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Villanova’s Saddiq Bey added to John R. Wooden Award Watch List


LOS ANGELES, Calif. (November 5, 2019) – The John R. Wooden Award® presented by Wendy’s® announced its Preseason Top 50 Watch List today on ESPN’s SportsCenter and on Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who are the early front-runners for the most prestigious honors in college basketball, the Wooden Award All American Team™ and Most Outstanding Player Award.

Several universities boast multiple players on the list: Florida (Kerry Blackshear Jr., Scottie Lewis, and Andwew Nembhard) leads all schools with three selections, while Davidson (Kellan Grady and Jon Axel Gudmundsson), Duke (Vernon Carey Jr. and Tre Jones), Kansas (Udoka Azubuike and Devon Dotson), Kentucky (Ashton Hagans and Tyrese Maxey), Maryland (Anthony Cowan Jr. and Jalen Smith), Memphis (Precious Achiuwa and James Wiseman), Utah State (Sam Merrill and Neemias Queta), and Washington (Jaden McDaniels and Isaiah Stewart) each have two selections on the Preseason Top 50.

Of the 50 players on the preseason list, 34 are upperclassmen, including 22 seniors. The recent trend of recognizing outstanding freshmen continues with ten named to the list: Memphis’ Achiuwa and Wiseman, North Carolina’s Cole Anthony, Duke’s Carey Jr, Georgia’s Anthony Edwards, Florida’s Lewis, Airzona’s Nico Mannion, Kentucky’s Maxey, and Washington’s McDaniels and Stewart.

The Preseason Top 50 list represents 12 conferences. The Pac-12 leads all conferences with 8 selections, followed by the Big East and SEC with seven apiece, the Big Ten with six, the ACC with five, the Big 12 with four, the American and WCC with three apiece, the A-10 and Mountain West with two each, and the America East, Conference USA, and Horizon League with one selection apiece.

The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2020 John R. Wooden Award Men’s Player of the Year presented by Wendy’s. Players not chosen to the preseason list are still eligible for the Wooden Award™ midseason list, late season list, and the National Ballot. The National Ballot consists of 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they meet or exceed the qualifications of the Wooden Award. Nearly 1,000 voters will rank in order 10 of those 15 players when voting opens prior to the NCAA Tournament and will allow voters to take into consideration performance during early round games. The Wooden Award All American Team™ will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament. The winner of the 2020 John R. Wooden Award will be presented by Wendy’s during the ESPN College Basketball Awards on Friday, April 10, 2020


About the John R. Wooden Award

Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award Program hosts the most prestigious honors in college basketball recognizing The Wooden Award Most Outstanding Player for men and women, The Wooden Award All American Teams for men and women and the annual selection of the Wooden Award Legend of Coaching recipient. Honorees have proven to their university that they meet or exceed the qualifications of the John R. Wooden Award as set forth by Coach Wooden and the Wooden Award Steering Committee, including making progress towards graduation and maintaining at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA. Previous winners include Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), Kevin Durant (’07), Candace Parker (’07; ’08), Maya Moore (’09; ’11), Chiney Ogwumike (’14), and last year’s recipients, Sabrina Ionescu of Oregon and Zion Williamson of Duke.

Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed nearly one million dollars to the universities’ general scholarship fund in the names of the Wooden Award All American recipients and has sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with the Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament brings together Special Olympics athletes and Wooden Award All Americans and coaches in attendance. It is hosted at the Los Angeles Athletic Club during the John R. Wooden Award Weekend.

For up-to-date information on the Wooden Award, please go to and follow the Wooden Award on Facebook at and @WoodenAward on Twitter and Instagram.

Name School Conference Height Class Position
Precious Achiuwa Memphis American 6-9 Fr. F
Ty-Shon Alexander Creighton Big East 6-4 Jr. G
Cole Anthony North Carolina ACC 6-3 Fr. G
Udoka Azubuike Kansas Big 12 7-0 Sr. C
Kamar Baldwin Butler Big East 6-1 Sr. G
Desmond Bane TCU Big 12 6-6 Sr. G
Charles Bassey Western Kentucky Conference USA 6-11 So. C
Saddiq Bey Villanova Big East 6-8 So. F
Kerry Blackshear Jr. Florida SEC 6-10 Sr. F
Vernon Carey Jr. Duke ACC 6-10 Fr. C
Yoeli Childs BYU WCC 6-8 Sr. F
Anthony Cowan Jr. Maryland Big Ten 6-0 Sr. G
Jarron Cumberland Cincinnati American 6-5 Sr. G
Antoine Davis Detroit Mercy Horizon League 6-1 So. G
Mamadi Diakite Virginia ACC 6-9 Sr. F
Alpha Diallo Providence Big East 6-7 Sr. G
Ayo Dosunmu Illinois Big Ten 6-5 So. G
Devon Dotson Kansas Big 12 6-2 So. G
Anthony Edwards Georgia SEC 6-5 Fr. G
CJ Elleby Washington State Pac-12 6-6 So. F
Jordan Ford Saint Mary’s WCC 6-1 Sr. G
Kellan Grady Davidson A-10 6-5 Jr. G
Jon Axel Gudmundsson Davidson A-10 6-5 Sr. G
Ashton Hagans Kentucky SEC 6-3 So. G
Tyrese Haliburton Iowa State Big 12 6-5 So. G
Markus Howard* Marquette Big East 5-11 Sr. G
Tre Jones Duke ACC 6-3 So. G
Anthony Lamb Vermont America East 6-6 Sr. F
Scottie Lewis Florida SEC 6-5 Fr. G
Nico Mannion Arizona Pac-12 6-6 Fr. G
Naji Marshall Xavier Big East 6-7 Jr. F
Tyrese Maxey Kentucky SEC 6-3 Fr. G
Jaden McDaniels Washington Pac-12 6-9 Fr. F
Sam Merrill Utah State Mountain West 6-5 Sr. G
Andrew Nembhard Florida SEC 6-5 So. G
Jordan Nwora Louisville ACC 6-7 Jr. F
Reggie Perry Mississippi State SEC 6-5 Sr. G
Myles Powell Seton Hall Big East 6-2 Sr. G
Payton Pritchard Oregon Pac-12 6-2 Sr. G
Neemias Queta Utah State Mountain West 7-0 So. C
Nick Rakocevic USC Pac-12 6-11 Sr. F
Jalen Smith Maryland Big Ten 6-10 So. F
Lamar Stevens Penn State Big Ten 6-8 Sr. F
Isaiah Stewart Washington Pac-12 6-9 Fr. F
Killian Tillie Gonzaga WCC 6-10 Sr. F
Tres Tinkle Oregon State Pac-12 6-7 Sr. F
Kaleb Wesson Ohio State Big Ten 6-9 Jr. F
Cassius Winston* Michigan State Big Ten 6-1 Sr. G
James Wiseman Memphis American 7-1 Fr. C
McKinley Wright IV Colorado Pac-12 6-0 Jr. G


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