Zach Edey headlines Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 list

ByJeff Borzello ESPN logo
Friday, February 2, 2024

Reigning winner Zach Edey, the dominant 7-foot-4 Purdue star, headlined the men's Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 list announced Tuesday night.

The award is given annually to the best college basketball player in the country.

Edey was the runaway Wooden Award winner on the men's side last season and entered this season as the heavy favorite to become the first repeat winner since Virginia's Ralph Sampson won the 1982 and 1983 awards. He's only cemented his status as the front-runner since the season began, leading the No. 2-ranked Boilermakers by averaging 23.0 points, 11.4 rebounds and 2.3 blocks, while shooting 62.7% from the field.

Entering the final month of the regular season, Edey is likely to face a deeper pool of legitimate contenders than a year ago. Tennessee wing Dalton Knecht has been the best transfer in the country, and he's averaging 19.5 points this season -- but 32.0 points over his past four games, with the Volunteers ranked inside the top five nationally. North Carolina's RJ Davis has been arguably the best guard in America, producing a true breakout season and averaging 21.2 points and 3.3 assists as the Tar Heels look like the ACC favorite and a Final Four threat.

UConn guard Tristen Newton (15.8 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 5.8 APG) has been the best player on the nation's best team, while Kentucky's Antonio Reeves is putting up 19.5 points on 50.2% shooting (43.1 3PT%) for the top-10 Wildcats. The Kansas duo of Hunter Dickinson (18.9 PPG, 11.3 RPG) and Kevin McCullar Jr. (19.8 PPG, 4.7 RPG) are also enjoying All-America-caliber campaigns and could figure into the conversation if the Jayhawks make a late-season surge.

There are two players on the Late Season Top 20 who weren't on the Midseason Top 25: Auburn's Johni Broome and Dayton's DaRon Holmes II.

The men's Wooden Award has been given out every year since 1977, starting with UCLA star Marques Johnson.

The complete Wooden Award Late Season Top 20:

Armando Bacot, North Carolina

Johni Broome, Auburn

L.J. Cryer, Houston

Johnell Davis, Florida Atlantic

RJ Davis, North Carolina

Hunter Dickinson, Kansas

Zach Edey, Purdue

Kyle Filipowski, Duke

PJ Hall, Clemson

DaRon Holmes II, Dayton

David Jones,Memphis

Dalton Knecht, Tennessee

Tyler Kolek, Marquette

Jaedon LeDee, San Diego State

Caleb Love, Arizona

Kevin McCullar Jr., Kansas

Tristen Newton, UConn

Antonio Reeves, Kentucky

Baylor Scheierman, Creighton

KJ Simpson, Colorado

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