Kansas' Collins Makes Wooden Preseason Top 50

Nov. 7, 2008

Wooden Award Release

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas men’s basketball junior Sherron Collins has been named one of 50 preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award All-American Team and Player of the Year trophy, Wooden Award Chairman and founder Richard “Duke” Llewellyn announced Friday. Collins is one of five Big 12 Conference players on the list.

The list is composed of student-athletes who, based on last year’s individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketball’s most prestigious honor.

Returning players from last year’s Wooden Award ballot include North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough, Notre Dame’s Luke Harangody, Davidson’s Stephen Curry, UCLA’s Darren Collison, Connecticut’s A.J. Price, Tennessee’s Tyler Smith, and Robbie Hummel of Purdue.

North Carolina (Hansbrough, Wayne Ellington, Ty Lawson) had three players on the list. Six schools placed two players on the list: Louisville (Earl Clark, Terrence Williams), Duke (Kyle Singler, Gerald Henderson), Marquette (Jerel McNeal, Dominic James), Pittsburgh (DeJuan Blair, Sam Young), Connecticut (Price, Hasheem Thabeet), and Texas (Damion James, A.J. Abrams).

In all, 42 schools and 13 conferences are represented on the Wooden Award Pre-Season list. Leading the way is the Big East (12), followed by the ACC (8), Pac-10 (5), SEC (5), Big 12 (5), Atlantic-10 (2), Big Ten (3), Conference USA (3), Mountain West (2), West Coast (2), Colonial Athletic Association (1), Ohio Valley (1), and the Southern Conference (1).

The five Big 12 players on the list are Collins, James, Abrams, Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin and Baylor’s Curtis Jerrells.

In mid-January, the Wooden Award Committee will release the Midseason Top 30 list, followed in March by the National Ballot, consisting of approximately 20 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round during the NCAA Tournament.

The 33rd annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the announcement of the Men’s and Women’s Wooden Award, and the presentation of the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award to Rick Barnes from The University of Texas, will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club in April, 2009.

One KU player, Danny Manning in 1988, has won the Wooden Award trophy as Player of the Year. Nine Jayhawks have been named to the Wooden Award All-American team a total of 13 times. The list of KU greats to receive the honor includes Brandon Rush (2007 and 2008), Wayne Simien (2005), Nick Collision (2003), Kirk Hinrich (2003), Drew Gooden (2002), Raef LaFrentz (1997 and 1998), Paul Pierce (1998), Jacque Vaughn (1996 and 1997), and Manning (1986 and 1998).