The Preseason Top 50 List for the John R. Wooden Award was released today. Chosen by a preseason poll of national media members, the list is comprised of 50 players who, based on last year’s individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketball’s most prestigious honor.
Transfers, freshmen and medical redshirts are not eligible for the Preseason list.
The players on the Preseason list are considered strong candidates for the Midseason list and the official voting ballot, both of which are open to freshman and transfer students.
The Wooden Award All American Team, consisting of the nation’s top 10 players, will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament.
Looking at the list (which follows in its entirety at the end of this post) early favorites are North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes and Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger. Both could have declared early for the NBA this past spring, and would have likely been taken in the top ten of the draft. Both stayed, and when you look at the current NBA labor situation, and the fact that both Sullinger and Barnes could still work more on their own respective individual games, it’s understandable why they stayed.
The list has local interest with John Shurna from Northwestern and Tim Abromaitis from Notre Dame making the cut.
Shurna averaged a team-best 16.6 points per game as well as 4.9 rebounds per contest last season in helping the Wildcats tie a program record with 20 wins while advancing to the quarterfinal round of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). He averaged 24.4 points per game and shot 62.5 percent (30-48) from 3-point range through the team’s first nine contests before suffering an ankle injury that limited him the rest of the season.
He has guided NU to three straight postseason berths an was a third-team All-Big Ten pick in 2010-11 after earning second-team accolades as a sophomore.
Shurna has earned preseason All-America recognition heading into his final season. Sporting News has named him a second-team selection, while Athlon Sports has named him to its third team.
He enters his final year at Northwestern 523 points shy of tying the school’s career scoring record of 1,900 points which is held by Billy McKinney (1974-77).
Abromaitis is entering his fifth season with the Fighting Irish. He started all 34 games last season and registered 15.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Abromaitis earned third-team all-BIG EAST honors in addition to taking home the BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete of the Year award for men’s basketball for the second straight year.
In August, Abromaitis represented the United States at the 2011 World University Games in China. The U.S. squad posted a 7-1 record and placed fifth in the competition. Abromaitis started three of the games and averaged 6.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per contest.
|Tim Abromaitis||6-8||GS||F||Notre Dame||Big East|
|Harrison Barnes||6-8||So.||F||North Carolina||ACC|
|Will Barton||6-6||So.||G||Memphis||Conference USA|
|Dee Bost||6-2||Sr.||G||Mississippi State||SEC|
|William Buford||6-5||Sr.||G||Ohio State||Big Ten|
|Aaron Craft||6-2||So.||G||Ohio State||Big Ten|
|Marcus Denmon||6-3||Sr.||G||Missouri||Big 12|
|Ashton Gibbs||6-2||Sr.||G||Pitt||Big East|
|Drew Gordon||6-9||Sr.||F||New Mexico||Mountain West|
|Draymond Green||6-7||Sr.||F||Michigan State||Big Ten|
|Tim Hardaway, Jr.||6-5||So.||G||Michigan||Big Ten|
|John Henson||6-11||Jr.||F||North Carolina||ACC|
|Tu Holloway||6-0||Sr.||G||Xavier||Atlantic 10|
|Robbie Hummel||6-8||Sr.||F||Purdue||Big Ten|
|Joe Jackson||6-1||So.||G||Memphis||Conference USA|
|Scoop Jardine||6-2||Sr.||G||Syracuse||Big East|
|Orlando Johnson||6-5||Sr.||G||UCSB||Big West|
|Darius Johnson-Odom||6-2||Sr.||G||Marquette||Big East|
|Kevin Jones||6-8||Sr.||F||West Virginia||Big East|
|Perry Jones III||6-11||So.||F||Baylor||Big 12|
|Kris Joseph||6-7||Sr.||F||Syracuse||Big East|
|Jeremy Lamb||6-5||So.||G||Connecticut||Big East|
|Kendall Marshall||6-4||So.||G||North Carolina||ACC|
|Trevor Mbakwe||6-8||Sr.||F||Minnesota||Big Ten|
|Ray McCallum||6-1||So.||G||Detroit||Horizon League|
|Doug McDermott||6-7||So.||F||Creighton||Missouri Valley|
|Khris Middleton||6-7||Jr.||F||Texas A&M||Big 12|
|Andrew Nicholson||6-9||Sr.||F||St. Bonaventure||Atlantic 10|
|Alex Oriakhi||6-9||Jr.||C||Connecticut||Big East|
|Thomas Robinson||6-9||Jr.||F||Kansas||Big 12|
|John Shurna||6-9||Sr.||F||Northwestern||Big Ten|
|Peyton Siva||6-0||Jr.||G||Louisville||Big East|
|Jared Sullinger*||6-9||So.||C||Ohio State||Big Ten|
|Jordan Taylor||6-1||Sr.||G||Wisconsin||Big Ten|
|Casper Ware||5-10||Sr.||G||Long Beach State||Big West|
|Maalik Wayns||6-2||Jr.||G||Villanova||Big East|
|Keith Wright||6-8||Sr.||F||Harvard||Ivy League|
|Tyler Zeller||7-0||Sr.||F||North Carolina||ACC|
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