Basketball: Wooden Award’s Midseason 25 announced — big surprise, no Pac-12 players

The John R. Wooden Award is named, of course, in honor of a man who spent his career coaching in what is now the Pac-12 Conference.

Wooden could not be happy to learn that when the 25 midseason candidates for his award were announced today, none of them was from the Pac-12.

He couldn’t have been terrible surprised, either.

The ACC, Big Ten, Big East and SEC each have four representatives on the list, the Big 12 has three. There is one each from the Big West, Conference USAm Big Sky, MAAC (admit it, you have no idea), the Missouri Valley and the Mountain West.

None from the Pac-12.

Not Cal’s Jorge Gutierrez, not Washington’s Terrence Jones, not Oregon State’s Jared Cunningham.

But . . . Scott Machado of Iona is on the list. Iona plays in the MAAC — the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference — which also features the likes of Canisius, Marist and St. Peter’s.

Machado seems to be a very good player. He averages 13.1 points per game and leads the nation in assists at 10.3 per outing. He’s had 15 or more in four different games. His team also lost to Manhattan.

Doug McDermott of Creighton seems entirely deserving. He’s averaging 24.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and shoots 62 percent from the field for a team that is 16-2 with a win over San Diego State. He had 44 points against Bradley.

Then there’s Oakland HS grad and NCAA scoring leader Damian Lillard of Weber State. He’s on the list. thanks to his 25.5 scoring average, although he shot 4 for 17 and scored a season-low in a loss at Cal. Where the guy defending him was Jorge Gutierrez.

Jeff Faraudo

  • jim crow

    When your conference deservedly gets no respect, based on its pretty abysmal performance in the OOC games, this ignoring of its players follows.

    However, those of us who have the privilege to watch Jorge know that though his stats in so many areas are pretty good, they do not do justice to him. Damian Lillard is just one of many who have experienced his defensive impact. His offensive impact is equally important to his team, as any Pac 12 coach will attest.

    So Jorge will have to settle for being named player of the year in the Pac-12, assuming that Cal can finish in first place.

    I am sure you will hear no complaints from this young man, who is even a finer person than he is a basketball player.

  • discdude

    This is just the beginning…wait until NCAA tourney time. Cal needs to win the conference with at least a 13-5 record to be assured of an entry. Even 12-6 might not do it if they lose in the P12 tourney.