The Wooden Award Watch List was trimmed to 25 players Wednesday for its midseason edition, a group that features five freshmen including Maryland's Melo Trimble. The point guard, who wasn't included on the preseason top 50 list, is joined by Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell, Arizona small forward Stanley Johnson, Duke point guard Tyus Jones and Blue Devils center Jahlil Okafor.
Trimble and Russell are also two of the four players from the Big 10 on the Watch List. Indiana guard Yogi Ferrell and Wisconsin center Frank Kaminsky are the others on the watch list for the award for college basketball's most outstanding player.
Trimble has been one of the most efficient scorers in the nation so far this season. The 19-year-old gets to the free-throw line more often than any other player in the Big 10 and has made more free throws than all but one player in the entire country. Seventeen games into his college career, Trimble is averaging a team-high 15.9 points per game while attempting fewer than nine shots.
His jump into the Wooden Award conversation at midseason has been a major reason for the Terrapins ascent from being unranked in the preseason to No. 14 midway through January. The former Bishop O'Connell standout because UMD's first McDonald's All-American since Mike Jones in 2003 last year and was expected to be a program changer for head coach Mark Turgeon. When the Terps' star shooting guard Dez Wells, an inclusion on the Wooden Award Watch Preseason Top 50 list, went down with a wrist injury in November, it gave Trimble a chance to take the reins of the team sooner than anticipated.
Wells missed seven games with a broken right wrist, and Trimble averaged 16.6 points while attempting just 7.3 shots per game. Maryland went 6-1 during that stretch with the only loss coming to then-No. 7 Virginia.
Wells and small forward Jake Layman, both of whom are averaging at least 13.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, were left off the midseason list. The full Top 25 is included below:
|Ron Baker||Wichita State||Missouri Valley||6-4||JR||G|
|Ryan Boatright||Connecticut||The American||6-0||SR||G|
|Yogi Ferrell||Indiana||Big Ten||6-0||JR||G|
|Jerian Grant||Notre Dame||ACC||6-5||SR||G|
|D'Angelo Harrison||St. John's||Big East||6-4||SR||G|
|Buddy Hield||Oklahoma||Big 12||6-4||JR||G|
|Frank Kaminsky||Wisconsin||Big Ten||7-0||SR||F|
|Georges Niang||Iowa State||Big 12||6-8||JR||F|
|D'Angelo Russell||Ohio State||Big Ten||6-5||FR||G|
|Juwan Staten||West Virginia||Big 12||6-1||SR||G|
|Melo Trimble||Maryland||Big Ten||6-3||FR||G|