The NCAA has announced its top 25 midseason candidates for the 2023 John R. Wooden Award — named after legendary UCLA coach John Wooden and given annually to the best college basketball player in the country.
Five players representing four Texas-based colleges made the cut.
Houston guard Marcus Sasser leads the Cougars averaging 15.9 points per game. The senior out of Red Oak High School is averaging double-digit scoring figures for the third time in four seasons. He only played in 12 games in the 2021-22 season but averaged a career-high 17.7 points per game. Houston is 14-1 on the season and ranked No.2 in the country,
Texas guard Marcus Carr began his career with the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Minnesota but has become a go-to player for the Longhorns. He is in his second year at Austin, averaging a career-best 18.1 points per game (fourth-best in the Big 12). He also passed the 2,000 career points threshold in Tuesday’s loss to Kansas State.
TCU guard Mike Miles Jr. is 21st in the nation and second in the Big 12 in scoring with 19.9 points per game. He has hit several big shots this season, including a critical three-pointer during a 33-point performance in a win against Baylor on Wednesday. He has averaged double-digit points in all three of his collegiate seasons.
Baylor guard Keyonte George, a Lewisville, Texas native, and his backcourt mate Adam Flagler are also on the list. The two combine for 32.6 points and 8.7 assists per game. George is seventh in the Big 12 in scoring as a freshman, and Flagler is eighth in scoring and third in assists per game. Flagler currently has his highest scoring average in his career and is eighth in the nation in three-point shooting percentage.
George is one of four freshmen listed. The others are Kansas guard Gradey Dick, Duke center Kyle Filipowski, and Alabama’s Brandon Miller.
Other players listed from the Big 12 Conference include Dick and his Kansas teammate Jalen Wilson. Sasser and Memphis’s Kendric Davis are the only two listed from the American Athletic Conference. Miller and Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe — who won the award last season — are the only two players from the Southeastern Conference (SEC).
The players are selected by an advisory board, and national media members begin voting for the winner after the regular season.
The Wooden Award will be presented to the winner on April 7.