During college hoops season, Jay Bilas and Chad Ford will start the week by addressing a big question, evaluating NBA prospects on the rise and looking ahead to the next week.
The discussion: Which player is most deserving of the Wooden Award at this point in the season?
Jay Bilas: The Wooden Award is the Heisman Trophy of college basketball, and we have certainly lived up to the standard set by the Heisman discussion in college football by making every game a referendum on whether a Wooden Award candidate can play. It seems as if every game, almost every half, it is discussed whether a player is the leading candidate or "in the discussion" for the award. It's not necessarily a body of work, but the latest guy with a hot hand.
Chad and I are the ones addressing the question this week, looking at which player is most deserving of the Wooden based on his performance throughout the season so far. There are several deserving players, including Michigan's Trey Burke, Creighton's Doug McDermott, Georgetown's Otto Porter Jr., Indiana's Victor Oladipo, Indiana's Cody Zeller, Duke's Mason Plumlee, Kansas' Ben McLemore and Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart.
But in my judgment, the leading candidate for the Wooden Award is Burke.