Thursday, August 05, 2004
TUSCALOOSA – Kennedy Winston, who will be a junior this season on the University of Alabama men’s basketball team, has been named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason All-American Team. The 50 players on the list are considered to be the frontrunners for college basketball’s most coveted trophy, the John R. Wooden Award. At midseason, the list will be pared to 30 and finally pared for a national ballot toward season’s end.
“This list represents the elite of college basketball,” said Wooden Award chairman Doug Llewellyn, “and our entire team at the Wooden Award is excited to see the best players in the nation battle it out in order to prove their case as basketball's player of the year."
Mississippi State's Lawrence Roberts and Providence's Ryan Gomes are the sole Preseason candidates who were honored last year as members of the 2004 Wooden Award All-American Team. In addition to Roberts and Gomes, other Preseason candidates that were mentioned in the running for last year's Wooden Award and were named to the official voting ballot include guards John Lucas Jr. (Oklahoma State), Julius Hodge (N.C. State) and B.J. Elder (Georgia Tech); and forwards Travis Diener (Marquette), Ike Diogu (Arizona State), Francisco Garcia (Louisville), Wayne Simien (Kansas) and Hakim Warrick (Syracuse).
Ten NCAA conferences are represented, including the ACC (12 players), Big East (eight players), Big 12 (six players), Pac 10 (six players), Big 10, (five players), SEC (five players), Conference USA (five players), West Coast Conference (one player), Mountain West Conference (one player), and the American East Conference (one player).
Winston, a forward from Prichard, was a first team All-Southeastern Conference selection by the league’s coaches in 2004 and was named the SEC Player of the Week three times last season. He led Alabama in scoring with his average of 17.1 points a game. He averaged 5.5 rebounds. Despite coming back from September 2003 knee surgery, Winston started in all 33 games for Alabama, leading it to the NCAA Elite 8 and a 20-13 record.