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Michigan, Michigan State Both Represented On Midseason Wooden Award Watch List

The Spartans have never had a winner.

January 10, 2019 - 1:05 pm

The Wooden Award watch list has been shaved from 50 players to 25 at the midway point of the season, and Michigan and Michigan State are both represented. 

For the No. 2 Wolverines, Ignas Brazdeikis enters the top 25 after missing out on the preseason top 50. He leads Michigan with 16.0 points per game and is tied for second with 5.3 rebounds. The true freshman scored a season-high 24 points, while chipping in five boards, in the Wolverines' destruction of then-No. 11 UNC in November. 

[RELATED: In Iggy Brazdeikis, Michigan Finds Moe Wagner 2.0]

For the No. 6 Spartans, Cassius Winston is a holdover from the preseason top 50. The junior point guard leads his team with 18.0 points and 7.4 assists per game; the latter number ranks fourth in the nation. In fact, Winston is one of just three players in the country averaging at least 18.0 points and 7.0 assists per game -- and the only one among them averaging fewer than 3.0 turnovers. 

In addition to his candidacy for the Wooden Award, he may have the inside lane to the Bob Cousy Award as the nation's top point guard. 

[RELATED: Winston Playing Like Best Point Guard In Big Ten -- And Possibly In Country]

Both Michigan's Charles Matthews and Michigan State's Nick Ward fell off the Wooden watch list after making the preseason top 50. That's despite Matthews averaging 14.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, and Ward averaging 16.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.

The Big Ten leads all conferences with seven players in the midseason top 25, including Purdue's Carsen Edwards, Wisconsin's Ethan Happ, Indiana's Romeo Langford, Minnesota's Jordan Murphy and Nebraska's James Palmer Jr. 

Exclusion from the midseason watch list does not preclude a player from being named to later lists. 

The last -- and only -- Michigan player to win the Wooden Award was Trey Burke in 2013. Michigan State has never had a winner in the award's 41-year history.