The winner of the 2013 John R. Wooden Award will not be a Kentucky Wildcat. We know this because the Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 was announced today by The Los Angeles Athletic Club and while the Commonwealth is represented, UK is not.
Murray State guard Isaiah Canaan, a Wooden All-American last season, is on the list, as is Russ Smith of Louisville. And while there are three freshmen listed, none is from Kentucky (Anthony Bennett of UNLV, Ben McLemore of Kansas and Marcus Smart of Oklahoma State).
Selected by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board, the list is made up of 25 student-athletes who, based on their performances in November, December and the beginning of January, are the frontrunners for one of college basketball’s most prestigious honor.
The players on the list are considered “strong candidates” for the official ballot, which consists of approximately 20 top players who have proven to their universities that they are making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA.
The Women’s midseason list will be released next week, and could include A’dia Mathies, who led UK to the Southeastern Conference championship last year as the conference Player of the Year.
Only two SEC players made the men’s list, both from Missouri –forward Laurence Bowers, and guard Phil Pressey.
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 Wooden Award will be presented in Atlanta during Final Four weekend. That’s also when Bill Self of Kansas will be honored as the winner of the Legends of Coaching award.