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Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Wooden Watch: Jason King's ballot

By By Jason King

Coaches and teammates have spent all season heaping praise upon Kansas forward Thomas Robinson. Now some opposing players are getting into the act, too.

Shortly after Robinson scored 27 points and snared 14 rebounds in Monday’s 92-74 victory over Baylor, Bears forward Perry Jones III was asked about his counterpart in the paint.

“He’s an All-American,” Jones said. “He played like he’s supposed to play, like an upperclassman. He delivered for his team.”

With a slew of NBA scouts watching from the sideline, Robinson connected on 11 of his 18 field-goal attempts against Baylor’s vaunted frontcourt and helped hold the Bears in check defensively.

Now averaging 17.8 points and 12.3 rebounds, Robinson gets the easy nod for the No. 1 spot on my Wooden Award ballot this week. Here’s how I’d vote if the season ended today.
  1. Thomas Robinson, Kansas — Robinson is the main reason Kansas is the only Big 12 team that has yet to lose a conference game. He’s shooting 54.4 percent from the field and has recorded double-doubles in four of his last five contests.
  2. Jared Sullinger, Ohio State — Sullinger helped the Buckeyes avenge last month’s loss to Indiana by scoring 16 points and grabbing nine rebounds in Sunday’s rematch with the Hoosiers. He’s averaging 17.3 points and 9.3 rebounds on the season.
  3. Kevin Jones, West Virginia — Jones recorded his seventh double-double in nine games in a 24-point, 14-rebound effort against Rutgers Saturday. How anyone can look at his numbers against quality competition and leave him off their ballot is beyond me. I almost bumped him up to No. 2. Jones averages 20.1 points and 11.6 rebounds.
  4. Anthony Davis, Kentucky — The 6-foot-10 freshman continues to improve. He averaged 16 points and seven rebounds in narrow victories over Auburn and Tennessee last week and is a game or two away from breaking the Wildcats’ single-season record for blocks. Davis is swatting an average of 4.6 shots per contest.
  5. Doug McDermott, Creighton — The sophomore averaged 22.5 points and 10 rebounds in wins over Illinois State and Southern Illinois. The most impressive thing about McDermott is his shooting percentage from the field (62.1) and 3-point range (53.2)
On the cusp (listed alphabetically)

Will Barton, Memphis — The Tigers have won their last six games thanks to Barton, who leads Memphis in points (18.2) and rebounds (9.0)

Marcus Denmon, Missouri — The senior will take a team-high 17.8-point scoring average into Saturday’s showdown against Baylor in Waco.

Draymond Green, Michigan State — With 14 points and 14 rebounds, the senior was one of the Spartans’ few bright spots in Saturday’s loss to Northwestern.

Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette — One of the country’s most underrated players is averaging 19 points in the Golden Eagles’ last three wins.

Perry Jones III, Baylor — The ultra-talented Jones is becoming more and more assertive in the paint. Jones had 18 points and two blocks in Monday’s loss at Kansas.

Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut — The sophomore guard was cold in Saturday’s win over Notre Dame but still managed seven assists.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky — The most versatile player for a Kentucky squad that still has an incredibly high ceiling.

Arnett Moultrie, Mississippi State — With averages of 16.5 points and 10.9 boards, the UTEP transfer should be in the SEC Player of the Year conversation.

Mike Scott, Virginia — Averages 16.9 points for a team that scores just 65 points a game; shoots 58.8 percent from the field.

Tyler Zeller, North Carolina — Potential lottery pick averages 14.4 points and 9.2 rebounds; one of the few Tar Heels who didn’t fold in Saturday’s debacle at Florida State.