fact that he's overlooked by most, I'm not sure how he got left off the list.

Other Possibilities: Ronald Steele, Alabama; Alex Loughton, Old Dominion

There are also an abundance of players that are on the list, but I feel don't deserve it:

Pops Mensah-Bonsu, George Washington: He is known more for his name than for his game. He averaged close to 13 points and 7 boards per game, but was very inconsistent and never put together an overly impressive stretch of performances. He is still raw, and could possibly live up to his potential this season. However, he is not one of the 50 best players in college basketball right now.

Steve Novak, Marquette: This was the one inclusion that boggled my mind. Steve Novak?! He put up 13 points and 4 rebounds per game. Those are not very good numbers for a 6-10 small forward who played 30 minutes every contest. I don't have any idea why he is on the list. In the NIT last season, he had 3 points and 2 boards in 33 minutes in a loss to Western Michigan. I'm sorry, but nothing he did last season garnered any sort of preseason accolades. There are at least a dozen other guys from his conference that I would take over him.

Rajon Rondo, Kentucky: Rondo is a very good defender and plays the passing lanes beautifully. But that alone does not get someone a spot on the Wooden list. He is not a great scorer (8 points per game) or passer (3.5 apg), so I'm not too sure why Rondo is on the list. He does get more attention than he should, as a result of the fact that he plays for Kentucky. Rondo doesn't come up in big games, either--0 points in the SEC Championship vs. Florida, 7 points and 2 assists against UNC, 6 points and 2 assists against Kansas, 3 points at Florida. He averaged 5 points and 3 assists in the team's six losses. Those aren't Top 50 numbers.

Other possibilities: Aaron Brooks, Oregon; Ben Jacobsen, Northern Iowa; Jarrius Jackson, Texas Tech


  1. Yea, i agree...Rondo is not the caliber player that deserves to be looked at for the Wooden award.

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