Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Collins a Wooden candidate


— Heisman Trophy winners generally come from schools that spend much of the season competing for a national title. The Heisman winner is one of 22 players on the field. Even a great football player can’t sway his team’s chances of winning as much as a basketball team’s best player.

It doesn’t make sense to penalize star football players for not having enough great teammates. That’s why I tend to vote for the most outstanding individual in the Heisman contest and believe the best basketball player more often should come from one of the nation’s best teams.

While on the topic, where can we go to get the name of the Wooden Award changed to the Wooden Trophy, thereby giving it at least a vague connection to the Heisman’s glamour?

More than halfway into the season, five candidates stand above the rest in worthiness for the men’s Wooden Award.

In order:

  1. Sherron Collins, Kansas, Sr.: At the end of the shot clock, he’s there to bail out his team, and at the end of games, nobody is better. He’s stronger than any player as quick as he is, and his basketball IQ ranks at the top of his strengths. Soft touch and hard edge make him an absolute beast. Has a better than 2-to-1 assists-to-turnover ratio.

  2. Scottie Reynolds, Villanova, Sr.: The Wildcats’ lack of size will be exposed as the schedule sharpens, but Reynolds — such a clever driver, steady shooter and relentless competitor — keeping them ranked in the top four for this long makes him worthy. Similar to Collins, he has a knack for hitting game-winning shots.

  3. Wes Johnson, Syracuse, Jr.: He went by Wesley while playing for Iowa State. He has shortened his name, lengthened his impact on college basketball and given himself a chance to make as loud a one-year impact on the city with the crippled economy and the remarkably tasty, pork-based white hot dogs. Mistaken for bratwursts by interlopers to the region, they taste nothing like them and go best with spicy mustard. Johnson has far more meat than mustard to his game. His length makes him a perfect fit for the back of Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone, his great jumping ability and soft shooting touch make him a tough guy to guard and he leads Syracuse in scoring (17.1) and rebounding (9.2).

  4. Evan Turner, Ohio State, Jr.: The Buckeyes are 13-3 with him in the lineup and 3-3 when he was injured. He’s averaging 18.4 points, 9.5 rebounds and 5.7 assists.

  5. Kalin Lucas, Michigan State, Sr.: Statistically doesn’t compare favorably to Collins or Reynolds, but when the ball is in his hands he knows where to put it next to give his team the best chance at a basket. No greater compliment can be paid a guard.

Why not John Wall, the Kentucky freshman? He’s the most talented player in the nation and will be the No. 1 pick in the draft, but trails others in value because, as do most freshman, he commits too many turnovers (4.1 per game) and is capable of putting up a bad shot.

The five aforementioned leading Wooden Award candidates couldn’t all be named first-team All-Americans. The Associated Press instructs that voters must vote for five players who could take the court together. Based on that, the leading five are Collins, Reynolds, Johnson, Turner and KU’s Cole Aldrich.


markster956 11 years, 10 months ago

A nice article promoting sherron...but it aint happenin. The wooden award doesnt favor team players like Sherron. And Evan Turner is putting up insane numbers. Him or Wall...sad but true

Andrew Ralls 11 years, 10 months ago

I've always said the was lacking its peers in mustard and hot dog references. Thanks for rectifying the situation.

Rick Arnoldy 11 years, 10 months ago

Wall shouldn't be considered given his recent comments in the press. According to him, it's all about him. I'd rather see a true leader get the award.

James Miller 11 years, 10 months ago

I am positive Sherron would rather cut down the nets in April and go down in KU history.

By the end of Big 12 play Cole will be mentioned on this list.

