When the Los Angeles Athletic Club recently announced its Wooden Award Midseason Top 25, it wasn’t surprising to find on the list two standouts from teams that recently played in two of ESPN Events’ early season tournaments: Creighton’s Doug McDermott (in the DIRECTV Wooden Legacy) and Massachusetts’ Chaz Williams (in the Charleston Classic presented by Gildan).
McDermott, a 6-8, 225-pound senior forward, is averaging 24.3 points and 7.2 rebounds a game, and has led the Bluejays (17-3) to the top of the Big East Conference. A two-time All-American in 2012 and 2013, he could become the first three-time All-American for the men’s selection since North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough (2007-09).
McDermott’s season got off to a solid start, beginning in the Wooden Legacy. He scored 27 points to lead Creighton to an 88-60 win over Arizona State in the first of three games. In the second contest, he tallied a game-high 30 points in an 86-80 loss to San Diego State.
Williams, a 5-9, 175-pound senior, averages 15.8 points and 7.3 assists a game. His stellar play has the 13th-ranked Minutemen (17-2) in second place in the Atlantic 10 Conference. He is ranked fourth nationally among the leaders in assists. UMass set the tone for a breakout season with its 62-56 win over Clemson to capture the Charleston Classic title back in November.
The winner of the Wooden Award will be honored at the 38th annual gala, which takes place the weekend of April 11-13. The event also includes the presentation of the Wooden Award All-American teams and the Legends of Coaching Award.