Los Angeles (January 14, 2015)— The Los Angeles Athletic Club has announced its Midseason Top 25 today on ESPN's SportsCenter and on ESPN.com. Chosen by a poll of national college basketball experts, the list is comprised of 25 student-athletes who are the frontrunners for the sport’s most prestigious individual honor based on their performances during the first half of the 2014-15 season.
The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2015 John R. Wooden Award Presented by Wendy’s. The leading candidates will be further pared to 20 top players in early February. Fifteen 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 will be submitted to the voters on the ballot prior to the NCAA Tournament. Every year, players make the ballot who are not on the preseason or midseason lists. Voting will take into consideration the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament. The Wooden Award All American Team will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament.
Five freshmen were named to the list: Stanley Johnson of Arizona, a two-time high school Wooden Award winner; Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor of Duke; D’Angelo Russell of Ohio State; and Melo Trimble of Maryland. Duke (Jones, Okafor), Gonzaga (Kevin Pangos, Kyle Wiltjer), and Louisville (Montrezl Harrell, Terry Rozier) each with two players chosen to the Midseason Top 25.
In terms of conferences, the ACC leads the way with six picks, followed by the Big Ten with four; the SEC, Pac-12, Big 12 and WCC with three each; and The American, Big East, and Missouri Valley each with one selection.
The 39th annual Wooden Award ceremony 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, which in 2015 will go to San Diego State Head Men’s Basketball Coach Steve Fisher. The event will take place the weekend of April 10-12, 2015.
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), Kevin Durant (’09) and Maya Moore of Connecticut (’09 and ‘11). Creighton’s Doug McDermott won the 2014 Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s.
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 going to the Wooden Award facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/WoodenAward or twitter feed @WoodenAward. For more information on the John R. Wooden Award, please contact the Wooden Award staff at 213-630-5231 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Ron Baker||Wichita State||Missouri Valley||6-4||JR||G|
|Ryan Boatright||Connecticut||The American||6-0||SR||G|
|Yogi Ferrell||Indiana||Big Ten||6-0||JR||G|
|Jerian Grant||Notre Dame||ACC||6-5||SR||G|
|D'Angelo Harrison||St. John's||Big East||6-4||SR||G|
|Buddy Hield||Oklahoma||Big 12||6-4||JR||G|
|Frank Kaminsky||Wisconsin||Big Ten||7-0||SR||F|
|Georges Niang||Iowa State||Big 12||6-8||JR||F|
|D'Angelo Russell||Ohio State||Big Ten||6-5||FR||G|
|Juwan Staten||West Virginia||Big 12||6-1||SR||G|
|Melo Trimble||Maryland||Big Ten||6-3||FR||G|