LOS ANGELES, CA (November 14, 2017) – The John R. Wooden® 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.
Returning from the 2016 Wooden Award™ All American Team, Grayson Allen of Duke headlines this year’s Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 list. The list also highlights stars from the 2017 NCAA Tournament: Joel Berry II of the NCAA National Champion North Carolina; Johnathan Williams of NCAA Runner-Up Gonzaga; Arizona’s Rawle Alkins and Allonzo Trier; Butler’s Kelan Martin; Cincinnati’s Jacob Evans; Creighton’s Marcus Foster; Duke’s Allen; Florida’s KeVaughn Allen; Kansas’ Devonte’ Graham; Louisville’s Deng Adel; Miami’s Bruce Brown Jr.; Michigan’s Moritz Wagner; Michigan State’s Miles Bridges; Minnesota’s Nate Mason; Nortwestern’s Bryant McIntosh; Notre Dame’s Bonzie Colson and Matt Farrell; Oklahoma State’s Jeffrey Carroll; Purdue’s Vincent Edwards; Saint Mary’s Jock Landale; Seton Hall’s Angel Delgado; SMU’s Shake Milton; South Dakota State’s Mike Daum; UCLA’s Aaron Holiday; USC’s Jordan McLaughlin and Chimezie Metu; Villanova’s Jalen Brunson; West Virginia’s Jevon Carter; Wichita State’s Landry Shamet; Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ; and Xavier’s Trevon Bluiett.
Several universities boast multiple players on the list: Arizona (Alkins, DeAndre Ayton, and Trier) and Duke (Allen, Marvin Bagley III, and Trevon Duval) lead with three candidates apiece, while Kansas (Graham and Malik Newman), Kentucky (Hamidou Diallo and Kevin Knox), Michigan State (Bridges and Jaren Jackson Jr.), Notre Dame (Colson and Farrell), and USC (McLaughlin and Metu) each have two players on the Preseason Top 50.
The trend of recognizing outstanding freshmen continues with ten named to the list: Arizona’s Ayton, Bagley III and Duval of Duke, Mohamed Bamba of Texas, Kentucky’s Diallo and Knox, Michigan State’s Jackson Jr., Michael Porter Jr. of Missouri, Collin Sexton of Alabama, and Trae Young of Oklahoma.
The Preseason Top 50 list represents 11 conferences. The ACC leads all conferences with 9 selections, followed by the Big Ten, Pac-12, and SEC with 7 selections apiece, Big 12 (6), Big East (5), The American (4). The WCC has two selections and the Atlantic 10, Mountain West, and The Summit League each have one selection.
The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2018 John R. Wooden Award Men’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. Nearly 1,000 voters will rank in order 10 of those 15 players, who have been qualified as meeting the standards set forth by Coach Wooden and the Wooden Award Steering Committee. 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 50
|Jaylen Adams||St. Bonaventure||Atlantic 10||6-2||Sr.||G|
|Marvin Bagley III||Duke||ACC||6-11||Fr.||F|
|Mohamed Bamba||Texas||Big 12||6-11||Fr.||F|
|Joel Berry II||North Carolina||ACC||6-0||Sr.||G|
|Trevon Bluiett||Xavier||Big East||6-6||Sr.||G|
|Miles Bridges||Michigan St.||Big Ten||6-7||Soph.||G/F|
|Bruce Brown Jr.||Miami||ACC||6-5||Soph.||G|
|Jalen Brunson||Villanova||Big East||6-3||Jr.||G|
|Jeffrey Carroll||Oklahoma St.||Big 12||6-6||Sr.||G/F|
|Jevon Carter||West Virginia||Big 12||6-2||Sr.||G|
|Bonzie Colson||Notre Dame||ACC||6-6||Sr.||F|
|Mike Daum||South Dakota St.||The Summit League||6-9||Jr.||F|
|Angel Delgado||Seton Hall||Big East||6-10||Sr.||C|
|Vincent Edwards||Purdue||Big Ten||6-8||Sr.||F|
|Jacob Evans||Cincinnati||The American||6-6||Jr.||G/F|
|Matt Farrell||Notre Dame||ACC||6-1||Sr.||G|
|Marcus Foster||Creighton||Big East||6-3||Sr.||G|
|Devonte’ Graham||Kansas||Big 12||6-2||Sr.||G|
|Rob Gray||Houston||The American||6-1||Sr.||G|
|Ethan Happ||Wisconsin||Big Ten||6-10||Jr.||F|
|Chandler Hutchison||Boise State||Mountain West||6-7||Sr.||G|
|Jaren Jackson Jr.||Michigan St.||Big Ten||6-11||Fr.||F|
|Ben Lammers||Georgia Tech||ACC||6-10||Sr.||C|
|Jock Landale||Saint Mary’s||WCC||6-11||Sr.||C|
|Kelan Martin||Butler||Big East||6-7||Sr.||F|
|Nate Mason||Minnesota||Big Ten||6-2||Sr.||G|
|Bryant McIntosh||Northwestern||Big Ten||6-3||Sr.||G|
|Shake Milton||SMU||The American||6-6||Jr.||G|
|Malik Newman||Kansas||Big 12||6-3||Soph.||G|
|Michael Porter Jr.||Missouri||SEC||6-10||Fr.||F|
|Landry Shamet||Wichita State||The American||6-4||Soph.||G|
|Moritz Wagner||Michigan||Big Ten||6-11||Jr.||F|
|Robert Williams||Texas A&M||SEC||6-10||Soph.||F|
|Trae Young||Oklahoma||Big 12||6-2||Fr.||G|