ACADEMIC INTEGRATION COMPETITIVE EXCELLENCE

IN DIVISION I ATHLETICS

 

Wright Among Wooden Award Preseason Top 50

Keith Wright averaged 14.8 points and 8.3 rebounds per game as a junior (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Senior forward Keith Wright, the reigning Ivy League Player of the Year, is one of 50 players to be named as one of the preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden award, the nation's most coveted college basketball honor, as announced by The Los Angeles Athletic Club on ESPN.com.

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 frontunners for college basketball's most prestigious honor.

Wright, who was the only Ivy League player to appear on the Wooden List, was a Lou Henson All-America and Associated Press All-America honorable mention choice last season, and garnered unanimous All-Ivy League first-team accolades in 2010-11.

Wright, who will serve as a co-captain of the Crimson again this season, was also tabbed to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District first team, as well as the Rush The Court All-Ivy Team.  After leading Harvard with 14.8 points per game and 8.3 rebounds per contest, he was also named the CollegeInsider Ivy League Player of the Year.

A native of Sullolk, Va., Wright was second in the Ivy League in 2010-11 with 12 double-doubles and finished second in the league in rebounding and third in scoring. Wright scored in double figures in 27 games and started all 30 contests for the Crimson during his junior campaign. He blocked 54 shots, which ranks second in school history for a single season and ranked 15th in the country with a shooting percentage of .584. In 14 Ivy League games, Wright averaged 15.4 ppg, 8.9 rpg and 2.1 bpg.

Wright helped Harvard to the winningest season in program history, as the team posted a 23-7 overall record, to go along with a 12-2 mark in conference play last year. The Crimson earned a share of the program's first Ivy title and received a berth in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) for the first time in school history.

Wright and the Crimson will open the 2011-12 campaign by hosting MIT at Lavietes Pavilion Nov. 11 at 7 p.m.
 
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.

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.

candidates and get the latest news throughout the season by logging on to www.WoodenAward.com.

2011-12 John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 List, Men

Name

Height

Class

Position

University

Conference

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

Allen Crabbe

6-6

So.

G

California

Pac-12

Aaron Craft

6-2

So.

G

Ohio State

Big Ten

Marcus Denmon

6-3

Sr.

G

Missouri

Big 12

Festus Ezeli

6-11

Sr.

C

Vanderbilt

SEC

Ashton Gibbs

6-2

Sr.

G

Pitt

Big East

Michael Glover

6-7

Sr.

F

Iona

MAAC

Drew Gordon

6-9

Sr.

F

New Mexico

Mountain West

Draymond Green

6-7

Sr.

F

Michigan State

Big Ten

JaMychal Green

6-8

Sr.

F

Alabama

SEC

Jorge Gutierrez

6-3

Sr.

G

California

Pac-12

Tim Hardaway, Jr.

6-5

So.

G

Michigan

Big Ten

Elias Harris

6-7

Jr.

F

Gonzaga

WCC

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

John Jenkins

6-3

Jr.

G

Vanderbilt

SEC

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

Terrence Jones

6-8

So.

F

Kentucky

SEC

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

Reeves Nelson

6-8

Jr.

F

UCLA

Pac-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

Joshua Smith

6-10

So.

C

UCLA

Pac-12

Jared Sullinger

6-9

So.

C

Ohio State

Big Ten

Jeffery Taylor

6-7

Sr.

G/F

Vanderbilt

SEC

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

Patric Young

6-9

So.

F/C

Florida

SEC

Tyler Zeller

7-0

Sr.

F

North Carolina

ACC