LOS ANGELES — The John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 watch list was released on Monday afternoon by The Los Angeles Athletic Club.
Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball media members, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who, based on last year’s individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketball’s most prestigious honor.
The award has been presented annually since 1977 to the outstanding college basketball player in the United States. A player’s performance in the regular season, conference tournaments and postseason is taken into account by voters, as is the player’s character.
Transfers, freshmen and medical redshirts are not eligible for the Preseason list. The players on the Preseason list are considered strong candidates for the Midseason list and the official voting ballot, both of which are open to freshman and transfer students.
The National Ballot consists of approximately 20 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The Wooden Award All-American Team, consisting of the nation’s top 10 players, will be announced the week of the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament.
For the first time, a school had four players chosen to the Preseason Top 50 when North Carolina returnees Harrison Barnes, John Henson, Kendall Marshall and Tyler Zeller were selected. Ohio State (Jared Sullinger, William Buford and Aaron Craft) and Vanderbilt (Festus Ezeli, John Jenkins and Jeffery Taylor) had three players chosen apiece. Six schools, all perennial top programs at the national level, each had two players named to the Preseason List — California, Connecticut, Memphis, Syracuse, and UCLA.
Nineteen of the 50 players were from two conferences, the Big East (10) and Big Ten (nine). The SEC had seven players chosen, followed by the ACC, Big 12, and Pac-12 each with four; and the Atlantic 10, Big West and Conference USA with two each. Conferences with one player named included the Horizon League, Ivy League, MAAC, Missouri Valley, Mountain West and WCC.
The 36th annual Wooden Award ceremony marks the 25th anniversary of the selection of the Naval Academy’s David Robinson as the Wooden Award winner. The 2012 event will honor the Men’s and Women’s Wooden Award winners, and will include the presentation of the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award. It is scheduled to take place the weekend of April 6-8, 2012.
|F||Tim Abromaitis||Sr.||Notre Dame|
|F||Harrison Barnes||So.||North Carolina|
|G||Dee Bost||Sr.||Mississippi State|
|G||William Buford||Sr.||Ohio State|
|G||Arron Craft||So.||Ohio State|
|F||Drew Gordon||Sr.||New Mexico|
|F||Draymond Green||Sr.||Michigan State|
|G||Tim Hardaway Jr.||So.||Michigan|
|F||John Henson||Jr.||North Carolina|
|G||Orlando Johnson||Sr.||UC-Santa Barbara|
|F||Kevin Jones||Sr.||West Virginia|
|F||Perry Jones III||So.||Baylor|
|G||Kendall Marshall||So.||North Carolina|
|F||Khris Middleton||Jr.||Texas A&M|
|F||Andrew Nicholson||Sr.||St. Bonaventure|
|C||Jared Sullinger||So.||Ohio State|
|G||Casper Ware||Sr.||Long Beach State|
|F||Tyler Zeller||Sr.||North Carolina|
Information compiled from athletic department websites.