The race to be D-I basketball’s most outstanding player is starting to crystallize. Today, the list of players still being considered for the John R. Wooden award was narrowed down to 20.
Among the notable names on the shortened list are Kansas’ Frank Mason III and Villanova’s Josh Hart.
The ballots will be cast one month from now, and the list will get shorter and shorter as the date approaches. The winner will be revealed on April 7th. Last season, Buddy Heild won the award while representing the Oklahoma Sooners.
Something interesting to note on the list is that only North Carolina, Kentucky and Kansas are represented more than once. Kentucky, whose coach John Calipari is the godfather of the “one-and-done” strategy of building a champion, are represented by Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox; both are Freshman.
North Carolina, meanwhile, is represented by two Juniors: Justin Jackson and Joel Berry. For Kansas, Frank Mason III is a senior, while Josh Jackson is a freshman.
Mason and Hart are the only seniors on the list of 20 candidates.
Here is the full list:
|Dwayne Bacon||Florida State||ACC||6-7||Soph.||G|
|Joel Berry II||North Carolina||ACC||6-0||Jr.||G|
|Bonzie Colson||Notre Dame||ACC||6-5||Jr.||F|
|Ethan Happ||Wisconsin||Big Ten||6-10||Soph.||F|
|Josh Hart||Villanova||Big East||6-5||Sr.||G|
|Josh Jackson||Kansas||Big 12||6-8||Fr.||G|
|Justin Jackson||North Carolina||ACC||6-8||Jr.||F/G|
|Marcus Keene||Central Michigan||MAC||5-9||Jr.||G|
|Frank Mason III||Kansas||Big 12||5-11||Sr.||G|
|Johnathan Motley||Baylor||Big 12||6-10||Jr.||F|
|Caleb Swanigan||Purdue||Big Ten||6-9||Soph.||F|
|Melo Trimble||Maryland||Big Ten||6-3||Jr.||G|