UNC’s Harrison Barnes, OSU’s Sullinger Early Favorites for Wooden Award

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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.

jared sullinger nba draft

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.

Name Height Class Position University Conference
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
Allen Crabbe 6-6 So. G California Pac-12
Aaron Craft 6-2 So. G Ohio State Big Ten
Marcus Denmon 6-3 Sr. G Missouri Big 12
Festus Ezeli 6-11 Sr. C Vanderbilt SEC
Ashton Gibbs 6-2 Sr. G Pitt Big East
Michael Glover 6-7 Sr. F Iona MAAC
Drew Gordon 6-9 Sr. F New Mexico Mountain West
Draymond Green 6-7 Sr. F Michigan State Big Ten
JaMychal Green 6-8 Sr. F Alabama SEC
Jorge Gutierrez 6-3 Sr. G California Pac-12
Tim Hardaway, Jr. 6-5 So. G Michigan Big Ten
Elias Harris 6-7 Jr. F Gonzaga WCC
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
John Jenkins 6-3 Jr. G Vanderbilt SEC
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
Terrence Jones 6-8 So. F Kentucky SEC
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
Reeves Nelson 6-8 Jr. F UCLA Pac-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
Joshua Smith 6-10 So. C UCLA Pac-12
Jared Sullinger* 6-9 So. C Ohio State Big Ten
Jeffery Taylor 6-7 Sr. G/F Vanderbilt SEC
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
Patric Young 6-9 So. F/C Florida SEC
Tyler Zeller 7-0 Sr. F North Carolina ACC
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