Oct. 3, 2011
BERKELEY - California men's basketball senior Jorge Gutierrez (Chihuahua, Mexico/Findlay College Prep) and sophomore guard Allen Crabbe (Los Angeles, Calif./Price HS) are among the top 50 players in the nation who were named to the 2011-12 John R. Wooden Award Watch List on Mon., Oct. 3.
The Los Angeles Athletic Club revealed the list on ESPN.com as 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.
Gutierrez was an All-Pac-10 first-team selection in 2010-11 and was also a member of the conference All-Defensive Team. His play on the court also earned him USBWA All-District honors but his achievements off the court placed him on the Pac-10's All-Academic second team. Gutierrez led the Bears in scoring (14.6 ppg) and was named the team's MVP and Defensive Player of the Year a season ago. He reached double figures in points in 25 of 33 games and led the team in scoring on 12 occasions. His 54 steals rank seventh on Cal's all-time single-season ladder and he posted a career-high 34 points to go with three steals and six assists in one of Cal's marquee victories against UCLA on Feb. 20.
Crabbe was last year's Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and received all-conference honorable mention. He set the school record for three-pointers made by a freshman with 62 and climbed the Cal charts for three-point percentage (62-155, .400) and free-throw percentage (72-88, .804) by a freshman. In conference games, Crabbe led the Bears in scoring with a 16.4 ppg average and finished third on the team in rebounds with 5.3 rpg.
Cal was among several schools to have more than one player named to the watch list but was joined only by one Pac-12 conference foe--UCLA--who had junior forward Reeves Nelson and sophomore center Joshua Smith selected to the top 50.
Ohio State sophomore forward Jared Sullinger was the only returning Wooden Award All-American and was a finalist for the award a year ago after averaging 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds before he opted to return to Columbus for a second season.
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, which consists of the nation's top 10 players, will be announced during 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.
For the first time, a school had four players chosen to the Preseason Top 50 when North Carolina returners Harrison Barnes, John Henson, Kendall Marshall and Tyler Zeller were selected. Ohio State (Sullinger, William Buford and Aaron Craft) and Vanderbilt (Festus Ezeli, John Jenkins and Jeffery Taylor) had three players chosen. Six schools, all perennial top programs at the national level, had two players named to the Preseason List: California; Connecticut (Jeremy Lamb, Alex Oriakhi); Memphis (Will Barton, Joe Jackson); Syracuse (Scoop Jardine, Kris Joseph); and UCLA.
Nineteen of the 50 players named were from two conferences, the Big East (10) and Big Ten (9). The SEC had seven players chosen, followed by the ACC, Big 12, and Pac-12 each with four; and the Atlantic 10, Big West and Conference USA with two each. Conferences with one players named include the Horizon League, Ivy League, MAAC, Missouri Valley, Mountain West and WCC.
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 minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird ('79), Michael Jordan ('84), Tim Duncan ('97), Candace Parker ('07 and '08) and Maya Moore of Connecticut ('09 and `11). BYU's Jimmer Fredette won the men's award in 2011.
Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed close to a million dollars to universities' general scholarship fund in the names of the All-American recipients. The award has also sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps in the award's name. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament, which brings together Special Olympic athletes and the All-Americans, takes place at The Los Angeles Athletic Club the weekend of the John R. Wooden Award Ceremony.
Follow the candidates and get the latest news throughout the season by logging on to www.WoodenAward.com or going to the Wooden Award Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/WoodenAward. For more information on the John R. Wooden Award, please contact the Wooden Award staff at 213-630-5206 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2011-12 John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 List, Men
|Tim Abromaitis||6-8||GS||F||Notre Dame||Big East|
|Harrison Barnes||6-8||So.||F||North Carolina||ACC|
|Will Barton||6-6||So.||G||Memphis||Conference USA|
|Dee Bost||6-2||Sr.||G||Mississippi State||SEC|
|William Buford||6-5||Sr.||G||Ohio State||Big Ten|
|Aaron Craft||6-2||So.||G||Ohio State||Big Ten|
|Marcus Denmon||6-3||Sr.||G||Missouri||Big 12|
|Ashton Gibbs||6-2||Sr.||G||Pitt||Big East|
|Drew Gordon||6-9||Sr.||F||New Mexico||Mountain West|
|Draymond Green||6-7||Sr.||F||Michigan State||Big Ten|
|Tim Hardaway, Jr.||6-5||So.||G||Michigan||Big Ten|
|John Henson||6-11||Jr.||F||North Carolina||ACC|
|Tu Holloway||6-0||Sr.||G||Xavier||Atlantic 10|
|Robbie Hummel||6-8||Sr.||F||Purdue||Big Ten|
|Joe Jackson||6-1||So.||G||Memphis||Conference USA|
|Scoop Jardine||6-2||Sr.||G||Syracuse||Big East|
|Orlando Johnson||6-5||Sr.||G||UCSB||Big West|
|Darius Johnson-Odom||6-2||Sr.||G||Marquette||Big East|
|Kevin Jones||6-8||Sr.||F||West Virginia||Big East|
|Perry Jones III||6-11||So.||F||Baylor||Big 12|
|Kris Joseph||6-7||Sr.||F||Syracuse||Big East|
|Jeremy Lamb||6-5||So.||G||Connecticut||Big East|
|Kendall Marshall||6-4||So.||G||North Carolina||ACC|
|Trevor Mbakwe||6-8||Sr.||F||Minnesota||Big Ten|
|Ray McCallum||6-1||So.||G||Detroit||Horizon League|
|Doug McDermott||6-7||So.||F||Creighton||Missouri Valley|
|Khris Middleton||6-7||Jr.||F||Texas A&M||Big 12|
|Andrew Nicholson||6-9||Sr.||F||St. Bonaventure||Atlantic 10|
|Alex Oriakhi||6-9||Jr.||C||Connecticut||Big East|
|Thomas Robinson||6-9||Jr.||F||Kansas||Big 12|
|John Shurna||6-9||Sr.||F||Northwestern||Big Ten|
|Peyton Siva||6-0||Jr.||G||Louisville||Big East|
|Jared Sullinger*||6-9||So.||C||Ohio State||Big Ten|
|Jordan Taylor||6-1||Sr.||G||Wisconsin||Big Ten|
|Casper Ware||5-10||Sr.||G||Long Beach State||Big West|
|Maalik Wayns||6-2||Jr.||G||Villanova||Big East|
|Keith Wright||6-8||Sr.||F||Harvard||Ivy League|
|Tyler Zeller||7-0||Sr.||F||North Carolina||ACC|
Players listed alphabetically
*indicates player chosen to the 2011 Wooden All American Team; GS=Graduate Student
Based on a preseason poll. Award winner honored April 6, 2012 at The Los Angeles Athletic Club.