John R. Wooden Award Presented by Wendy’s Announces 2017-18 Preseason Top 30



John R. Wooden Award Presented by Wendy’s Announces 2017-18 Preseason Top 30

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (November 14, 2017) – The John R. Wooden Award® presented by Wendy’s® announced the Women’s Preseason Top 30 on ESPN’s SportsCenter and ESPNW. The list is comprised of 30 student-athletes who are the early front-runners for college basketball’s most prestigious honor. The list is chosen by a preseason poll of national women’s college basketball media members. 

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2017 Wooden Award™ All Americans Napheesa Collier of Connecticut, Kelsey Mitchell of Ohio State, Katie Lou Samuelson of Connecticut, and A’ja Wilson of South Carolina headline this year’s preseason Top 30 list. The list also highlights stars from the 2017 NCAA Tournament: Wilson of NCAA National Champion South Carolina; NCAA Runner Up Mississippi State’s Victoria Vivians and Morgan William; Baylor’s Kalani Brown; California’s Kristine Anigwe; Connecticut’s Collier, Kia Nurse, Samuelson, and Gabby Williams; Duke’s Lexie Brown and Rebecca Greenwell; Louisville’s Asia Durr and Myisha Hines-Allen; Marquette’s Allazia Blockton; Missouri’s Sophie Cunningham; Notre Dame’s Arike Ogunbowale; Ohio State’s Mitchell; Stanford’s Brittany McPhee, Tennessee’s Jaime Nared and Mercedes Russell; Texas’ Ariel Atkins and Brooke McCarty; UCLA’s Monique Billings and Jordin Canada; and West Virginia’s Tynice Martin.

 

Several universities boast multiple players on the list: Connecticut (Collier, Nurse, Samuelson, Azurá Stevens, and Williams) leads the honors with five selections, followed by Duke (Brown and Greenwell), Louisville (Durr and Hines-Allen), Mississippi State (Vivians and William), Oregon (Ruthy Hebard and Sabrina Ionescu), Tennessee (Nared and Russell), Texas (Atkins and McCarty), and UCLA (Billings and Canada) with two selections each.

 

Seven conferences are represented on the Wooden Award Preseason Top 30 list. The ACC, Pac-12, and SEC each have six selections, followed by The American (5), Big 12 (4), Big Ten (2), and Big East (1). Of the student-athletes selected for the Preseason Top 30 list, 28 of the 30 are upperclassmen, including 19 seniors. Similar to the 2016 Preseason Top 30, no freshman made the list.

 

The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2018 John R. Wooden Award Women’s Player of the Year presented by Wendy’s. Players not chosen to the preseason list are eligible for the Wooden Award midseason list, late season list and the National Ballot. The National Ballot consists of 15 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. Voting will open prior to the start of the NCAA Tournament and will allow voters to take into consideration performance during early round games. The Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament. The winner of the 2018 John R. Wooden Award will be presented during the ESPN College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s on Friday, April 6, 2018.

 

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 basketball player at an NCAA Division I university who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress towards graduation and maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), and last year’s recipients, Kelsey Plum of Washington and Frank Mason III of Kansas.

 

Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed nearly one million dollars to the universities’ general scholarship fund in the names of the Wooden Award All American recipients and has sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps. 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 brings together Special Olympics athletes and Wooden Award All Americans and coaches in attendance. It is hosted at the Los Angeles Athletic Club during the John R. Wooden Award Weekend.

 

The Legends of Coaching Award will be presented during the 4th Annual ESPN College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s, which will take place on Friday, April 6, 2018. For up-to-date information on the Wooden Award, please go to www.woodenaward.com and follow the Wooden Award on Facebook at www.facebook.com/woodenaward and @WoodenAward on Twitter and Instagram.

 

John R. Wooden Award Presented by Wendy’s

2017-18 Preseason Top 30

 

Name

School

Conference

Height

Class

Position

Kristine Anigwe

California

Pac-12

6-4

Jr.

C/F

Ariel Atkins

Texas

Big 12

5-11

Sr.

G

Monique Billings

UCLA

Pac-12

6-4

Sr.

F

Allazia Blockton

Marquette

Big East

6-0

Jr.

G

Kalani Brown

Baylor

Big 12

6-7

Jr.

C

Lexie Brown

Duke

ACC

5-9

Sr.

G

Jordin Canada

UCLA

Pac-12

5-6

Sr.

G

Napheesa Collier

Connecticut

The American

6-1

Jr.

F

Sophie Cunningham

Missouri

SEC

6-1

Jr.

G

Asia Durr

Louisville

ACC

5-10

Jr.

G

Katelynn Flaherty

Michigan

Big Ten

5-7

Sr.

G

Rebecca Greenwell

Duke

ACC

6-1

Sr.

G

Ruthy Hebard

Oregon

Pac-12

6-4

Soph.

F

Myisha Hines-Allen

Louisville

ACC

6-2

Sr.

F

Sabrina Ionescu

Oregon

Pac-12

5-10

Soph.

G

Tynice Martin

West Virginia

Big 12

5-11

Jr.

G

Brooke McCarty

Texas

Big 12

5-4

Sr.

G

Brittany McPhee

Stanford

Pac-12

6-0

Sr.

G

Kelsey Mitchell

Ohio State

Big Ten

5-8

Sr.

G

Jaime Nared

Tennessee

SEC

6-2

Sr.

G/F

Kia Nurse

Connecticut

The American

6-0

Sr.

G

Arike Ogunbowale

Notre Dame

ACC

5-8

Jr.

G

Mercedes Russell

Tennessee

SEC

6-6

Sr.

C

Katie Lou Samuelson

Connecticut

The American

6-3

Jr.

G/F

Azurá Stevens

Connecticut

The American

6-6

Sr.

G/F

Shakayla Thomas

Florida State

ACC

5-11

Sr.

F

Victoria Vivians

Mississippi State

SEC

6-1

Sr.

G

Morgan William

Mississippi State

SEC

5-5

Sr.

G

Gabby Williams

Connecticut

The American

5-11

Sr.

F

A'ja Wilson

South Carolina

SEC

6-5

Sr.

F


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