John Wooden Award Finalists Narrowed To 15

The majority of basketball seasons are being wrapped up in the coming days around the league, and we have as clear a picture as ever as to who the country’s top players are.

This is a particularly strong crop and voters might have a difficult time picking a winner.

With the list now sitting at 15, there are a number of intriguing prospects that deserve consideration.

This is what the list looks like right now:

  • Lonzo Ball, UCLA, Fr.
  • Dillon Brooks, Oregon, Jr.
  • Bonzie Colson, Notre Dame, Jr.
  • Markelle Fultz, Washington, Fr.
  • Ethan Happ, Wisconsin, So.
  • Josh Hart, Villanova, Sr.
  • Josh Jackson, Kansas, Fr.
  • Justin Jackson, North Carolina, Jr.
  • Luke Kennard, Duke, So.
  • Lauri Markkanen, Arizona, Fr.
  • Frank Mason III, Kansas, Sr.
  • Malik Monk, Kentucky, Fr.
  • Johnathan Motley, Baylor, Jr.
  • Caleb Swanigan, Purdue, So.
  • Nigel Williams-Goss, Gonzaga, Jr.

Notably, there are five freshman on the list and four players from the PAC 12. Notably, Frank Mason III makes an appearance on another player of the year award as he is the likely favorite to take home the prize. In a season full of excellent and deserving players, Mason III has done well to separate himself from the pack.

Several of the freshman on this list will likely not return to the NCAA next season, and will likely declare for the NBA. Lonzo Ball, most notably, already has his father trying to find him a “distribution contract”, so that he can distribute his Big Ballers Brand. Ball’s father is looking for something similar to Jordan Brand for his son Ball.

That’s not likely something that Ball can accomplish while retaining his amateur status. Or at all.

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