Today, ESPN's Andy Katz managed to burrow his way into the Los Angeles Athletic Club offices and secured the list of the 50 preseason nominees for the John R. Wooden Award, given every year to the player voted as the most outstanding player in the country. Marquette's very own Darius Johnson-Odom was included on the list. Katz was kind enough to ask opposing coaches for a soundbite on all 50 players, and here's what someone had to say about DJO:
"He probably has the best shot fake in college basketball. With Jimmy Butler gone, expect Marquette to run all its offense through him. He will definitely get more opportunity. He's one of the best guards in the country nationally people don't know about."
It is worth pointing out that the Wooden Award preseason list never includes freshmen or transfers, and being on the preseason list is not a requirement to winning the award at the end of the season. But it still amounts to one more piece of preseason hype for DJO and Marquette.
After the jump: Other Big East guys on the list and a quick breakdown of the list!
Ten players representing 8 Big East teams made the Wooden preseason list. The players, other than DJO:
Tim Abromaitis, Notre Dame
Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh
Scoop Jardine, Syracuse
Kevin Jones, West Virginia
Kris Joseph, Syracuse
Jeremy Lamb, UConn
Alex Oriakhi, UConn
Peyton Siva, Louisville
Maalik Wayns, Villanova
I don't think anyone on the list here is a surprise, although Oriakhi and Wayns are the only two that weren't recognized as part of the All Big East teams at the end of last season. Also not surprising: UConn and Syracuse getting two guys on the list, although I think Scoop should be disqualified for his grab bag of turnovers that handed Marquette a Sweet 16 spot last year.
I did a quick breakdown of players by conference, ignoring the non-power conferences. Sorry guys, but there's only 12 of you, which is only 2 more than the whole Big East got. Anywho, here's a couple of things that jumped out at me:
- No other conference managed more players than the Big East. The Big Tweleven is the runner up with 9.
- The ACC, Pac-12 and Big 12 all only have 4 players.
- The Pac-12's players play for two teams, Cal and UCLA.
- The ACC's players play for ONE team, North Carolina. No, seriously. I read the list again, and then I read it a THIRD time, OUT LOUD, to make sure I wasn't hearing any ACC teams.
- 7 schools have multiple players on the list: UNC, Vanderbilt (3), Ohio State (3), Cal, UCLA, Syracuse and UConn. Marquette plays 3 of these teams this year.