Yesterday the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced it’s Top 25 Wooden Award list. Most think it’s some official list, it’s not. Players who aren’t on the list could still play themselves onto the Wooden Award All American Team come March Madness time – while the eventual winner doesn’t even have to be on this list.
But, we all know the winner will come from this list. Plus, lists are fun, so we’re glad they came out with theirs.
We also all know I’ll have an opinion, since I come out with my ordered list of over 3000 players every week or so.
So, here are the Wooden guys, with Hoops Nerd Rating and Rank (through 1-19) on the left:
|2||173||Doug McDermott||Creighton||Big East||Sr.||18||31.7||24.9||7.2||1.7||0.3||0.2||2.1||0.618|
|6||170||Marcus Smart||Oklahoma State||Big 12||So.||18||30.6||17.8||5.8||4.4||2.6||0.6||2.6||0.564|
|15||163||Nick Johnson||Arizona||Pac 12||Jr.||18||30.8||16.3||3.4||2.4||1.1||0.7||1.9||0.622|
|16||162||DeAndre Kane||Iowa State||Big 12||Sr.||17||32.0||16.7||7.2||5.8||1.6||0.2||3.1||0.573|
|18||161||Kyle Anderson||UCLA||Pac 12||So.||18||32.1||15.5||8.9||6.6||1.8||0.8||3.1||0.607|
|24||159||Cameron Bairstow||New Mexico||MWC||Sr.||17||31.7||20.5||7.2||1.9||0.8||1.4||2.0||0.604|
|33||155||Keith Appling||Michigan State||Big Ten||Sr.||18||32.2||16.1||3.7||4.6||1.2||0.6||2.0||0.598|
|38||155||Adreian Payne||Michigan State||Big Ten||Sr.||15||28.8||16.2||7.7||1.5||0.7||1.0||1.7||0.609|
|45||153||T.J. Warren||North Carolina State||ACC||So.||18||34.1||22.2||7.3||0.9||1.4||0.6||2.3||0.550|
|85||145||Joseph Young||Oregon||Pac 12||Jr.||17||30.3||18.0||3.5||1.9||1.2||0.1||1.1||0.646|
|100||143||Cleanthony Early||Wichita State||MVC||Sr.||19||27.8||15.5||6.4||0.7||1.0||0.8||1.9||0.568|
|102||143||Sam Dekker||Wisconsin||Big Ten||So.||18||30.3||13.8||6.3||1.5||0.7||0.5||1.3||0.560|
|128||141||Aaron Gordon||Arizona||Pac 12||Fr.||18||30.3||12.4||7.8||1.4||0.6||0.9||1.5||0.513|
|198||134||Andrew Wiggins||Kansas||Big 12||Fr.||17||31.4||15.1||6.0||1.5||0.9||0.9||2.0||0.542|
|285||130||Aaron Craft||Ohio State||Big Ten||Sr.||18||34.3||9.0||3.2||5.0||2.3||0.1||2.3||0.549|
Here are the highest HnR Wooden “snubs” (rating/ranking through 1-19):
|4||172||Alan Williams||UC Santa Barbara||Big West||Jr.||14||30.4||22.8||11.0||1.0||1.2||2.4||2.1||0.593|
|7||170||Joel Embiid||Kansas||Big 12||Fr.||17||22.5||11.0||7.6||1.4||0.9||2.9||2.2||0.680|
|10||168||Frank Kaminsky||Wisconsin||Big Ten||Jr.||18||27.0||13.5||5.9||1.2||0.8||1.8||0.9||0.638|
|12||163||Fred VanVleet||Wichita State||MVC||So.||19||32.3||12.9||3.6||5.1||1.9||0.2||1.2||0.609|
|14||163||Aaron White||Iowa||Big Ten||Jr.||18||25.4||14.0||6.4||2.2||0.8||0.6||1.8||0.722|
|17||161||Brad Waldow||Saint Mary’s||WCC||Jr.||19||28.3||15.9||7.1||1.8||0.7||1.8||1.2||0.600|
|19||161||Larry Nance Jr.||Wyoming||MWC||Jr.||17||33.4||15.8||9.3||1.8||1.5||2.0||1.6||0.609|
|20||160||Xavier Thames||San Diego State||MWC||Sr.||17||29.4||16.9||2.8||2.6||1.8||0.0||1.7||0.577|
Here’s what I think about the snubs – and who they should replace – player by player:
TJ McDaniels needs to be on the list. I know Clemson had a bad loss after my ratings through Sunday came out – but the nation does not realize how good this kid has been all things considered (pace, SoS, etc). He very possibly won’t be #1 next Monday, but I’m guessing he’ll still be Top 5. CJ Fair – good player, senior, good/great team – he and his poor shooting and poor A/TO ratio really isn’t nearly Top 25 material. Tyler Ennis should be Syracuse’s sole rep on Wooden’s list.
