Midway through the 2013-14 season, senior point guard Shabazz Napier has exceeded expectations. And it wasn't like he came into the year as an unknown. Already considered one of the nation's best point guards, Napier has not only logged a triple-double against Yale in November, but he scored a career high 30 points last weekend against Louisville and followed that up with a 27-point effort against Temple.
For the season, he's averaging 17.4 points, 5.9 assists and 6.2 rebounds per game. Knowing this, it's no surprise he's among 25 finalists for the Wooden Award, given annually to college basketball's best player.
Details via the Los Angeles Athletic Club, which presents the honor.
"The list is comprised of 25 student-athletes who are the front-runners for the sport’s most prestigious individual honor based on their play so far this season. The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the official voting ballot, which will consist of approximately 20 top players who have proven to their universities that they are making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA. However, players not chosen to the midseason list are still eligible for the ballot. 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."
Napier has been an integral part to the Huskies' 15-4 start and his abilities haven't gone unnoticed. He's also in the running for the Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award, the 2013-14 Senior CLASS Award, the Oscar Robertson Trophy, and the Naismith Trophy.
Here are the 24 other finalists for the Wooden Award: