Oklahoma forward Blake Griffin, Kansas guard Sherron Collins and Texas guard A.J. Abrams are among the 30 midseason candidates for the 2009 John R. Wooden Award.
Griffin leads the nation with 11 games this season of at least 20 points and 15 rebounds. The total is the most by any college basketball player since 1996-97. Griffin has a nation-best 19 double-doubles as well, with his 29 career double-doubles tied for the most among active Big 12 players.
Collins leads Kansas this season in scoring (18.2), assists (5.1) and steals (1.2). The Chicago, Ill., product has led KU to a 7-0 start in the Big 12 Conference, as the Jayhawks are one of two remaining undefeated teams in conference play. The junior is the only Jayhawk nominated for the award this year. Last season, Mario Chalmers and Brandon Rush were recognized on the mid-season list.
Abrams is the Big 12 Conference career leader in 3-pointers made (345) and has averaged a team-best 16.6 points. He has also converted 38.1 percent (61-of-160) from 3-point range. Earlier this year, he was named one of 10 male finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, the premier honor for senior student-athletes. Texas is the only school to have two winners of the Wooden Award in the last six years. Former Longhorn T.J. Ford won the 2003 Wooden Award, while Kevin Durant became the first freshman in the award’s history to claim the honor in 2007.
Created in 1976, The John R. Wooden Award is one of the nation's most coveted individual college basketball honors. The award is chosen by The Los Angeles Athletic Club's John R. Wooden Award Committee. The top 30 players competing for the award are based on individual player performance and team records during the first half of the season.
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-America Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award to Texas coach Rick Barnes, will be held at the Los Angeles Athletic Club the weekend of April 11-12.
2009 WOODEN AWARD - MIDSEASON TOP 30 CANDIDATES
A.J. Abrams, Texas (Sr., 5-11, G)
Sherron Collins, Kansas (Jr., 5-11, G)
Blake Griffin, Oklahoma (So., 6-10, F)
Jeff Adrien, Connecticut (Sr., 6-7, F)
DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh (So., 6-7, F)
Jon Brockman, Washington (Sr., 6-7, F)
Nick Calathes, Florida (So., 6-6, G/F)
Darren Collison, UCLA (Sr., 6-0, G)
Stephen Curry, Davidson (Jr., 6-3, G)
Jonny Flynn, Syracuse (So., 6-0, G)
Taj Gibson, USC (Jr., 6-9, F)
Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina (Sr., 6-9, F)
Luke Harangody, Notre Dame (Jr., 6-8, F)
James Harden, Arizona State (So., 6-4, G)
Manny Harris, Michigan (So., 6-5, G)
Gerald Henderson, Duke (Jr., 6-4, G/F)
Jordan Hill, Arizona (Jr., 6-10, F)
Matt Howard, Butler (So., 6-7, F)
Ty Lawson, North Carolina (Jr., 5-11, G)
Kalin Lucas, Michigan State (So., 6-0, F)
Wesley Matthews, Marquette (Sr., 6-5, G)
Jerel McNeal, Marquette (Sr., 6-3, G)
Jodie Meeks, Kentucky (Jr., 6-4, G)
Greg Monroe, Georgetown (Fr., 6-11, C)
Kyle Singler, Duke (So., 6-8, F)
Tyler Smith, Tennessee (Jr., 6-7, F)
Jeff Teague, Wake Forest (So., 6-2, G)
Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut (Jr., 7-3, C)
Terrence Williams, Louisville (Sr., 6-6, F)
Sam Young, Pittsburgh (Jr., 6-6, F)