Alan Williams, stat monster. When a player on a top 100 team in pt/rb/st/bk is north of 22/11/1/2 per game on the season after finishing the toughest part of their schedule – he’s probably pretty darn good. UCSB is a top 100 team because Williams is truly one of the very best players in the nation – otherwise they’d be a bottom dweller. Aaron Craft – gots to go. I know, he’s tough, he’s a scrapper – blah blah blah. He’s good – a 130 HnR is nice – but he’s FAR from elite. Truth be told – this season for him so far is a bit short of what he’s accomplished each of the last two seasons. Ohio State shouldn’t really have a rep – they and Villanova are probably the top 2 teams that shouldn’t have a rep, and both have struggled recently to boot to reinforce that.
Lamar Patterson. How did they miss him? He’s a “do everything well or VERY well” senior from a good team and a prestigious conference. Andrew Wiggins, well, he’s a very good freshman. But he has been short – actually WELL short – of the standard set by some great or even elite one & dones in recent memory (Davis/Irving/Wall/Cousins/Beasley/Love/Rose/Bayless/Mayo/Durant/Oden).
Now, Joel Embiid, he’s been a stud so far. If Kansas has to have a rep (and they probably should) – get him in their instead of Wiggins. But since I’ve already taken out Wiggins, then take out Aaron Gordon. My fellow Arizona alums won’t be happy with me saying that – Gordon has been a great “team” player this season (unselfish/defender/etc.). But, Arizona already has Nick Johnson on the list, and he needs to be there. If a 2nd Arizona player should be there – TJ McConnell would obviously be the guy. He has out Aaron Crafted Aaron Craft in about every way so far this season. Now – I’m NOT putting TJ on the list – I’m just saying Aaron Gordon isn’t quite there yet.
Those being the biggest ommissions – let’s quickly go over others I’d trade. Take out Sam Dekker – put in fellow Badger Frank Kaminsky. Take out Cleanthony Early, put in fellow Shocker teammate Fred VanVleet (Ron Baker ain’t a bad choice either if one doesn’t go with FVV). Take out Joseph Young, let’s get another west coast guy Xavier Thames in there. Take out Rodney Hood (Duke already has Jabari Parker in) – get in a Cincy senior – either the scorer Sean Kilpatrick or the defender Justin Jackson. Take out Chaz Williams – get Aaron White in there (Iowa is really good – they need a rep more than UMass – plus the kid has a 72%! TS%). Jordan Clarkson is borderline – for now take your choice of a small or mid major guy McCrea, Thomas, Waldow, or Nance if you like. Or not. Or if you wanna get two of those guys in – take out an MSU guy (Payne or Appling – it’s almost impossible to figure out the best MSU guy out of those two AND Gary Harris). But, honestly, kinda picking nits at this point.
We’ll come back to this list as the season progresses – and see where these guys stand. Gotta get my kids to basketball practice now. Later.