Simien and Langford Named to Wooden Preseason List
Aug. 6, 2004
LAWRENCE, Kan. – University of Kansas senior men’s basketball players Wayne Simien and Keith Langford were recently named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason All-America Team by a national selection committee. Simien, a 6-9 power forward, and Langford, a 6-4 guard, were among 50 collegians selected, which included seven student-athletes from the Big 12 Conference.
Simien, a Leavenworth, Kan., native, was named a Wooden Award finalist last season after averaging a team-best 17.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per contest for the Jayhawks. In addition, the First-Team All-Big 12 selection led KU with a 81.1 free throw percentage and shot 53.2 percent from the field.
Simien made 31 starts as a junior after sitting out most of 2002-03 with a season-ending shoulder injury. In addition to his all-conference honors, he was named Associated Press Third-Team All-American, NABC All-District 12 First-Team, USBWA All-District 6, as well as a Wooden and Naismith Award Finalist in 2004.
Langford, a Ft. Worth, Texas, native, finds his name on the prestigious Wooden team after posting 15.5 points, 5.0 boards and 3.5 assists per game last season. The slashing guard/forward has started KU’s last 71 games over the past two years and has earned many accolades in the process. In 2004 alone, Langford earned USBWA All-District 6 honors and was named Second-Team All-Big 12, in addition to being a Wooden Award Finalist.
Other Big 12 players on the preseason list include Oklahoma’s Kevin Bookout, Oklahoma State’s Joey Graham and John Lucas, and Texas’ P.J. Tucker. A complete listing of the 2004 candidates can be found on www.WoodenAward.com.
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 university that he is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA.
In mid-January, the Wooden Award committee will release the Midseason Top 30 on CBS Sports, and on March 29, the 10-player Wooden Award All-America Team will be announced. The 2005 Award ceremony, which will include the presentation of the Men’s and Women’s Wooden Award, the Wooden Award All-America Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on April 9 and will be broadcast live by CBS.
Kansas, which finished 23-8 and reached the Elite Eight under first-year head coach Bill Self last season, will partake in preseason action Sept. 4-6 in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Jayhawks will open preseason practice Aug. 19 before taking on four Vancouver-area teams on the tour.