Storming The Floor looks at the Wooden Award ... if they dare!
Earlier this season, a great debate was raging about which of two superior college basketball players should be named Player of the Year.
Our choices at that time were simple: Did we value the smooth versatility of Kansas State's Michael Beasley, or the gritty determination of North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough? Some cast it as callow Freshman vs. Experienced Upperclassman. Some went for style vs. substance. Some even said it came down to black vs. white. In the end, it was the success of Hansbrough's team, and his ability to produce when the game was in doubt, that put him over the top and garnered him the Naismith award.
That was before the NCAA tournament started. Since then, Beasley's Wildcats flamed out in the second round, and Hansbrough has continued to prove his worth. But hold up, partner. There's a new gun in town. Stephen Curry appeals to both camps - he has been effortlessly dynamic, putting up an average of 32 points per game in four tournament appearances. He has also been gritty, willing his team back from deficits and coming through in the clutch (mostly). And he has a hot mom. So, can we go back to early March and vote him POY?
No need. The John R. Wooden award, college basketball's version of the Heisman Trophy, has been in play this entire time. Wooden award panelists had until 3 p.m. yesterday to vote, which means they saw Curry's incredible explosion in the tournament and have no doubt given it all due weight in their deliberations. Of course, Hansbrough has also been excellent thus far, but it can be argued that his supporting cast of McDonald's All Americans made his path a bit easier.
The award won't be announced until April 12, but we can all dream in the meantime. Perhaps the distinguished voters were swayed. Maybe this year The Chicken Dancing Fetus can take the prize from Beaker with a Bowl Cut. Or, heck. It could still be Beasley.
The Final Wooden Award Ballot: [WoodenAward.com]