Alex Oriakhi and Jeremy Lamb team up to stop Kentucky's Darius Miller, just like they'll team up to stop the rest of the country from winning the Wooden Award.
The preseason watch list for the John Wooden award was released today. Not surprisingly, Jeremy Lamb made the list. The moderately more surprising news is that he was joined by teammate Alex Oriakhi. To be fair to Oriakhi, it's not a huge surprise he made the list, because it has 50 players -- none of the freshmen -- and I figure he's probably one of the best 50 upperclassmen in America.
UConn's two nods weren't the highest in the country, as North Carolina had four and Ohio St. had three, but it's still impressive. Ten players from the Big East, and the only other school with multiple nods was Syracuse (Kris Joseph and Scoop Jardine), though they should really just get credit for one because Jardine doesn't deserve to be there unless "stupid decisions made in crunch time" is a new statistical category this year.
No UConn men's basketball player has ever won the award, though Maya Moore and Tina Charles have won the women's award for the last three years, (it has been in existence since 2004). Question for Meacham: How did Taurarsi not win in 2004?. Despite the drought on the men's side, the Huskies have had two players who probably should have won: Ray Allen in 1996 (lost to Marcus Camby), Emeka Okafor (robbed blind by Jameer Nelson in 2004). The homer in me wants to argue that Kemba Walker should have won last year, but it doesn't take into account postseason play so I can't. Donyell Marshall was a finalist in 1994, but a deserving Glenn Robinson won.