Tuesday , Mar , 29 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

NBA-bound Bogut heads Wooden Award nominees

=== NBA-bound Bogut heads Wooden Award nominees ===

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Andrew Bogut, Dee Brown, Sean May, J.J.
Redick and Wayne Simien are the five finalists for the John R. Wooden Award,
it was announced Tuesday.

The finalists, who will be invited to Los Angeles for the 29th Annual Wooden
Award Ceremony April 9th, were selected by a panel of more than 1,000 voters.

The Wooden Award is given to the most outstanding collegiate basketball player
in the United States. In addition to on-court performance, voters are supposed
to base their selections on each candidate’s character and academic
performance, essential components of an outstanding player in the eyes of John
Wooden, the legendary hoops coach at UCLA and the Award’s namesake.

Bogut, who announced his intention to enter the NBA Draft on Monday, led the
Mountain West Conference in points (20.4) and rebounds (12.2) while guiding
Utah to the Sweet 16.

Named Big Ten Player of the Year, Brown led Illinois to the conference
championship and the Final Four, averaging 13.5 points per game, while
shooting 51 percent and swiping a team-high 66 steals.

North Carolina’s May will also play in this weekend’s Final Four. He averaged
a team-leading 17.1 points and 10.9 rebounds per game.

Duke’s Redick averaged a conference-best 21.8 points per game for the ACC
tournament champion Blue Devils, who advanced to the Sweet 16. He also
finished as the country’s top free throw shooter, hitting 94 percent.

Simien averaged a double-double for Kansas this season, recording 20.8 points,
while grabbing 10.3 boards per game.

“All of these finalists deserve to be recognized for their extraordinary level
of play throughout the season,” Wooden Award founder Richard Llewellyn said.
“We look forward to crowning one of these five players the 2005 Wooden Award

Previous winners include Larry Bird (1979), Michael Jordan (1984), Tim Duncan
(1997), and last year’s recipient, Jameer Nelson (2004).

In addition to the Wooden Award nominees, the committee also released its top
10 All-American selections, which included the aforementioned nominees, as
well as Louisville’s Francisco Garcia, Wake Forest’s Chris Paul, Arizona’s
Salim Stoudamire, Syracuse’s Hakim Warrick and Illinois’ Deron Williams.