John R. Wooden Award® Presented by Wendy's® Reveals 2015-16 Preseason Top 50



John R. Wooden Award® Presented by Wendy's® Reveals 2015-16 Preseason Top 50

LOS ANGELES (November 17, 2015) – The John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s announced its Preseason Top 50 today on ESPN’s SportsCenter and on ESPN.com. Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who are the early front-runners for college basketball’s most prestigious individual honor.

Trophy_Upclose.jpgThe Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 features three returning Wooden Award All Americans: Ron Baker (Wichita State), Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia) and Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga). The list also highlights stars from the 2015 NCAA Tournament: Grayson Allen of NCAA National Champion Duke; two players from NCAA Runner-Up Wisconsin, Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig; Gonzaga’s Kyle Wiltjer,and Domantas Sabonis; Notre Dame’s Zach Auguste; Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine. Other notables include Daniel Hamilton, a 2014 Wooden Award High School Player of the Year while at St. John Bosco High School and Kris Dunn of Providence, who finished last season ranked third nationally in assists per game (7.5).

 

Several universities boast multiple players on the list. Indiana (James Blackmon, Jr., Yogi Ferrell and Troy Williams) and Kentucky (Skal Labissiere, Jamal Murray and Tyler Ulis) lead the honors with three candidates apiece, while Baylor, California, Duke, Gonzaga, Iowa State, Maryland, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Virginia, Wichita State and Wisconsin each have two players each on the Preseason Top 50.

 

The trend of recognizing outstanding freshman continues with seven named to the list: Jaylen Brown of California; Brandon Ingram of Duke; Skal Labissiere and Jamal Murray of Kentucky; Ben Simmons of Louisiana State; Malik Newman of Mississippi State; and Jalen Brunson of Villanova.

 

The Top 50 nominees represent 10 conferences. The Big Ten leads all conferences with 10 selections, followed by the ACC (9), and the Big 12 (7), SEC (7), Pac-12 (5), Big East (4) and WCC (3). The American and Missouri Valley Conference each have two players selected and the Atlantic 10 has one player selected.

 

The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2016 John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s. The Wooden Award National Advisory Board will select 25 players to the Midseason Top 25 in early January. In early February, the John R. Wooden Award will announce one final leading candidate list—the Late Season Top 20—prior to the selection of 15 players to the National Ballot. Nearly 1000 voters will rank order 10 of those 15 players, who have been qualified as meeting the standards set forth by Coach Wooden. Voting will open prior to the start of the NCAA Tournament and will allow voters to take into consideration performance during the 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 John R. Wooden Award will be announced during the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show presented by Wendy’s on Friday, April 8, 2016.

 

About the John R. Wooden Award

 

The 40th annual presentation of the John R. Wooden Award will take place during the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show presented by Wendy’s. Texas Tech Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Tubby Smith, will be presented with the Legends of Coaching trophy during the show as well. The Wooden Award Weekend, April 7-9, 2016, will honor the male and female Wooden Award winners, the top 5 All Americans, and the Legends of Coaching recipient, Coach Tubby Smith.

(more)

 

Wooden Award 2-2-2-2

 

 

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 (’07), Maya Moore (’09 and ’11), Trey Burke (’13) and Doug McDermott (’14). Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky won the 2015 John R. 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 the 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 Olympics athletes and the All Americans, takes place at the Los Angeles Athletic Club the weekend of the John R. Wooden Award presentation.

 

Follow the candidates 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 Presented by Wendy’s

Preseason Top 50 Nominees

Name

Height

Class

Position

University

Conference

Grayson Allen

6-5

Soph.

G

Duke

ACC

Zach Auguste

6-10

Sr.

F

Notre Dame

ACC

Ron Baker#

6-4

Sr.

G

Wichita State

Missouri Valley

DeAndre' Bembry

6-6

Jr.

F

St. Joseph's

Atlantic 10

James Blackmon, Jr.

6-4

Soph.

G

Indiana

Big Ten

Malcolm Brogdon#

6-5

Sr.

G

Virginia

ACC

Jaylen Brown

6-7

Fr.

F

California

Pac-12

Jalen Brunson

6-3

Fr.

G

Villanova

Big East

Kyle Collinsworth

6-6

Sr.

G

BYU

WCC

Kellen Dunham

6-6

Jr.

G

Butler

Big East

Kris Dunn

6-4

Jr.

G

Providence

Big East

Perry Ellis

6-8

Sr.

F

Kansas

Big 12

Yogi Ferrell

6-0

Sr.

G

Indiana

Big Ten

Rico Gathers

6-8

Sr.

F

Baylor

Big 12

Anthony Gill

6-8

Sr.

F

Virginia

ACC

Daniel Hamilton

6-7

Soph.

G/F

Connecticut

The American

A.J. Hammons

7-0

Sr.

C

Purdue

Big Ten

Nigel Hayes

6-8

Jr.

F

Wisconsin

Big Ten

Buddy Hield

6-4

Sr.

G

Oklahoma

Big 12

Danuel House

6-7

Sr.

G

Texas A&M

SEC

Brandon Ingram

6-9

Fr.

G/F

Duke

ACC

Demetrius Jackson

6-1

Jr.

G

Notre Dame

ACC

Brice Johnson

6-10

Sr.

F

North Carolina

ACC

Damian Jones

7-0

Jr.

C

Vanderbilt

SEC

Bronson Koenig

6-4

Jr.

G

Wisconsin

Big Ten

Skal Labissiere

6-11

Fr.

F

Kentucky

SEC

Jake Layman

6-9

Sr.

F

Maryland

Big Ten

Caris LeVert

6-7

Sr.

G

Michigan

Big Ten

Nic Moore

5-9

Sr.

G

SMU

The American

Monte Morris

6-3

Jr.

G

Iowa State

Big 12

Jamal Murray

6-4

Fr.

G

Kentucky

SEC

Malik Newman

6-3

Fr.

G

Mississippi State

SEC

Georges Niang

6-8

Sr.

F

Iowa State

Big 12

Marcus Paige

6-2

Sr.

G

North Carolina

ACC

Gary Payton II

6-3

Sr.

G

Oregon State

Pac-12

Jakob Poeltl

7-0

Soph.

F

Utah

Pac-12

Taurean Prince

6-8

Sr.

F

Baylor

Big 12

Xavier Rathan-Mayes

6-4

Soph.

G

Florida State

ACC

Domantas Sabonis

6-11

Soph.

F

Gonzaga

WCC

Ben Simmons

6-10

Fr.

F

LSU

SEC

D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera

6-3

Sr.

G

Georgetown

Big East

Kaleb Tarczewski

7-0

Sr.

C

Arizona

Pac-12

Isaiah Taylor

6-3

Jr.

G

Texas

Big 12

Melo Trimble

6-3

Soph.

G

Maryland

Big Ten

Tyler Ulis

5-9

Soph.

G

Kentucky

SEC

Denzel Valentine

6-5

Sr.

G

Michigan State

Big Ten

Fred VanVleet

6-0

Sr.

G

Wichita State

Missouri Valley

Tyrone Wallace

6-5

Sr.

G

California

Pac-12

Troy Williams

6-7

Jr.

F

Indiana

Big Ten

Kyle Wiltjer#

6-10

Sr.

F

Gonzaga

WCC

                # indicates player selected as a 2014-15 Wooden Award All American


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