Anyone that has been paying attention to college basketball this year had heard the name of Oklahoma star Buddy Hield. The senior sensation has been averaging 50 percent from the field equating to an average of 25 points a game. The senior has been at Oklahoma for all four years of his career increasing his numbers every year. This year has been his best by far he has made tough shots and made smart decisions when it has come down to crunch time. But is this guy worth all of they hype? Hield is up for the wooden player of the year award and is most likely going to win. His main rival for this award is Denzel Valentine of Michigan State who statistically has average two more rebounds and five more assists per game than Hield. Valentine’s field goal percentage also hovers around fifty percent for the season and he averages 19.7 points per game. Valentine is also a senior and has missed some time this season do to injury.
Hield is a great player and is pretty much the only player on the Oklahoma Sooners that has the capabilities of carrying that team to a tournament run that could lead to the elite eight. The problem with only having one player is the same as the one Iowa faces with Jordan Uthoff. This makes the team way too one dimensional and easy to defend. But, Buddy Hield has proven to be unstoppable this season at times. He has also been shut down by some defenses this season as well. Kansas State upset them way back when they were still ranked number one in the AP poll. Kansas State did so by shutting down Hield and forcing the rest of the team to put up the points causing them to come up short. Hield is a great player but definitely is not the player of the year statistically. Valentine is the player that deserves that honor but will likely miss out on it because of losing time with his injury. Valentine is a much more complete player than Hield and has been for their entire careers. All four years that these players have been in the NCAA they have been good players but this year they have been great players. Their senior leadership and experience has shaped them into experienced players that are prepared for the NBA.
However, Valentine to me is more of a LeBron James type of player that can do anything and everything that you throw at them where as Hield is more of a Kobe Bryant or Stephen Curry type of player. Hield is great at driving the lane and putting up points but he is not the complete package. Therefore, if I were to pick a player that deserved to get the wooden award it would be Valentine. He’s the more complete player that might have lower points per game, but is one of the best in the nation in almost every other category.