John R. Wooden Award Announces 2015-16 Midseason Top 20 List



John R. Wooden Award Announces 2015-16 Midseason Top 20 List

JOHN R. WOODEN AWARD RELEASES 

WOMEN’S MIDSEASON TOP 20 LIST

 

LOS ANGELES (January 15, 2016) – The Los Angeles Athletic Club has announced its John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 20 today at noon EST on ESPNW. Chosen by a poll of national college basketball experts, the list is comprised of 20 student-athletes who are the frontrunners for the sport’s most prestigious individual honor, based on their performances during the first half of the 2015-2016 season.

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The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2016 John R. Wooden Award.  In early February, the Late Season Top 20 list will be announced. 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 have made the ballots that are not on the preseason or midseason lists. Voters are permitted to take into consideration the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament when casting the ballot. The five-woman Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament.

 

On the 2016 Wooden Award Midseason Top 20 list, one team, Connecticut, had three players selected:  Breanna Stewart (2015 John R. Wooden Award winner), Morgan Tuck and Moriah Jefferson.  Three schools boasted two considerations each: Maryland (Brionna Jones and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough), Ohio State (Ameryst Alston and Kelsey Mitchell) and South Carolina (Tiffany Mitchell and A’ja Wilson). Only one player not on the Preseason Top 30 was named to the Midseason Top 20: Rachel Benham of Minnesota.

 

In terms of conferences, the Big Ten leads the way with seven selections, followed by The American and SEC with four; the ACC and Pac-12 with two; and the Big 12 with one selection.

 

The 40th annual presentation of the John R. Wooden Award will be the anchor presentation of the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show presented by Wendy’s. The men’s and women’s Wooden All-American Teams will be honored during the ceremony, as well as the 2016 Legends of Coaching Award, which will be presented to Tubby Smith, Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Texas Tech. The event will take place the weekend of April 7-9, 2016.

  

Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award program features the most prestigious individual honors in college basketball. The Wooden Award Trophy 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 while maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. The unique Wooden Award trophy is presented to a man and woman each year. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird (‘79), Michael Jordan (‘84), Tim Duncan (‘97), Candace Parker (‘07 and ‘08), Kevin Durant (‘09), Maya Moore (‘09 and ‘11), Trey Burke (‘13) and Doug McDermott (‘14). Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky won the 2015 Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s and Breanna Stewart of Connecticut won the 2015 Wooden Award.

 

Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed close to a million dollars to the general scholarship fund of the honoree’s University in the name of the All-American recipient. The Award has also enabled more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long basketball camps in the Award’s name. 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 takes place at the Los Angeles Athletic Club the weekend of the John R. Wooden Award presentation, and brings together Special Olympics athletes and the Wooden Award All-Americans.

 

Fans can follow the candidates en route to the Wooden Award presentation and get the latest news throughout the season by liking the Wooden Award Facebook page or following @WoodenAward on Twitter and Instagram. For more information on the John R. Wooden Award, please contact Ernest Baskerville at 213-630-5231 or via email at woodenaward@laac.net.

 

 

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2015-16 John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 20 List, Women

 

Name

Height

Class

Position

School

Conference

Jillian Alleyne

6-3

Sr.

F

Oregon

Pac-12

Ameryst Alston

5-9

Sr.

G

Ohio State

Big Ten

Rachel Banham

5-9

Sr.

G

Minnesota

Big Ten

Nia Coffey

6-1

Jr.

F

Northwestern

Big Ten

Nina Davis#

5-11

Jr.

F

Baylor

Big-12

Diamond DeShields

6-1

Soph.

G

Tennessee

SEC

Moriah Jefferson

5-7

Sr.

G

Connecticut

The American

Brionna Jones

6-3

Jr.

C

Maryland

Big Ten

Kelsey Mitchell

5-8

Soph.

G

Ohio State

Big Ten

Tiffany Mitchell#

5-9

Sr.

G

South Carolina

SEC

Kelsey Plum

5-8

Jr.

G

Washington

Pac-12

Aerial Powers

6-0

Jr.

F

Michigan State

Big Ten

Azurá Stevens

6-6

Soph.

F/G

Duke

ACC

Breanna Stewart*#

6-4

Sr.

F

Connecticut

The American

Morgan Tuck

6-2

Jr.

F

Connecticut

American

Brianna Turner

6-3

Soph.

F

Notre Dame

ACC

Victoria Vivians

6-1

Soph.

F

Mississippi State

SEC

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough

5-11

Jr.

G

Maryland

Big Ten

Courtney Williams

5-8

Sr.

G

South Florida

The American

A’ja Wilson

6-5

Soph.

F

South Carolina

SEC


*indicates player selected as 2014-15 Wooden Award Player of the Year

# indicates player selected to the 2014-15 Wooden Award All American Team

 


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