Johnson and Withey Named to Wooden Award Preseason Top 50

Nov. 8, 2012

LOS ANGELES – Kansas seniors Elijah Johnson and Jeff Withey were name to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 for the 2012-13 season by the Los Angeles Athletics Club Thursday. The list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who, based on last year’s individual performance and team records, are the early front-runners for the John R. Wooden Award and Wooden Award All-America Team, consisting of 10 players.

Kansas is one of eight schools that have two or more players named to the list.

A 6-foot-4 guard from Las Vegas, Johnson is Kansas’ leading returning scorer from last season’s Big 12 regular-season champion and Final Four team which advanced to the NCAA title game with a 10.2 point per game average. As a junior, Johnson led Kansas with 69 three-pointers made and 55 steals. He was second on the team and ninth in the Big 12 with 3.5 assists per game and his 1.4 steals per contest were fifth in the conference. He had 19 games with multiple three-pointers in 2011-12 and had his first double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds against Ohio State in the 2012 Final Four semifinals.

A 7-foot center from San Diego, Withey was recently selected Associated Press Preseason All-America Honorable Mention, a candidate to the Senior CLASS Award and to the All-Big 12 preseason team by the conference coaches. Withey was the 2012 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and an all-conference third-team selection who set the Kansas and Big 12 single-season blocked shots record with 140 last season. Included in his 140 blocked shots were an NCAA Tournament record 31 in KU’s run to the NCAA National Championship title game and a conference games only record of 65. Withey averaged 9.0 points and 6.3 rebounds for Kansas last season and shot a team-best 79.5 percent from the free throw line.

Transfers, freshmen and medical redshirts are not eligible for the Preseason Top 50. The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the midseason list and the official voting ballot, both of which are open to freshman and transfer students. The national ballot consists of approximately 20 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. The Wooden Award All American Team will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament.

The 37th annual Wooden Award ceremony will honor the Men’s and Women’s Wooden Award winners, and will include the presentation of the Wooden Award All American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, which in 2013 will go to Kansas head coach Bill Self. The event will take place the weekend of April 12-13, 2013.

For a complete list of the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 go to The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.