Three Jayhawks named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50
LOS ANGELES – Kansas senior Frank Mason III, junior Devonte’ Graham and freshman Josh Jackson have been named to the John R. Wooden Award® presented by Wendy’s® Preseason Top 50, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Tuesday.
Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who are the early front-runners for John R. Wooden Award. The same three Jayhawks were named to the Naismith Trophy Men’s College Player of the Year Preseason Watch List on Nov. 10.
With three Jayhawks on the Wooden list, Kansas has tied for the most by any school on the preseason watch. Duke, Kentucky and Oregon also have three each on the preseason top 50. Jackson joins six other freshmen on the list as well.
The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2017 John R. Wooden Award All-America Team presented by Wendy’s. Players not chosen to the preseason list are eligible for the Wooden Award mid-season list, late season list and the national ballot. The national ballot consists of 15 top players.
Mason and Graham are two of three returning starters for Kansas in 2016-17, while Jackson was the No. 1 recruit coming out of high school in 2016.
Mason opened the season scoring a career-high 30 points in Kansas’ 103-99 overtime loss to Indiana on Nov. 11. The Petersburg, Virginia, guard also had seven rebounds and nine assists for the game, earning him Big 12 Player of the Week. A two-time All-Big 12 Second Team selection, Mason is Kansas’ leading returner in points at 12.9 points per game and assists at 4.6 per contest from last season.
From Raleigh, North Carolina, Graham scored 16 points in the season opener against Indiana. He was an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention last season and the Most Outstanding Player at the 2016 Big 12 Championship in leading KU to the title. Graham averaged 11.9 points per game and led KU with 1.4 steals per contest in 2015-16.
Tabbed the 2016-17 Preseason Big 12 Freshman of the Year, Jackson had nine points and six rebounds against Indiana. A 2016 McDonald’s All-American, Jackson grew up in Detroit and spent his final two seasons of high school at Prolific Prep in Napa, California. He averaged 26.9 points, 13.1 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game at Prolific Prep in 2015-16 and 31.2 points, 17.6 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.3 steals in 2014-15. Prior to going to Prolific Prep, Jackson led Detroit Consortium to the Class C state title his sophomore year in 2013-14.
No. 7/8 Kansas (0-1) will face No. 1 Duke (2-0) in the State Farm Champions Classic, Nov. 15, at 8:30 p.m. (Central) on ESPN.
A complete list of the John R. Wooden Award® presented by Wendy’s® Preseason Top 50 can be seen at woodenaward.com.
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