Joel Embiid falls short of Wooden list


And then there were 25. Kind of.

The Wooden Award Midseason Top 25, released Wednesday, features a variety of standout athletes who remain in the running to win the national honor at the end of the season. It's a diverse mix of the game's most talented players. Ten conferences are represented.

Creighton's Doug McDermott and Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart might be the front-runners, but Arizona's Nick Johnson, Duke's Jabari Parker, Iowa State's DeAndre Kane, Florida's Casey Prather and Syracuse's Tyler Ennis are viable candidates, too.

Michigan State's Adreian Payne, Wichita State's Cleanthony Early, Kentucky's Julius Randle and others on the list could still finish strong and win the award.

The most obvious omission, however, is Kansas freshman center Joel Embiid, who has surged in recent weeks. NBA Insider Chad Ford is among the draft analysts who project the first-year prospect from Cameroon to be the No. 1 pick in this summer's NBA draft.

Embiid and other players who are not on the midseason list can still earn slots among the 15 finalists, which will be announced March 8. Players must make the list of finalists to win.

Last season, former Indiana star Victor Oladipo was not on the midseason list but was a finalist and was narrowly defeated for the honor by former Michigan point guard Trey Burke.

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