Jan. 17, 2012
Marquette senior guard Darius Johnson-Odom has been named a member of The John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25, The Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Tuesday afternoon.
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 college basketball's most prestigious honor. The Women's midseason list will be released on January 27th.
Ohio State forward Jared Sullinger is the only player returning from last year's Wooden Award All American team. A finalist a year ago, Sullinger averages 17.4 points and 9.3 rebounds, while recording eight double-doubles so far in 2011-12.
All collegiate basketball players, including transfers, freshmen and medical redshirts are eligible for this midseason list. In addition, all players will be evaluated and considered for the official voting ballot released in March. 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 John R. Wooden Award All American Team will be announced the week of the "Elite Eight" round during the NCAA Tournament, making it unique among college postseason awards because it takes into account performance in the postseason.
The Big Ten, SEC, ACC and Big East conferences boast four selections apiece to the Midseason Top 25, followed by the Big 12 with three. The Missouri Valley Conference, Conference USA, MAAC, Big West, Mountain West and Big Sky each had one player selected.
North Carolina (Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Kendall Marshall), Kentucky (Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist), and Ohio State (William Buford and Sullinger) had more than one player chosen to the midseason list; all three teams are currently in the Associated Press Top 5. Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist and Cody Zeller of Indiana were the only freshmen selected.
The 36th annual Wooden Award Gala, will take place on Friday, April 6, 2012, and will honor winners, All Americans and the Legends of Coaching winner Geno Auriemma of Connecticut. The John R. Wooden Award winner will be announced the weekend of the Final Four in New Orleans, Louisiana.
About the John R. Wooden Award
Created in 1976 and named after the Hall of Fame player, coach and teacher, 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), Blake Griffin ('09) and Maya Moore of Connecticut ('09 and '11). BYU's Jimmer Fredette was the Wooden Award winner 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 Gala.
Follow the candidates and get the latest news throughout the season by logging on to www.WoodenAward.com. For more information on the John R. Wooden Award, please contact the Wooden Award staff at 213-630-5231 or email at email@example.com.