LOS ANGELES, CA — The Los Angeles Athletic Club has announced its John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s Late Season Top 20 on ESPNU. Chosen by a poll of national college basketball experts based on their performances during the first half of the 2017-18 season, the list comprises of 20 student-athletes who are currently the front-runners for the sport’s most prestigious honor and the John R. Wooden Award All America Team.
After not appearing on either the men’s Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 or the Midseason Top 25, three players make their debut on the Wooden Watch on the Late Season Top 20: Keita Bates-Diop of Ohio State, Carsen Edwards of Purdue and Keenan Evans of Texas Tech. Preseason Top 50 nominee Vincent Edwards of Purdue returns to the Wooden Watch after not appearing on the Midseason Top 25. Three schools have two players chosen on the list: Arizona (Deandre Ayton and Allonzo Trier), Purdue (Edwards and Edwards), and Villanova (Mikal Bridges and Jalen Brunson).
The Big 12 leads all conferences with five selections; followed by the Big East and Big Ten with four apiece, the Pac-12 with three; the ACC with two; and the SEC and WCC with one selection apiece.Players not appearing on this list are still eligible for the National Ballot, which will be announced in early March and will consist of 15 top players. Prior to being listed on the National Ballot, each player must be certified by their university to meet the qualifications for the Award, including: candidates must be a full-time student making progress toward graduation and have a cumulative 2.00 grade point average since enrolling in their school; candidates must exhibit strength of character, both on and off the court; candidates should contribute to team effort; candidates must excel in both offense and defense; and candidates should be considered based on their performance over the course of the entire season. Players not listed on the National Ballot will no longer be eligible for the Wooden Award nor the John R. Wooden Award All America Team. Voting begins at the end of the season, and voters, consisting of 1,000 members of the national college basketball media, will take into account the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
About the John R. Wooden Award
The 42nd annual presentation of the John R. Wooden Award to men’s and women’s most outstanding basketball player will be the anchor presentation of the ESPN College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s on ESPN2 on Friday, April 6, 2018. The men’s and women’s John R. Wooden Award All American Teams will be honored during the ceremony, and the 2018 Wooden Award Legends of Coaching Trophy will be presented to Jay Wright, Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Villanova.
Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. It is bestowed upon 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 (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), Candace Parker (’07 & ’08), Maya Moore (’09 & ’11), and last year’s recipients, Kelsey Plum of Washington and Frank Mason III of Kansas.
Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed nearly one million dollars to the universities’ general scholarship fund in the names of the Wooden Award All American recipients and has sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with the Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament brings together Special Olympics athletes and Wooden Award All Americans and coaches in attendance. It is hosted at the Los Angeles Athletic Club during the John R. Wooden Award Weekend.
For up-to-date information on the Wooden Award, please go to www.woodenaward.com and follow the Wooden Award on Facebook and @WoodenAward on Twitter and Instagram.
|Marvin Bagley III||Duke||ACC||Fr.||Forward|
|Mohamed Bamba||Texas||Big 12||Fr.||Forward|
|Keita Bates-Diop||Ohio State||Big Ten||Jr.||Forward|
|Trevon Bluiett||Xavier||Big East||Sr.||Guard|
|Mikal Bridges||Villanova||Big East||Jr.||G/F|
|Miles Bridges||Michigan State||Big Ten||Soph.||G/F|
|Jalen Brunson||Villanova||Big East||Jr.||Guard|
|Jevon Carter||West Virginia||Big 12||Sr.||Guard|
|Carsen Edwards||Purdue||Big Ten||Soph.||Guard|
|Vincent Edwards||Purdue||Big Ten||Senior||Forward|
|Keenan Evans||Texas Tech||Big 12||Senior||Guard|
|Marcus Foster||Creighton||Big East||Sr.||Guard|
|Devonte' Graham||Kansas||Bg 12||Sr.||Guard|
|Tra Holder||Arizona State||Pac-12||Sr.||Guard|
|Jock Landale||Saint Mary's||WCC||Sr.||Center|
|Luke Maye||North Carolina||ACC||Jr.||Forward|
|Trae Young||Oklahoma||Big 12||Fr.||Guard|