Buddy Hield, Denzel Valentine Highlight List of Wooden Award Finalists

by March 07, 2016

One of college basketball’s two major National Player of the Year awards announced its list of 15 finalists over the weekend. The Wooden Award, given annually by the Los Angeles Athletic Club, announced its list of 10 finalists on its website. Highlighted by Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield and Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine, here are the 15 players:

  • Grayson Allen, Duke
  • Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia
  • Kris Dunn, Providence
  • Perry Ellis, Kansas
  • Kay Felder, Oklahoma
  • Yogi Ferrell, Indiana
  • Josh Hart, Villanova
  • Buddy Hield, Oklahoma
  • Brice Johnson, North Carolina
  • Georges Niang, Iowa State
  • Jakob Poeltl, Utah
  • Melo Trimble, Maryland
  • Tyler Ulis, Kentucky
  • Jarrod Uthoff, Iowa
  • Denzel Valentine, Michigan State

Of course, the player that everyone is talking about didn’t even make the list. Ben Simmons of LSU is the most notable name not on the list, as he did not academically qualify for the award. Players must achieve a 2.0 grade point average in order to qualify.

As for the players on the list, Hield and Valentine are almost certainly going to be the top two choices for most voters in some order. Hield is one of the most dangerous shooters/scorers in America, as he’s averaging 25.1 points per game on 49.5 percent shooting from the field, 47.3 percent shooting from three and 89.3 percent shooting from the free throw line. Valentine, meanwhile, is the most versatile player in America, as he does everything for the Spartans. The senior averages 19.6 points, 7.5 rebound and 7.5 assists per game with some insane shooting numbers (47.1 percent from the field and 45.4 percent from three) for Tom Izzo’s bunch.

The award will be given out at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show on Friday, April 8.