Central Michigan's Marcus Keene enters top 20 for Wooden Award

ByC.L. Brown ESPN logo
Thursday, February 9, 2017

The John R. Wooden Award trimmed its watch list to the top 20 Wednesday in its last update before final ballots are released next month.

Elbowing his way into recognition was the shortest player on the list, 5-foot-9 Marcus Keene of Central Michigan. The junior guard leads the nation in scoring at 30.2 points per game. If he continues at that pace, he will become the first player in 20 years to average 30 points per game.

Kansas (Frank Mason III, Josh Jackson), Kentucky (Malik Monk,De'Aaron Fox) and North Carolina (Justin Jackson, Joel Berry II) were the only schools with multiple players remaining on the list.

Meanwhile, freshman guard Lonzo Ball is vying to become the first UCLA player to win the award named after its legendary coach since Ed O'Bannon won it in 1995.

Duke leads with five all-time winners: J.J. Redick, Jay Williams, Shane Battier, Elton Brand and Christian Laettner. Sophomore guard Luke Kennard is in the running to be the sixth winner on that list.

Only seven schools have ever had multiple winners of the award, and Villanova is not one of them. But senior guard Josh Hart could change that, as his name has remained on each update of the watch list since the preseason.