Wooden Award Releases Preseason Top 50 List

    
October 3rd, 2011
Los Angeles (October 3, 2011)- The Los Angeles Athletic Club has announced its Preseason Top 50 list today on ESPN.com. 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.

Ohio State sophomore forward Jared Sullinger was a Wooden Award All American and finalist a year ago after averaging 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds before opting to return to Columbus for a second season. "The decision made by the Sullinger family, who we enjoyed hosting last year at the Wooden Award, exemplifies Coach Wooden's ideas of the importance of education," said Los Angeles Athletic Club President Steve Hathaway. "Coach Wooden would have been so pleased to see so many fine players return to college basketball this year. I expect a competitive year for the Award in 2012."

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.

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 will take place the weekend of April 6-8, 2012.

For the first time, a school had four players chosen to the Preseason Top 50 when North Carolina returners Harrison Barnes, John Henson, Kendall Marshall and Tyler Zeller were selected. Ohio State (Sullinger, William Buford and Aaron Craft) and Vanderbilt (Festus Ezeli, John Jenkins and Jeffery Taylor) had three players chosen:. Six schools, all perennial top programs at the national level, had two players named to the Preseason List: California (Jorge Gutierrez, Allen Crabbe); Connecticut (Jeremy Lamb, Alex Oriakhi); Memphis (Will Barton, Joe Jackson); Syracuse (Scoop Jardine, Kris Joseph); and UCLA (Reeves Nelson, Joshua Smith).

Nineteen of the 50 players named were from two conferences, the Big East (10) and Big Ten (9). 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 players named include the Horizon League, Ivy League, MAAC, Missouri Valley, Mountain West and WCC.
About the John R. Wooden Award

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 player at an institution of higher education who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird ('79), Michael Jordan ('84), Tim Duncan ('97), Candace Parker ('07 and '08) and Maya Moore of Connecticut ('09 and ‘11). BYU's Jimmer Fredette won the men's Award in 2011.

Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed close to a million dollars to universities' general scholarship fund in the names of the All American recipients. The Award has also sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps in the Award's name. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament, which brings together Special Olympic athletes and the All Americans, takes place at The Los Angeles Athletic Club the weekend of the John R. Wooden Award Ceremony.

Follow the candidates and get the latest news throughout the season by logging on to www.WoodenAward.com or going to the Wooden Award facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/WoodenAward.

2011-12 John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 List, Men

Name Height Class Position University Conference
Tim Abromaitis 6-8 GS F Notre Dame Big East
Harrison Barnes 6-8 So. F North Carolina ACC
Will Barton 6-6 So. G Memphis Conference USA
Dee Bost 6-2 Sr. G Mississippi State SEC
William Buford 6-5 Sr. G Ohio State Big Ten
Allen Crabbe 6-6 So. G California Pac-12
Aaron Craft 6-2 So. G Ohio State Big Ten
Marcus Denmon 6-3 Sr. G Missouri Big 12
Festus Ezeli 6-11 Sr. C Vanderbilt SEC
Ashton Gibbs 6-2 Sr. G Pitt Big East
Michael Glover 6-7 Sr. F Iona MAAC
Drew Gordon 6-9 Sr. F New Mexico Mountain West
Draymond Green 6-7 Sr. F Michigan State Big Ten
JaMychal Green 6-8 Sr. F Alabama SEC
Jorge Gutierrez 6-3 Sr. G California? Pac-12
Tim Hardaway, Jr. 6-5 So. G Michigan Big TenElias Harris 6-7 Jr. F Gonzaga WCC
John Henson 6-11Jr. F North Carolina ACC
Tu Holloway 6-0 Sr. G Xavier Atlantic 10
Robbie Hummel 6-8 Sr. F Purdue Big Ten
Joe Jackson 6-1 So. G Memphis Conference USA
Scoop Jardine 6-2 Sr. G Syracuse Big East
John Jenkins 6-3 Jr. G Vanderbilt SEC
Orlando Johnson 6-5 Sr. G UCSB Big West
Darius Johnson-Odom 6-2 Sr. G Marquette Big East
Kevin Jones 6-8 Sr. F West Virginia Big East
Terrence Jones 6-8 So. F Kentucky SEC
Perry Jones III 6-11 So. F Baylor Big 12
Kris Joseph 6-7 Sr. F Syracuse Big East
Jeremy Lamb 6-5 So. G Connecticut Big East
Kendall Marshall 6-4 So. G North Carolina ACC
Trevor Mbakwe 6-8 Sr. F Minnesota Big Ten
Ray McCallum 6-1 So. G Detroit Horizon League
Doug McDermott 6-7 So. F Creighton Missouri Valley
Khris Middleton 6-7 Jr. F Texas A&M Big 12
Reeves Nelson 6-8 Jr. F UCLA Pac-12
Andrew Nicholson 6-9 Sr. F St. Bonaventure Atlantic 10
Alex Oriakhi 6-9 Jr. C Connecticut Big East
Thomas Robinson 6-9 Jr. F Kansas Big 12
John Shurna 6-9 Sr. F Northwestern Big Ten
Peyton Siva 6-0 Jr. G Louisville Big East
Joshua Smith 6-10 So. C UCLA Pac-12
Jared Sullinger* 6-9 So. C Ohio State Big Ten
Jeffery Taylor 6-7 Sr. G/F Vanderbilt SEC
Jordan Taylor 6-1 Sr. G Wisconsin Big Ten
Casper Ware 5-10 Sr. G Long Beach State Big West
Maalik Wayns 6-2 Jr. GVillanova Big East
Keith Wright 6-8 Sr. F Harvard Ivy League
Patric Young 6-9 So. F/C Florida SEC
Tyler Zeller 7-0 Sr. F North Carolina ACC

- Players listed alphabetically *indicates player chosen to the 2011 Wooden All American Team GS: Graduate Student
- Based on a preseason poll. Award winner honored April 6, 2012 at The Los Angeles Athletic Club.