Kansas duo named to Wooden Award Top 25

LOS ANGELES – Kansas senior Frank Mason III and freshman Josh Jackson have been named to the John R. Wooden Award® Midseason Top 25, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Wednesday evening.
Chosen by a poll of national college basketball experts, the list comprises of 25 student-athletes who are front-runners for the John R. Wooden Award®, based on their performances during the first half of the 2016-17 season. Kansas is one of five school with two players chosen. Mason and Jackson are two of four student-athletes from the Big 12 Conference on the list.
Mason leads the Big 12 in scoring at 20.4 points per game and 3-point field goal percentage at 54.9 percent. The 5-foot-11, Petersburg, Virginia, guard has nine games of 20 or more points this season, including two 30-point efforts for the No. 2/2 Jayhawks (15-1, 4-0). A two-time Big 12 Player of the Week, Mason is second in the league in assists at 5.6 per game and also ranks among the conference leaders in 3-point field goals made (third at 2.4), field goal percentage (seventh at 53.2 percent), free throw percentage (seventh at 74.7 percent) and assist-to-turnover ratio (eighth at 2.3).
Jackson is fourth in the Big 12 with a 15.4 scoring average and tied for 10th in rebounding at 5.4 boards per game. The 6-foot-8, Detroit guard has three double-doubles on the season and leads Kansas with 22 blocked shots. A three-time Big 12 Newcomer of the Week and one-time Big 12 Player of the Week, Jackson has eclipsed the 20-point mark three times. The 2016 CBE Hall of Fame Classic Most Valuable Player, Jackson is second on the KU team with 24 steals and also ranks among the Big 12 leaders in field goal percentage (10th at 51.3), steals (10th at 1.5), blocked shots (ninth at 1.4).
The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2017 John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s. The leading candidates will be further pared to 20 top players in early February. Fifteen 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 will be submitted to voters on the Final Ballot prior to the NCAA Tournament. Voters are permitted to take into consideration the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament when casting the ballot. The 10-man Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament.
The 41st annual presentation of the John R. Wooden Award® to the men’s and women’s most outstanding basketball player will be the anchor presentation of the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show presented by Wendy’s® on ESPN2 on Friday, April 7, 2017.
John R. Wooden Award® Midseason Top 25
Dwayne Bacon, Florida State
Lonzo Ball, UCLA
Joel Berry II, North Carolina
Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson
Dillon Brooks, Oregon
De’Aaron Fox, Kentucky
Markelle Fultz, Washington
Ethan Happ, Wisconsin
Josh Hart, Villanova
Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin
Justin Jackson, North Carolina
Luke Kennard, Duke
Lauri Markkanen, Arizona
Kelan Martin, Butler
Malik Monk, Kentucky
Monte Morris, Iowa State
Johnathan Motley, Baylor
Alec Peters, Valparaiso
Caleb Swanigan, Purdue
Melo Trimble, Maryland
Maurice Watson Jr., Creighton
Nigel Williams-Goss, Gonzaga
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