The list of John Wooden Award finalists was cut to 25 names, and two stars on the Duke Blue Devils made the cut. Mason Plumlee is one of the most dominant big men in the game and sharp-shooting guard Seth Curry is a leader and exceptional player for Duke as well. Both players are well-deserving recipients of the honor to be viewed as one of the top 25 players in the game of college basketball right now, and it will be interesting to see how far both of these stars can go. Most people’s money is on Plumlee, but I’m actually hoping for some more love to go Curry’s way due to my personal love for that basketball family.
Plumlee is the best player on the best team in college basketball, and he is clearly the best player in the ACC right now with 4.3 win shares, a 17.7-11.4 line, some incredible defense that is actually more valuable than his solid offensive production (he averages 1.6 blocks per game, holds opponents to .842 points per possession, and has 2.2 defensive win shares), he has a 63.7% true shooting percentage, and he has a 28.3 PER. Ridiculous numbers all across the board, and Plumlee is the definition of an easy pick.
Curry actually has worse numbers than Ryan Kelly, but awards like the Wooden transcend numbers and delve into the intangibles of the game such as leadership. And man, Curry’s intangibles are off the charts. His 20.6 PER is also up there, and he has a 61.3% true shooting percentage that is no short feat for a guard who averages around 5.5 threes per game. He is one of the best shooters from beyond the arc in the game, and his accuracy from downtown brings a whole new dimension to this Duke team.
He averages 16 points per game as the team’s best pure scorer, and that makes up for the fact that Curry doesn’t add too much in the way of defense, rebounding, and passing. He’s actually a decent passer, but he’s not a ball-facilitator. However, Curry is an efficient scorer, a leader, and a guy who can change the complexity of a game with a dagger from three.
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