Graham named to Wooden Award national ballot
LOS ANGELES – Kansas senior Devonte’ Graham is one of 15 student-athletes on the National Ballot for the 2018 John R. Wooden Award® Presented by Wendy’s® honoring the most outstanding college basketball player, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Saturday morning. Graham is vying to become the second-straight Jayhawk to win the award as Frank Mason III was the 2017 recipient.
On every national player of year watch list, Graham is the only player in NCAA Division I this season averaging 17.0-plus pts, 7.0-plus assists, 1.6-plus steals and fewer than 3.0 turnovers per game. Graham is seventh nationally, second in the Big 12, in assists per game at 7.2. The Raleigh, North Carolina, guard is scoring 17.7 points per game, which is second in the conference. Graham is third in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.7), sixth in free throw percentage (82.6), fourth in 3-point field goals made (3.0), sixth in 3-point field goal percentage (42.3) and fifth in steals (1.6).
On Feb. 26, Graham was named the Big 12 Player of the Week for the second time this season after guiding No. 6 Kansas (24-6, 13-4) to two victories that propelled the Jayhawks to their NCAA-record 14th consecutive, 18th Big 12 and NCAA-leading 61st regular-season conference title.
This season, Graham is logging 37.4 minutes per game this year, which ranks as the fifth highest average in a single season at KU. His 90 3-pointers made are sixth on the KU season list and his 216 assists are tied for ninth with Aaron Miles (2005).
Historically, in Kansas’ last game Graham became the 15th player in KU history to score 1,600 points. He currently sits 15th with 1,605 points. Graham is the third player in school history to tally 1,600 points, 550 assists and 180 steals in a career. KU All-Americans Darnell Valentine and Kirk Hinrich are the only other Jayhawks to hit those numbers. Graham is second on the KU career 3-point field goals made list, currently at 274, ninth in assists at 555 and ninth in steals at 183.
All balloted players have been certified by their university to meet or exceed the qualifications for the Wooden Award. The qualifications include: candidates must be full-time students in an accredited NCAA college or university; 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 on their performance over the course of the entire season.
The Wooden Award All American Team, consisting of the nation’s top 10 players, and the finalists for the Wooden Award, widely considered the most prestigious honor in college basketball, will be announced following the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament and will be the focus of a 30-minute show March 28th on ESPNU at 8pm ET.
The 42nd annual presentation of the John R. Wooden Award to the men’s and women’s most outstanding college 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.
2018 Wooden Award National Ballot Candidates
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)
Keenan Evans, Texas Tech (Sr., G)
DEVONTE’ GRAHAM, KANSAS (Sr., G)
Jock Landale, Saint Mary’s (Sr., C)
Luke Maye, North Carolina (Jr., F)
Trae Young, Oklahoma (Fr., G)
Devonte’ Graham 2017-18 Honors
Wooden Award National Ballot – 1 of 15 (3.3.18)
Citizen Naismith Trophy Semifinalist – 1 of 10 (2.28.18)
Citizen Naismith Trophy Player of the Week (2.26.18)
Big 12 Player of the Week (2.26.18)
Citizen Naismith Trophy Late Season Team – 1 of 30 (2.12.18)
Wooden Award Late Season Top-20 (2.5.18)
Bob Cousy Award Midseason Watch List – 1 of 10 (2.5.18)
USBWA Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List (1.22.18)
Lute Olson Award Midseason Watch List (1.11.18)
Wooden Award Midseason Top-25 (1.11.18)
USBWA Oscar Robertson Trophy Player of the Week (12.5.17)
Lute Olson Award Player of the Week (12.4.17)
NCAA.com Player of the Week (12.4.17)
Big 12 Player of the Week (12.4.17)
Hoophall Miami Invitational MVP
Wooden Award watch list
Naismith Player of the Year watch list
USBWA Oscar Robertson Trophy watch list
Bob Cousy Award watch list
Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year
Preseason All-Big 12
About the John R. Wooden Award
Created in 1976 by the Los Angeles Athletic Club, the John R. Wooden Award® program features the most prestigious individual honors in college basketball. The Wooden Award Trophy is bestowed annually upon the nation’s best male and female player, who have met the selection criteria as set forth by the Award’s creators. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Kansas’ Danny Manning (’88), Tim Duncan (’97), Candace Parker (’07 and ’08), Kevin Durant (’07), Maya Moore (’09 and ’11), Trey Burke (’13), Doug McDermott (’14), Frank Kaminsky (’15) and Kansas’ Frank Mason III (’17).
Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award® has contributed close to a million dollars to the general scholarship fund of the honoree’s University in the name of the All-American recipient. The Award has also enabled more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long basketball camps in the Award’s name. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with the Special Olympics Southern California each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament takes place at the Los Angeles Athletic Club the weekend of the John R. Wooden Award® presentation, and brings together Special Olympics athletes and the Wooden Award All-Americans.
Fans can follow the candidates en route to the Wooden Award presentation and get the latest news by liking the Wooden Award Facebook page or following @WoodenAward on Twitter and Instagram.
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