Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Collison and Shipp Named Wooden Award Preseason Candidates

By KS Wong
Bruin Basketball Report

Complete top 50 candidate list (pdf)

UCLA's Darren Collison and Josh Shipp were among players named as top 50 preseason candidates for the Men’s 2007-08 John R. Wooden Award, announced today by The Los Angeles Athletic Club’s Wooden Award Committee.

Collison and Shipp are returning players on a Bruin team picked by many to be the preseason No.1 team in the nation this year.

Last season Collison averaged 12.7 points, 5.7 assists, and 2.2 steals a game, while fellow junior Shipp is the team's top returning scorer having averaged 13.3 points in the Bruins' run to the Final Flour.

“The committee had a tough time deciding on just 50 candidates, with so many returning talented players across the country,” said Duke Llewellyn, Wooden Award chairman. “Some teams even had several worthy candidates.”

Five schools had two players on the list: UCLA (Collison, Josh Shipp), North Carolina (Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson), Kansas (Mario Chalmers, Brandon Rush), Washington State (Derrick Low, Kyle Weaver), Georgetown (Roy Hibbert, Johnathan Wallace). More than 100 players received at least one vote.

Two returning Wooden All-Americans made the list, center Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina and Kansas guard Brandon Rush.

The top 50 candidates are comprised of returning players. Transfers, freshmen, and medical redshirts were not eligible for the preseason list, but will be evaluated and considered for both the Midseason Top 30 list and the National Ballot. Last year, Kevin Durant of the University of Texas was the first freshman to win the Wooden Award.

A total of 16 NCAA conferences are represented. The Pac-10 leads the way with 10 Wooden Award All American team candidates. Other conferences include the Big East (eight players), the ACC (seven players), the Big 12 (six players), the SEC (five players).

In January, the Wooden Award committee will release the Midseason Top 30 list, followed by the distribution of the National Ballot to more than 1,000 voters in early March. The 10-player Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the Tuesday after the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament is completed.

The 2008 Award ceremony will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club the weekend of April 11-13, 2008.

Two UCLA players have won the Wooden award in past years: Marques Johnson (1977) and Ed O'Bannon (1995).



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