Each year, the Los Angeles Athletic Club gives out the John R. Wooden Award to college basketball's top individual player. While the final honor is handed out following the Final Four, the LAAC has announced its Midseason Top 25 to help narrow things down for voters (and try to irritate a few fan bases, most likely).
To the surprise of no one at all, the No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange place two different players on this year's list -- senior forward C.J. Fair and freshman guard Tyler Ennis. While Fair was an early favorite for several individual honors this season, Ennis has been an incredible surprise for SU, as evidenced by the rash of articles about him lately.
Looking at the full list of 25 players, Syracuse is in elite company. The Orange are one of just three programs (along with Duke, Michigan State and Arizona) to put multiple players on the list. Ennis is also one of just five freshman to make the cut. In total, the ACC had five players (Ennis, Fair, Rodney Hood, Jabari Parker and T.J. Warren), so SU makes up 40-percent of that total -- not bad at all for its first year in the league.
No Syracuse player has ever won the Wooden Award since they started giving it out in 1977. Perhaps Fair or Ennis could become the first? Though a National Championship is the ultimate goal for this team, racking up a few individual honors along the way wouldn't be so bad either.