THE LUTE OLSON AWARD

Top 10 Individual College Basketball Seasons of the Decade

Even in hindsight, weighing historic greatness can be quite tricky. There are lots of memorable individual seasons and stars over the last decades, but there’s no defined way to determine value. Everyone's memory also works differently with time, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create an all-decade team honoring players who have had the best college careers. The group includes:

1.      Anthony Davis (2011/2012) – Kentucky

With superb coordination and length, Anthony Davis made WV online sports betting worth it during his short stay at Kentucky. He supported the team with a solid, defensive backbone that saw them finish with a brilliant record of 38 wins and only two losses. The Wildcats had plenty of talent, though Davis was the glue holding the team together.

2.      Kemba Walker (2010/2011) – UConn

Walker’s final third during his junior year at UConn is today hailed as the stuff of legends. The Huskies struggled to achieve a 9-9 conference mark, relying mainly on a couple of underclassmen supporting their star. The shifty junior guard surprisingly took the team to eleven consecutive wins and ultimately, the NCAA championship.

3.      Zion Williamson (2018/2019) – Duke

Williamson’s stay at Duke gave the most statistically dominant season in the modern era. The college player isn’t well appreciated currently, but it’s safe to say that he was a force like never seen before. His player highlights an inhuman mix of explosiveness, strength, and touch that delivers an infectious joy.

4.      Frank Kaminsky (2014/2015) – Wisconsin

For Frank Kaminsky, his senior year was legendary, mainly made impressive by the fact Wisconsin operated at a languid pace. During this year, the badgers recorded the highest adjusted efficiency on the offense, taking tournament titles and the Big Ten regular season. Kaminsky was a late bloomer, but he peaked in full to dominate inside the paint.

5.      Jahlil Okafor (2014/2015) – Duke

With an impressive dominance on the interior, Okafor is the offensive fulcrum and centerpiece if Duke’s award-winning team. Statistically, he doesn’t hold up like others on the list, though his individual efficiency gives him some leeway.

6.      Buddy Hield (2015/2016) – Oklahoma

As a senior, Hield came out as a full-blown star, demonstrating massive improvement in accuracy and recording one of the best shooting seasons. Hield portrayed a lethal blend of high volume and high efficiency at an unwitnessed level on College basketball.

7.      Doug McDermott (2013/2014) – Creighton

Doug’s final season in college serves as the apex of his outstanding career, winning Player of the Year after being the nation's best in scoring. His historic efficiency and consistency made him one of the biggest stars in college basketball, scoring over 20 points in all games except five.

8.      Denzel Valentine (2015/2016) – Michigan State

Denzel Valentine boasts of being the only college player to average 19 points, seven assists, and seven rebounds in a single season since assists started being tracked. Denzel didn’t add much in the defense, but he added a considerable workload for Michigan State Spartans.

9.      Jimmer Fredette (2010/2011) – BYU

Averaging 30 points per game, Jimmer became a national story for his scoring outbursts. Despite battling double-teams and junk defenses all season, he remained under 20 points only three times in the whole season, reaching his peak with a 52-point explosion.

10.  Trae Young (2017/2018) – Oklahoma

Trae Young led the nation in assists and scoring per game, especially as a freshman and when playing in the Big 12. He carried his workload with dazzling individual play, earning a spot on the Oklahoma roster. His insane production and amazing playmaking will be remembered for decades.

The Lute Olson Award is presented annually to the nation's top Division I player.
 
The award is named in honor of Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson, who won 776 games in 34 seasons, 24 of which were spent at the University of Arizona. During that stretch he led the Wildcats to 11 Pac-10 Conference titles, 23 consecutive NCAA Tournaments, four Final Four appearances and a National Championship in 1997.
 
Olson is one of just 25 head coaches in NCAA history to win 700 or more games (all divisions) and ranks ninth on the Division I career victories list. He finished with a winning percentage of .731 and is the all-time winningest coach in Arizona history with 587-190 record (.755). He was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year seven times. Olson also guided Arizona to 20 consecutive 20-win seasons, and is one of only three coaches in NCAA history to record 29 or more 20-win seasons.
 
In 2002, Olson was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
 
The recipient of of the 2021 award will be announced on April 1.
 

The Lute Olson award committee is a 30 member panel, consisting of five current division I head coaches, five retired head coaches, 10 current athletic directors and/or conference administrators, five members of the national media and five collegeinsider.com staff members. 
 
RULES AND CRITERIA
 
The Lute Olson award is presented annually to the top division I player as voted on by the award committee. 
 
SCHEDULE OF RELEASES
 
November: Preseason Watch List announced
January: Mid-Season Watch List announced
March: Finalists announced
April 2: Lute Olson National Player of the Year announced
 
AWARD PRESENTATION
 
The recipients of the 17 national awards, presented by CollegeInsider.com, are announced annually at the site of the NCAA men’s division I basketball championship.
 
The recipient of the 2018 Lute Olson award will be announced on April 2 in San Antonio, site of the Men's NCAA Basketball Championship.
 
 
 

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