Thomas Robinson Named John R. Wooden Award Finalist

March 6, 2012

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas forward Thomas Robinson has been selected as one of 15 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award, announced Tuesday by The Los Angeles Athletic Club on at 11am EST.

The National Ballot, consisting of these top players, will be mailed to Wooden Award voters this week. Selected by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board, the ballot is made up of the 15 student-athletes who are the frontrunners for college basketball’s most prestigious honor. Voting begins March 12th.

Named the Big 12 Player of the Year, Robinson is averaging 18.0 points and 11.8 rebounds per game this season. He leads the Big 12 in double-doubles (22) and rebounds per game (11.8), while both rank second nationally. Against eight nationally-ranked teams in 2011-12, Robinson averaged 19.8 points and 12.3 rebounds while shooting 55.6 percent. Robinson was also recently named the Big 12 Player of the Year, AP Big 12 Player of the Year, Sporting News Big 12 Player of the Year, while being named to the All-Big 12 First Team, AP All-Big 12 First Team and Sporting News All-American First Team.

Last season former Jayhawk Marcus Morris was named a finalist for the Wooden Award, while former guard Brandon Rush was a two-time finalist under head coach Bill Self.

Created in 1976 and named after the Hall of Fame player, coach and teacher, 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 minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Danny Manning (’88), Tim Duncan (’97), Blake Griffin (’09) and Maya Moore of Connecticut (’09 and ’11). BYU’s Jimmer Fredette was the Wooden Award winner in 2011.

All 15 players have proven to their universities that they are making progress toward graduation and are maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA, an important component of the award insisted upon by Coach Wooden. The Wooden Award All-American Teams will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament, making the Wooden Award unique among college postseason awards. Voters have until Monday, March 19 at Noon PDT to return their ballots, allowing them to take into consideration performance during the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.