Duke, UNC Both Land Players on Wooden Award Top-20 List

UNC's Davis and Bacot, as well as Duke's Filipowski, are recognized as three of the best 20 players in the country.
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Wooden Award, given to the best college basketball player in the country every year, has plenty of worthy candidates gunning for it in 2024. Competitions has never been fiercer.

The NCAA just released the late-season top-20 list for the award and the state of North Carolina is well represented, with two players from UNC and one from Duke making the cut.

Wooden Award Top 20 List Has Duke & UNC Representation

RJ Davis has emerged as one of the best guards in the country, leading the ACC in scoring as he averages 21.5 points per game. His teammate and fellow senior Armando Bacot has been a two-way presence, dominating the paint on both ends of the floor, averaging 13.4 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game.

For Duke, their sophomore star Kyle Filipowski is representing them on the list. The talented 7-footer has shown an impressive level of improvement on both sides of the ball. He is a more efficient scorer, a better playmaker, and a more all-around defensive player this season. He averages 17.5 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.9 blocks, and 1.2 steals on 50.4% shooting from the field.

All three names are candidates to be a finalist for the award at the end of the season.

Winning the prize, however, will be a tough mountain to climb.

Last season, Purdue center Zach Edey was the clear winner as he averaged 22.3 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks.

This year, he has maintained his level of play and is once again the frontrunner to win the award. He would be the first back-to-back Wooden Award winner since Ralph Sampson did it in 1983.

Bookmakers think Edey repeating is all but guaranteed, with his odds at -700. Dalton Knecht of Tennessee has the second-best odds, with Davis, Bacot, and Filipowski rounding out the top six.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.