ACC Leads With 12 Selections To Wooden Award Preseason Top 50

Award recognizes college basketball’s top player

LOS ANGELES – The Atlantic Coast Conference leads with 12  selections to the  John R. Wooden Award® presented by Wendy’s® Preseason Top 50 announced today on ESPN’s SportsCenter and on 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 last year’s Wooden Award All-American Team, Duke’s Grayson Allen headlines this year’s Wooden Award Preseason Top 50. The list also highlights stars from the 2016 NCAA Tournament: Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins of NCAA National Champion Villanova; Joel Berry II and Justin Jackson of NCAA Runner-Up North Carolina; California’s Ivan Rabb; Indiana’s James Blackmon, Jr. and Thomas Bryant; Iowa’s Peter Jok; Iowa State’s Monte Morris; Kansas’ Devonte’ Graham, Frank Mason III and Josh Jackson; Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox; Maryland’s Melo Trimble; Notre Dame’s V.J. Beachem; Oregon’s Chris Boucher, Dillon Brooks, and Tyler Dorsey; Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan, Syracuse’s Tyler Lydon; Virginia’s Austin Nichols and London Perrantes; Wisconsin’s Bronson Koenig, Ethan Happ, and Nigel Hayes; and Xavier’s Edmond Sumner and Trevon Bluiett.

Several universities boast multiple players on the list: Duke (Allen, Harry Giles, and Jayson Tatum), Kansas (Graham, Mason III, and Josh Jackson), Kentucky (Edrice Adebayo, De’Aaron Fox, and Malik Monk) and Oregon (Boucher, Brooks, and Dorsey) lead the honors with three candidates apiece, while Indiana, North Carolina, Villanova, Virginia, and Xavier each have two players each on the Preseason Top 50.

The trend of recognizing outstanding freshmen continues with seven named to the list: Adebayo, Fox, and Monk of Kentucky; Jarrett Allen of Texas; Miles Bridges of Michigan State; Markelle Fultz of Washington; Harry Giles and Jayson Tatum of Duke; Josh Jackson of Kansas; Lauri Markkanen of Arizona; Dennis Smith, Jr. of NC State.

The Top 50 nominees represent 10 conferences.  The ACC’s 12 selections are followed by the Big Ten (10), Pac-12 (7), Big 12 (6), Big East (5), SEC (5). The Atlantic 10 Conference has two selections and the Horizon League, The American and WCC each have one selection.

The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2017 John R. Wooden Award All-America Team 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 2017 John R. Wooden Award will be announced during the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show presented by Wendy’s on Friday, April 7, 2017.

About the John R. Wooden Award
The 41st annual presentation of the John R. Wooden Award® to the men’s and women’s most outstanding basketball player will be the anchor presentation of the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show presented by Wendy’s® on ESPN2 on Friday, April 7, 2017. The men’s and women’s John R. Wooden Award All-American Teams will be honored during the ceremony, and the 2017 Wooden Award Legends of Coaching Trophy™ will be presented to Muffet McGraw, Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Notre Dame. 

Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award® program features the most prestigious individual honors in college basketball. The Wooden Award Trophy is bestowed annually upon the nation’s best male and female player who have proven to their respective universities that they are making progress toward graduation while 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), Doug McDermott (‘14), Frank Kaminsky (’15). Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield won the 2016 men’s Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s and Breanna Stewart of Connecticut won the 2016 women’s Wooden Award.

Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award® has contributed close to a million dollars to the general scholarship fund of the honoree’s University in the name of the All-American recipient. The Award has also enabled more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long basketball camps in the Award’s name. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with the Special Olympics Southern California each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament takes place at the Los Angeles Athletic Club the weekend of the John R. Wooden Award®presentation, and brings together Special Olympics athletes and the Wooden Award All-Americans.

Fans can follow the candidates en route to the Wooden Award presentation and get the latest news 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.

NameSchool   ConferenceHeight    Class    Position
Jaylen AdamsSt. Bonaventure   Atlantic 106-5    Jr.G
Edrice AdebayoKentucky   SEC6-10   Fr.F
Grayson AllenDuke       ACC6-5   Jr.G
Jarrett AllenTexas   Big 126-11   Fr.F
Dwayne BaconFlorida State   ACC6-7Soph.G
Lonzo BallUCLA   Pac-126-6Fr.G
V.J. BeachemNotre Dame   ACC6-8Sr.F
Joel Berry IINorth Carolina   ACC6-0Jr.G
James Blackmon, Jr.Indiana   Big Ten6-4Jr.G
Antonio BlakeneyLSU     SEC6-4Soph.G
Jaron Blossomgame     Clemson   ACC6-7Sr.F
Trevon BluiettXavier   Big East6-6Jr.G
Chris BoucherOregon   Pac-126-10Sr.F
Miles BridgesMichigan State   Big Ten6-7Fr.G/F
Dillon BrooksOregon   Pac-126-7Jr.F
Thomas BryantIndiana   Big Ten6-10Soph.C
Tyler DorseyOregon     Pac-126-4Soph.G
Jawun EvansOklahoma State   Big 126-1Soph.G
De'Aaron FoxKentucky     SEC6-3Fr.G
Markelle FultzWashington   Pac-126-4Fr.G
Jack GibbsDavidson   Atlantic 106-0Sr.G
Harry GilesDuke      ACC6-10Fr.F
Devonte' GrahamKansas   Big 126-2Jr.G
Ethan HappWisconsin     Big Ten6-10Soph.F
Josh HartVillanova   Big East6-5Sr.G
Nigel HayesWisconsin    Big Ten6-8Sr.F
Malcolm HillIllinois   Big Ten6-6Sr.G
Josh JacksonKansas   Big 126-8Fr.G
Justin JacksonNorth Carolina   ACC6-8Jr.F/G
Kris JenkinsVillanova   Big East6-6Sr.F
Peter JokIowa   Big Ten6-6Sr.G
Moses KingsleyArkansas   SEC6-10Sr.F
Bronson KoenigWisconsin   Big Ten6-3Sr.G
Dedric LawsonMemphis   The American6-9Soph.G/F
Tyler LydonSyracuse   ACC6-9Soph.F
Lauri MarkkanenArizona    Pac-127-0Fr.F
Frank Mason IIIKansas   Big 125-11Sr.G
Malik MonkKentucky   SEC6-3Fr.G
Monte MorrisIowa State   Big 126-3Sr.G
Austin NicholsVirginia    ACC6-9Jr.F
London PerrantesVirginia      ACC6-2Sr.G
Alec PetersValparaiso   Horizon League6-9Sr.F
Ivan RabbCalifornia   Pac-126-11Soph.F
Dennis Smith, Jr.NC State   ACC6-3Fr.G
Edmond SumnerXavier   Big East6-6Soph.G
Caleb SwaniganPurdue   Big Ten6-9Soph.F
Jayson TatumDuke   ACC6-8Fr.F
Melo TrimbleMaryland   Big Ten6-3Jr.G
Maurice Watson, JrCreighton   Big East5-10Sr.G
Nigel Williams-GossGonzaga   WCC6-3Jr.G