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Kirk, Williams Names to Wooden Award Preseason Watch List
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  11/12/2013

Los Angeles, Calif. ---  The Los Angeles Athletic Club has announced its Preseason Top 50 today on ESPN.com, and Kendall Williams and Alex Kirk have both been named to the preseason Wooden Award Watch List.   The list, chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts, is comprised of 50 student-athletes who are the early front-runners for the sport’s most prestigious honor.

AP preseason No. 1 Kentucky had the most players chosen to the list, four (sophomore Willie Cauley-Stein, and three freshmen: Julius Randle, Andrew Harrison, and James Young). Duke, Kansas, and Michigan State, all top 5 teams in the preseason, boast three Top 50 players apiece. Schools with two players selected include defending NCAA Champion Louisville, Baylor, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio State, Tennessee and UCLA.

In terms of conferences, the Big 10 led all leagues with 10 players chosen to the preseason list from six different schools. The ACC had eight selections from six schools, followed by the Big 12 (3 schools), Pac-12 (5 schools) and SEC (2 schools) with six selections each. The brand new American Athletic Conference had five selections (4 schools), followed by the Big East, West Coast and Mountain West with two each; and the Atlantic 10, Missouri Valley, and Sun Belt each with one.

The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the midseason list and the official voting ballot, which will consist 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.

Williams and Kirk both were invited to the World University Games tryout camp in Colorado Springs this summer, with Kirk making the squad that finished ninth in Russia this summer.  Williams and Kirk were both preseason Mountain West All-Conference team members, and Williams was the Preseason Player of the Year after winning the 2013 Player of the Year Award and earning honorable mention Associated Press All-America honors. 

Both got off to good starts this season, as Williams scored 17 points with seven assists and no turnovers against Alabama A&M last Saturday, while Kirk had a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds to go along with two blocked shots.  No other Mountain West team had a player on the list.

The 38th annual Wooden Award ceremony 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, which in 2013 will go to Stanford Head Women’s Basketball Coach Tara VanDerveer. The event will take place the weekend of April 11-12, 2014.

Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball.  It is bestowed upon the nation’s best player at an institution of higher education who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA.  Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), Candace Parker (’07 and ’08), Kevin Durant (’09) and Maya Moore of Connecticut (’09 and ‘11). Michigan’s Trey Burke won the 2013 Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s.

Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed close to a million dollars to universities’ general scholarship fund in the names of the All American recipients. The Award has also sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps in the Award’s name.   Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament.  The day-long tournament, which brings together Special Olympic athletes and the All Americans, takes place at The Los Angeles Athletic Club the weekend of the John R. Wooden Award Ceremony.

Follow the candidates and get the latest news throughout the season by logging on to www.WoodenAward.com or going to the Wooden Award facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/WoodenAward.  For more information on the John R. Wooden Award, please contact the Wooden Award staff at 213-630-5231 or via email at woodenaward@laac.net.

 

               2013-14 John R. Wooden Award® Presented by Wendy’s® Preseason Top 50

Name

School

Conference

Ht.

Yr.

Pos.

Jordan Adams

UCLA

Pac-12

6-5

So.

G

Kyle Anderson

UCLA

Pac-12

6-9

So.

G/F

Keith Appling

Michigan State

Big Ten

6-1

Sr.

G

Isaiah Austin

Baylor

Big 12

7-1

So.

C

Jahii Carson

Arizona State

Pac-12

5-10

So.

G

Willie Cauley-Stein

Kentucky

SEC

7-0

So.

F

Semaj Christon

Xavier

Big East

6-3

So.

G

Aaron Craft

Ohio State

Big Ten

6-2

Sr.

G

Sam Dekker

Wisconsin

Big Ten

6-7

So.

F

Spencer Dinwiddie

Colorado

Pac-12

6-6

Jr.

G

Cleanthony Early

Wichita State

Missouri Valley

6-8

Sr.

F

Joel Embiid

Kansas

Big 12

7-0

Fr.

C

C.J. Fair

Syracuse

ACC

6-8

Sr.

F

Aaron Gordon

Arizona

Pac-12

6-9

Fr.

F

Jerian Grant

Notre Dame

ACC

6-5

Sr.

G

Montrezl Harrell

Louisville

The American

6-8

So.

F

Gary Harris

Michigan State

Big Ten

6-4

So.

G

Joe Harris

Virginia

ACC

6-6

Sr.

G

Andrew Harrison

Kentucky

SEC

6-6

Fr.

G

Tyler Haws

BYU

WCC

6-5

Jr.

G

Andre Hollins

Minnesota

Big Ten

6-2

Jr.

G

Rodney Hood

Duke

ACC

6-8

So.

F

Joe Jackson

Memphis

The American

6-1

Sr.

G

Cory Jefferson

Baylor

Big 12

6-9

Sr.

F

Sean Kilpatrick

Cincinnati

The American

6-4

Sr.

G

Alex Kirk

New Mexico

Mountain West

7-0

Jr.

C

James Michael McAdoo

North Carolina

ACC

6-9

Jr.

F

Doug McDermott*#

Creighton

Big East

6-8

Sr.

F

Mitch McGary

Michigan

Big Ten

6-10

So.

F

Jordan McRae

Tennessee

SEC

6-6

Sr.

G

Shabazz Napier

Connecticut

The American

6-1

Sr.

G

Kevin Pangos

Gonzaga

WCC

6-2

Jr.

G

Jabari Parker

Duke

ACC

6-8

Fr.

F

Adreian Payne

Michigan State

Big Ten

6-10

Sr.

C

Elfrid Payton

Louisiana

Sun Belt

6-3

Jr.

G

Dwight Powell

Stanford

Pac-12

6-10

Sr.

F

Julius Randle

Kentucky

SEC

6-9

Fr.

F

Juvonte Reddic

VCU

Atlantic 10

6-9

Sr.

F

Glenn Robinson III

Michigan

Big Ten

6-6

So.

F

LaQuinton Ross

Ohio State

Big Ten

6-8

Jr.

F

Wayne Selden, Jr.

Kansas

Big 12

6-5

Fr.

G

Marcus Smart

Oklahoma State

Big 12

6-4

So.

G

Russ Smith

Louisville

The American

6-0

Sr.

G

Jarnell Stokes

Tennessee

SEC

6-8

Jr.

F

Rasheed Sulaimon

Duke

ACC

6-4

So.

G

Noah Vonleh

Indiana

Big Ten

6-10

Fr.

F

Dez Wells

Maryland

ACC

6-5

Jr.

G/F

Andrew Wiggins

Kansas

Big 12

6-8

Fr.

G

Kendall Williams

New Mexico

Mountain West

6-4

Sr.

G

James Young

Kentucky

SEC

6-6

Fr.

G

 

Players listed alphabetically     

* indicates player chosen to the 2013 Wooden All American Team

# indicates player chosen to the 2012 Wooden All American Team

Tuesday, December 23
7:00 PM - 
Men's Basketball
at Grand Canyon
Wednesday, December 31
5:00 PM - 
Men's Basketball
vs. Fresno State
Saturday, January 03
6:00 PM - 
Men's Basketball
vs. Colorado State (Alumni Day)
Tuesday, January 06
9:00 PM - 
Men's Basketball
at San Diego State
Saturday, January 10
7:00 PM - 
Men's Basketball
at Utah State
Wednesday, January 14
7:00 PM - 
Men's Basketball
vs. Air Force
Sunday, January 18
4:00 PM - 
Men's Basketball
vs. Boise State
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