Powe Top 50 Candidate for Wooden All-America Team

Aug. 9, 2005

BERKELEY - Sophomore forward Leon Powe, the 2004 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, has been named one of the Top 50 candidates for the men's 2005-06 Wooden Award All-America team. The list is composed of 50 student-athletes who are the early frontrunners for college basketball's most coveted trophy.

These Top 50 candidates are comprised of returning players, although transfers, freshmen and other players who excel throughout the season will be evaluated and considered for both the Midseason top 30 list and the National Ballot.

'With so many players jumping to the next level and so many standout athletes from last year, the committee had a tough time nominating these candidates from such a wide selection of tremendous players,' said Duke Llewellyn, Wooden Award chairman. 'These preseason selections represent the elite of college basketball, and our entire team at the Wooden Award is excited to see the best players in the nation prove their case as college basketball's player of the year.'

Powe received the nomination despite missing all of last season due to knee surgery. He received clearance to begin playing again in May and was recently named MVP of the San Francisco Pro-Am League, where he averaged 33 ppg and 11 rpg.

During his freshman campaign, Powe poured in 15.1 ppg and became the first freshman in the history of the Pac-10 to pace the league in rebounding (9.5 rpg).

Duke's J.J. Redick and Illinois' Dee Brown are the sole preseason candidates who were honored last year as members of the 2005 Wooden Award All-American Team. Additionally, Sheldon Williams (Duke) and Craig Smith (Boston College) join Redick and Brown as the only preseason candidates named to last year's official voting ballot.

Eleven NCAA conferences are represented, including the Big East (nine players), ACC (eight players), Pac-10 (seven players), Big Ten (six players), Big 12 (six players), Atlantic 10 (four players), SEC (four players), Conference USA (two players), Western Athletic Conference (two players), West Coast Conference (one player), and the Missouri Valley Conference (one player).

In mid-January, the Wooden Award committee will release the midseason top 30 on CBS Sports, and on Tuesday, March 28, the 10-player Wooden Award All-American team will be announced. The 2006 Award ceremony, which will include the presentation of the Men's and Women's Wooden Award, the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on April 8, 2006, and will be broadcast live on a national CBS telecast.

For a complete look at the Preseason Top 50, visit the Wooden Award website.

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 Michael Jordan (`84), Larry Bird (`79), Tim Duncan (`97) and last year's recipient, Andrew Bogut (`05).

As a part of the John R. Wooden Award, the top five male and female finalists will receive a contribution from the John R. Wooden Award Scholarship Fund for their university's general scholarship fund. The Wooden Award Scholarship Fund was established in 2002 by Applied Materials and corporate partners through the California Community Foundation (CCF) to honor Coach Wooden's dedication as an educator and mentor. Applied Materials distributed $10,000 last year to each university represented by a men's and women's Wooden Award All-American Team finalist (for a total of $100,000). Additional donations to Applied Materials' John R. Wooden Award Scholarship Fund can be made by contacting the scholarship fund through the CCF (www.calfund.org).

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