March 4, 2006
LOS ANGELES - Gonzaga University junior Adam Morrison is one of 22 student-athletes named to the official voting ballot for the 2005-06 Wooden Award All-American Team and Player of the Year, presented annually to the nation's top collegiate basketball player.
The winner will be announced on Saturday, April 8, during a national CBS telecast of the John R. Wooden Award ceremony that will air live at 2 p.m. EST from The Los Angeles Athletic Club.
Morrison, the nation's leading scorer at 28.8 ppg, will try to become the fourth Bulldog to earn Wooden All-American honors. Casey Calvary was a Top 10 All-American in 2001, Dan Dickau was Gonzaga's lone Top 5 All-America selection in 2001 and Blake Stepp was a Top 10 pick in 2004.
The national ballot includes 2004-2005 Wooden Award All-Americans J.J. Redick (Duke) and Dee Brown (Illinois), as well as a number of outstanding players that were in the running for last year's Wooden Award. Redick ranks second in the nation in scoring (28 ppg) while leading No. 1 Duke to a 27-2 record, and Brown, despite a slow start, leads the Illini in scoring (14.6 ppg), assists (5.7 apg) and steals (1.5 spg). Shelden Williams (Duke) and Craig Smith (Boston College) join Redick and Brown as the only candidates named to last year's official voting ballot.
Five newcomers have been selected to the National Ballot who were not selected to the Midseason list. This group includes Ronnie Brewer (Arkansas), Glen Davis (LSU), Tyler Hansbrough (North Carolina), Chris Lofton (Tennessee), and Leon Powe (California). In total, 12 seniors, four juniors, and five sophomores were selected to the National Ballot. Hansbrough represents the only freshmen on the Ballot.
"Each of these players should be commended for their athletic and academic achievements as they have all met the comprehensive Wooden Award criteria," said Richard Duke Llewellyn, founder and chairman of the Wooden Award. "This year's race for the Wooden Award is wide open, and we look forward to closely following both the conference and national tournaments to see who will emerge from the talent-rich field of national finalists. "
In order to be considered for the national ballot, all players must have been accredited by their university as meeting the Wooden Award criteria which includes making normal progress towards graduation and maintaining a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher. It should be noted that all players on the national ballot were deemed eligible as meeting the Wooden Award academic requirements.
A panel of more than 1,000 voters comprised of sports media members and college basketball experts from around the nation will have until noon PST on Monday, March 27, to cast their votes for both the 10-member All-American Team and Wooden Award recipient as the most outstanding collegiate basketball player in the United States. The Wooden Award opts for the March 27 deadline because it allows voters to evaluate players up until the Final Four has been determined.
The 2006 Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the presentation of the Men's and Women's Wooden Award, the Wooden Award All-American Teams, and Legends of Coaching Award recipient Jim Boeheim of Syracuse University, will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on April 8, 2006, and will be broadcast live on a national CBS telecast. The top five male and female finalists will be invited to Los Angeles for the awards ceremony and will receive a contribution from The Los Angeles Athletic Club for their university's general scholarship fund.
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 cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird ('79), Michael Jordan ('84), Tim Duncan ('97) and last year's recipient, Andrew Bogut ('05).
2006 John R. Wooden Award National Ballot
Player Ht. Yr. Pos. SchoolMaurice Ager 6-5 Sr. G Michigan StateLaMarcus Aldridge 6-10 So. F TexasRonnie Brewer 6-7 Jr. G ArkansasDee Brown 5-11 Sr. G IllinoisGlen Davis 6-9 So. F LSUPaul Davis 6-11 Sr. C Michigan StateJordan Farmar 6-2 So. G UCLANick Fazekas 6-11 Jr. F NevadaRandy Foye 6-4 Sr. G VillanovaMike Gansey 6-4 Sr. F West VirginiaTyler Hansbrough 6-9 Fr. F North CarolinaChris Lofton 6-2 So. G TennesseeAdam Morrison 6-8 Jr. F GonzagaSteve Novak 6-10 Sr. F MarquetteKevin Pittsnogle 6-11 Sr. C West VirginiaLeon Powe 6-8 So. F CaliforniaAllan Ray 6-2 Sr. G VillanovaJ.J. Redick 6-4 Sr. G DukeBrandon Roy 6-6 Sr. G WashingtonCraig Smith 6-7 Sr. F Boston CollegeP.J. Tucker 6-5 Jr. F TexasShelden Williams 6-9 Sr. F Duke