Seniors and guards are leading the charge for college basketball's best player midway through the season, according to a new watch list released by the John R. Wooden Award's advisory board.
The Wooden Award released its midseason top 25 list on Thursday, which included 17 upperclassmen, 15 backcourt players and representatives from nine conferences. The Wooden Award has been presented annually since 1976 to the most outstanding player in college basketball.
Oklahoma's Trae Young is now considered by many to be a favorite for the award, after starting his college career by leading the nation in points (29.2) and assists (10.1) per game through the Sooners' first 15 games. He is one of six freshmen to make the midseason cut, along with Arizona's Deandre Ayton, Duke's Marvin Bagley III, Texas' Mohamed Bamba, UNLV's Brandon McCoy and Alabama's Collin Sexton.
The ACC and the Big East each have five players on the list. The Big 12 and the Pac-12 conference each have three players apiece make the list. There also are several teammates among the top 25: Duke's Grayson Allen and Bagley; Arizona's Ayton and Allonzo Trier; Villanova's Mikal Bridges and Jalen Brunson; and North Carolina's Luke Maye and Joel Berry II.
The award's advisory board will trim its list to 15 candidates in late February.
Here's how it looks now (the names are list alphabetically):
Marvin Bagley III, Duke Blue Devils
Jalen Brunson, Villanova Wildcats
Marcus Foster, Creighton Blue Jays
Luke Maye, North Carolina Tar Heels
Allonzo Trier, Arizona Wildcats