Four Players on Wooden Preseason Top 50
WALNUT CREEK, Calif.— CALIFORNIA sophomore guard Allen Crabbe and senior guard Jorge Gutierrez join UCLA junior forward Reeves Nelson and sophomore center Joshua Smith on the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50, which was released by the Los Angeles Athletic Club on Monday.
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.
Crabbe, the 2010 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, averaged 13.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in addition to a 40 percent three-point average. Gutierrez earned All-Pac-10 honors with his 14.6 points and 4.5 assists per game for the Golden Bears.
Nelson recorded 13.9 points and 9.1 rebounds per game in his breakout year with the Bruins last season, earning him a spot on the All-Pac-10 first team. Smith tallied 10.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, and racked up 34 blocks on his road to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team.
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 freshman 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. It will take place the weekend of April 6-8, 2012.
The complete preseason list can be found here.