Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Afflalo and Mbah a Moute Wooden Award Candidates

By Bruin Basketball Report

UCLA's junior guard Arron Afflalo and sophomore forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute are among 50 preseason candidates for the 2006-07 Wooden Award All-American Men's Team.

Afflalo averaged 15.8 points and 4.2 rebounds for the Bruins last season, while Mbah a Moute averaged 9.1 points and 8.2 rebounds a game in his freshman season.

Last year, Jordan Farmar was the only Bruin player named to the Wooden preseason list.

Duke's J.J. Redick received the 2005-06 John R. Wooden Trophy for most outstanding player.

"With so many talented players across the country the committee had a tough time deciding on 50 candidates," said Duke Llewellyn, Wooden Award chairman. "15 conferences are represented this year, which shows the parity in college basketball today. These preseason selections represent the elite and our team at the Wooden Award is excited to see the best players in the nation prove their case as college basketball's player of the year."

LSU's star forward, Glen Davis, is the only preseason candidate who was honored last year as a member of the 2006 Wooden Award All-American Team.

Candidates have been selected from 15 NCAA conferences, up from 11 last year. Conferences include the ACC (eight players), the Big 12 (eight players), the Pac-10 (seven players), the Big East (seven players), the SEC (six players), the Big 10 (four players), the Mountain West (two players), the Atlantic 10 (one player), the Conf. USA (one player), the Western Athletic (one player), the Mid Continent (one player), the Sun Belt (one player), the Horizon League (one player), the Colonial Athletic Association (one player), and the Big Sky (one player).

Smaller conferences saw their star players and teams represented by the Wooden Award's preseason selection; a testament to the increased talent level across the country. However, the college basketball juggernauts have made their presence felt as well with several big name schools having multiple players nominated. The returning 2006 National Champions, Florida, is represented by Corey Brewer, Al Horford, and Joakim Noah from last year's starting five. Among those teams that have two players represented are, UCLA, Alabama, Georgetown, North Carolina, Texas A&M, Kansas, Wisconsin, and Arizona. The national spotlight will not only be on these players but on these teams as they enter the 2006-07season.

In January, the Wooden Award committee will release the midseason top 30 followed by the national ballot in early March. On Tuesday, March 27, the 10-player Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced. The 2007 Award ceremony will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on April 7, 2007. The top five male and female finalists will be invited to Los Angeles for the awards ceremony and will receive a contribution from The Los Angeles Athletic Club for their university's general scholarship fund.

List of 50 preseason candidates



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