Jock Landale is having one huge season for the Saint Mary's. In leading the Gaels in scoring and rebounding, the 6'11 centre has been recognised for his outstanding play by being named to the 2018 John R Wooden Award mid-season Top 25.
In being named to just one of the Top 25 players across Division I basketball, Landale joins some elite company. The country's leading scorer and assists man, Oklahoma's Trae Young headlines the list, while Duke's Grayson Allen, and Villanova's Jalen Brunson among others, are all there.
Landale is arguably the best centre in college basketball right now, and is joined by Seton Hall's Angel Delgado as one of only two centres named on the list.
The Melburnian has been an almost unstoppable force in the paint so far this season, averaging a double-double that comprises of a career-best 21.3 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, while also shooting an impressive 63.8% from the field. He leads his team and the West Coast Conference in points, rebounds, field-goal percentage, offensive rebounds (3.4), defensive rebounds (6.8), double-doubles (10) and total field-goals made (143).
He boasts a season-high of 37 points against Sacramento State, has scored 30 or more points three times, and 20 or more in an impressive 11 games.
Landale was also this week named Hero Sports’ Mid-Major Mid-season Player of the Year, and this latest recognition is unlikely to be the last this season. The Victorian was also named on the pre-season watch list for a number of prestigious awards, including the Citizen Naismith Trophy, Lou Henson Watch List, Lute Olson Watch List, Oscar Robertson Watch List and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Watch List.
Established in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball and awarded to the nation’s best basketball player at an NCAA Division I university who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress towards graduation and maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include Larry Bird (1979), Michael Jordan (’1984), Tim Duncan (1997), Kevin Durant (2007) and Blake Griffin (2009). Australia boasts one previous winner of the award, with Andrew Bogut earning the honour back in 2005 for Utah on his way to becoming the number 1 pic in the 2005 NBA Draft.
If Landale can maintain his ominous form, we will not be hearing the last of his name called out as an award recipient this season.