Top 3 Mid-January Wooden Award Sleepers

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Keegan Murray, Iowa (+2000)

The Hawkeyes may not be as vaunted as they were a year ago, but they still have a player in Keegan Murray who has been making headlines and stealing the show for his prolific scoring ability. Murray is college basketball's leading scorer at 24.5 points per game, and when that is the case, you always have to include him on your watch list. What makes it more impressive is that Murray is also averaging over eight rebounds per game, and is doing it all for his team much like Luka Garza last season.

Murray was an afterthought when the season began, but his recent stretch of play and how he has dominated games vaunted him up to where he is in range to win the Wooden Award. As some players start to fall off from the top off the list, more are starting to climb, and that creates a buy opportunity on one of the quickest risers this year.

Iowa is fantastic at scoring the basketball, so it is possible that voters won't see him as too much of a standout in his own offense, but you can't deny that he leads the NCAA in scoring. He's a great bet to make if he can keep this up, and I think he will continue to rise.

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Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga (+4000)

The superstar freshman and number 1 recruit in the nation this past year has been playing some great basketball this season, as you might expect, but he suffers from the classic syndrome of playing on the best team in the country on paper and having a teammate that is a favorite for the award. However, this doesn't mean that it isn't worth taking a flyer on a player with the talent that he has at these massive odds. Going into WCC play, he should be able to thrive against the poor teams in the rest of the conference. It also helps quite a bit that his teammate Drew Timme has been struggling recently.

Timme was the favorite to win the award in the preseason but has since fallen behind Wisconsin's Johnny Davis for the award. He has still been playing a good brand of basketball, and he is clearly one of the best players in the country, but he hasn't been the insane player that many expected him to be. That type of slight disappointment will make voters awry voting on him to win, and everyone wants to see the most exciting players take home the metal.

Holmgren is certainly an exciting player, and he is unique in his talents. he's a big man that can score from pretty much anywhere, and he is also phenomenal defensively. He's a great shot blocker and shot creator, and he can truly do it all. He just needs to keep getting more experience, and when he flips that switch, it's game on.

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Jaden Ivey, Purdue (+2000)

Seriously, he shouldn't be considered a sleeper, but this price is just ridiculous. Ivey is one of the best players in the nation on a team that I think has a real possibility to win the title this season. Purdue is exceptionally talented, with stars all over the roster, but Ivey stands out above the rest as the leader of this team. He leads the Boilermakers in scoring, averaging 16.2 points per game, and shooting 50% from the field. He's also averaging 5 rebounds and 3 assists per game, so he's doing a bit of everything for Purdue.

This number has fallen off a lot because of the poor start Purdue has had in Big 10 play, and Ivey hasn't played at his best in those games either. He's taken some really poor shots and turned the ball over an uncharacteristically amount of times against Wisconsin and Rutgers. The Boilermakers find themselves at 2-2 in conference play, and they have a lot of ground to make up if they want to catch Illinois and Michigan State.

This is the perfect buy-in spot for Ivey. They play a really poor team in Nebraska at home in their next game, and then they have a showdown with the Illini in Champaign that will essentially be a must-win. Ivey will have to step his game up, and I fully expect him to do so when the moment is biggest. I think Purdue could win it all, and they will need to have great performances down the stretch to get into position for the NCAA Tournament. I'm betting on them to sort things out and dominate again.

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