Myron Medcalf talks preseason Wooden Award contenders

In case you didn’t know, college basketball isn’t really that far away.

Myron Medcalf of ESPN.com wrote a blog yesterday detailing some of his favorites for the Wooden Award. Medcalf listed to returning players, five freshmen and five sleeper picks.

Here are the players Medcalf listed that are noteworthy for Kansas fans (and followers of the blog):

Big 12 opponents:

  • Georges Niang — Iowa State power forward excels with an IQ and arsenal few bigs can match, and he’s healthy again after suffering a foot injury during last season’s NCAA tournament.
  • Juwan Staten — If you haven’t heard of Staten (18.1 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 5.8 APG, 40 percent from the 3-point line for West Virginia last season), you will. Soon.
  • Marcus Foster — The sophomore could be one of America’s breakout stars after leading Kansas State to the tourney last season.

KU opponents (aka Kentucky):

  • Karl Towns/Tyler Ulis — Kentucky first-year players turned heads during recent Bahamas tour.
  • Kentucky — Willie Cauley-Stein, Alex Poythress, Aaron Harrison … take your pick. The whole team is a contender.
  • Andrew Harrison — Kentucky point guard will lead the deepest frontcourt in the country and most talented roster in America.

Interests of KU fans/followers of my blog

  • Fred Van Vleet (or Ron Baker) — Wichita State’s point guard finished fourth nationally with a 4.02 assist-to-turnover ratio, and he’ll take on a bigger scoring role this year. But Baker, a future pro wing, could ultimately represent Wichita State in the Wooden Award mix.

Kansas Jayhawk mentions:

  • Cliff Alexander — Kansas freshman is trapped in a grown man’s body.
  • Wayne Selden Jr. — KU star averaged 10.2 PPG next to Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, but now he’s the man in Lawrence.

What do you think of these (very) early predictions for some of the best players in college basketball?