The college basketball season officially closed out tonight with the sport’s top coaches, players (past and present) and Hollywood stars all gathering at The College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s televised live on ESPN2 from The Novo by Microsoft at L.A. Live. Eight prestigious, end-of-season awards were presented to the game’s best and brightest during the 90-minute telecast.
Hosted by ESPN’s Rece Davis, Jay Bilas, Seth Greenberg and Jay Williams with reporter Molly McGrath, the celebratory special reviewed the season’s highlights and saw appearances by actors Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory) and Danny Pudi (Community) and former Wooden Award winners TJ Ford and Ralph Sampson. In addition, the night took aim at some ‘dramedy’ with a visit to ABC’s General Hospital by Villanova’s Josh Hart, South Carolina’s A’ja Wilson and Molly McGrath.
The College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s – in coordination with the Los Angeles Athletic Club and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame – included the exclusive presentation of the John R. Wooden Award Men’s Player of the Year Presented by Wendy’s, John R. Wooden Award Women’s Player of the Year Presented by Wendy’s, as well as the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award Presented by College of the Holy Cross and four positional honors created and managed by the Basketball Hall of Fame: Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award, Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award, Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award. Previously announced 2017 Wooden Legends of Coaching Award and newly named Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw, took the stage after a heartfelt introduction by former standout player from her 2001 national championship-winning team, Ruth Riley.
- Kansas’ Frank Mason III earned both the John R. Wooden Men’s Player of the Year Award and the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award in a year that saw him become the first player in Big 12 history to average 20.0 points and 5.0 assists for a season.
- Kelsey Plum of Washington was named the John R. Wooden Women’s Player of the Year in a season that saw her break NCAA records for most career points scored (3,527), most points scored in a single season (1,109) and most career free throws made (912).
College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s Winners (in bold)
John R. Wooden Award Men’s Player of the Year Presented by Wendy’s
Lonzo Ball (UCLA)
John R. Wooden Award Women’s Player of the Year Presented by Wendy’s
Napheesa Collier (UConn)
John R. Wooden Award Legends of Coaching
Muffet McGraw (Notre Dame)