Nine new names appear on the revised 25-player watch list for the John R. Wooden Award, announced Wednesday, including three emerging stars from the Big Ten.
Davis and Murray, whose teams are scheduled to face off Thursday night in Madison, have been among the most improved players in college basketball in 2021-22. The 6-foot-5 Davis is averaging 22.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game for the 23rd-ranked Badgers, including a 37-point, 14-rebound effort at No. 2 Purdue on Monday night. Davis averaged 7 points per game as a freshman last season. Murray’s scoring average has jumped from 7.2 points as a freshman to 24.5 points per game for an Iowa team that has won four straight. Davis and Murray have both moved into the top 10 of ESPN’s most recent NBA draft top 100.
The 7-foot-4 Edey, one of three Purdue players on the list along with guard Jaden Ivey and forward Trevion Williams, is averaging 15.6 points and 7.5 rebounds in just 17.7 minutes per game for the second-ranked Boilermakers. Purdue is one of four programs with multiple players on the Wooden list, joining Duke (Paolo Banchero, Wendell Moore Jr.), Gonzaga (Chet Holmgren, Drew Timme) and UCLA (Jaime Jaquez Jr., Johnny Juzang) in that category.
Other January additions to the watch list include Duke’s Moore, Baylor guard James Akinjo, Iowa State guard Izaiah Brockington, Arizona guard Bennedict Mathurin, Colorado State forward David Roddy and Kentucky forward Oscar Tshiebwe.
A total of 34 players were trimmed from the preseason version of the Watch List announced in November.
Notables excised from the list included projected future NBA lottery picks Emoni Bates and Jalen Duren of Memphis; Texas guard and top 2021-22 transfer Marcus Carr and SMU guard Kendric Davis, who was not chosen for the list despite averages of 21.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game for a team projected to reach the NCAA tournament.