The men's college basketball season has been filled with young talent, superlative coaching and outstanding play from several upperclassmen.
There are some head coaches who have overachieved with their programs. Others have followed the protocol for consistent success.
An abundance of freshmen have lived up to the hype they were surrounded by out of high school, positioning themselves for the upcoming NBA draft in June. Some seniors --Frank Mason III, for example -- took their game up a notch this season and emerged into the Wooden Award discussion.
With individual conference awards being announced this week, we take a look at some of the biggest honors the college basketball world has to offer. You decide who should be the winner for coach of the year, freshman of the year and the Wooden Award.
Mark Few has his Gonzaga squad sitting at 31-1 and steamrolling its way into the NCAA tournament, Bill Self led Kansas to its 13th straight Big 12 title and Jay Wright has his defending champion Villanova Wildcats sitting pretty as tournament time approaches. But which coach deserves to win the award? You be the judge.
UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball has led his team to a 28-3 record, with an eye-popping stat line of 14.9 points, 7.8 assists, 6.2 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game. He's one of the few who has a chance to win the Wooden Award and freshman of the year. Markelle Fultz from Washington is projected to be a top pick in the draft. He averaged 23.2 points, 5.9 assists and 5.7 rebounds on a Huskies team that has struggled overall this season.
Who do you think should be freshman of the year?
Oregon junior Dillon Brooksfollowedhis impressive sophomore campaign with another solid year. The guard is averaging 16.0 points per game, and he has knocked down several clutch shots throughout the season. Mason is the best player on a Kansas team ranked No. 1 in the country.
Who do you think should be this year's Wooden Award winner?
ESPN's Jeff Goodman has Mason as his national player of the year, Ball as his freshman of the year and Butler's Chris Holtmann as coach of the year in his early-March projections.
We'll soon find out who the award winners are as tournament time approaches and we enter the home stretch of the season.
-- Josiah Turner