LOS ANGELES (October 24, 2007) The top 50 preseason candidates for the Mens 2007-08 John R. Wooden Award, the nations most coveted college basketball award, were announced today by The Los Angeles Athletic Clubs Wooden Award Committee (see attached). The Award is named for the three-time college basketball All American, 1932 Player of the Year and ten-time national championship coach at UCLA.
The committee had a tough time deciding on just 50 candidates, with so many returning talented players across the country, said Duke Llewellyn, Wooden Award chairman. Some teams even had several worthy candidates. Our team at the John R. Wooden Award is excited to see the best players in the nation compete against each other all season, as they vie to be named college basketballs player of the year.
Two returning Wooden All-Americans made the list, center Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina and Kansas guard Brandon Rush. Five schools had two players on the list: UCLA (Darren Collison, Josh Shipp), North Carolina (Hansbrough, Ty Lawson), Kansas (Mario Chalmers, Rush), Washington State (Derrick Low, Kyle Weaver), Georgetown (Roy Hibbert, Johnathan Wallace). More than 100 players received at least one vote.
Hansbrough averages 18.6 points per game for his career and reached the 1,000-point plateau as a sophomore last year. A 6-6 guard, Rush led the Jayhawks in scoring the last two seasons. Georgetowns pair of candidates played in last years Final Four, as did UCLAs duo.
The list is composed of 50 student athletes who, based on last years individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketballs most coveted trophy. These top 50 candidates are comprised of returning players. Transfers, freshmen, and medical redshirts are not eligible for this preseason list, but will be evaluated and considered for both the Midseason Top 30 list and the National Ballot. Players not on the preseason list are eligible for the midseason top 30 and ballot. Last year, Kevin Durant of the University of Texas was the first freshman to win the Wooden Award.
A total of 16 NCAA conferences are represented. The Pac-10 leads the way with 10 Wooden Award All American team candidates. Other conferences include the Big East (eight players), the ACC (seven players), the Big 12 (six players), the SEC (five players), the Big Ten (two players), the Sun Belt (two players), Western Athletic (two players), Conference USA (one player), Southern Conference (one player), the Sun Belt (one player), the Horizon League (one player), the Colonial Athletic Association (one player), the Big South (one player), West Coast (one player) and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (one player).
In January, the Wooden Award committee will release the Midseason Top 30 list, followed by the distribution of the National Ballot to more than 1,000 voters in early March. The 10-player Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the Tuesday after the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament is completed.www.WoodenAward.comWooden Award Preseason All-American Team Top 50 Candidates
Jeff Adrien 6-7 F Jr. Connecticut
Ryan Anderson 6-10 F So. California
D.J. Augustin 6-10 G So. Texas
Patrick Beverley 6-1 G So. Arkansas
Jon Brockman 6-7 F Jr. Washington
Chase Budinger 6-7 F So. Arizona
Jaycee Carroll 6-2 G Sr. Utah State
Mario Chalmers 6-1 G Jr. Kansas
Darren Collison 6-1 G Jr. UCLA
Brandon Costner 6-9 F So. NC State
Stephen Curry 6-0 G So. Davidson
Eric Devendorf 6-4 G Jr. Syracuse
Chris Douglas-Roberts 6-6 G Jr. Memphis
Randal Falkner 6-7 F Sr. Southern Illinois
Shan Foster 6-6 G/F Sr. Vanderbilt
Taj Gibson 6-9 F So USC
James Gist 6-8 F Sr. Maryland
Jamont Gordon 6-4 G/F Jr. Mississippi State
Kentrell Gransberry 6-9 C Sr. So. Florida
A.J. Graves 6-1 G Sr. Butler
Malik Hairston 6-6 G Jr Oregon
Tyler Hansbrough* 6-9 F Jr. North Carolina
Richard Hendrix 6-8 F Jr. Alabama
Roy Hibbert 7-2 C Sr. Georgetown
Dominic James 5-11 G Jr. Marquette
Joseph Jones 6-9 F/C Sr. Texas A&M
Marcelus Kemp 6-5 G Sr. Nevada
Tywon Lawson 5-11 G So. North Carolina
Courtney Lee 6-5 G/F Sr. Western Kentucky
Chris Lofton 6-2 G Sr. Tennessee
Derrick Low 6-2 G Sr. Washington State
Aleks Maric 6-11 C Sr. Nebraska
Eric Maynor 6-2 G Jr. VCU
Bo McCalebb 6-0 G Sr. New Orleans
Drew Neitzel 6-0 G Sr. Michigan State
DeMarcus Nelson 6-4 G Sr. Duke
Jeremy Pargo 6-2 G Jr. Gonzaga
Jeff Pendergraph 6-9 F Jr. Arizona State
Scottie Reynolds 6-2 G So. Villanova
Tyrese Rice 6-1 G Jr. Boston College
Brandon Rush* 6-6 G Jr. Kansas
Josh Shipp 6-5 F Jr. UCLA
Sean Singletary 6-0 G Sr. Virginia
Jason Thompson 6-11 F Sr. Rider
Jonathan Wallace 6-1 G Sr. Georgetown
Kyle Weaver 6-6 G Sr. Washington State
D.J. White 6-9 F Sr. Indiana
Reggie Williams 6-5 F Sr. VMI
Terrence Williams 6-6 F Jr. Louisville
Martin Zeno 6-5 G Sr. Texas Tech
* Indicates player was a 2006-07 Wooden Award All-American.