The list of 25 players who comprise the Wooden Award midseason nominees was released today, and as with any list, it will spark debate.
While there's no denying that the likes of Thomas Robinson, Jared Sullinger and Perry Jones deserve recognition, we do question the omission of several players who are performing better than teammates who made the cut.
Let's start by looking at the Marquette Golden Eagles. To be sure, senior guard Darius Johnson-Odom is one of the best players in the country. He made noise as a sophomore with his lights-out shooting and has since evolved into a more complete player. To complement his long-range shooting (37.5 percent on 3-pointers), Johnson-Odom has worked on his midrange game and is converting 2-point field goals at a rate of 49.6 percent. The guard has the highest usage rate on the squad (23.4 percent) but surprisingly, for a player who utilizes such a high percentage of the shots taken in the Marquette offense, DJO is not the most efficient Golden Eagle. That title belongs to senior forward Jae Crowder, who has a higher PER (28.48, third in the Big East) than Johnson-Odom and a usage rate of just 19.1 percent. Yet Crowder's offense rating (1.24, per Ken Pomeroy) dwarfs any of his teammates, and he has connected on 60 percent of his 2-pointers and a shade better than DJO on 3s (37.9 percent).