KU's Chalmers and Rush Among John R. Wooden Award Preseason Candidates

Lawrence, Kan. – Returning Wooden All-American Brandon Rush and 2006 Big 12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year, Mario Chalmers were among the 50 preseason candidates for the Men’s 2007-08 John R. Wooden Award. The candidates for the nation’s most coveted college basketball award were announced on Wednesday by The Los Angeles Athletic Club’s Wooden Award Committee.

Rush is one of two returning Wooden All-Americans who made the list along with Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina. A 6-6 junior guard from Kansas City, Mo., Rush has led Kansas in scoring in each of his first two seasons. In 2006-07, he was named to the All-Big 12 First Team for the second straight season and was an Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American.

Chalmers, a junior guard from Anchorage, Alaska, has led the Big 12 in steals in each of the last two seasons. In 2005-06 , he became the first freshman in Big 12 history to lead the conference in steals and in 2006-07 he broke Darnell Valentine’s school record for steals in a season with 97.

Five schools had two players on the list: Kansas, UCLA (Darren Collison, Josh Shipp), North Carolina (Hansbrough, Ty Lawson), Washington State (Derrick Low, Kyle Weaver), Georgetown (Roy Hibbert, Johnathan Wallace).

The list is composed of 50 student athletes who, based on last year’s individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketball’s most coveted trophy. Last year, Kevin Durant of the University of Texas was the first freshman to win the Wooden Award. The award is named for the three-time college basketball All American, 1932 Player of the Year and 10-time national championship coach at UCLA.

"The committee had a tough time deciding on just 50 candidates, with so many returning talented players across the country," said Duke Llewellyn, Wooden Award chairman. "Some teams even had several worthy candidates. Our team at the John R. Wooden Award is excited to see the best players in the nation compete against each other all season, as they vie to be named college basketball’s player of the year."

The 2008 Award ceremony will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club the weekend of April 11-13, 2008. The top five male and female finalists will be invited to Los Angeles for the Award’s ceremony and will receive a contribution from The Los Angeles Athletic Club for their university’s general scholarship fund. One of these five players will be named the John R. Wooden Award Player of the Year at a live televised announcement from The Club where he is awarded the prestigious five-figured bronze trophy.

All-American Team – Top 50 Candidates

(Based on a preseason poll. Players listed alphabetically.)

Jeff
Adrien
6-7
F
Jr.
Connecticut

Ryan
Anderson
6-10
F
So.
California

D.J.
Augustin
6-10
G
So.
Texas

Patrick
Beverley
6-1
G
So.
Arkansas

Jon
Brockman
6-7
F
Jr.
Washington

Chase
Budinger
6-7
F
So.
Arizona

Jaycee
Carroll
6-2
G
Sr.
Utah State

Mario
Chalmers
6-1
G
Jr.
Kansas

Darren
Collison
6-1
G
Jr.
UCLA

Brandon
Costner
6-9
F
So.
NC State

Stephen
Curry
6-0
G
So.
Davidson

Eric
Devendorf
6-4
G
Jr.
Syracuse

Chris
Douglas-Roberts
6-6
G
Jr.
Memphis

Randal
Falkner
6-7
F
Sr.
Southern Illinois

Shan
Foster
6-6
G/F
Sr.
Vanderbilt

Taj
Gibson
6-9
F
So
USC

James
Gist
6-8
F
Sr.
Maryland

Jamont
Gordon
6-4
G/F
Jr.
Mississippi State

Kentrell
Gransberry
6-9
C
Sr.
So. Florida

A.J.
Graves
6-1
G
Sr.
Butler

Malik
Hairston
6-6
G
Jr
Oregon

Tyler
Hansbrough*
6-9
F
Jr.
North Carolina

Richard
Hendrix
6-8
F
Jr.
Alabama

Roy
Hibbert
7-2
C
Sr.
Georgetown

Dominic
James
5-11
G
Jr.
Marquette

Joseph
Jones
6-9
F/C
Sr.
Texas A&M

Marcelus
Kemp
6-5
G
Sr.
Nevada

Ty
Lawson
5-11
G
So.
North Carolina

Courtney
Lee
6-5
G/F
Sr.
Western Kentucky

Chris
Lofton
6-2
G
Sr.
Tennessee

Derrick
Low
6-2
G
Sr.
Washington State

Aleks
Maric
6-11
C
Sr.
Nebraska

Eric
Maynor
6-2
G
Jr.
VCU

Bo
McCalebb
6-0
G
Sr.
New Orleans

Drew
Neitzel
6-0
G
Sr.
Michigan State

DeMarcus
Nelson
6-4
G
Sr.
Duke

Jeremy
Pargo
6-2
G
Jr.
Gonzaga

Jeff
Pendergraph
6-9
F
Jr.
Arizona State

Scottie
Reynolds
6-2
G
So.
Villanova

Tyrese
Rice
6-1
G
Jr.
Boston College

Brandon
Rush*
6-6
G
Jr.
Kansas

Josh
Shipp
6-5
F
Jr.
UCLA

Sean
Singletary
6-0
G
Sr.
Virginia

Jason
Thompson
6-11
F
Sr.
Rider

Johnathan
Wallace
6-1
G
Sr.
Georgetown

Kyle
Weaver
6-6
G
Sr.
Washington State

D.J.
White
6-9
F
Sr.
Indiana

Reggie
Williams
6-5
F
Sr.
VMI

Terrence
Williams
6-6
F
Jr.
Louisville

Martin
Zeno
6-5
G
Sr.
Texas Tech

* Indicates player was a 2006-07 Wooden Award All-American.


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