Graham named to Wooden Award Late Season 20
LOS ANGELES – Kansas senior Devonte’ Graham has been named to the John R. Wooden Award® presented by Wendy’s® Late Season Top 20, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Monday evening on ESPNU.
The is the second honor Graham picked up on the day as he was named one of 10 candidates for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award early Monday afternoon. Graham is vying to become the second straight Jayhawk to win the Cousy and Wooden awards as Frank Mason III was the 2017 recipient of both honors.
Chosen by a poll of national college basketball experts based on their performances during the first half of the 2017-18 season, the list comprises of 20 student-athletes who are currently the front-runners for the John R. Wooden Award and the 10-member Wooden All America Team.
Graham is the only player in NCAA Division I averaging 17.0-plus points, 7.0-plus assists, 1.8-plus steals and fewer than 3.0 turnovers per game. The Raleigh, North Carolina, native is fifth nationally in assists per game at 7.5 and he leads the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.8. Graham is scoring 18.7 points per game in Big 12 play and averaging 17.2 points in all games, which is third in the Big 12. He is second in the conference in assists (7.5), fifth in free throw percentage (84.9), fifth in 3-point field goals made (2.9) and fourth in steals (1.9).
Graham recently became just the third player in school history to tally 1,400 points, 500 assists and 175 steals in a career. Darnell Valentine and Kirk Hinrich are the only other Jayhawks to hit those numbers. Graham is 25th on the Kansas career scoring list (1,471), 10th in assists (523) and 10th in steals (178). He is also on pace to became the No. 2 3-point shooter in school history. His 253 treys trail Billy Thomas (269 from 1995-98) by 16 for second on Kansas’ career 3-pointers list.
The Big 12 leads all conferences with five selections; followed by the Big East and Big Ten with four apiece, the Pac-12 with three; the ACC with two; and the SEC and WCC with one selection apiece.
Players not appearing on this list are still eligible for the National Ballot, which will be announced in early March and will consist of 15 top players. Prior to being listed on the National Ballot, each player must be certified by their university to meet the qualifications for the Award, including: candidates must be a full-time student making progress toward graduation and have a cumulative 2.00 grade point average since enrolling in their school; candidates must exhibit strength of character, both on and off the court; candidates should contribute to team effort; candidates must excel in both offense and defense; and candidates should be considered based on their performance over the course of the entire season. Players not listed on the National Ballot will no longer be eligible for the Wooden Award nor the John R. Wooden Award All America Team. Voting begins at the end of the season, and voters, consisting of 1,000 members of the national college basketball media, will take into account the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
John R. Wooden Award Presented By Wendy’s
2017-18 Men’s Late Season Top 20
Name, School (Class, Position)
Deandre Ayton, Arizona (Fr., F)
Marvin Bagley III, Duke (Fr., F)
Mohamed Bamba, Texas (Fr., F)
Keita Bates-Diop, Ohio State (Jr., F)
Trevon Bluiett, Xavier (Sr., G)
Mikal Bridges, Villanova (Jr., G/F)
Miles Bridges, Michigan State (So., G/F)
Jalen Brunson, Villanova (Jr., G)
Jevon Carter, West Virginia (Sr., G)
Carsen Edwards, Purdue (So., G)
Vincent Edwards, Purdue (Sr., F)
Keenan Evans, Texas Tech (Sr., G)
Marcus Foster, Creighton (Sr., G)
DEVONTE’ GRAHAM, KANSAS (Sr., G)
Tra Holder, Arizona State (Sr., G)
Jock Landale, Saint Mary’s (Sr., C)
Luke Maye, North Carolina (Jr., F)
Collin Sexton, Alabama (Fr., G)
Allonzo Trier, Arizona (Jr., G)
Trae Young, Oklahoma (Fr., G)
About the John R. Wooden Award
The 42nd annual presentation of the John R. Wooden Award to men’s and women’s most outstanding basketball player will be the anchor presentation of the ESPN College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s on ESPN2 on Friday, April 6, 2018. The men’s and women’s John R. Wooden Award All American Teams will be honored during the ceremony, and the 2018 Wooden Award Legends of Coaching Trophy will be presented to Jay Wright, Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Villanova.
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 basketball player at an NCAA Division I university who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress towards graduation and maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Kansas’ Danny Manning (’88) Tim Duncan (’97), Candace Parker (’07 & ’08), Maya Moore (’09 & ’11), and last year’s recipients, Kelsey Plum of Washington and Mason III.
Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed nearly one million dollars to the universities’ general scholarship fund in the names of the Wooden Award All American recipients and has sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with the Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament brings together Special Olympics athletes and Wooden Award All Americans and coaches in attendance. It is hosted at the Los Angeles Athletic Club during the John R. Wooden Award Weekend.
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