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John R. Wooden Award preseason Top 50 list is unveiled

Doug McDermott

Creighton’s Doug McDermott holds up his piece of the net after his team won the Missouri Valley Conference tournament championship NCAA basketball game, Sunday, March 4, 2012 in St. Louis. Creighton beat Illinois State 83-79 in overtime.(AP Photo/Tom Gannam)


With the start of the college basketball season less than 24 hours away, there was one last bit of preseason awards business to be handled.

The Los Angeles Athletic Club, which has presented the John R. Wooden Award to the best player in basketball since 1977, released its preseason Top 50 list on Friday afternoon.

Of the fifty players on the list just one was a member of last year’s Wooden Award All-America Team, Creighton power forward Doug McDermott.

A rule that has ruffled feathers in the past is the exclusion of freshmen from the list. While on one side of the argument there’s the point that “we haven’t seen them play at the college level,” there are solid arguments to be made for some of best newcomers in the country.

That explains why Kentucky and UCLA, who can claim two of the nation’s best recruiting classes, don’t have a single player on the Top 50 list. Transfers and medical redshirts are also ineligible for the preseason list.

Nine Big Ten players, led by forwards Cody Zeller (Indiana) and Deshaun Thomas (Ohio State), are on the list and that number leads all conferences. The Big East (seven), ACC and SEC (six apiece) are next in line. In total sixteen conferences are represented in the Wooden Award Top 50.

Keith Appling6-1Jr.GMichigan StateBig Ten
Chane Behanan6-6So.FLouisvilleBig East
Kenny Boynton6-2Sr.GFloridaSEC
Lorenzo Brown6-5Jr.GNorth Carolina StateACC
Trey Burke6-0So.GMichiganBig Ten
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope6-5So.GGeorgiaSEC
Isaiah Canaan6-1Sr.GMurray StateOhio Valley
Jack Cooley6-9Sr.FNotre DameBig East
D.J. Cooper6-0Sr.GOhio UniversityMid-American
Vincent Council6-2Sr.GProvidenceBig East
Allen Crabbe6-6Jr.GCaliforniaPac-12
Aaron Craft6-2Jr.GOhio StateBig Ten
Seth Curry6-2Sr.GDukeACC
Brandon Davies6-9Sr.FBYUWest Coast
Matthew Dellavedova6-4Sr.GSaint Mary’sWest Coast
Gorgui Dieng6-11Jr.CLousvilleBig East
Jamaal Franklin6-5Jr.GSan Diego StateMountain West
Tim Frazier6-1Sr.GPenn StateBig Ten
Tim Hardaway, Jr.6-6Jr.GMichiganBig Ten
Elias Harris6-8Sr.FGonzagaWest Coast
Solomon Hill6-7Sr.FArizonaPac-12
Pierre Jackson5-10Sr.GBaylorBig 12
Elijah Johnson6-4Sr.GKansasBig 12
Sean Kilpatrick6-4Jr.G/FCincinnatiBig East
C.J. Leslie6-9Jr.FNorth Carolina StateACC
James Michael McAdoo6-9So.FNorth CarolinaACC
Ray McCallum6-3Jr.GDetroitHorizon League
C.J. McCollum6-3Sr.GLehighPatriot League
Doug McDermott*6-8Jr.FCreightonMissouri Valley
Rodney McGruder6-4Sr.GKansas StateBig 12
Tony Mitchell6-8So.FNorth TexasSun Belt
Mike Moser6-8Jr.FUNLVMountain West
Brock Motum6-10Sr.FWashington StatePac-12
Le’Bryan Nash6-7So.G/FOklahoma StateBig 12
Brandon Paul6-4Sr.GIllinoisBig Ten
Mason Plumlee6-10Sr.FDukeACC
Otto Porter6-8So.FGeorgetownBig East
Phil Pressey5-11Jr.GMissouriSEC
André Roberson6-7Jr.FColoradoPac-12
Peyton Siva6-0Sr.GLouisvilleBig East
Michael Snaer6-5Sr.GFlorida StateACC
Jarnell Stokes6-8So.FTennesseeSEC
Adonis Thomas6-7So.G/FMemphisConference USA
Deshaun Thomas6-7Jr.FOhio StateBig Ten
Christian Watford6-9Sr.FIndianaBig Ten
Jeff Withey7-0Sr.CKansasBig 12
Nate Wolters6-4Sr.GSouth Dakota StateSummit League
B.J. Young6-3So.GArkansasSEC
Patric Young6-9Jr.CFloridaSEC
Cody Zeller7-0So.FIndianaBig Ten

Players listed alphabetically *indicates player chosen to the 2012 Wooden All American Team

Only one team can claim three players on the list and that’s Louisville, as Chane Behanan, Gorgui Dieng and Peyton Siva were honored. Seven schools placed two players on the list, and nine of the fifty players made last season’s preseason Top 50.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.