The 2021-22 college basketball season is still a little bit over four months away, but there is always time for a way-too-early piece. Last time, it was a way-too-early top 10 for the upcoming 2021-22 season. Now, it is a way-too early 2022 Wooden Award candidates piece.
The John R. Wooden Award is given every season to the most outstanding college basketball player on both the men’s and women’s side. This award is the most prestigious award that is given out at the end of the college basketball season. Founded in 1976, this award has been given to countless players who had themselves outstanding college basketball seasons. Some names include Tim Duncan, Jay Williams, J.J Redick, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Zion Williamson, and the most recent Iowa’s, Luka Garza. A lot of great names have been in the running of the Wooden Award and that will not stop in 2022. Here are the way-too-early top three 2022 Wooden Award candidates, starting with number three.
Top Three 2022 Wooden Award Candidates Prediction
#3- Chet Holmgren – Fr, Gonzaga
Chet Holmgren comes to Gonzaga with the full package. Holmgren is a seven-foot big man who is highly mobile and skilled and can guard any position on the floor with his length. The incoming freshman is an elite shot-blocker on the defensive end and can fling it from deep offensively. NBA comparisons can be thrown out for any player, but comparing Chet Holmgren to Kevin Durant is the most visible.
Chet Holmgren can become the fourth freshman to win the award in its 46 years in college basketball. The only three freshmen to win the award are Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, and Zion Williamson. Holmgren enters the 2021-22 season as the top recruit in the 2021 class and will make an impact right when he steps on campus. That is reason enough to put him as one of the 2022 Wooden Award candidates
#2- Hunter Dickinson – So, Michigan
Hunter Dickinson took the college basketball landscape by storm as a freshman in Ann Arbor. Dickinson was a perfect fit inside of the Big Ten and shined for Juwan Howard and the Michigan Wolverines. Averaging 14.1 PPG and 7.4 RPG, Dickinson went on to win Big Ten Freshman of the Year making him a prime player to add to number two on the list of 2022 Wooden Award candidates. Dickison also made the ballot as a freshman in 2021.
As a team, Michigan is primed to make another run to be a top team in college basketball next season. Some of the additions that Juwan Howard has made to his team are going to give Hunter the chance to be even more dominant in the interior in 2021-22. Some of those additions include the number one recruiting class in the country and the addition of Coastal Carolina’s DeVante’ Jones through the transfer portal.
#1- Drew Timme – Jr, Gonzaga
This might be a pretty obvious one, but why go crazy? Drew Timme was one of three candidates at Gonzaga in the race for the 2021 award, the other two being Jalen Suggs and Corey Kispert. Kispert was the only one from the Bulldogs to make the finalists, but with Timme returning to Spokane for his junior season, he is the clear favorite for the award in 2022.
Timme averaged 19 PPG and 7 RPG in a near-perfect but shortened 2020-2021 season. The Bulldogs played in a classic Final Four game against UCLA on Easter weekend, while eventually losing to Baylor in the National Championship. Drew Timme is at the top of the list for the way-too-early 2022 Wooden Award candidates.
2022 Wooden Award Prediction Honorable Mentions
- Colin Gillespie (Villanova)
- EJ Liddell (Ohio State) (If returning)
- Trevion Williams (Purdue)
- Keve Aluma (Virginia Tech)
- Antoine Davis (Detriot Mercy)
After a weird college basketball season last year that was shortened, to begin with, plus the ability of barely off-season practice and team workouts, the hype of the 2021-22 season is on full blast. Getting to write a piece about some of the top players in college basketball makes it even more fun.
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