Dudley Among 20 Finalists for John R. Wooden Award

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
Monday, March 11, 2002

Erwin Dudley



LOS ANGELES, CA – Twenty student-athletes have been selected to the 2002 John R. Wooden Award ballot, Award Chairman Richard “Duke” Llewellyn announced today at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.  The 26th annual Wooden Award will be presented to the college basketball player of the year on Sunday, April 7th during the Fox Sports Net telecast live from the Los Angeles Athletic Club.

“The quality of players on the ballot really illustrates the great depth of talent across the country in college basketball,” said Richard “Duke” Llewellyn, Wooden Award chairman.  “ The Wooden National Advisory Board did an excellent job of identifying those players that represent the on-court and off-court success that Coach Wooden so appreciated.  I don’t envy the voters in their quest to whittle the list down again, but I look forward to watching these 20 student-athletes rise to the postseason occasion.”

The ballot includes four 2001 Wooden Award All-Americans, including Jason Williams (Duke), Tayshaun Prince (Kentucky), Frank Williams (Illinois) and Casey Jacobsen (Stanford).  Nine NCAA conferences are represented, including the ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac-10, Big East, Atlantic 10, SEC, WCC and Conference USA.  Four schools lead the way with two nominations apiece, including Kansas (Drew Gooden and Kirk Hinrich),  Maryland (Juan Dixon and Lonny Baxter), Duke (Williams and Dunleavy) and Arizona (Jason Gardner and Luke Walton).

Five players not on the midseason top-30 candidate list were voted onto the official ballot.  Oregon’s Frederick Jones led the Ducks to their first Pac-10 regular season championship in 57 years.  Hinrich was a major reason Kansas turned in the first undefeated conference season in Big 12 history.  Hollis Price paced an Oklahoma team with little preseason fanfare to a top 5 ranking, while Alabama’s Erwin Dudley garnered SEC honors in a conference loaded with talent.  Arizona’s versatile Walton is among the Pac-10’s top 12 in points, rebounds, assists and steals.

Each of the 20 players has met the criteria to be considered on the official ballot.  In addition to focusing on important teachings of the Award’s namesake, such as team play and strength of character, the criteria includes a prerequisite exclusive to the Wooden Award: scholastic achievement.  Each athlete must be accredited by his school as maintaining a cumulative 2.0 grade point average since enrolling and he must be making progress toward graduation. 

The more than 1000 Wooden Award voters will now have until March 25th for on-line voting (March 19th if ballots are postmarked) to determine the All-American Team and the Wooden Award honor as the most outstanding college basketball player in the United States.  The late due dates will give voters the opportunity to take postseason play (through the Sweet 16 round) into consideration.  The next step in the Wooden Award process is naming the 2002 All-American Team on March 26. 

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 GPA.  Previous winners include such notables as Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Tim Duncan, and Shane Battier.

The 2002 Award ceremony, which will include the presentation of the Wooden Award All-American team and the presentation of the Legends of Coaching Award to former Louisville coach, Denny Crum, will be held at the Los Angeles Athletic Club on Sunday, April 7th and will be televised live nationally on Fox Sports Net for the fifth straight year. Tickets for the black tie John R. Wooden Award Presentation Gala, to be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Biltmore Hotel following the televised announcement, are $150 and may be obtained by calling The Los Angeles Athletic Club at 213-630-5255.

CANDIDATES (Listed Alphabetically)

Lonny

Baxter

6'8"

Sr.

F

Maryland

Caron

Butler

6’7”

So.

F

Connecticut

Dan

Dickau

6’0”

Sr.

G

Gonzaga

Juan

Dixon

6'3"

Sr.

G

Maryland

Erwin

Dudley

6’8”

Jr.

F

Alabama

Mike

Dunleavy

6'9"

Jr.

F

Duke

Jason

Gardner

5'10"

Jr.

G

Arizona

Drew

Gooden

6’10”

Jr.

F

Kansas

Udonis

Haslem

6'9"

Sr.

C

Florida

Kirk

Hinrich

6’3”

Jr.

G

Kansas

Casey

Jacobsen

6'6"

Jr.

G/F

Stanford

Jared

Jeffries

6’10”

So.

F

Indiana

Frederick

Jones

6’4”

Sr.

F

Oregon

Steve

Logan

6’1”

Sr.

G

Cincinnati

Hollis

Price

6’1”

Jr.

G

Oklahoma

Tayshaun

Prince

6'9”

Sr.

F

Kentucky

Luke

Walton

6’8”

Jr.

F

Arizona

David

West

6’9”

Jr.

F

Xavier

Frank

Williams

6’3”

Jr.

G

Illinois

Jason

Williams

6'2"

Jr.

G

Duke