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Archive for Saturday, March 8, 2014

Andrew Wiggins named Wooden Award finalist

Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins delivers on a lob dunk against TCU during the first half on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014 at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas.

Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins delivers on a lob dunk against TCU during the first half on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014 at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas.

March 8, 2014

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Kansas University men's basketball freshman Andrew Wiggins was named to the final John R. Wooden Award Ballot, announced Saturday by The Los Angeles Athletic Club on ESPN’s College GameDay.

Selected by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board, the ballot is made up of 15 student-athletes who are the eligible for college basketball’s most prestigious honor.

Wiggins scored a Kansas freshman record 41 points at West Virginia on Saturday. The Vaughan, Ontario, Canada, guard leads Kansas with a 16.8 scoring average, the best among Big 12 freshmen and seventh overall in the conference.

Wiggins has made 37 threes this season and is the team leader with 36 steals after his career-high five at WVU. Wiggins’ 5.9 rebound average is third on the team.

Wiggins also ranks among the Big 12 leaders in field goal percentage (10th at 45.2) and free throw percentage (ninth at 76.5). He is a two-time Big 12 Newcomer of the Week and was the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week on Jan. 28.

The other 14 candidates are Creighton's Doug McDermott, Duke's Jabari Parker, Louisville's Russ Smith, Arizona's Nick Johnson, Connecticut's Shabazz Napier, Syracuse's C.J. Fair and Tyler Ennis, Michigan's Nik Stauskas, Kentucky's Julius Randle, Cincinnati's Sean Kilpatrick, Florida's Casey Prather, Wichita State's Cleanthony Early, UCLA's Kyle Anderson and Michigan State's Gary Harris.

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 or her university that he or she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), Candace Parker (’07 and ’08), Kevin Durant (’09) and Maya Moore of Connecticut (’09 and ‘11). Michigan’s Trey Burke won the 2013 Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s.

The Wooden Award All American Team, consisting of the nation’s top 10 players, will be announced the week of the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament after voting by nearly 1,000 media members from March 12 through 24 and through the Fan Voting site sponsored by Wendy’s.

The John R. Wooden Award Player of the Year presented by Wendy’s will be announced on ESPN during the Final Four weekend in Dallas, Texas.

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