Lawson and Grimes on the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 Watch List
LOS ANGELES – Kansas junior Dedric Lawson and freshman Quentin Grimes have been named to the John R. Wooden Award® Preseason Top 50 Watch List, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Tuesday.
This is the third national player of the year list for Lawson in the last two days. On Monday, the Memphis, Tennessee, forward was named to the Naismith Trophy and the NABC Player of the Year watch lists. An Associated Press Preseason All-America team selection, the Preseason Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and Preseason All-Big 12 First Team selection, Lawson sat out last season after transferring from Memphis. He averaged 19.2 points and 9.9 rebounds, amassing 19 double-doubles his sophomore year for the Tigers in 2016-17, earning All-Conference First Team honors. As a freshman, Lawson averaged 15.8 points and 9.3 rebounds with 17 double-doubles for Memphis.
Named the Preseason Big 12 Freshman of the Year and preseason All-Big 12 Honorable Mention, Grimes was also named to the 50-member Naismith Trophy watch list Monday. Grimes is a five-star combo guard who made his rounds on the all-star game circuit following his senior year at College Park High School in The Woodlands, Texas. Ranked No. 8 in the national recruiting services, he averaged 29.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.9 assists his senior season, earning the 2017-18 Texas Gatorade Player of the Year, Texas Mr. Basketball and the 6A Player of the Year honors. This past summer, Grimes was the Most Valuable Player and an All-Tournament selection at the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championships in leading USA to the gold medal, where he averaged 14.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists. The USA squad was coached by KU head coach Bill Self.
Historically, Kansas’ Frank Mason III won the Wooden Award following the 2016-17 season and Jayhawk Devonte’ Graham was a finalist last season. KU’s Danny Manning was the 1988 Wooden Award recipient.
The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2019 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 2019 John R. Wooden Award will be presented by Wendy’s during the ESPN College Basketball Awards on Friday, April 12, 2019.
For a complete list of The John R. Wooden Award® Preseason Top 50 Watch List, go here.
No. 1 Kansas opens the 2018-19 season when it plays No. 10 Michigan State in the State Farm Champions Classic, Tuesday, Nov. 6, at 6 p.m. (Central) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
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