COMPLETE 2015 WOODEN AWARD RELEASE
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - For the second consecutive season two West Coast Conference student-athletes earned selection to the 2015 John Wooden Award Preseason Top-50 as announced by the Los Angeles Athletic Club this week. Senior guards Tyler Haws of BYU and Kevin Pangos of Gonzaga each earned a spot on the list for the second straight season.
Haws, the 2014 West Coast Conference Player of the Year and an honorable mention All-American, is the nation's No. 2 returning scorer and fifth all-time in scoring in BYU history. Last season he led the Cougars to a 23-12 record, a trip to the WCC title game and an at-large bid to the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
The Alpine, Utah, native entered the 2014-15 season with 1,944 career points, the most points scored by a Cougar through three seasons and 655 points behind Jimmer Fredette (2,599 points), for first all-time in program history. Haws opened this season with an efficient 21 points on 7 of 13 shooting in BYU's 95-90 win over Long Beach State. As a program, BYU boasts two Wooden Award winners in Danny Ainge (1981) and Jimmer Fredette (2011).
Pangos enters his final season as a Zag after leading GU to West Coast Conference regular season and tournament titles last season. He averaged 14.4 points, 3.6 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game in 2013-14. He was named to the preseason All-WCC First Team earlier this fall, while the team was picked to win the regular season title by the league's coaches.
Pangos was also named to the preseason Bob Cousy Award Watch List, which is an award given to the nation's top collegiate point guard, and the Lute Olson Award Watch List, which is given to the nation's top player.
The Los Angeles Athletic Club has announced its Preseason Top 50 today on ESPN's SportsCenter and on ESPN.com. Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who are the early front-runners for the sport's most prestigious honor.
The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2015 John R. Wooden Award Presented by Wendy's. The Wooden Award National Advisory Board will select 25 players for the midseason list in early January. The leading candidates will be further pared to 20 in early February. Fifteen top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA will be placed on the ballot and submitted to voters prior to the NCAA Tournament and voting will take into account play during the opening rounds of the tournament. The Wooden Award All American Team will be announced the week of the "Elite Eight" round of the NCAA Tournament.
About the John R. Wooden Award
The 39th annual Wooden Award ceremony will honor the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winners, and will include the presentation of the Wooden Award All American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, which in 2015 will go to San Diego State Head Men's Basketball Coach Steve Fisher. The event will take place the weekend of April 10-12, 2015.
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 minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird ('79), Michael Jordan ('84), Tim Duncan ('97), Candace Parker ('07 and '08), Kevin Durant ('09) and Maya Moore of Connecticut ('09 and `11). Creighton's Doug McDermott won the 2014 Wooden Award Presented by Wendy's.
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 the weekend of the John R. Wooden Award Ceremony.
From BYUCougars.com and GoZags.com