🏀 KU Trio Named to Wooden Award Preseason Top 50
LOS ANGELES – The senior trio of Ochai Agbaji, Remy Martin and David McCormack were named to the 2022 John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 Tuesday. KU is one of three schools with three players on the 50-member watch list along with Gonzaga and UCLA.
The KU threesome is vying to become the third recipient of the John R. Wooden Award, joining Danny Manning in 1988 and Frank Mason III in 2017.
A super-senior, Martin was named the 2021-22 Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year and preseason all-conference by the league coaches last month and one of 20 selected to the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year watch list. The Burbank, California, native is playing his final season at KU after transferring from Arizona State. While at ASU, Martin was a three-time All-Pac-12 selection, earning second-team honors as a sophomore and first team his junior and senior seasons. In 2020-21, Martin led the Pac-12 with 19.1 points per game, including 21.5 ppg. in conference play. Martin brings career totals of 1,754 points, 466 assists, 151 steals and 176 three-point field goals made to Kansas.
Named to the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year watch list and preseason All-Big 12 last month, Agbaji led Kansas in scoring in 2020-21 at 14.1 points per game and earned All-Big 12 honorable mention for the second-straight season. The Kansas City, Missouri, native led KU with 78 three-pointers in 2020-21. For his career, Agbaji, a two-time Academic All-Big 12 selection, has started 77 consecutive games and is 80 points from 1,000 for his career. He enters 2021-22 at No. 18 on the KU three-point field goals made list with 147 and No. 16 in three-point field goals attempted with 418.
A Preseason All-Big 12 selection and one of 20 on the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year watch list, McCormack averaged 13.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game in 2020-21 and was the named the first recipient of the Big 12 Most Improved Player Award. The Norfolk, Virginia, native was also an all-league second team selection last season. McCormack is a two-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team honoree who graduated from KU in three years with a bachelor’s degree in communications studies in May 2021 and is studying journalism in graduate school. He has twice been nominated for CoSIDA Academic All-America.
The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2022 John R. Wooden Award Men’s Player of the Year presented by Wendy’s. Players not chosen to the preseason list are still eligible for the Wooden Award midseason list, late season list, and the National Ballot. The National Ballot consists of 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they meet or exceed the qualifications of the Wooden Award. Nearly 1,000 voters will rank in order 10 of those 15 players when voting opens prior to the NCAA Tournament and will allow voters to take into consideration performance during early round games. The Wooden Award All-American Team™ will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament. The winner of the 2022 John R. Wooden Award will be presented by Wendy’s following the NCAA Tournament in April.
No. 3 Kansas opens the 2021-22 season when it plays Michigan State in the State Farm Champions Classic, Tuesday, Nov. 9. The contest will tip at 6 p.m. (Central) from historic Madison Square Garden in New York City and will be televised on ESPN.