John Wooden Award Announces Preseason Candidates

Iowa has three players among the top 50 including Iowa State's Curtis Stinson, Iowa's Jeff Horner and Northern Iowa's Ben Jacobson.

After tallying the ballots of the National Preseason Selection Committee, the John R. Wooden Award today announced the top 50 preseason candidates for the Men's 2005-06 Wooden Award All-American Team (see below). The list is composed of 50 student athletes who, based on last year's individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketball's most coveted trophy.  These top 50 candidates are comprised of returning players, although transfers, freshmen and other players who excel throughout the season will be evaluated and considered for both the Midseason top 30 list and the National Ballot.


"With so many players jumping to the next level and so many standout athletes from last year, the committee had a tough time nominating these candidates from such a wide selection of tremendous players," said Duke Llewellyn, Wooden Award chairman. "These preseason selections represent the elite of college basketball, and our entire 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."


Duke's J.J. Redick and Illinois' Dee Brown are the sole preseason candidates who were honored last year as members of the 2005 Wooden Award All-American Team. Additionally, Shelden Williams (Duke) and Craig Smith (Boston College) join Redick and Brown as the only preseason candidates named to last year's official voting ballot.  Other preseason candidates that were in the running for last year's Wooden Award include guards Justin Gray (Wake Forest), Chris Hernandez (Stanford), Carl Krauser (Pittsburgh) and Gerry McNamara (Syracuse); and forwards Leon Powe (California), P.J. Tucker (Texas) and Curtis Withers (Charlotte).


Eleven NCAA conferences are represented, including the Big East (nine players), ACC (eight players), Pac 10 (seven players), Big Ten (six players), Big 12 (six players), Atlantic 10 (four players), SEC (four players), Conference USA (two players), Western Athletic Conference (two players), West Coast Conference (one player), and the Missouri Valley Conference (one player). 


With over 90 players receiving at least one vote, no teams stood out with an overwhelming number of preseason nominees. However, several teams had two players nominated, including Boston College, Connecticut, Duke, Michigan State, Stanford, Texas, and Wake Forest.  Three of last year's Final Four teams feature representatives on the 2005-06 Wooden Award preseason list, including Michigan State's Paul Davis and Maurice Ager, Louisville's Taquan Dean, and Illinois' Dee Brown. 


In mid-January, the Wooden Award committee will release the midseason top 30 on CBS Sports, and on Tuesday, March 28, the 10-player Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced.  The 2006 Award ceremony, which will include the presentation of the Men's and Women's Wooden Award, the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on April 8, 2006, and will be broadcast live on a national CBS telecast.


Iowans on the List












Northern Iowa






Iowa State

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