Rondo Named Preseason Wooden Award Candidate

LEXINGTON, Ky. –Kentucky sophomore Rajon Rondo named one of the top 50 preseason candidates for the Men's 2005-06 Wooden Award All-American Team Tuesday. 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.

LEXINGTON, Ky. –Kentucky sophomore Rajon Rondo named one of the top 50 preseason candidates for the Men's 2005-06 Wooden Award All-American Team Tuesday. 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. This marks the eighth consecutive year that Kentucky has been represented on the Wooden Award's initial watch list. Last season, Chuck Hayes was named to the preseason list, while Gerald Fitch made the list in 2003. Keith Bogans was a player to watch in 2002 and both Bogans and Tayshaun Prince were among the top 50 in 2001. Bogans also made the list as a sophomore in 2000, while Scott Padgett was on the list in 1998 and 1999, when only 25 candidates were named. The 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." Four SEC players were named to the watch list this year, including LSU's Glen Davis, Arkansas' Ronnie Brewer and Alabama's Chuck Davis. For the complete list of preseason candidates, visit www.woodenaward.com. 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.

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