Kansas Men's Basketball Trio Named to John R. Wooden Award Top 30 Candidates
Jan. 4, 2010
LOS ANGELES – Kansas senior Sherron Collins, junior Cole Aldrich and freshman Xavier Henry were named midseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award by The Los Angeles Athletic Club’s John R. Wooden Award Committee Monday.
The list contains 31 players, not the traditional 30, because the playing status of Ohio State’s Evan Turner is uncertain due to a back injury. Three teams have multiple players nominated with only No. 1 Kansas (Collins, Aldrich and Henry) having three candidates listed. Other teams with multiple candidates include Duke (Kyle Singler and John Scheyer) and Kentucky (Patrick Patterson and John Wall).
Collins was on the same list his junior season in 2008-09. The Chicago guard has scored in double figures in 10 games this season. He is second on the team in scoring and his 13.8 ppg ranks 17th in the Big 12. Collins also ranks among the league leaders in assists (sixth at 4.2), three-point field goal percentage (seventh at .419), three-point field goals made (tied for seventh at 2.0) and assist-to-turnover ratio (seventh at 2.2). A proven winner, Kansas is 110-16 while Collins has been a Jayhawk including three Big 12 regular-season championships, two Big 12 postseason championships, three NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearances, two NCAA Elite Eights, one Final Four and one NCAA National Championship.
Aldrich, an Academic All-America candidate in 2009-10, was named Big 12 co-Player of the Week on Monday 4 after posting two straight double-doubles in wins against Belmont and at Temple last week. The Bloomington, Minn., center has six double-doubles on the season. Aldrich is second in the Big 12 and ranks eighth nationally with 3.8 blocked shots per game. Aldrich has had at least three blocks in all but one game this season. Aldrich is fourth in the Big 12 in rebounding at 10.1 rpg to complement his 12 point scoring average. He has 28 career double-doubles.
Henry has been named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week twice this season and he leads the conference freshmen class in scoring with 16.3 points per game. The Oklahoma City guard has led KU in scoring in six games this season, including 31 points against La Salle (Dec. 12). Henry has shot 50 percent or better from the floor in all but three games this season and is making .518 from the floor and .460 percent from three-point range. The last KU freshman to lead the team in scoring was Brandon Rush in 2005-06 at 13.5 ppg. Henry is second in the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at .460 percent. He also ranks ninth in the Big 12 in scoring at 16.3 ppg, fifth in field goal percentage at .518, 11th in free throw percentage at .787 and sixth in three pointers made at 2.2.
Ten players have been selected to the midseason Top 30 who were not on the preseason list. This group includes two freshmen, Wall and Henry; and eight returning players: James Anderson (Oklahoma State), Jimmer Fredette (Brigham Young), Darington Hobson (New Mexico), Wesley Johnson (Syracuse), Jeremy Lin (Harvard), Quincy Pondexter (Washington), Omar Samhan (Saint Mary’s) and Klay Thompson (Washington State).
Just as players who are not on the preseason list are eligible for the Midseason Top 30, players who do not make the Midseason list are still eligible for the national ballot, which will be selected in March and will consist of approximately 20 players, chosen by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board Committee. Players selected to the national ballot will have to be certified by their university as making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA.
More than 1,000 voters, comprised of sports media members and college basketball experts from across the nation, will then cast their votes to determine both the 10-member All American Team and Player of the Year. In late March, the 10-player Wooden Award All American Team will be announced. The Women’s John R. Wooden Award Midseason list will be released next week.
About the John R. Wooden Award
The 34th annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the announcement of the Men’s and Women’s Wooden Award winner, and the presentation of the Legends of Coaching Award to Florida’s Billy Donovan, will take place on April 9, 2010.
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 Kansas’ Danny Manning in 1988, Larry Bird (1979), Michael Jordan (1984), Tim Duncan (1997), and Blake Griffin (2009).
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. The Award has also sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps in the Award’s 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 all-day tournament, which brings together Special Olympic athletes and the All-Americans, takes place at The Los Angeles Athletic Club during the John R. Wooden Award weekend.
JOHN R. WOODEN MIDSEASON TOP 30
Name, School (Height, Class, Position)
Cole Aldrich, KANSAS (6-11, Jr., C)
Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest (6-9, So., F)
James Anderson, Oklahoma State (6-6, Jr., G)
Trevor Booker, Clemson (6-7, Sr., F)
Matt Bouldin, Gonzaga (6-5, Sr., G)
Da’Sean Butler, West Virginia (6-7, Sr., F)
Sherron Collins, KANSAS (5-11, Jr., G)
Ed Davis, North Carolina (6-10, So., F)
Jerome Dyson, Connecticut (6-3, Sr., G)
Jimmer Fredette, Brigham Young (6-2, Jr., G)
$%Luke Harangody, Notre Dame (6-8, Jr., F)
Manny Harris, Michigan (6-5, Jr., G)
Gordon Hayward, Butler (6-8, So., G/F)
Xavier Henry, KANSAS (6-6, Fr., G)
Darington Hobson, New Mexico (6-7, Jr., G/F)
Robbie Hummel, Purdue (6-8, Jr., F)
Damion James, Texas (6-7, Sr., G/F)
Wesley Johnson, Syracuse (6-7, Jr., F)
Jeremy Lin, Harvard (6-3, Sr., G)
Kalin Lucas, Michigan State (6-0, Jr., G)
Greg Monroe, Georgetown (6-11, So., C)
Patrick Patterson, Kentucky (6-9, Jr., F)
Quincy Pondexter, Washington (6-6, Sr., F)
Scottie Reynolds, Villanova (6-2, Jr., G)
Omar Samhan, Saint Mary’s (6-11, Sr., C)
Jon Scheyer, Duke (6-5, Sr., G)
Kyle Singler, Duke (6-8, Jr., F)
Klay Thompson, Washington State (6-6, So., G)
Jarvis Varnado, Mississippi State (6-9, Sr., F/C)
John Wall, Kentucky (6-4, Fr., G)
#Evan Turner, Ohio State (6-7, Jr., G/F)
$ 2009 Wooden All-American
% 2008 Wooden All-American
# Injured, playing status uncertain