LOS ANGELES --- UConn sophomore Daniel Hamilton (Los Angeles, Calif.), the American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year last season, has been named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50, as chosen by a poll of national college basketball experts. The 50 student-athletes are the early front-runners for the award, which is given to the National Player of the Year.
Hamilton, the Huskies' 6-7 swingman, won the 2014 Wooden Award High School Player of the Year while at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, Calif. Last season, he was the only Division I college freshman to record at least 300 points, 200 rebounds, and 100 assists as he led the Huskies and the American Conference in rebounding (7.6), scored in double figures (10.9), and was second on the team in assists (3.7).
Through two games this season, both UConn wins, Hamilton is averaging 10.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 7.5 assists as he continues to display an outstanding all-around game.
The Top 50 nominees represent 10 conferences. The Big Ten leads all conferences with 10 selections, followed by the ACC (9), and the Big 12 (7), SEC (7), Pac-12 (5), Big East (4) and WCC (3). The American and Missouri Valley Conference each have two players selected and the Atlantic 10 has one player selected.
The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2016 John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy's. The Wooden Award National Advisory Board will select 25 players to the Midseason Top 25 in early January. In early February, the John R. Wooden Award will announce one final leading candidate list--the Late Season Top 20--prior to the selection of 15 players to the National Ballot.
Nearly 1,000 voters will rank order 10 of those 15 players, who have been qualified as meeting the standards set forth by Coach Wooden. Voting will open prior to the start of the NCAA Tournament and will allow voters to take into consideration performance during the 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 John R. Wooden Award will be announced during the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show presented by Wendy's on Friday, April 8, 2016.
About the John R. Wooden Award
The 40th annual presentation of the John R. Wooden Award will take place during the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show presented by Wendy's. Texas Tech Head Men's Basketball Coach, Tubby Smith, will be presented with the Legends of Coaching trophy during the show as well. The Wooden Award Weekend, April 7-9, 2016, will honor the male and female Wooden Award winners, the top 5 All Americans, and the Legends of Coaching recipient.