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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Lowe's Senior CLASS, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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John R. Wooden Award Announces 2019-20 Preseason Top 50 Watch List

Two 2019 Wooden Award All Americans Headline the Wooden Watch

POSTED: November 5, 2019 -- 2:24 p.m. CT

The John R. Wooden Award® announced its Preseason Top 50 Watch List today on ESPN’s SportsCenter and on 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 most prestigious honors in college basketball, the Wooden Award All American Team™ and Most Outstanding Player Award.

Several universities boast multiple players on the list: Florida (Kerry Blackshear Jr., Scottie Lewis, and Andrew Nembhard) leads all schools with three selections, while Davidson (Kellan Grady and Jon Axel Gudmundsson), Duke (Vernon Carey Jr. and Tre Jones), Kansas (Udoka Azubuike and Devon Dotson), Kentucky (Ashton Hagans and Tyrese Maxey), Maryland (Anthony Cowan Jr. and Jalen Smith), Memphis (Precious Achiuwa and James Wiseman), Utah State (Sam Merrill and Neemias Queta), and Washington (Jaden McDaniels and Isaiah Stewart) each have two selections on the Preseason Top 50.

Of the 50 players on the preseason list, 34 are upperclassmen, including 22 seniors. The recent trend of recognizing outstanding freshmen continues with ten named to the list: Memphis’ Achiuwa and Wiseman, North Carolina's Cole Anthony, Duke's Carey Jr, Georgia's Anthony Edwards, Florida's Lewis, Arizona's Nico Mannion, Kentucky's Maxey, and Washington's McDaniels and Stewart.

The Preseason Top 50 list represents 12 conferences. The Pac-12 leads all conferences with 8 selections, followed by the Big East and SEC with seven apiece, the Big Ten with six, the ACC with five, the Big 12 with four, the American and WCC with three apiece, the A-10 and Mountain West with two each, and the America East, Conference USA, and Horizon League with one selection apiece.

The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2020 John R. Wooden Award Men's Player of the Year. Players not chosen to the preseason list are still eligible for the Wooden Award™ midseason list, late season list, and the National Ballot. The National Ballot consists of 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they meet or exceed the qualifications of the Wooden Award. Nearly 1,000 voters will rank in order 10 of those 15 players when voting opens prior to the NCAA Tournament and will allow voters to take into consideration performance during early round games. The Wooden Award All American Team™ will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament. The winner of the 2020 John R. Wooden Award will be presented during the ESPN College Basketball Awards on Friday, April 10, 2020.

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John R. Wooden Award Announces 2019-20 Preseason Top 50 Watch List

Precious Achiuwa Memphis The American 6'9" Frosh F
Ty-Shon Alexander Creighton Big East 6'4" Jr G
Cole Anthony North Carolina ACC 6'3" Frosh G
Udoka Azubuike Kansas Big 12 7'0" Sr C
Kamar Baldwin Butler Big East 6'1" Sr G
Desmond Bane TCU Big 12 6'6" Sr G
Charles Bassey WKU Conference USA 6'1" Soph C
Saddiq Bey Villanova Big East 6'8" Soph F
Kerry Blackshear Jr. Florida SEC 6'10" Sr F/C
Vernon Carey Jr Duke ACC 6'10" Frosh C/F
Yoeli Childs BYU WCC 6'8" Sr F
Anthony Cowan Jr Maryland Big Ten 6'0" Sr G
Jarron Cumberland Cincinnati The American 6'5" Sr F/C
Antoine Davis Detroit Mercy Horizon League 6'1" Soph G
Mamadi Diakite Virginia ACC 6'9" Sr F
Alpha Diallo Providence Big East 6'7" Sr G
Ayo Dosunmu Illinois Big Ten 6'5" Soph G
Devon Dotson Kansas Big 12 6'2" Soph G
Anthony Edwards Georgia SEC 6'5" Frosh G
CJ Elleby Washington State Pac-12 6'6" Soph F
Jordan Ford Saint Mary's WCC 6'1" Sr G
Kellan Grady Davidson A-10 6'5" Jr G
Jon Axel Gudmundsson Davidson A-10 6'5" Sr G
Ashton Hagans Kentucky SEC 6'3" Soph G
Tyrese Haliburton Iowa State Big 12 6'5" Soph G
Markus Howard* Marquette Big East 5'11" Sr G
Tre Jones Duke ACC 6'3 Soph G
Anthony Lamb Vermont America East 6'6" Sr F
Scottie Lewis Florida SEC 6'5" Fr G
Nico Mannion Arizona Pac-12 6'6" Frosh G
Naji Marshall Xavier Big East 6'7" Jr F
Jaden McDaniels Washington Pac-12 6'9" Frosh F
Tyrese Maxey Kentucky SEC 6'3" Frosh G
Sam Merrill Utah State Mountain West 6'5" Sr G
Andrew Nembhard Florida SEC 6'5" Soph G
Jordan Nwora Louisville ACC 6'7" Jr F
Reggie Perry Mississippi State SEC 6'5" Sr G
Myles Powell Seton Hall Big East 6'2" Sr G
Payton Pritchard Oregon Pac-12 6'2" Sr G
Neemias Queta Utah State Mountain West 7'0" Soph C
Nick Rakocevic USC Pac=12 6'11" Sr F
Jalen Smith Maryland Big Ten 6'10" Soph F
Lamar Stevens Penn State Big Ten 6'8" Sr F
Isaiah Stewart Washington Pac-12 6'9" Frosh F
Killian Tillie Gonzaga WCC 6'10" Sr G
Tres Tinkle Oregon State Pac-12 6'7" Sr F
Kaleb Wesson Ohio State Big Ten 6'9" Jr F
Cassius Winston* Michigan State Big Ten 6'1" Sr G
James Wiseman Memphis The American 7'1" Frosh C
McKinley Wright IV Colorado Pac-12 6'0" Jr G

# - indicates player was selected to the 2018-19 Wooden Award All American

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