From UConn and the Los Angeles Athletic Club:
LOS ANGELES — UConn senior guard Ryan Boatright (Aurora, Ill.) was among the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50, announced today by the Los Angeles Athletic Club. 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 the sport’s most prestigious honor.
Many of last year’s NCAA Tournament stars were chosen to the Top 50, including Boatright, an All-Final Four team selection in 2014 when he helped lead his team to the NCAA title; three players from a Kentucky squad that fell to the Huskies in the title game, Willie Cauley-Stein, Aaron Harrison, and Andrew Harrison; Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky, the MVP of the 2014 West Regional; and Florida’s Michael Frazier II. Other returners of note include Tyler Haws of BYU, the nation’s No. 2 returning scorer (23.2 ppg), and Wichita State point guard Fred VanVleet, the 2014 Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year.
Seven freshmen were named to the team: Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre, Jr. of Kansas; Stanley Johnson of Arizona, a high school Wooden Award honoree in 2014; Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor of Duke; Karl-Anthony Towns of Kansas; and Myles Turner of Texas.
Kansas (Alexander, Oubre, Jr., Perry Ellis and Wayne Selden, Jr.) and Kentucky (Cauley-Stein, the Harrison twins, and Towns) lead the honors with four players apiece, while preseason Top 5 Arizona boasts three (Brandon Ashley, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and Johnson). Duke, Louisville, Texas, Wichita State and Wisconsin have two players each on the preseason Top 50 list.
In terms of conferences, the Big 12 leads the way with 10 picks, followed by the ACC (8), and the Big Ten (7), Pac-12 (7), and SEC (7). The American, the Missouri Valley, and WCC had two picks apiece, while the Atlantic-10, Big East, Horizon, Sun Belt, and Ivy League each had one selection.
The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2015 John R. Wooden Award. The Wooden Award National Advisory Board will select 25 players for the midseason list in early January. The leading candidates will be further pared to 20 in early February. Fifteen 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 will be placed on the ballot and submitted to voters prior to the NCAA Tournament and voting will take into account play during the opening rounds of the tournament. The Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament.
|Cliff Alexander||Kansas||Big 12||6-8||Fr.||F|
|Ron Baker||Wichita State||Missouri Valley||6-4||Jr.||G|
|Branden Dawson||Michigan State||Big Ten||6-6||Sr.||G/F|
|Sam Dekker||Wisconsin||Big Ten||6-9||Jr.||F|
|Perry Ellis||Kansas||Big 12||6-8||Jr.||F|
|Yogi Ferrell||Indiana||Big Ten||6-0||Jr.||G|
|Marcus Foster||Kansas State||Big 12||6-3||So.||G|
|Michael Frazier II||Florida||SEC||6-4||Jr.||G|
|Treveon Graham||VCU||Atlantic 10||6-6||Sr.||G/F|
|Jerian Grant||Notre Dame||ACC||6-5||Sr.||G|
|Olivier Hanlan||Boston College||ACC||6-4||Jr.||G|
|Buddy Hield||Oklahoma||Big 12||6-4||Jr.||G|
|R.J. Hunter||Georgia State||Sun Belt||6-6||Jr.||G|
|Frank Kaminsky||Wisconsin||Big Ten||7-0||Sr.||F|
|Caris LeVert||Michigan||Big Ten||6-7||Jr.||G|
|Nic Moore||SMU||The American||5-9||Jr.||G|
|Georges Niang||Iowa State||Big 12||6-8||Jr.||F|
|Kelly Oubre, Jr.||Kansas||Big 12||6-7||Fr.||G|
|Marcus Paige||North Carolina||ACC||6-1||Jr.||G|
|Terran Petteway||Nebraska||Big Ten||6-6||Jr.||F|
|Wesley Saunders||Harvard||Ivy League||6-5||Sr.||G|
|Wayne Selden, Jr.||Kansas||Big 12||6-5||So.||G|
|D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera||Georgetown||Big East||6-3||Jr.||G|
|Juwan Staten||West Virginia||Big 12||6-1||Sr.||G|
|Keifer Sykes||Green Bay||Horizon League||6-0||Sr.||G|
|Isaiah Taylor||Texas||Big 12||6-1||So.||G|
|Myles Turner||Texas||Big 12||6-11||Fr.||F|
|Fred VanVleet||Wichita State||Missouri Valley||6-0||Jr.||G|
|Dez Wells||Maryland||Big Ten||6-5||Sr.||G/F|