Nov. 7, 2008
LAS VEGAS -
UNLV senior guard Wink Adams is on the list of 2008-09 preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award All-American Team and Player of the Year trophy, which was announced Friday by Richard "Duke" Llewellyn, Wooden Award Chairman and founder.
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 prestigious honor.
Adams, who was selected as the Mountain West Conference's Preseason Co-Player of the Year, was a first-team All-MWC selection last season and was the 2008 MWC Tournament's MVP. A two-time MWC Player of the Week in 2007-08, Adams was also named to the NABC All-District 15 second team last year in helping the Runnin' Rebels to a 27-8 overall record and second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
Adams led UNLV in scoring last season and was third in the MWC with a career-high 16.9 points per game average and scored in double figures in 32 of UNLV's 35 games, including 18 of his last 19. He tallied 20 or more points in 12 games, and was second on the team and fifth in the MWC with 1.49 steals per game.
Adams, who has appeared in 102 games in his UNLV career, has scored 1,432 career points, which ranks 14th all-time at UNLV and seventh in MWC history. He also ranks fourth all-time at UNLV with 169 career 3-pointers made and fifth in steals with 170.
Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina, last year's Wooden Award winner, returns to Chapel Hill for his final collegiate season and has a chance to become only the second repeat men's Wooden Award winner. Ralph Sampson of Virginia won the Award twice, in 1982 and 1983. Other returning Wooden All-Americans include Notre Dame forward Luke Harangody and Davidson guard Stephen Curry.
Returning players from last year's Wooden Award ballot, in addition to the three All-Americans above, include UCLA's Darren Collison, Connecticut's A.J. Price, Tennessee's Tyler Smith and Robbie Hummel of Purdue.
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 January's Midseason list and the official voting ballot released in March.
In all, 42 schools and 13 conferences are represented on the Wooden Award Preseason list. Leading the way is the Big East (12), followed by the ACC (8), Pac-10 (5), SEC (5), Big 12 (5), Atlantic-10 (2), Big Ten (3), Conference USA (3), Mountain West (2), West Coast (2), Colonial Athletic Association (1), Ohio Valley (1) and the Southern Conference (1).
In mid-January, 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 33rd annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the announcement of the Men's and Women's Wooden Award, and the presentation of the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award to Rick Barnes from The University of Texas, will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club in April, 2009.
Larry Johnson, who was the 1991 Wooden Award winner, is the only player in UNLV history to earn the award as the nation's top player.
The Runnin' Rebels will host an exhibition game against Washburn on Tuesday, Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m. The Legends/Alumni game will precede the exhibition game at 6 p.m. Opening Day for the 2008-09 season is against San Diego on Saturday, Nov. 15 at 2:30 p.m. at the Thomas & Mack Center.
2008-2009 John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 List
(Based on a preseason poll. Players listed alphabetically.)
Player, Height, Pos., Class, University
A.J. Abrams, 5-11, G, Sr., Texas
Wink Adams, 6-0, G, Sr., UNLV
DeJuan Blair, 6-7, F, So., Pittsburgh
Jon Brockman, 6-7, F, Sr., Washington
Derrick Brown, 6-8, F, Jr., Xavier
Chase Budinger, 6-7, F, Jr., Arizona
Nick Calathes, 6-6, G/F, So., Florida
Dionte Christmas, 6-5, G, Sr., Temple
Earl Clark, 6-9, G/F, Jr., Louisville
Sherron Collins, 5-11, G, Jr., Kansas
Darren Collison, 6-0, G, Sr., UCLA
Lee Cummard, 6-7, G, Sr., BYU
Stephen Curry *, 6-3, G, Jr., Davidson
Devan Downey, 5-9, G, Jr., South Carolina
Robert Dozier, 6-9, F, Sr., Memphis
Wayne Ellington, 6-4, G, Jr., North Carolina
Jonny Flynn, 6-0, G, So., Syracuse
Taj Gibson, 6-9, F, Jr., USC
Blake Griffin, 6-10, F, So., Oklahoma
Tyler Hansbrough ! *^, 6-9, F, Sr., North Carolina
Luke Harangody *, 6-8, F, Jr., Notre Dame
James Harden, 6-4, G, So., Arizona State
Gerald Henderson, 6-4, G/F, Jr., Duke
Lester Hudson, 6-2, G, Sr., Tennessee Martin
Robbie Hummel, 6-8, F, So., Purdue
Stefon Jackson, 6-5, G, Sr., UTEP
Dominic James, 5-11, G, Sr., Marquette
Damion James, 6-7, G/F, Jr., Texas
Curtis Jerrells, 6-1, G, Sr., Baylor
James Johnson, 6-8, F, So., Wake Forest
Marcus Landry, 6-7, F, Sr., Wisconsin
Ty Lawson, 5-11, G, Jr., North Carolina
Eric Maynor, 6-2, G, Sr., VCU
Jack McClinton, 6-1, G, Sr., University of Miami
Jerel McNeal, 6-3, G, Sr., Marquette
Patrick Mills, 6-0, G, So., Saint Mary's
Raymar Morgan, 6-7, F, Jr., Michigan State
A.J. Ogilvy, 6-11, C, So., Vanderbilt
Jeremy Pargo, 6-2, G, Sr., Gonzaga
Patrick Patterson, 6-8, F, So., Kentucky
A.J. Price, 6-2, G, Sr., Connecticut
Scottie Reynolds, 6-2, G, Jr., Villanova
Tyrese Rice, 6-1, G, Sr., Boston College
Kyle Singler, 6-8, F, So., Duke
Tyler Smith, 6-7, F, Jr., Tennessee
DaJuan Summers, 6-8, F, Jr., Georgetown
Hasheem Thabeet, 7-3, C, Jr., Connecticut
Robert Vaden, 6-5, G/F, Sr., UAB
Terrence Williams, 6-6, F, Sr., Louisville
Sam Young, 6-6, F, Jr., Pittsburgh
! - 2008 John R. Wooden Award Winner
* - 2007-08 Wooden Award All-American
^ - 2006-07 Wooden Award All-American