On Monday, the 2017 John Wooden Award finalists were announced. The five players will receive an invitation to attend the event in Los Angeles on April 7.
The John Wooden Award is given annually to the top player in college basketball.
Of the five players who will be attending the event, only Gonzaga’s Nigel Williams-Goss remains active in the tournament. He, along with his No. 1-seed Bulldogs will look to advance to the NCAA Championship game by beating the Cinderella team of the tournament, South Carolina.
Kansas’ Frank Mason III is considered the favorite for the award. Josh Hart and Caleb Swanigan both managed to have stellar years and helped their draft stock considerably en route to becoming finalists. Hart is a senior and will be entering the draft next year.
Swanigan, meanwhile, is only in his sophomore season and could return if he so decided. He is yet to announce a decision.
Lonzo Ball is the lone freshman to receive the invitation to the event. He has already confirmed that he will be leaving UCLA early to enter the NBA draft.
The complete list of John Wooden Award finalists can be seen below:
- Frank Mason III, senior guard, Kansas Jayhawks
- Josh Hart, senior guard, Villanova Wildcats
- Caleb Swanigan, sophomore forward, Purdue Boilermakers
- Lonzo Ball, freshman guard, UCLA Bruins
- Nigel Williams-Goss, junior guard, Gonzaga Bulldogs
The five finalists are joined by UNC’s Justin Jackson, Pac-12 Player of the Year Dillon Brooks of Oregon, Kansas freshman Josh Jackson, Duke guard Luke Kennard and Kentucky freshman Malik Monk on the Wooden Award All-American Team.
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