The Wooden Award released its midseason watch list of 25 players on Wednesday, and Kansas, Missouri and Wichita State were all represented.
But Kansas freshman center Joel Embiid, one of the fastest-rising talents in college basketball, was not on the list. That was perhaps the biggest snub in a group that included KU freshman Andrew Wiggins, Missouri guard Jordan Clarkson and Wichita State forward Cleanthony Early.
The Wooden Award is given annually to the nation’s top player, but the midseason watch list holds little significance — other than providing a snapshot of the nation’s best players so far. All players are still eligible for the Wooden voting at season’s end. The Wooden Award All American Team, consisting of the nation’s top 10 players, will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament.
Wiggins leads Kansas, 13-4, with a 15.2 scoring average, which also leads the Big 12 freshman class and is 10th overall in the conference. Clarkson is averaging 18.7 points per game for Missouri, 14-4, while shooting 47 percent. And Early has led Wichita State to an unbeaten 19-0 mark while scoring 15.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.