Analyzing the Wooden Candidates

Posted by rtmsf on October 24th, 2007

 University of Texas' Kevin Durant, left, and University of Tennessee's Candace Parker pose after winning the 2007 John R. Wooden Award, Saturday April 7, 2007 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Who will be this year’s Wooden Award Winner?

This afternoon the 2007-08 Wooden Award candidates were released to the public. The top 50 vote-getters (who gets to vote for this anyway – is the Wizard of Westwood sitting in his apt filling out ballots?) are listed below (organized by conference, then by team):

2007-08 Wooden Candidates v.2

Quick ruminations:

  • Conference Rundown: Pac-10 (10), Big East (8), ACC (7), Big 12 (6), SEC (5), Big 10 (2), Mid-Majors + Low Majors (12).
  • We like the love thrown to the non-BCS leagues – nearly a quarter of the selections are from eleven other leagues.
  • It’s no surprise the Pac-10 is held in such high esteem this coming season, while the Big 10 isn’t – look at the difference in good players returning.
  • For some reason, the Wooden doesn’t consider freshmen in its preseason picks, even though it does at the end of the year (Kevin Durant was the recipient last year). If it did, you’d figure the Pac-10 would look even better, with OJ Mayo and Kevin Love added to the mix.
  • Other than freshmen, who are some notable omissions around the country? First thought was Josh Heytvelt (Gonzaga), but maybe that has something to do with his propensity to ingest hallucinogens – can’t see the WoW signing off on that selection. We might have chosen Darrell Arthur over Mario Chalmers at Kansas, but maybe the Jayhawk fans would disagree with us. Raymar Morgan (Michigan St.), anyone? Edgar Sosa (Louisville)? What about Alex Harris down at UCSB?
  • Some guys we’d take off the list – Tyrese Rice at BC has shown he can shoot a lot and turn the ball over a lot – what else? Choosing DeMarcus Nelson smacks of making sure someone from Duke is on the list. We’re also not sure about the selection of Texas Tech’s Martin Zeno to the list. None of this really matters, though, as the list will eventually whittle itself down based on actual performance.
  • Anybody else have any thoughts?
rtmsf (3954 Posts)

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11 responses to “Analyzing the Wooden Candidates”

  1. Extra P. says:

    As a Kansas fan, I would not disagree with you – Arthur usually gets a mention for this kind of thing. Kansas has so many good guards, you could put any one of them up for the award, but Rush is clearly a cut above, so I would have thought Arthur was a better bet if you were taking a second Jayhawk.

  2. Sam W. says:

    Jaycee Carroll, Utah State is from the WAC not the Big West, Utah State moved to the WAC two seasons ago.

  3. Dax22 says:

    Umm, Jaycee Carrol and the Utah State Aggies play in the Wac. They have been out of the Big West for I think 3 years.

  4. rtmsf says:

    You guys of course are right. Apologies for the silly error.

  5. Ford Prefect says:

    Please consider removing the automatic queing of the youtube item. I, at least, find it annoying.

  6. booooooo says:

    Why wouldn’t you want the 50 best players chosen, instead of as many non-high major representatives as possible?

  7. booooooo says:

    I also don’t understand the T. Rice bashing. He had a great season last year, and did a remarkable job considering how much responsibility he had in that backcourt. It was basically him and Sean Marshall, and Marshall was basically a spot-up shooter. He’s the only major component back for BC, put up serious numbers last year, and has improved rapidly over the past two years.

    Hard for me to buy any list that wouldn’t include Rice on it at this stage…

  8. rtmsf says:


    We do want the best 50 players – but we think that all too often it’s easier to go for the “known” commodity like a DeMarcus Nelson rather than a lesser-known mid-major player. We’re giving props to the Wooden Cmte this year for their recognition that there are some really good players at every level of college ball, and not just among the BCS schools.

    As for T.Rice, you’re right in that he has gotten better. He still averages over 3 TOs a game, though, and shoots poorly from deep (.322) for someone who takes so many threes (183 attempts). So we have to wonder how his numbers will look when he doesn’t have Jared Dudley to take away some of the focus.

    If he has a great year, though, we’ll definitely give him his due.

  9. booo says:

    So basically we are talking about you support for affirmative action for mid-major schools?

    I don’t know…I think the candidates should be the 50 best players in the country.

  10. booo says:

    As for Rice, somebody had to shoot the ball for BC last year. Cover Marshall, and there’s nobody left BUT Rice to shoot it. Compare his ast/to ratio and his FG% to some of the other elite PG’s. Not poor by any stretch, and nearly every elite PG had more backcourt help than Rice, who is really a converted SG still learning how to run a team. Pretty amazing how far a 5’11, mid-major bound gunner has come since garnering a last minute offer from BC. If you want to hype up good players who are short on recognition, isn’t Rice your poster boy?

  11. rtmsf says:

    Not sure where the Aff Action comment comes from. We pretty clearly wrote that we want the 50 best players to be considered, but we happen to believe that players from smaller schools can get easily overlooked in favor of those at bball factories.

    In other words, we believe that if you’re producing a list of the 50 best players, then you should make sure to remove any big conference bias when you’re doing so. Not sure what your complaint is there.

    Re: Rice, we’re just not sure that he’s short on recognition. Compared to a UNC or UCLA player, sure, but certainly not compared to a Jaycee Carroll or AJ Graves, for example. Anyway, we don’t think that Rice sucks, we just don’t know if he’s one of the top 50 players in America. He’ll have ample opportunity to prove himself this year, that’s for sure.

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