Wooden Watch: Week 15

Story posted 5 days ago in CommRadio, Sports by Matthew White

Voters recently narrowed down their candidates for college basketball’s most prestigious award to 20 players. However, given the unpredictability in college basketball this season, February will be interesting to see which players excel to push their team to the March Madness and become college basketball’s best player. Below are the best candidates most qualified to claim the award.

Luka Garza, Iowa

Garza’s improved play has propelled the Iowa Hawkeyes from missing the tournament last year to a team that might play in the second weekend of March Madness this year. Garza is averaging 27.3 points per game in his last four games for the Hawkeyes propelling the team to wins over Wisconsin and Illinois. The 6-foot-11 center is shooting nearly 40% from the 3-point line and averaging 9.8 rebounds a game. 

Myles Powell, Seton Hall

Powell is the sole reason that the Pirates are a top-10 team in the country and are in first place in a conference that features five ranked teams. Powell struggles from the 3-point line but is shooting a resounding 43% from the field and recently scored 34 points against Georgetown. He also struggled with being staying out of foul trouble against Villanova but still managed to score 19 points and record five assists. 

Markus Howard, Marquette

Howard is receiving little recognition for his play despite leading his team to a 17-6 record with wins over No. 19 Butler, No. 10 Villanova, Purdue and USC. Howard is a scoring machine, averaging 27.8 points per game, which leads Division 1 basketball. Marquette’s success is dependent on Howard’s play as he shoots 40% from the 3-point line, 85% from the free throw line and 41% from the field. 

Obi Toppin, Dayton

Toppin was one the country’s best players last year and still is this year as the Dayton Flyers are the sixth best team in the country. The 6-foot-9 forward is extremely versatile for the Flyers, averaging 19.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Tobbin struggles to shoot from deep, but he is the reason why Dayton hasn't lost since December 21. 

Malachi Flynn, San Diego State

San Diego State is still undefeated this season thanks to Flynn leading the team with 16.5 points per game. The Washington State transfer also averages 5.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. The 6-foot-1 point guard is a primary reason his team has dominated Mountain West opponents and beat Iowa early in the season. 

Vernon Carey Jr., Duke

Carey Jr. struggled to stay out of foul trouble early in the season, but his improved play has allowed Duke to win five straight, including wins against North Carolina and No. 8 Florida State. The 6-foot-10 freshman averages 17.5 points, 1.1 assists and 8.9 rebounds per game for the Blue Devils. Carey Jr. is a double-double player that is a strong defender and is difficult for opponents to guard.

 

Matthew White is a sophomore studying broadcast journalism with a double major in business and Spanish. To contact him, email mmw42@psu.edu.