Saturday , Mar , 06 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Nelson among Wooden Award finalists

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Saint Joseph’s guard Jameer Nelson,
Stanford forward Josh Childress and center Emeka Okafor of Connecticut lead a
group of 20 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award as college basketball’s
player of the year.

The winner, selected by a panel of more than 1,000 sports media and college
basketball experts, will be announced April 10 from the Los Angeles Athletic
Club live on CBS.

Childress, who missed nine early games for the Cardinal, returned to help them
win the Pac-10 regular season finale.

Nelson, a senior point guard, helped lead the Hawks to their first regular
season unbeaten record in school history (27-0) and the Atlantic 10
Conference’s regular season title.

Saint Joseph’s will likely become the number one team in the nation after
Stanford suffered its first loss Saturday.

The other finalists named Saturday include Travis Diener of Marquette, Ike
Diogu of Arizona State, Hakim Warrick of Syracuse, Matt Freije of
Vanderbilt, B.J. Elder of Georgia Tech, Andre Emmett of Texas Tech, Gerald
Fitch of Kentucky, Francisco Garcia of Louisville, Ryan Gomes of Providence,
Devin Harris of Wisconsin, Julius Hodge of North Carolina State, Luke Jackson
of Oregon, John Lucas of Oklahoma State, Chris Duhon of Duke, Lawrence Roberts
of Mississippi State, Wayne Simien of Kansas and Blake Stepp of Gonzaga.