Lucas, Graham headline Wooden Award Preseason list

STILLWATER, Okla. (OSU Athletics <>) — John Lucas and Joey Graham, both seniors on the 2004-05 Oklahoma State Cowboy basketball squad, have been named to the John R. Wooden Award preseason list of top-50 candidates, it was announced today. Lucas was one of 10 semifinalists for the award last season, earning Wooden Award All-America team honors.

Of the 50 candidates on the preseason watch list, 10 NCAA conferences are represented, including the Atlantic Coast Conference with 12 players. The Big East has eight players listed, while both the Big 12 and Pac 10 have six players each.

Oklahoma State is one of 11 teams to have two or more players representing their respective schools. Georgia Tech and North Carolina each have three players listed, while Illinois, Notre Dame, Arizona, Wake Forest, Kansas, Florida, Syracuse and Duke join the Cowboys with two nominees apiece.

Other Big 12 players on the preseason list include Keith Langford and Wayne Simien of Kansas, Oklahoma's Kevin Bookout, and P.J. Tucker of Texas.

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 university that he is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 grade point average. Previous winners include such notables as Michael Jordan in 1984, Larry Bird in 1979, Tim Duncan in 1997, and last year's recipient, Jameer Nelson.

In mid-January, the Wooden Award committee will release the Midseason Top 30 on CBS Sports, and on Tuesday, March 29, the 10 player Wooden Award All-America team will be announced. The 2005 Award ceremony, which will include the presentation of the men's and women's Wooden Award winner, the Wooden Award All-America teams, and the Legends of Coaching Award, will be held at the Los Angeles Athletic Club on April 9, 2005, and will be broadcast live on a national CBS telecast.

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