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.

Wooden Award Preseason Watch List
Pos. Name Class School
F Tim Abromaitis Sr. Notre Dame
F Harrison Barnes So. North Carolina
G Will Barton So. Memphis
G Dee Bost Sr. Mississippi State
G William Buford Sr. Ohio State
G Allen Crabbe So. California
G Arron Craft So. Ohio State
G Marcus Denmon Sr. Missouri
C Festus Ezeli Sr. Vanderbilt
G Ashton Gibbs Sr. Pittsburg
F Michael Glover Sr. Iona
F Drew Gordon Sr. New Mexico
F Draymond Green Sr. Michigan State
F JaMychal Green Sr. Alabama
G Jorge Gutierrez Sr. California
G Tim Hardaway Jr. So. Michigan
F Elias Garris Jr. Gonzaga
F John Henson Jr. North Carolina
G Tu Holloway Sr. Xavier
F Robbie Hummel Sr. Purdue
G Joe Jackson So. Memphis
G Scoop Jardine Sr. Syracuse
G John Jenkins Jr. Vanderbilt
G Orlando Johnson Sr. UC-Santa Barbara
G Darius Johnson-Odom Sr. Marquette
F Kevin Jones Sr. West Virginia
F Terrence Jones So. Kentucky
F Perry Jones III So. Baylor
F Kris Joseph Sr. Syracuse
G Jeremy Lamb So. Connecticut
G Kendall Marshall So. North Carolina
F Trevor Mbakwe Sr. Minnesota
G Ray McCallum So. Detroit
F Doug McDermott So. Creighton
F Khris Middleton Jr. Texas A&M
F Reeves Nelson Jr. UCLA
F Andrew Nicholson Sr. St. Bonaventure
C Alex Oriakhi Jr. Connecticut
F Thomas Robinson Jr. Kansas
F John Shurna Sr. Northwestern
G Peyton Siva Jr. Louisville
C Joshua Smith So. UCLA
C Jared Sullinger So. Ohio State
G/F Jeffery Taylor Sr. Vanderbilt
G Jordan Taylor Sr. Wisconsin
G Casper Ware Sr. Long Beach State
G Maalik Wayns Jr. Villanova
F Keith Wright Sr. Harvard
F/C Patric Young So. Florida
F Tyler Zeller Sr. North Carolina

Information compiled from athletic department websites.