The Wooden Award is one of the most prestigious awards in college basketball. The players considered for the Wooden Award are consistently putting up amazing numbers game after game. These players have put their teams on their backs and have found a way to be on this list. This list is hard to get on and for those that have made it hope to stay on it for the rest of the season.
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Johnny Davis, Wisconsin
Davis and the Badgers went 2-1 this past week with wins at home against Minnesota and Penn State and a loss at Illinois. Davis went 14-46 (30.4 percent) from the field during those three games and went 1-12 (8.3 percent) from three. His biggest game was 22 points during the loss at Illinois. He also averaged 13 rebounds per game and averaged 1.3 turnovers per game last week. The game against Illinois may hurt his stock a little bit due to going 5-19 from the field, but he still contributed 15 rebounds during that game. The sophomore from La Crosse, WI will be in the running for weeks to come.
Paolo Banchero, Duke
Banchero has had a successful season with the Blue Devils. Yes, he had some bad publicity a few weeks back with Duke teammate Michael Savarino, but overall has been one of the best players in the game. Looking like the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, the Italian-American averaged 17 points per game, went 15-36 (41.6 percent) from the field, 3-9 (33.3 percent) from three, and 9.5 rebounds per game in the wins at Notre Dame and at North Carolina. He did turn the ball over five times against North Carolina, but with the rivalry that is Duke-UNC, mistakes were bound to happen. So much hype around the game and Banchero played a huge part in their 87-67 win over the Tar Heels.
Oscar Tshiebwe, Kentucky
The former West Virginia Mountaineer has been a huge factor for the Wildcats this season. Kentucky went 2-0 last week with wins at Alabama and at home against Vanderbilt. Tshiebwe averaged 10.5 points per game, 16 rebounds, went 6-18 (33.3 percent) from the field and went 9-17 (52.9 percent) from the free throw line. The rebounding machine is considered Kentucky’s best player this season and his stats show that. His hands are like magnets when going up for a rebound. His rebounding numbers are insane for the college level.
Jabari Smith, Auburn
Smith is helping Auburn to a No. 1 ranking in the Associated Press poll. With wins at Georgia and at home against Alabama, Smith is one of the many key parts to their success. He had 17 points at home against Alabama (averaged 12 points per game last week), went 7-17 (41.1 percent) from the field, 2-5 (40 percent) from the three-point line, 8-11 (72.7 percent) from the free throw line and averaged 5.5 rebounds last week as well. In the game against Georgia, he only contributed seven points, but still helped them to two wins and another week as the No. 1 team in the AP Poll.
Kofi Cockburn, Illinois
Cockburn helped Illinois to two wins at Indiana and at home against Wisconsin. He had a monster game against the Badgers with 37 points. He went 16-19 (84.2 percent), went 5-9 (55.5 percent) from the free-throw line, and grabbed 12 rebounds. The game against Indiana was another good game for Cockburn as well with 17 points, eight rebounds, and zero turnovers. Cockburn is their go-to guy and has been for the entire year.
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