Wooden Award Watch: Week 9
As the college basketball season approaches conference tournaments, multiple players are looking to help their team make a statement before March Madness. Many players are looking for a national championship, and a chance to win the most prestigious award in college basketball:
Zion Williamson, Duke, Freshman, Forward
Williamson, understandably, is projected to be the top pick in the NBA draft. The sensational freshman is averaging 22.3 points, 9 rebound and 2.3 assist per game.
Against Duke, Williamson got the win against Virginia on the road by making incredible plays on both sides of the ball. There was one play where he leaped from the key and still managed to block a 3-point shot. Williamson is shooting a ridiculous 68.2 percent from the field, which is ranked second in the country.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Virginia Tech, Sophomore, Guard
One of the most underrated players in college basketball this year is Virginia Tech’s Nickeil Alexander-Walker. The sophomore is one of the best shooters in the country, connecting on 53.2 percent of his shots from the field and 42.4 percent of his 3-pointers. He also averages 17.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game this season.
In the Hokies’ game against North Carolina State, Alexander-Walker played the entire game and still managed to lead both teams in scoring, steals (3) and blocks (2). Alexander-Walker is a big reason why Virginia Tech is in a prime position to earn a top seed in the tournament, despite playing in one of the toughest conferences in college basketball.
R.J. Barrett, Duke, Freshman, Forward
Barrett’s accomplishments and success is often overlooked because of Zion Williamson's astonishing play. However, the 6’7” forward is one of the most versatile players in college basketball, playing both point guard and power forward.
The Canadien star leads Duke with 23.1 point per game. He is also shooting 45.2 percent from the field and averages 7.2 rebounds per game. Barrett often struggles with shooting from the perimeter. He did, however, make six of his 10 3-pointers in a win last weekend against Virginia. Barrett’s best skill is his ability to be disruptive on defense and guard multiple players.
Carsen Edwards, Purdue, Junior, Guard
Carsen Edward is a big reason why Purdue has won the past eight games, with two of those wins coming against ranked teams. Edwards is a key reason why Purdue has surged to the 12th-ranked team in the nation, as he averages 24.6 points per game, ranked seventh in the nation.
The junior guard scored 38 points in a win against Penn State, which allowed him to win Big Ten Player of the Week for this third time this season. Edwards has six games in his career where he has scored over 30 points for Purdue.
Matthew White is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism with a double minor in Business and Spanish. To contact him, email email@example.com.