Print and Go Back College Basketball Nation [Print without images]

Tuesday, October 5, 2010
And now your top 50 Wooden Award candidates

By Eamonn Brennan

Last night, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced the 2010-11 preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award. According to the club, the list is comprised of "50 student-athletes who, based on last year’s individual performance and team records, are the early front-runners for college basketball’s most prestigious honor." Sportswriters take a poll, a bunch of names get churned out, and the yearly process rolls on and on.

So who are the candidates this year? Listed below, they range from the obvious (Kyle Singler, Jacob Pullen, Jimmer Fredette, Shelvin Mack, etc.) to players the casual fan has probably never heard of (Randy Culpepper, Nikola Vucevic, Cory Higgins). And, as every year, there are plenty of snubs to speak of. Florida forward Chandler Parsons is missing. Xavier guard Tu Holloway is nowhere to be seen. Tennessee's Scotty Hopson didn't get a nod (though, based on the "former production" criteria, that's not an inexplicable decision). UNLV guard Tre'Von Willis is missing.

Perhaps the biggest snub of all goes to West Virginia forward Kevin Jones. Jones was already a very good, very productive player from one of last year's Final Four teams; in 2010-11, he should become a star. It's a bit of a crime that he's not on the list.

Then again, it's just a list. It's bound to change. What's more, complaining about snubs is a bit silly when freshmen, transfers, and players who haven't played yet (whether through injury or eligibility issues; think Renardo Sidney) can't be selected, either. This is a more of a guidebook than a rulebook. It's merely a starting point. In a few months, it's not going to matter. (If you want a list of those freshman and transfers -- not to mention a list that includes Kevin Jones and Chandler Parsons, check out Andy Katz's preseason list here.)

Anyway, the list is below. Be sure to leave your snub-related gripes in the comments.

Ty Abbott, Arizona State
Lavoy Allen, Temple
Kevin Anderson, Richmond
Talor Battle, Penn State
Kenny Boynton, Florida
William Buford, Ohio State
Alec Burks, Colorado
Randy Culpepper, UTEP
Malcolm Delaney, Virginia Tech
LaceDarius Dunn, Baylor
Kim English, Missouri
Corey Fisher, Villanova
Jimmer Fredette, Brigham Young
Austin Freeman, Georgetown
Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh
Steven Gray, Gonzaga
Jordan Hamilton, Texas
Elias Harris, Gonzaga
Jeremy Hazell, Seton Hall
John Henson, North Carolina
Cory Higgins, Colorado
Tyler Honeycutt, UCLA
Robbie Hummel, Purdue
JaJuan Johnson, Purdue
Kris Joseph, Syracuse
Kawhi Leonard, San Diego State
Jon Leuer, Wisconsin
Kalin Lucas, Michigan State
Shelvin Mack, Butler
Demetri McCamey, Illinois
E’Twaun Moore, Purdue
Marcus Morris, Kansas
Jacob Pullen, Kansas State
John Shurna, Northwestern
Kyle Singler, Duke
Chris Singleton, Florida State
Nolan Smith, Duke
Tracy Smith, North Carolina State
Durrell Summers, Michigan State
Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt
Isaiah Thomas, Washington
Trey Thompkins, Georgia
Klay Thompson, Washington State
Joe Trapani, Boston College
Brandon Triche, Syracuse
Nikola Vucevic, USC
Kemba Walker, Connecticut
Derrick Williams, Arizona
Jordan Williams, Maryland
Chris Wright, Dayton