If he continues his development, Marcus could make this list next year.

yates33333 11 years, 10 months ago

One disadvantage Collins has is eastern journalism's dominance of basketball coverage and often voting. On the court Collins is the best, but in the newspapers, well that's the problem.

slowplay 11 years, 10 months ago

With the exposure KU is getting (media), Collins has a legit shot at the Wooden. Turner is putting up good numbers (so is Collins), but if KU is still in the top 4 come voting time, it will come down to Collins or Johnson.

rges 11 years, 10 months ago

I agree with all of the names in the top 5 but i dont know if i agree with the order? I think the person that does the absolute most for their team is Evan Turner. Yes Sherron does a ton and is our go to guy but his cast is just a little bit (a ton) better than Ohio St. Evan Turner nearly averages a trip doub. 1-5 for me. Evan Turner, Sherron, Damion James, Scottie Reynolds, and Wesley Johnson

VegasJhawk09 11 years, 10 months ago

I am very enthralled with this team! These guys are good, the best. Ive been doing alot of geek basketball research this season and Ive decided two things. KU is just as talented and experienced and deep as they were in '08 and the only other team that comes close to KU is Syracuse. Here is my breakdown. I use the SI/CNN sports site and the Kenpom site and the Yahoo sports site for all of my info.

Rank - ttl points scored - points allowed.

1 KU 84.7/4th - 62.5/46th

2 Nova 85.2/3rd- 70.5/184th

3 'Cuse 82.4/8th - 63.3/71st

4 UK 82.2/10th - 66.0/102nd

5 MSU 76.5/42nd - 63.765th

6 Wv 73.4/84th - 62.0/39th

7 Gtwn 72.9/93rd - 62.8/49th

8 Prdu 75.3/59th - 62.3/44th

9 Tx 85.3/2nd - 67.5/129th

10 KSU 83.1/9th - 68.7/151st

10 Duke 81.9/12th - 62.8/50th

Notes : As the conference season is almost half way done, Id like to add one more way of differentiating between the top 5 teams. The ones I think have the best chance at making the Final Four this year.

  1. KU has 8 players with 15+ min/game. 5 of those shoot better than 50% and 4 of those average 10+ points per game with 4 more capable of doing so and have done so.

  2. Nova also has 8 with 15+min/game. 2 shooting >50%, and 3 with 10+ pts/game and 4 coming up on it.

  3. 'Cuse has 7 with 15+min/game, 5 shooting >50%, and 4 with 10+ pts/game and 3 close to it.

  4. Uk has 6 with 15+min/game, 2 shooting >50% and 4 with 10+pts/game and 2 close to it.

  5. MsU has 7 with 15+min/game, 3 shooting >50% and 4 with 10+pts/game and 2 close to it.

KU clearly has the deeper and better offensive team. According to Kenpom they are in the top 5 at defense too. Just to compare, the 2008 team had an Adj.Offense of 125.3(2) & Adj.def of 82.8(1) The 2010 team has an Adj off of 123.5(2) and Adj def. of 85.2(4) pretty darn close.

I am going to make an early prediction of KU Syracuse Kentucky and Wvirginia or Purdue for the final4. Elite 8- those five plus Duke, Tx and Michigan St. 2008 was the year KU won it all, can they do it again this year? I think they have a great great chance.

jakejayhawk 11 years, 10 months ago

Vegas, Thanks, that is a lot of fun and based on good research. Says a lot about the '08 team that they ended up #1 on defense. Not what many people look at, but it wins championships. I do think they had a little better ability to make key stops compared to this team, but I am comparing them at the end of the year to this year's mid-season form. Time will tell.

Ralster, At what point do we look at ISU's "problems" as a trend that points back to the coach? I'm not pulling the trigger on that yet, but the more people feel sorry for him the more I see him as the common factor in this equation. As far as a better ISU helping KU's RPI, I cannot argue that. However, last time I checked, we were the number 1 RPI!

Dale Kroening 11 years, 10 months ago

Couldnt agree more about Collins, but I doubt he wins it because in the media's eyes he doesnt score enough. Glad to see Wall is not in there, everyone talks about how he can score and averages 6.9 assist per game, but always fail to mention he turns it over so often. Lets kick some Colorado azz tonight ! RCJHGKU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tom Gillaspie 11 years, 10 months ago

It doesn't matter if KU wins another National Championship, Collins won't get the Wooden Award. Too many east and west coast journalists have input. It may be '10 but a lot of people on the coasts think that mid westerners(and the great plains) still sit on the porch of an evenin' and smoke corncob pipes. Bet on Reynolds if 'Nova makes a deep run or Johnson if Syracuse goes deep in the tourney. By the way, how many of you would like another shot at 'Cuse in a national championship game. Self could prove he can coach against a zone, and Collins would end up being the winning-est player in KU history and have two rings. Sounds good to me:)

d_prowess 11 years, 10 months ago

Tell us more about these mythical white hot dogs? Maybe you can have Dugan write one of his "funny" blogs about them...

