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Smith Selected to Wooden Award's Preseason Watch List

Dec 1, 2020
Chris Smith (photo by Derrick Tuskan/SDSU)

Wooden Award Website

LOS ANGELES – UCLA senior Chris Smith has been selected as one of 50 top men's basketball players to the 2020-21 John R. Wooden Award's preseason watch list, as announced on Tuesday by the Los Angeles Athletic Club.
Smith, a 6-foot-9 guard from Chicago, averaged a team-leading 13.1 points and ranked second on the team in rebounds last season (5.4 rpg). He secured first-team All-Pac-12 acclaim as a junior in 2019-20 and was named the league's Most Improved Player of the Year.
Through 99 games at UCLA, Smith has averaged 7.9 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. In UCLA's triple overtime win against Pepperdine last Friday, he registered 26 points and 12 rebounds.
The John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy's includes 32 student-athletes who are upperclassmen (including 20 seniors). The preseason top 50 list represents 11 conferences. The Pac-12 has six student-athletes listed – in addition to Smith are Stanford's Oscar da Silva and Ziaire Williams, Arizona State's Remy Martin, USC's Evan Mobley and Colorado's McKinley Wright IV.
The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2021 Wooden Award. Players who are not chosen to the preseason list are still eligible for the award's midseason list, late season list, and the national ballot. The national ballot consists of 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they meet or exceed the qualifications of the Wooden Award.
Nearly 1,000 voters will rank, in order, 10 of those 15 players when voting opens, prior to the NCAA Tournament. Voters can take into consideration performance during early round games. The Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the "Elite Eight" round of the NCAA Tournament. The award winner will be revealed following the NCAA Tournament in April.