The current list for the 2020-21 John R. Holz, there are only 20 names on the list. College basketball, of course, has more than 20 great players, many of whom have emerged in recent weeks. With this in mind, the panelists at ESPN.com have identified a player worthy of consideration in the final weeks of the regular season:
Not that you’ve found a wildcard on the current Wooden Watch 20 list, but if you had to name an unrepresented player who you think belongs on that list, who would it be?
Jeff Borzello, College Basketball Insider: So it may not be the ideal week to sign up for the list, but I was very surprised to see Jay Huff from Virginia not on the list. He just had a performance of four points and two rebounds against Florida State, but before that he may have been the best player in the CCA this season. His score is not as impressive as Justin Champagna’s, Ron Harper Jr. or others, but given the pace of the Virginia game, it was fantastic.
In his first 12 CCR games this season, Huff averaged 14.6 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.3 blocks – all while scoring 46.7% from 3-point range. He ranks in the top five CCA players in percentage of 2 points, percentage of defensive rebounding and blocking percentage and is 10th in percentage of 3 points. And don’t forget, Huff is 5’10”. All this for a top 10 team and a favorite to win the ACC.
Virginia’s Jay Huff is a candidate for the ACC Player of the Year award…. Should he be on Wooden’s roster? Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports
Myron Medcalf, college basketball writer: I think I would go the non-Power 5 route and put Nah Shawn Highland VCU on the list. I think all the finalists are special and all have good reasons to be included, but Hyland has raw numbers – 19.3 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.1 SPG and 39 percent from the 3-point line – that are worth considering, and VCU is also 33rd in the NET standings after winning seven of its last eight games.
In the second year, the voluntary commitment also became a defensive element. Mike Rhoades’ team is giving up 25 percent possession and Hyland is on the field, according to hooplens.com. He also draws 87% of the penalty line. With Hyland, VCU has only played two games since the second quarter. December is lost. The Rams could enter the NCAA tournament as one of the hottest teams in the country, and Hyland could be a star in the early rounds.
John Gasaway, college basketball writer: I advise the Lumberjacks to make room on the list for Neemias Quetah from Utah. He leads the Aggies in points, but Craig Smith’s rotation has five players averaging 9.5 to 12.5 points. Ignore the counting stats and just watch what Kweta does.
If USU wins the tournament (it’s already close), it could be the best rim protector in the 68’s field. His blocking percentage has skyrocketed since last year, but he’s taking those turns while avoiding trouble and making 70% of the available minutes. It also has the highest attendance percentage among Rollie Worcester starters. Queta is a versatile and often dominant 6-foot-4 person who can do a little bit of everything (except the 3).
Cameron Krutwig is the hero of the NCAA tournament and has become the star of the Ramblers. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Joe Lunardi, ESPN Bracketologist: Am I the only one in Cameron Krutwig’s group? The 6-9 year old, 255 pounds, is the same player who helped Loyola Chicago reach the Final Four three years ago, but better. Krutwig is an old school college center – think Villanova – John Pinone in the early 1980s – who can do the same two things exceptionally well: fill out the score and win.
Krutwig is effective (0.582 FG percentage, 0.594 career), he retains possession (12.5 percent offensive rebound percentage), he’s one of the best passers in the country (26.2 percent attendance percentage) and he’s durable (125 appearances and 121 starts in 126 possible games). And the Ramblers have a decent 91-35 (.722) record, including the aforementioned Final Four and an almost certain NCAA appearance next month. If the postseason accolades have more to do with academic achievement than professional potential, Krutwig is on that list.
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