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  • Iowa’s Luka Garza dominated the 2020-21 college basketball season, sweeping the major individual awards
  • Also the preseason favorite, Garza averaged 24.1 points and 8.7 rebounds per game
  • See how the odds moved over the course of the 2020-21 season

The 2020-21 college basketball season was unlike any other due to the impacts of COVID-19. But Luka Garza wasn’t slowed in the slightest, averaging over 24 points and nearly nine rebounds per game in a sensational season for the Iowa Hawkeyes.

The graphs and timeline below show how the odds to win basketball’s two major individual awards fluctuated during the 2020-21 season.

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2021 Wooden Award Top Contenders

Feb. 17: Garza improved from -1500 to -1733 with just a few weeks to go in the regular season.

Feb. 2: Another strong week from Jared Butler has improved his odds to +450. But Garza also improved from -1400 to -1500. Oddsmakers still see this as a one-horse race.

Jan. 26: Ayo Dosunmu, who had been the second-favorite since the odds opened, has faded to fourth at+1100, a steep decline from +650 last week.

Jan. 20: Baylor’s Jared Butler (+1500) was one of the few secondary contenders whose odds improved over the past week, as prohibitive favorite Luka Garza shortened to -750.

Jan. 12: Garza is now an even -500 while second-favorite Dosunmu has faded from +470 to +500.

Jan. 4: Corey Kispert (+900) has emerged as the leading candidate from the undefeated, top-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs.

Dec. 23: Gonzaga’s freshman point guard, Jalen Suggs, improved from +8000 to +825 since last week. He balled out against #3 Iowa, racking 27 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and three steals during a dominant 99-88 neutral-court victory.

Dec. 16: Anyone hoping for an interesting race will be disappointed with the early returns: Luka Garza shortened further, moving from -228 to -400.

Dec. 8: Iowa’s Luka Garza is a huge, odds-on favorite less than a  month into the season. His -228 odds carry an implied probability of 69.5%!

2021 Wooden Award Odds

Player Odds
Luka Garza (Iowa) -1733
Jared Butler (Baylor) +867
Ayo Dosunmu (Illinois) +1000
Corey Kispert (Gonzaga) +1967
Drew Timme (Gonzaga) +1967
Garrison Brooks (UNC) +5000
Mac McClung (Texas Tech) +5000
Sharife Cooper (Auburn) Collin Gillespie (Villanova) +5000
Trayce Jackson-Davis (Indiana) +7333
Isaiah Livers (Michigan) +7500
Matt Coleman III (Texas) +7500
Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State) +8000
D’Mitrik Trice (Wisconsin) +8300
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (Villanova) +9000
Colbey Ross (Pepperdine) +10000
 Jalen Crutcher (Dayton) +10000
Jalen Johnson (Duke) +10000
Javonte Smart (LSU) +10000
Marcus Garrett (Kansas) +10000

Odds as of February 17th, 2021.

2021 Naismith Top Contenders

Nov. 24: With the season set to begin Wednesday night, there’s been an infusion of upperclassmen into the race for Naismith, with Marcus Garrett of Kansas and Corey Kispert of Gonzaga vaulting into the top five at odds of +1000. Luka Garza and Ayo Dosunmu remain the top favorites.

Oct. 9: With upperclassmen returning and the season beginning November 25th, Iowa’s Luka Garza and Illinois’ Ayo Dosunmu are favorites at odds of +225, and +450, respectively.

June 17: Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham has opened as the +300 favorite to win the 2020-21 Naismith Player of the Year award, while USC’s Evan Mobley is the other top contender at +950.

2021 Naismith Player of the Year Odds

Player Odds
Luka Garza (Iowa) +375
Ayo Dosunmu (Illinois) +500
Jared Butler (Baylor) +600
Marcus Garrett (Kansas) +1000
Corey Kispert (Gonzaga) +1000
Remy Martin (Arizona State) +1000
Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State) +1500
Joel Ayayi (Gonzaga) +2000
Marcus Zegarowski (Creighton) +2000
Kihei Clark (Virginia) +3000
Kofi Cockburn (Illinois) +3000
Collin Gillespie (Villanova) +3000
Ochai Agbaji (Kansas) +4000
Sam Hauser (Virginia) +4000
MaCio Teague (Baylor) +4000
McKinley Wright IV (Colorado) +4000
Garrison Brooks (UNC) +5000
Seth Towns (Ohio State) +5000
D’Mitrik Trice (Wisconsin) +4000

Odds as of November 24th.

Naismith Winners by Class

Williamson became just the third freshman to win the award last season, and Cole Anthony will look to become the fourth this year.

Naismith Winners by Position

Four of the first six Naismith Award recipients were centers, but that trend has changed in recent years as more schools have adopted small ball lineups. The last center to win the honor was Tim Duncan, who won by a landslide in 1997 during his senior season at Wake Forest.

Past College Basketball Player of the Year Winners

Wooden & Naismith Award Class Year
Obi Toppin (Dayton) sophomore 2020
Zion Williamson (Duke) freshman 2019
Jalen Brunson (Villanova) junior 2018
Frank Mason III (Kansas) senior 2017
Buddy Hield (Oklahoma) senior 2016
Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin) senior 2015
Doug McDermott (Creighton) senior 2014
Trey Burke (Michigan) sophomore 2013
Anthony Davis (Kentucky) freshman 2012
Jimmer Fredette (BYU) senior 2011
Evan Turner (Ohio State) junior 2010
Blake Griffin (Oklahoma,) sophomore 2009
Tyler Hansbrough (UNC) junior 2008
Kevin Durant (Texas) freshman 2007
JJ Redick (Duke) senior 2006
Andrew Bogut (Utah) sophomore 2005
Jameer Nelson (St. Joseph’s) senior 2004
TJ Ford (Texas) sophomore 2003
Jason Williams (Duke) junior 2002
Shane Battier (Duke) senior 2001
Kenyon Martin (Cincinnati) senior 2000

Obi Toppin dazzled voters and fans alike with his aerial prowess and double-double average before the COVID-19 shortened 2019-20 season.

Schools with the Most Naismith Winners

Mike Krzyzewski deserves plenty of credit for recruiting – and developing – talent. He coached all seven of Duke’s Naismith winners and helped shape the careers of more than a dozen Naismith semifinalists. His recent history of turning his talented puzzle pieces into more than a sum of their parts is rather shoddy, however.


Archived Naismith POY Odds: 2020