Craft, Thomas Named to Wooden Award List
Thomas and Craft

Nov. 8, 2012

Los Angeles (November 8, 2012) — The Los Angeles Athletic Club has announced its Preseason Top 50 today on Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketballmedia members, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who, based on lastyear’s individual performance and team records, are the early front-runners forcollege basketball’s most prestigious honor. 

Creighton junior forward Doug McDermott was a Wooden Award All American a year ago after anoutstanding sophomore campaign in which he ranked first nationally in fieldgoals made, third in scoring, and seventh in field goal percentage. On theseason, he averaged 22.9 points and 8.5 rebounds, taking the Blue Jays to aMissouri Valley Conference title and an NCAA Tournament appearance.

Transfers, freshmen and medical redshirts are not eligible for the Preseason Top 50. The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the midseason list andthe official voting ballot, both of which are open to freshman and transferstudents. The National Ballot consists of approximately 20 top players who haveproven to their universities that they are also making progress towardgraduation 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 37th annual Wooden Award ceremony will honor theMen's and Women's Wooden Award winners, and will include the presentation ofthe Wooden Award All American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, which in2013 will go to Kansas Head Coach Bill Self. The event will take place theweekend of April 12-13, 2013.

Nine upperclassmen return to the Preseason Top 50 listfrom a year ago: Allen Crabbe of California; Aaron Craft of Ohio State; TimHardaway, Jr. of Michigan; Elias Harris of Gonzaga; Solomon Hill of Arizona;Ray McCallum of Detroit; McDermott; Peyton Siva of Louisville; and Patric Youngof Florida.

Louisville,a Final Four team a year ago, was the only school with three players on thePreseason Top 50 (Siva, Gorgui Dieng and Chane Behanan). Seven schools had two players named to the list: Duke (Seth Curry and Mason Plumlee), Florida (Youngand Kenny Boynton), Indiana (Christian Watford and Cody Zeller), Kansas (Elijah Johnson and Jeff Withey), Michigan (Hardaway, Jr. and Trey Burke), NorthCarolina State (Lorenzo Brown and C.J. Leslie) and Ohio State (Aaron Craft and Deshaun Thomas).

Two 2012-13 preseason honorees are younger brothers ofprevious John R. Wooden All Americans. Duke’s Seth Curry is the younger brother of 2009 Wooden Award All American Stephen Curry of Davidson. Cody Zeller ofIndiana is the younger brother of 2012 Wooden Award All American Tyler Zellerof North Carolina.

The Big 10 leads all conferences with nine selections to the Preseason Top 50, followed by the Big East with seven and the ACC and SEC each with six. The Big 12 has five selections, the Pac-12 boasts four, the West Coast Conference has three, and the Mountain West has two picks. Conference USA, Horizon, Missouri Valley, Mid-American, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Summit andSun Belt each have one honoree.

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 notablesas Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), Candace Parker(’07 and ’08), Kevin Durant (’09) and Maya Moore of Connecticut (’09 and ‘11).Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis won the men’s Award in 2012.

Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed close to a milliondollars to universities’ general scholarship fund in the names of the AllAmerican recipients. The Award has also sent more than 1,000 underprivilegedchildren 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. WoodenAward Ceremony.