Kevin Holt 11 years, 10 months ago

I don't think we can play the east coast bias card on this one, yet. I think a deep run led by Collins would seal it. He has a national reputation for being clutch...largely based on the 2008 National Title Game. He's done enough's just about finishing strong.

honk_for_hawks 11 years, 10 months ago

if you make the award an MVP type award and see who drops off the most without player x, I have to say evan turner is probably the MVP in the country. If you say its the player who takes his team from solid to great, i.e from sweet 16/elite eight to final four/NC contender, Collins takes the cake. If you just want a player who nike can sell, John Wall is your man! but year after year, you never know if they are going to give it to the person who deserves it the most or not. sometimes out of this world stats need to be recognized so that is why durant won it. sometimes team leaders need to be recognized like hansborough and jameer nelson. and sometimes you just have to recognize a player who CARRIES a nobody team much farther than they would go otherwise like Andrew Bogut a few years back. I don't know how the people who vote look at it, but I think the Wooden award is about the player who does whatever it takes to make his team better. Evan turner has to lead his team in EVERY statistical category, because they really aren't that good. Sherron and Reynolds just need to run the team and know when to take over, when to defer, when to hold the ball, and when to push it down the other teams throats. neither of them need to score 30+ a game, but if the rest of the team is struggling, they will. Both of them are also fine with a 6 pt 6 ast game if thats all thats needed. This is why I personally would like one of those three players to win. Obviously I am biased and want sherron to win player of the year, the rest of his games, and the NC, but I think even from an objective standpoint, it is one of those three.

jaybate 11 years, 10 months ago

The Wooden Award is about many things, but paramount should be competitive greatness and being at your best when your best is needed.

By this criterion, only Sherron can even be considered seriously.

Lucas is the only other guy mentioned worth considering on this list.

Lucas is a very tough customer for Sherron to deal with. He's just as wide and taller.

The rest of the guys on this list Sherron and Kalin would both eat and excrete.


His diaper would be dirty by the end of the first half.

jaybate 11 years, 10 months ago

Erratum: That last sentence makes no sense. Correction: He would be digested by the end of the first half. :-)

Kye Clark 11 years, 10 months ago

jakejayhawk - I don't know that you can make an indictment of Greg McDermott based on two players leaving. How many players have left KU (under Coach Self's tenure)? CJ Giles, Alex Galindo, Micah Downs, Scott Padgett, JR Giddens, Tyrone Appleton, Quintrell Thomas. Help me out if I'm missing someone. And the German kid left to go play pro ball. Should we make assumptions about HCBS because Brandon Rush, Julian Wright, Mario Chalmers, & Darrell Arthur left early to make money? You wouldn't say Coach Self is running them off since he is the "common factor in this equation". Kids leave or change schools for a variety of reasons: to go pro, because they're homesick, the system isn't right for them, not enough playing time, a better chance to win, more national exposure, coaching changes, and yes conflicts with the head coach. Maybe it is McDermott, maybe it's not. Just saying, two kids is not a trend.

actorman 11 years, 10 months ago

"Bet on Reynolds if 'Nova makes a deep run or Johnson if Syracuse goes deep in the tourney."

For all of you guys who keep referring to how far teams go in the tourney, I'm pretty sure it's irrelevant. Virtually all awards in college and the pros (including the Wooden Award, as far as I know) are decided at the end of the regular season and have nothing to do with playoff results.

I'm not too worried about East or West bias deciding this, either. Given that KU will likely be number one for most of the year and will have virtually every game televised, Sherron will get plenty of exposure and should have a good shot at it.

Lacy Mohler 11 years, 10 months ago

Last nights TV exposure certainly didn't expose Sherron in the best light. In the end Cole will finish higher on the POY list than Collins.

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