"With so many talented players across the country the committee had a tough time deciding on 50 candidates," said Duke Llewellyn, Wooden Award chairman. "15 conferences are represented this year, which shows the parity in college basketball today. These preseason selections represent the elite and our team at the Wooden Award is excited to see the best players in the nation prove their case as college basketball's player of the year."
LSU's star forward, Glen Davis, is the only preseason candidate who was honored last year as a member of the 2006 Wooden Award All-American Team. Tyler Hansbrough (North Carolina), Chris Lofton (Tennessee) and Nick Fazekas (Nevada), all candidates for last year's All-American Team, made this year's preseason list. Other 2006-07 Top 50 candidates that were considered for last year's Wooden Award include guards, JamesOn Curry (Oklahoma State) and Jarrius Jackson (Texas Tech); and forwards, Jared Dudley (Boston College) and Alando Tucker (Wisconsin).
Candidates have been selected from 15 NCAA conferences, up from 11 last year. Conferences include the ACC (eight players), the Big 12 (eight players), the Pac-10 (seven players), the Big East (seven players), the SEC (six players), the Big 10 (four players), the Mountain West (two players), the Atlantic 10 (one player), the Conf. USA (one player), the Western Athletic (one player), the Mid Continent (one player), the Sun Belt (one player), the Horizon League (one player), the Colonial Athletic Association (one player), and the Big Sky (one player).
Smaller conferences saw their star players and teams represented by the Wooden Award's preseason selection; a testament to the increased talent level across the country. However, the college basketball juggernauts have made their presence felt as well with several big name schools having multiple players nominated. The returning 2006 National Champions, Florida, is represented by Corey Brewer, Al Horford, and Joakim Noah from last year's starting five. Among those teams that have two players represented are, UCLA, Alabama, Georgetown, North Carolina, Texas A&M, Kansas, Wisconsin, and Arizona. The national spotlight will not only be on these players but on these teams as they enter the 2006-07season.
In January, the Wooden Award committee will release the midseason top 30 followed by the national ballot in early March. On Tuesday, March 27, the 10-player Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced. The 2007 Award ceremony, which will include the presentation of the Men's and Women's Wooden Award, the Wooden Award All-American Teams, and the Legends of Coaching Award to recipient Gene Keady of Purdue University, will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on April 7, 2007. The top five male and female finalists will be invited to Los Angeles for the awards ceremony and will receive a contribution from The Los Angeles Athletic Club for their university's general scholarship fund.
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 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 cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird ('79), Michael Jordan ('84), Tim Duncan ('97), Andrew Bogut ('05), and last year's recipients, Seimone Augustus ('06) and J.J. Redick.
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 as well as sent over 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps in the awards name. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with 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 Olympic athletes and the All-American selections, takes place at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on the Friday prior to the John R. Wooden Award Ceremony.
For more information on the John R. Wooden Award, please contact 310-578-7050 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.WoodenAward.com.
|Jamar Butler||6'2'||Jr.||G||Ohio State|
|Coleman Collins||6'9"||Sr.||F||Virginia Tech|
|JamesOn Curry||6'3"||Jr.||G||Oklahoma State|
|Jared Dudley||6'7"||Sr.||F||Boston College|
|Caleb Green||6'8"||Sr.||F||Oral Roberts|
|Lamont Hamilton||6'10||Jr.||F||St. John's|
|Tyler Hansbrough||6'9"||So.||F||North Carolina|
|Brandon Heath||6'4"||Sr.||G||San Diego State|
|Jarrius Jackson||6'2"||Sr.||G||Texas Tech|
|Joseph Jones||6'9"||Jr.||F/C||Texas A&M|
|Acie Law||6'3"||Sr.||G||Texas A&M|
|Courtney Lee||6'5"||Jr.||G/F||Western Kentucky|
|Luc Richard Mbah a Monute||6'7"||So.||F||UCLA|
|Blake Schilb||6'7"||Sr.||G||Loyola (Chicago)|
|Jason Smith||7'0"||Jr.||F||Colorado State|
|Rodney Stuckey||6'5"||So.||G||Eastern Washington|
|Reyshawn Terry||6'8"||Sr.||F||North Carolina|
|Al Thornton||6'8"||Sr.||F||Florida State|