Expect these Kentucky Wildcats to finish with a lot of hardware by season's end, and it's not out of the question that some major national awards are included.
The latest honor features Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox being among 25 players named to the midseason watch list for the annual John R. Wooden Award. Kentucky is one of five schools (Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA and Wisconsin are the others) with two players on the midseason 25 and one of only two schools (Kentucky and UCLA) with two freshmen.
Monk is averaging 21.7 points per game, he is ranked 16th nationally in scoring, second among all freshmen and first in the SEC. He’s scored in double figures in every game this season and has nine games of 20 points or more.
Fox is currently averaging 16.3 points, 6.4 assists and 1.8 steals per game. His 6.4 assists rank 11th in the country, second among all freshmen and first in the SEC, while his 2.8 assist-to-turnover ratio is first in the conference. His 103 assists are ahead of where Ulis (90) sat through the first 16 games last year when he went on to break the school’s single-season assists record.
The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2017 John R. Wooden Award. The list gets cut to 20 in early February, then 15 prior to the NCAA Tournament. The Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament.
The winner of the 2017 John R. Wooden Award will be announced during the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show on April 7. Here is the entire list of the 25 players in the running for this award: