- John Gasaway, ESPN Insider
Just two weeks ago I cast my vote for Victor Oladipo of Indiana in the Wooden Award race. As you are no doubt aware, the Wooden Award is "presented annually to the most outstanding collegiate basketball player in the United States."
"Outstanding" is a superlative -- but it's not the only one. "Most essential" is another. So too is "most important," or "most vital." And even if Oladipo does deserve the Wooden Award, the more I see of Georgetown star Otto Porter Jr., the more I'm convinced that the sophomore has earned all those other superlatives.
Anyone who saw the 6-foot-8 Porter single-handedly destroy Syracuse in the Carrier Dome with his 33-point explosion is aware of what he can do. And given that the Hoyas won that game against the Orange 57-46, it's not a reach to say that a star who scored 58 percent of Georgetown's points that day is absolutely and perhaps even uniquely essential to his team.
Porter's remarkable season -- one that has the NBA counting the days until the draft -- needs to be seen in the context of his team. And the context of Georgetown, at the risk of oversimplifying, is that the Hoyas don't have a Cody Zeller to Porter's Oladipo. There is no player in Division I whose loss would be more devastating to his team.
(You can see Porter and the Hoyas in action Wednesday night against Villanova -- 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2).