Oct. 3, 2011
LOS ANGELES - Junior Reeves Nelson and sophomore Joshua Smith of the UCLA men's basketball team have been named to the John R. Wooden Award men's preseason top 50 list, as announced Monday by the Los Angeles Athletic Club.
Nelson led UCLA in points per game (13.9) and rebounds per game (9.1) as a sophomore in 2010-11, before earning first-team All-Pac-10 honors. Smith secured Pac-10 All-Freshman Team acclaim last season, averaging 10.9 points per game and 6.3 rebounds per game.
Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball media members, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who, based on last year's individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketball's most prestigious honor.
UCLA was one of nine schools to have at least two players selected to the preseason list.
Two UCLA men's basketball players have won the John R. Wooden Award in the past. Marques Johnson earned college basketball's first-ever Wooden Award as a senior during the 1976-77 season. Ed O'Bannon became UCLA's second Wooden Award winner as a senior in 1994-95.
Transfers, freshmen and medical redshirts are not eligible for the preseason list. The players on the preseason list are considered strong candidates for the midseason list and the official voting ballot, both of which are open to freshmen and transfer students.
The National Ballot consists of approximately 20 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. The Wooden Award All-American Team, consisting of the nation's top 10 players, will be announced the week of the "Elite Eight" round of the NCAA Tournament.
The 36th annual Wooden Award ceremony marks the 25th anniversary of the selection of the Naval Academy's David Robinson as the Wooden Award winner. The 2012 event will honor the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winners and will include the presentation of the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award. The event will take place the weekend of April 6-8, 2012.
John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 List
|Tim Abromaitis||6-8||Sr.||F||Notre Dame|
|Harrison Barnes||6-8||So.||F||North Carolina|
|Dee Bost||6-2||Sr.||G||Mississippi State|
|William Buford||6-5||Sr.||G||Ohio State|
|Aaron Craft||6-2||So.||G||Ohio State|
|Drew Gordon||6-9||Sr.||F||New Mexico|
|Draymond Green||6-7||Sr.||F||Michigan State|
|Tim Hardaway, Jr.||6-5||So.||G||Michigan|
|John Henson||6-11||Jr.||F||North Carolina|
|Orlando Johnson||6-5||Sr.||G||UC Santa Barbara|
|Kevin Jones||6-8||Sr.||F||West Virginia|
|Perry Jones III||6-11||So.||F||Baylor|
|Kendall Marshall||6-4||So.||G||North Carolina|
|Khris Middleton||6-7||Jr.||F||Texas A&M|
|Andrew Nicholson||6-9||Sr.||F||St. Bonaventure|
|Jared Sullinger||6-9||So.||C||Ohio State|
|Casper Ware||5-10||Sr.||G||Long Beach State|
|Tyler Zeller||7-0||Sr.||F||North Carolina|