The Los Angeles Athletic Club announced its 2012-13 John R. Wooden Preseason Top 50 watch list. The players are chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball media members.
The list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who, based on last year’s individual performance and team records, are the early front-runners for college basketball’s most prestigious honor. The Wooden Award has been given to the nation’s top collegiate player annually since 1976.
Memphis Tigers sophomore Adonis Thomas is the only CUSA player on the preseason list.
The 6’7 forward is a preseason all-Conference USA second-team pick. He averaged 8.8 points and 3.2 rebounds and shot 48.6 percent from the field, 40.5 percent from the arc and 70.8 percent from the free throw line in 19 games as a freshman last season. Thomas had to miss 16 games last year due to ankle surgery.
Thomas has also picked up numerous accolades from preseason publications and websites. CBSSports.com picked Thomas as its preseason CUSA Player of the Year, while Lindy’s, The Sporting News, Athlon Sports and Blue Ribbon College Yearbook all named him to their All-Conference USA squad.
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 37th 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. The event will take place the weekend of April 12-13, 2013.
Patosha Jeffery is the Memphis Tigers Featured Columnist at Rant Sports. Be sure to follow her on Twitter: @patoshajeffery