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.

John R. Wooden AwardMany 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.

Name School Conference Height Class Position
Cliff Alexander Kansas Big 12 6-8 Fr. F
Brandon Ashley Arizona Pac-12 6-9 Jr. F
Ron Baker Wichita State Missouri Valley 6-4 Jr. G
Ryan Boatright
UConn The American 6-0 Sr. G
Malcolm Brogdon Virginia ACC 6-5 Jr. G
Willie Cauley-Stein Kentucky SEC 7-0 Jr. F
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
Montrezl Harrell Louisville ACC 6-8 Jr. F
Aaron Harrison Kentucky SEC 6-6 So. G
Andrew Harrison Kentucky SEC 6-6 So. G
Tyler Haws BYU WCC 6-5 Sr. G
Buddy Hield Oklahoma Big 12 6-4 Jr. G
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Arizona Pac-12 6-7 So. F
R.J. Hunter Georgia State Sun Belt 6-6 Jr. G
Stanley Johnson Arizona Pac-12 6-7 Fr. F
Tyus Jones Duke ACC 6-1 Fr. G
Frank Kaminsky Wisconsin Big Ten 7-0 Sr. F
Caris LeVert Michigan Big Ten 6-7 Jr. G
Jordan Mickey LSU SEC 6-8 So. F
Nic Moore SMU The American 5-9 Jr. G
Georges Niang Iowa State Big 12 6-8 Jr. F
Jahlil Okafor Duke ACC 6-11 Fr. C
Kelly Oubre, Jr. Kansas Big 12 6-7 Fr. G
Marcus Paige North Carolina ACC 6-1 Jr. G
Kevin Pangos Gonzaga WCC 6-2 Sr. G
Terran Petteway Nebraska Big Ten 6-6 Jr. F
Bobby Portis Arkansas SEC 6-11 So. F
Chasson Randle Stanford Pac-12 6-2 Sr. G
Terry Rozier Louisville ACC 6-1 So. G
Wesley Saunders Harvard Ivy League 6-5 Sr. G
Josh Scott Colorado Pac-12 6-10 Jr. F
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
Karl-Anthony Towns Kentucky SEC 6-11 Fr. F
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
Delon Wright Utah Pac-12 6-5 Sr. G
Joseph Young Oregon Pac-12 6-2 Sr. G