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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 Midseason Top 25 Watch List

Five players make their debut on the Wooden Watch™

POSTED: January 8, 2020 -- 9:58 p.m. CT

The John R. Wooden Award® announced its Midseason Top 25 Watch List today on ESPNU. Chosen by a poll of national college basketball experts based on their performances during the first half of the 2019-20 season, the list comprises of 25 student-athletes who are front-runners for the sport's most prestigious honor.

On the 2020 Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 Watch List, five players make their debut on the Wooden Watch after not being named on the Preseason Top 50 Watch List: Malachi Flynn (San Diego State), Luka Garza (Iowa), Filip Petrusev (Gonzaga), Zavier Simpson (Michigan) and Obi Toppin (Dayton). Three schools have two players on the list: Duke (Vernon Carey Jr. and Tre Jones), Kansas (Udoka Azubuike and Devon Dotson) and Kentucky (Ashton Hagans and Tyrese Maxey).

The Big Ten leads all conferences with six selections; followed by the ACC, Big 12, Big East, Pac-12, and SEC with three selections each; and the A-10, American, Mountain West, and WCC 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™ 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
Udoka Azubuike Kansas Big 12 7'0" Sr C
Saddiq Bey Villanova Big East 6'8" Soph F
Vernon Carey Jr Duke ACC 6'10" Frosh C/F
Anthony Cowan Jr Maryland Big Ten 6'0" Sr G
Devon Dotson Kansas Big 12 6'2" Soph G
Anthony Edwards Georgia SEC 6'5" Frosh G
Malachi Flynn San Diego State Mountain West 6'1" Jr G
Luka Garza Iowa Big Ten 6'11" Jr C
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
Tyrese Maxey Kentucky SEC 6'3" Frosh G
Jordan Nwora Louisville ACC 6'7" Jr F
Filip Petrusev Gonzaga WCC 6'11" Soph F
Myles Powell Seton Hall Big East 6'2" Sr G
Neemias Queta Utah State Mountain West 7'0" Soph C
Zavier Simpson Michigan Big Ten 6'0" Sr G
Lamar Stevens Penn State Big Ten 6'8" Sr F
Isaiah Stewart Washington Pac-12 6'9" Frosh F
Tres Tinkle Oregon State Pac-12 6'7" Sr F
Obi Toppin Dayton A-10 6'9" Soph F
Kaleb Wesson Ohio State Big Ten 6'9" Jr F
Cassius Winston* Michigan State Big Ten 6'1" Sr G

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

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