Wooden Award Watch: Week 6

posted January 24, 2019 in Sports, CommRadio by Joseph Muscente

As another week of college basketball has passed, many players are making their case for a nomination in the race for the Wooden Award. Teams are facing tough tests as in-conference play escalates and everyone is looking at these top players to continue to produce big performances in the coming weeks:

Cassius Winston, Junior, Guard, Michigan State

Michigan State is one of the hottest teams in college basketball right now and it is largely due to the play of Cassius Winston. Winston leads the Spartans in points per game and recently entered his name in the Wooden Award conversation after the injury of fellow junior guard Joshua Langford. Although Winston only scored 11 points in Michigan State’s win over Penn State, he scored a season high 29 points in the following game against Nebraska. Winston has just been named Big Ten Player of the Week for a third time this season and it is not unlikely that he could be presented with the Wooden Award at the end of the season.

Ja Morant, Sophomore, Guard, Murray State

Ja Morant may be the dark horse of the Wooden Award race. The guard from Murray State is quietly averaging 24.3 points per game and is leading the country with 10.6 assists per game. This past week, Morant earned the honors of College Basketball National Player of the Week. He had a stellar performance against SIU Edwardsville becoming the first Division I player in the past 20 years to have 40 points along with 11 assists and five steals. He also went a perfect 21-of-21 from the free throw line. The man is a walking highlight reel. Morant is known as a high-flyer who isn’t afraid to attempt the occasional no look pass. He may not be the biggest man on the court, but Morant has the ability to score at any point and should become a highly looked upon draft prospect.

Carsen Edwards, Junior, Guard, Purdue

Carsen Edwards has done nothing but improve in his past three years at Purdue. He now averages 24.6 points per game, nearly six points higher than his average of 18.5 points per game last year. Edwards is clearly one of the best scorers in the country and increases his teams will to win every time he steps on the court. Edwards must absorb a large workload every time he plays. He scored 40 of his team’s 68 points in a loss to Texas and has nearly double the points of Purdue’s second leading scorer. Edwards ability to carry his team could gift him a Wooden Award if this trend continues.

Zion Williamson, Freshman, Forward, Duke

What else is left to say about the electric freshman from Duke. Zion Williamson is continuing to do what he has done all season: dominate. Williamson has played great basketball in his past two games against conference opponents. He scored 27 points against No. 3 Virginia and 25 against Pittsburgh. What was most impressive about his game against Pitt is that he shot 85 percent from the field on 11-of-13 shots. Williamson is probably the most physically gifted player in college basketball which makes it difficult for defenders to match up with him. Williamson has the capability to score in the paint with ease, making it difficult to determine who could really beat him for the Wooden Award.

 

Joseph Muscente is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jjm6725@psu.edu