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Los Angeles (August 19, 2009)— The 2009-10 preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award All-American Team and Player of the Year trophy were announced today by Richard “Duke” Llewellyn, Wooden Award Chairman and founder.  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.

Luke Harangody of Notre Dame is the only 2009 Wooden All-American returning to college basketball in 2009-10. He returns to South Bend for his final collegiate season and has a chance to become a three-time Wooden All-American. Harangody averaged better than 20 points and 10 rebounds each of the last two seasons. He ranked among the nation’s top 10 scorers (25.2) and rebounders (12.8) in 2009 and was a second team All-Big East pick.

Returning players from last year’s Wooden Award ballot, in addition to Harangody, include Sherron Collins of Kansas, Duke’s Kyle Singler and Kalin Lucas of Michigan State. Purdue’s Robbie Hummel made the Wooden ballot in 2008. Collins averaged 18.9 ppg a year ago and was a first team All-Big 12 selection. He has led the Jayhawks to regular season conference titles in each of his first three seasons in Lawrence. Singler is Duke’s top returning scorer (16.5 ppg in 2009) and rebounder (7.7) and was a second team All-ACC pick in 2009. Lucas led the Spartans to the 2009 Final Four and was the 2009 Big 10 Player of the Year, averaging 14.7 ppg.

Transfers, freshmen and medical redshirts are not eligible for the preseason list. These players and others who excel throughout the season will be evaluated and considered for December’s Midseason list and the official voting ballot released in March.

Nine schools had two players chosen to the Wooden Award preseason Top 50 and all are familiar names to fans who followed college basketball a season ago: Kansas (Collins, Cole Aldrich), Michigan State (Lucas, Raymar Morgan) Duke (Singler, Jon Scheyer), Michigan (DeShawn Sims, Manny Harris), North Carolina (Ed Davis, Deon Thompson), Purdue (Hummel, E’Twaun Moore), Connecticut (Kemba Walker, Jerome Dyson), Villanova (Scottie Reynolds, Corey Fisher), and West Virginia (Devin Ebanks, Da’Sean Butler).

Eleven conferences are represented on the Wooden Award Preseason List. Leading the way is the Big East (11), followed by the ACC (10), Big Ten (8), SEC (7), Big 12 (6), Pac-10 (3), and Atlantic 10, CAA, Horizon, WAC and West Coast with one apiece.

In late December, the Wooden Award Committee will release the Midseason Top 30 list, followed in March by the National Ballot, consisting of approximately 20 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA.  The Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round during the NCAA Tournament.

The 34th annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the announcement of the Men’s and Women’s Wooden Award winner, and the presentation of the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, will take place the weekend of April 9-11, 2010.

About the John R. Wooden Award

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 cumulative 2.0 GPA.  Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), and Blake Griffin (’09). Candace Parker of Tennessee won the Women’s Wooden Award in 2007 and 2008.
 
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 on the Friday prior to the John R. Wooden Award Ceremony.

Follow the candidates and get the latest news throughout the season by logging on to www.WoodenAward.com.  For more information on the John R. Wooden Award, please contact the Wooden Award staff at 213-630-5206 or email at woodenaward@laac.net.
 
 
2009-10 John R. Wooden Award
Preseason Top 50 List

Name                        Height    Class    Position    University            Conference
Solomon Alabi              7-1      So.        C             Florida State        ACC
Cole Aldrich                 6-11     Jr.         C             Kansas                Big 12
Al-Farouq Aminu           6-9      So.        F             Wake Forest         ACC
Luke Babbit                 6-9      So.        F              Nevada                WAC
Talor Battle                 5-11     Jr.         G             Penn State            Big Ten
Trevor Booker              6-7      Sr.         F             Clemson               ACC
Matt Bouldin                6-5      Sr.         G             Gonzaga               West Coast
Craig Brackins             6-10     Jr.         F              Iowa State            Big 12
Da’Sean Butler             6-7      Sr.         F             West Virginia         Big East
Sherron Collins           5-11      Sr.         G            Kansas                 Big 12
Ed Davis                    6-10      So.        F             North Carolina       ACC
Devan Downey             5-9      Sr         G             South Carolina       SEC
Jerome Dyson             6-3      Sr.         G             Connecticut           Big East
Devin Ebanks              6-9      So.         F             West Virginia        Big East
Corey Fisher                6-1      Jr.         G             Villanova              Big East
Luke Harangody *#     6-8       Sr.         F             Notre Dame         Big East
Manny Harris               6-5       Jr.        G             Michigan              Big Ten
Gordon Hayward          6-8       So.       G/F           Butler                 Horizon
Jeremy Hazell             6-5       Jr.         G             Seton Hall           Big East
Robbie Hummel          6-8       Jr.         F              Purdue               Big Ten
Damion James            6-7       Sr.       G/F            Texas                Big 12
Sylven Landesberg      6-6       So.        G              Virginia              ACC
Gani Lawal                  6-9       Jr.         F              Georgia Tech      ACC
Kalin Lucas                 6-0       Jr.         G              Michigan State     Big Ten
Tasmin Mitchell           6-7       Sr.         F              Louisiana State    SEC
Greg Monroe              6-11      So.        C             Georgetown          Big East
E’Twaun Moore            6-3       Jr.         G             Purdue                Big Ten
Raymar Morgan          6-8       Sr.         F              Michigan State     Big Ten
A.J. Ogilvy                 6-11      Jr.         C              Vanderbilt           SEC
Patrick Patterson         6-9      Jr.         F               Kentucky             SEC
Jerome Randle           5-10     Sr.        G              California             Pac 10
Scottie Reynolds         6-2       Jr.        G              Villanova              Big East
Samardo Samuels      6-8       So.        F              Louisville              Big East
Larry Sanders            6-11      Jr.        F               VCU                     CAA
Jon Scheyer               6-5       Sr.        G              Duke                   ACC
DeShawn Sims           6-8       Sr.        F              Michigan               Big Ten
Kyle Singler               6-8       Jr.        F               Duke                   ACC
Tyler Smith                6-7-      Sr.      G/F            Tennessee           SEC
Isaiah Thomas           5-8       So.      G              Washington          Pac 10
Deon Thompson         6-8       Sr.       F               North Carolina      ACC
J.T. Tiller                   6-3       Sr.       G               Missouri              Big 12
Evan Turner               6-7       Jr.       G/F             Ohio State          Big Ten
Jarvis Varnado           6-9       Sr.       F/C             Mississippi State  SEC
Greivis Vasquez          6-6      Sr.        G               Maryland             ACC
Deonta Vaughn          6-1       Sr.       G               Cincinnati            Big East
Kemba Walker           6-1       So.      G               Connecticut          Big East
Willie Warren             6-4       So.       G             Oklahoma            Big 12
Terrico White             6-5       So.       G              Mississippi           SEC
Nic Wise                   5-10      Sr.       G               Arizona               Pac 10
Chris Wright              6-8       Jr.        F               Dayton                Atlantic 10

(Based on a preseason poll. Players listed alphabetically.)
 *indicates 2009 Wooden All-American
# indicates 2008 Wooden All-American