Jason Gardner and Luke Walton Head Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 List
Aug. 2, 2002
TUCSON, Ariz. - University of Arizona men's basketball players Jason Gardner and Luke Walton were among 50 student-athletes named Friday to the 2002-03 John R. Wooden Award Preseason All-America Team. Each will be considered for college basketball's player-of-the-year honors.
Gardner, a 5-foot-10, 181-pound senior guard, made the Wooden Award preseason list for the third consecutive season. The Indianapolis, Ind., native averaged a team-leading 20.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game, while logging 38.2 minutes per contest. In 34 games in 2001-02 Gardner shot 42.5 percent from the floor, 38.4 percent from three-point range, and his 106 three-point field goals ranked third on the UA single-season list. Gardner scored more points (692) in 2001-02 than any other player in the Pac-10 and was the only league player to be ranked in the top 10 in scoring average, assists and steals.
Gardner, who ranks in the top 10 in 10 different UA career statistical categories, was named to three All-America teams in 2001-02. He was a third team selection by the Associated Press and a second team pick by cnnsi.com and Basketball America. A starter in 103 of 104 career games played, Gardner has scored 1,512 points, knocked down 252 three-point field goals, passed out 464 assists and collected 164 steals. He and the Wildcats have amassed a 79-25 (.760) record over the past three seasons.
Walton, a 6-foot-8, 241-pound senior forward, is the only member of the 2002 Wooden Award All-America Team on this year's preseason list. The native of San Diego averaged 15.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and a Pac-10 Conference-leading 6.3 assists in 31 games last year. He led the Wildcats with nine double-doubles and a triple-double while shooting 47.0 percent from the floor. The Pac-10 Tournament Most Outstanding Player, Walton scored in double figures 24 times in 2001-02 and had five double-figure assists games to his credit. He was the only Pac-10 player to be ranked in the league's top 15 in scoring and the top 10 in rebounding, assists and steals.
In addition to his Wooden Award honors last season, Walton also earned All-America kudos from Basketball Times (3rd), The Sporting News (2nd) and collegehoopsinsider.com. In 101 career games, Walton has averaged 8.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.4 assists.
Arizona, one of just seven programs nationally to have two players on the Wooden list, return nine letterwinners from a 2001-02 squad that finished with a 24-10 record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament West Regional Semifinals. It was Arizona's 18th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament, the longest active streak in the nation, and the program's 15th straight 20-win season.
Wooden Award Preseason All-American Team
(Based on a preseason poll. Players listed alphabetically.)
Mario Austin 6'9' Jr. F/C Mississippi StateMarcus Bailey 6'5' Sr. G/F WyomingTroy Bell 6'1' Sr. G Boston CollegeSteve Blake 6'3' Sr. G MarylandKeith Bogans 6'5' Sr. G KentuckyMatt Bonner 6'10' Sr. F FloridaNick Collison 6'9' Sr. F KansasBrian Cook 6'10' Sr. F IllinoisTom Coverdale 6'2' Sr. G IndianaWillie Deane 6'1' Sr. G PurdueErwin Dudley 6'8' Sr. F AlabamaChris Duhon 6'1' Jr. G DukeCarl English 6'5' Jr. G/F HawaiiEbi Ere 6'5' Sr. G OklahomaT.J. Ford 5'10' So. G TexasReece Gaines 6'6' Sr. G LouisvilleJason Gardner 5'10' Sr. G ArizonaMarcus Hatten 6'1' Sr. G St. John'sJarvis Hayes 6'6' Jr. G/F GeorgiaChris Hill 6'3' So. G Michigan StateKirk Hinrich 6'3' Sr. G KansasJosh Howard 6'6' Sr. F Wake ForestBrandon Hunter 6'7' Sr. F OhioLuke Jackson 6'7' Jr. G OregonBritton Johnsen 6'9' Sr. G UtahDahntay Jones 6'6' Sr. F DukeJason Kapono 6'7' Sr. F UCLABrandin Knight 6'0' Sr. G PittsburghChris Marcus 7'1' Sr. C/F Western KentuckyJason Maxiel 6'7' So. F CincinnatiBrett Nelson 6'3' Sr. G FloridaJameer Nelson 6'1' Jr. G St. Joseph'sEmeka Okafor 6'9' Jr. F/C ConnecticutUgonna Onyekwe 6'8' Sr. F PennsylvaniaRickey Paulding 6'5' Jr. G MissouriKirk Penney 6'5' Sr. G WisconsinHollis Price 6'1' Sr. G OklahomaJustin Reed 6'8' Jr. F MississippiDarius Rice 6'10' Jr. F MiamiLuke Ridnour 6'2' Jr. G OregonRomain Sato 6'5' Jr. G/F XavierTheron Smith 6'8' Sr. F Ball StateMike Sweetney 6'8' Jr. F GeorgetownChris Thomas 6'1' So. G Notre DameJames Thomas 6'8' Jr. C TexasCory Violette 6'8' Jr. F/C GonzagaDwyane Wade 6'4' Jr. G MarquetteLuke Walton 6'8' Sr. F ArizonaTravis Watson 6'8' Sr. F/C VirginiaDavid West 6'8' Sr. F/C Xavier