University of Miami sophomore Shane Larkin is on the John R. Wooden Award Ballot, as announced by The Los Angeles Athletic Club on ESPN College GameDay.
Selected by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board, the ballot is made up of 15 student-athletes who are eligible for college basketball’s most prestigious honor. All balloted players have proven to their universities that they are making progress toward graduation and are maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA.
The point guard from Orlando, Fla., is also a Bob Cousy Award finalist and a Naismith Player of the Year candidate. This season he was named both the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week and ACC Player of the Week on Feb. 4.
In the regular season, Larkin averaged a team-high 13.7 points, 4.4 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 2.0 steals in 36.2 minutes per game. Larkin hit 48.2 percent of his shots from the field, 40.3 percent from distance and 73.4 percent at the line. Larkin and the No. 6/7 Canes went 15-3 in ACC play, winning the regular season conference championship.
Larkin is ranked in the top 20 in the ACC in numerous categories, including first in steals, second in minutes played, third in assist to turnover ratio, fourth in assists, ninth in 3-point field goals made and 14th in points per game.
Creighton forward Doug McDermott is the only player on this year’s ballot who was a Wooden Award All American in 2012. He is the nation’s No. 2 scorer, at 23.4 ppg, and has taken the Bluejays to a 24-7 record to date this season (through March 4).
The Wooden Award All American Team, consisting of the nation’s top 10 players, will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament. The John R. Wooden Award Player of the Year presented by Wendy’s will be announced on ESPN during the Final Four Weekend in Atlanta. The 2013 Wooden Award Gala presented by Wendy’s will take place April 11-13, 2013, at The Los Angeles Athletic Club. The Gala will honor the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winners, All Americans and the Legends of Coaching Award winner, Kansas Head Coach Bill Self.
Among the student-athletes chosen to the Wooden Award ballot were three players who did not make the Midseason Top 25: Gonzaga’s Kelly Olynyk, Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, and Miami’s Shane Larkin. Other notable selections include the nation’s top scorer, Erick Green of Virginia Tech (25.0 ppg), and three freshmen: Anthony Bennett of UNLV, redshirt freshman Ben McLemore of Kansas, and Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart.
Indiana (Oladipo and Cody Zeller) and Kansas (McLemore and Jeff Withey), both ranked in the Associated Press Top 5 this week, were the only programs with more than one player selected to the ballot. In terms of conferences, the Big Ten had four selections, followed by the ACC and Big 12 each with three. The Big East, Mountain West, Missouri Valley Conference, The Summit League, and the WCC had one balloted player each to round out the 15 players chosen. Voting will take place from March 18th through March 25th, allowing voters to account for the first weekend of competition in the NCAA Tournament.
About the John R. Wooden Award
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). Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis won the men’s Award in 2012.
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 Gala.
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