On Wednesday, 10 athletes were named Wooden Award finalists, the award given annually to the most outstanding men’s and women’s basketball players in college.
The field for the men’s award has been narrowed down to Kansas’s Ocahi Agbaji, Iowa’s Keegan Murphy, Gonzaga’s Drew Timme, Wisconsin’s Johnny Davis and Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe.
Agbaji leads the pack as the lone men’s finalist to advance to the Final Four. Agbaji is averaging 18.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game in his senior season with the Jayhawks. He’ll be a key player when they meet Villanova on Saturday with a bid to the national championship on the line.
These five finalists were also named to the Wooden Award All-American team. They join Auburn’s Jabari Smith, Arizona’s Bennedict Mathurin, Purdue’s Jaden Ivey, Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgreen and Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn to round out the list of 10.
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Meanwhile, Aliyah Boston of South Carolina and Caitlin Clark of Iowa headline the women’s side. Michigan’s Naz Hillmon, Kentucky’s Rhyne Howard and Baylor’s NaLyssa Smith round out the list of finalists.
Howard and Smith are familiar faces on this list, having been named All-Americans in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
Boston will look to pace South Carolina over Louisville on Friday in a faceoff of No. 1 seeds in the Women’s Final Four.
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The women’s award will be announced on April 4, followed by the men’s award on April 5 -- both on ESPN. Both awards will then be presented at a Gala on April 8.
Former Wooden Award winners include Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant, Candace Parker, Maya Moore and Sabrina Ionescu. Paige Bueckers of UConn and Luke Garza of Iowa are the most recent award recipients.