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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 2020-21 Preseason Top 50 Watch List

Five players make their debut on the Wooden Watch™

POSTED: December 1, 2020 -- 2:58 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 schools boast multiple players on the list: Baylor (Jared Butler and MaCio Teague), Duke (Matthew Hurt and Jalen Johnson), Gonzaga (Corey Kispert and Drew Timme), Illinois (Kofi Cockburn and Ayo Dosunmu), Iowa (Luka Garza and Joe Wieskamp), Kentucky (Brandon Boston Jr. and Olivier Sarr), LSU (Javonte Smart and Trendon Watford), Stanford (Oscar da Silva and Ziaire Williams), Tennessee (John Fulkerson and Yves Pons), Villanova (Collin Gillespie and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl), and Virginia (Kihei Clark and Sam Hauser) each have two selections on the Preseason Top 50.

Of the 50 players on the preseason list, 32 are upperclassmen, including 20 seniors. The recent trend of recognizing outstanding freshmen continues with seven named to the list: Scottie Barnes (Florida State), Boston Jr. (Kentucky), Greg Brown (Texas), Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State), Johnson (Duke), Evan Mobley (USC), Williams (Stanford).

The Preseason Top 50 represents 11 conferences. The Big Ten leads all conferences with ten selections, followed by the ACC and SEC with seven apiece, the Big 12 and PAC-12 with 6 each, the Big East with four, the Atlantic 10 and WCC with three apiece, the American with two selections, and the Mountain West and Conference USA with one selection each.

The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2021 John R. Wooden Award Men's Player of the Years. 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 2021 John R. Wooden Award will be presented following the NCAA Tournament in April.

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John R. Wooden Award Announces 2020-21 Preseason Top 50 Watch List

Scottie Barnes Florida State ACC 6'9" Frosh Guard
Charles Bassey Western Kentucky Conference USA 6'11" Jr Center
Brandon Boston Jr. Kentucky SEC 6'7" Frosh Guard
James Bouknight Connecticut Big East 6'5" Soph Guard
Garrison Brooks North Carolina ACC 6'10" Sr Forward
Greg Brown Texas Big 12 6'9" Frosh Forward
Jared Butler Baylor Big 12 6'3" Jr Guard
Marcus Carr Minnesota Big Ten 6'2" Jr Guard
Kihei Clark Virginia ACC 5'9" Jr Guard
Kofi Cockburn Illinois Big Ten 7'0" Soph Center
Jalen Crutcher Dayton Atlantic 10 6'1" Sr Guard
Cade Cunningham Oklahoma State Big 12 6'8" Frosh Guard
Oscar da Silva Stanford Pac-12 6'9" Sr Forward
Ayo Dosunmu Illinois Big Ten 6'5" Jr Guard
John Fulkerson Tennessee SEC 6'9" Sr Forward
Marcus Garrett Kansas Big 12 6'5" Sr Guard
Luka Garza* Iowa Big Tent 6'11" Sr Center
Collin Gillespie Big East Big East 6'3" Sr Guard
Kellan Grady Davidson Atlantic 10 6'5" Sr Guard
Ron Harper Jr Rutgers Big Ten 6'6" Jr Guard / Forward
Sam Hauser Virginia ACC 6'8" Sr Forward
Joey Hauser Michigan State Big Ten 6'9" Jr Forward
Matthew Hurt Duke ACC 6'9" Soph Forward
Trayce Jackson-Davis Indiana Big Ten 6'9" Soph Forward
David Johnson Louisville ACC 6'5" Soph Guard
Jalen Johnson Duke ACC 6'9" Frosh Forward
Keyontae Johnson Florida SEC 6'5" Jr Forward
Corey Kispert Gonzaga WCC 6'7" Sr Forward
Isaiah Livers Michigan Big Ten 6'7" Sr Forward
Remy Martin Arizona State Pac-12 6'0" Sr Guard
Caleb Mills Houston The American 6'3" Soph Guard
Evan Mobley USC Pac-12 7'0" Frosh Forward
Landers Nolley II Memphis The American 6'7" Soph Guard
Yves Pons Tennessee SEC 6'6" Sr Guard / Forward
Neemias Queta Utah State Mountain West 7'0" Jr Center
Nate Reuvers Wisconsin Big Ten 6'11" Sr Forward
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl Villanova Big East 6'9" Soph Forward
Colbey Ross Pepperdine WCC 6'1 Sr Guard
Fatts Russell Rhode Island Atlantic 10 5'10" Sr Guard
Olivier Sarr Kentucky SEC 7'0" Sr Forward
Javonte Smart LSU SEC 6'4" Jr Guard
Chris Smith UCLA Pac-12 6'9" Sr Guard
MaCio Teague Baylor Big 12 6'4 Sr Guard
Drew Timme Gonzaga WCC 6'10" Soph Forward
Oscar Tshiebwe West Virginia Big 12 6'9" Soph Forward
Trendon Watford LSU SEC 6'9" Soph Forward
Joe Wieskamp Iowa Big Ten 6'6" Jr Guard / Forward
Ziaire Williams Stanford Pac-12 6'8" Frosh Forward
McKinley Wright IV Colorado Pac-12 6'0" Sr Guard
Marcus Zegarowski Creighton Big East 6'2" Jr Guard

# - indicates player was selected to the 2019-20 Wooden Award All American

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