March 28, 2006
LOS ANGELES - Gonzaga University junior forward Adam Morrison has been named to The John R. Wooden Award Top Five All-American Team it was announced Tuesday.
Morrison joins Duke University standout J.J. Redick, Villanova University guard Randy Foye, University of Washington guard Brandon Roy and Duke's Shelden Williams as the five finalists who will be invited to Los Angeles for the 30th Annual Wooden Award Ceremony.
The trophy presentation for this season's college basketball player of the year will air Saturday, April 8, during a national CBS Sports telecast of the "John R. Wooden Award Show Presented by TIAA-CREF" live from The Los Angeles Athletic Club (LAAC) at 11 a.m. PDT.
A panel of more than 1,000 voters comprised of sports media members and college basketball experts from around the nation had until noon PST 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. In addition to on-court performance, voters were also asked to make their selections based on each candidate's character and academic performance, essential components of the Wooden Award. As a part of the voting process, committee members were asked to rank their top 10 All-Americans in order of preference, with the top five vote getters nominated as Wooden Award finalists. The Wooden Award opts for the March 27 deadline because it allows voters to evaluate players up until the Final Four has been determined.
In addition to the Top Five All-Americans, the top 10 Wooden Award All-Americans, in alphabetical order, were Dee Brown, University of Illinois; Glen Davis, Louisiana State University; Kevin Pittsnogle, West Virginia University; Allan Ray, Villanova, and Craig Smith, Boston College.
Foye led Villanova to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and was named Big East Player of the Year while leading the team in points (20.1 ppg). Despite losing a heartbreaking Sweet 16 game to UCLA, Morrison was the nation's most prolific scorer (28.4 ppg), tallying 30+ points in 14 games this season while being selected a first team USBWA All-American.
Redick put up a monster season that included finishing second in the nation in scoring (27.4 ppg) while earning his second straight ACC Player of the Year award. Roy vaulted Washington to an appearance in the Sweet 16 with a stellar all-around season (19.9 ppg, 4.1 apg, 1.3 spg) that included being named Pac-10 Player of the Year. Williams averaged a double-double for the entire season (18.8 ppg, 10.7 rpg) while guiding Duke to a 32-4 record.
Morrison is the second Bulldog to receive Top Five recognition, Dan Dickau the first in 2002. Casey Calvary (2001) and Blake Stepp (2004) are other Bulldogs to receive Top 10 All-American status.
"All of these finalists deserve to be recognized for their extraordinary level of play throughout the season," said Richard "Duke" Llewellyn, founder and chairman of the Wooden Award. "We look forward to crowning one of these five outstanding players the 2006 Wooden Award winner."
In order to be considered for the All-American Team, 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 named to the All-American Team were deemed eligible by meeting the Wooden Award academic requirements.
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, and will be broadcast live on a national CBS Sports 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).