Aug. 19, 2009
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Gonzaga University senior guard Matt Bouldin has been named to the 2009-10 preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award All-American Team and Player of the Year trophy announced Wednesday by Richard "Duke" Llewellyn, Wooden Award Chairman and founder.
The list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who, based on last year's individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketball's most prestigious honor.
Bouldin becomes the eighth Bulldog to be nominated for the award. The Bulldogs have had two John R. Wooden Award Top Five recipients, Adam Morrison in 2006 and Dan Dickau in 2002. Blake Stepp was a Top 10 All-American in 2004 and Casey Calvary received the same recognition in 2001. Matt Santangelo (2000), Cory Violete (2003-04), Ronny Turiaf (2004-05) and Jeremy Pargo (2008-09) are the other Bulldogs to receive nominations.
Bouldin started 33 of 34 games a year ago, his only non-start coming on Senior Night. He averaged 13.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.4 assists/game and shot 49.1 percent from the field, going 156-for-318. He also shot 42.3 percent from 3-point range, connecting on 55-of-130 from long range.
The native of Highlands Ranch, Colo., has 1,169 career points to rank 22nd on the all-time Gonzaga list. His 312 career assists 124 career steals both rank eighth on the GU charts. He has started 85 of his 100 career appearances.
Bouldin was named to the All-West Coast Conference and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District 9 first-team.
Luke Harangody of Notre Dame is the only 2009 Wooden All-American returning to college basketball in 2009-10. He returns to South Bend for his final collegiate season and has a chance to become a three-time Wooden All-American. Harangody averaged better than 20 points and 10 rebounds each of the last two seasons. He ranked among the nation's top 10 scorers (25.2) and rebounders (12.8) in 2009 and was a second team All-Big East pick.
Returning players from last year's Wooden Award ballot, in addition to Harangody, include Sherron Collins of Kansas, Duke's Kyle Singler and Kalin Lucas of Michigan State. Purdue's Robbie Hummel made the Wooden ballot in 2008. Collins averaged 18.9 ppg a year ago and was a first team All-Big 12 selection. He has led the Jayhawks to regular season conference titles in each of his first three seasons in Lawrence. Singler is Duke's top returning scorer (16.5 ppg in 2009) and rebounder (7.7) and was a second team All-ACC pick in 2009. Lucas led the Spartans to the 2009 Final Four and was the 2009 Big 10 Player of the Year, averaging 14.7 ppg.
Transfers, freshmen and medical redshirts are not eligible for the preseason list. These players and others who excel throughout the season will be evaluated and considered for December's Midseason list and the official voting ballot released in March.
Nine schools had two players chosen to the Wooden Award preseason Top 50 and all are familiar names to fans who followed college basketball a season ago: Kansas (Collins, Cole Aldrich), Michigan State (Lucas, Raymar Morgan) Duke (Singler, Jon Scheyer), Michigan (DeShawn Sims, Manny Harris), North Carolina (Ed Davis, Deon Thompson), Purdue (Hummel, E'Twaun Moore), Connecticut (Kemba Walker, Jerome Dyson), Villanova (Scottie Reynolds, Corey Fisher), and West Virginia (Devin Ebanks, Da'Sean Butler).
Eleven conferences are represented on the Wooden Award Preseason List. Leading the way is the Big East (11), followed by the ACC (10), Big 10 (8), SEC (7), Big 12 (6), Pac-10 (3), and Atlantic 10, CAA, Horizon, WAC and West Coast with one apiece.
In late December, the Wooden Award Committee will release the Midseason Top 30 list, followed in March by the National Ballot, consisting of approximately 20 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the "Elite Eight" round during the NCAA Tournament.
The 34th annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the announcement of the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winner, and the presentation of the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, will take place the weekend of April 9-11, 2010.
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 Blake Griffin ('09). Candace Parker of Tennessee won the Women's Wooden Award in 2007 and 2008.
Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed close to a million dollars to universities' general scholarship fund in the names of the All-American recipients. The Award has also sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps in the Award's name. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament, which brings together Special Olympic athletes and the All-Americans, takes place at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on the Friday prior to the John R. Wooden Award Ceremony.