The Big Ten has four student-athletes representing the conference on the Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 List, including two freshmen.
Wisconsin senior forward Frank Kaminsky, Indiana junior guard Yogi Ferrell, and freshmen guards Melo Trimble of Maryland and D’Angelo Russell of Ohio State, are all midseason candidates for college basketball’s most prestigious award.
Kaminsky is the sixth leading scorer in the Big Ten, with a 16.9 points per game average. The Badgers’ 7-foot-0, 234-pound big man is second in the conference in rebounding, grabbing 8.2 boards per contest. Kaminsky is shooting 52.9 percent from the floor, good for seventh in the conference, and ranks fourth in blocks per game with 1.9. He’s also the best defensive rebounder in the conference, pulling down 6.8 rebounds on that end of the floor. The senior forward has seven double-doubles this season, which is a career-high. He was named to the preseason All-Big Ten team, and is the third Associated Press Preseason All-American in Wisconsin’s history.
Ferrell is 10th in the Big Ten in scoring. The junior is averaging 15.4 points per game, which tops an Indiana team that leads the Big Ten in scoring at 81.6 points per contest. He’s fifth in the conference in assists with 4.8 dimes per game. He’s 10th in three-point field goals made, making 2.0 shots per game from beyond the arc for 34 total. The 6-foot-0 guard is sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.8-to-2.2). His 88 percent shooting clip on 66-for-75 free throws is second-best in the league. Ferrell entered the season as a member of the preseason All-Big Ten team. He is also on the watch list for the 2015 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award.
Trimble checks in at No. 8 in the Big Ten in scoring. The Terrapins’ freshman is averaging 15.9 points per game. He leads the conference with a 88.6 shooting percent from the charity stripe. Like Ferrell, Trimble was named to the Cousy Watch List before the season began. That’s impressive considering he was named to the list before he even played in his first collegiate game. On Dec. 1, Trimble was named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week. So far this season, he has been selected Big Ten Freshman of the Week twice.
Russell leads all Big Ten freshmen in scoring with 18.1 points per game, which is also third-best overall in the conference. The freshman guard ranks fourth in conference with a 5.0 assists per game average. His 34 steals are the fifth-most in the Big Ten, as he averages 1.9 takeaways per contest. Russell has made the most three-pointers in the league, 48, while making them on a 44 shooting percentage, good for sixth in the Big Ten. He was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week twice in the month of December.
*Section Photo credit to Jamie Sabau, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Leon Halip, Getty Images