Saint Mary’s sophomore guard Patrick Mills (Monash, ACT) and Vanderbilt sophomore centre AJ Ogilvy (Castle Hill, NSW), former team mates at the AIS, are the highly touted hoopsters making a big impression on the American college scene.
The list is composed of 50 student athletes who, based on last year’s individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketball’s most prestigious honor.
Andrew Bogut, Mills’ team mate in Beijing, won the Wooden Award in 2005 before being drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks with the top pick in the NBA Draft. He was the first non-American to win the award and after three seasons with Milwaukee Bogut signed a 5-year, $US72 million contract to stay with the club.
Mills’ selection to the preseason Wooden Player of the Year Award list marks the first time that a Saint Mary’s men’s basketball player has made the list. In his debut season at Saint Mary’s Mills averaged a team-leading 14.8 points per game while leading the team in assists (111) and steals (57). He set a SMC freshman record, scoring 472 points, and he set a freshman record with a 37-point performance against No. 11 Oregon.
Ogilvy averaged 17 points and 6.7 rebounds for his Tennessean school in his freshman year and scored a game-high 25 points on 9-10 field goal shooting and 7-7 free throw shooting in an 84-65 pre-season victory over the University of Alabama-Huntsville on Monday. Ogilvy was one of the last players cut from the Boomers team that contested the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina, last year’s Wooden Award winner, returns to Chapel Hill for his final collegiate season and has a chance to become only the second repeat men’s Wooden Award winner.
Ralph Sampson of Virginia won the Award twice, in 1982 and 1983.
2008-2009 John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 List Player – Height/Position/Year/School
A.J. Abrams -- 5-11/G/Sr./Texas
Wink Adams -- 6-0/G/Sr./UNLV
DeJuan Blair -- 6-7/F/So./Pittsburgh
Jon Brockman -- 6-7/F/Sr./Washington
Derrick Brown -- 6-8/F/Jr./Xavier
Chase Budinger -- 6-7/F/Jr./Arizona
Nick Calathes -- 6-6/G/F/So./Florida
Dionte Christmas -- 6-5/G/Sr./Temple
Earl Clark -- 6-9/G/F/Jr./Louisville
Sherron Collins -- 5-11/G/Jr./Kansas
Darren Collison -- 6-0/G/Sr./UCLA
Lee Cummard -- 6-7/G/Sr./BYU
Stephen Curry -- 6-3/G/Jr./Davidson
Devan Downey -- 5-9/G/Jr./South Carolina
Robert Dozier -- 6-9/F/Sr./Memphis
Wayne Ellington -- 6-4/G/Jr./North Carolina
Jonny Flynn -- 6-0/G/So./Syracuse
Taj Gibson -- 6-9/F/Jr./USC
Blake Griffin -- 6-10/F/So./Oklahoma
Tyler Hansbrough -- 6-9/F/Sr./North Carolina
Luke Harangody -- 6-8/F/Jr./Notre Dame
James Harden -- 6-4/G/So./Arizona State
Gerald Henderson -- 6-4/G/F/Jr./Duke
Lester Hudson -- 6-2/G/Sr./Tennessee Martin
Robbie Hummel -- 6-8/F/So./Purdue
Stefon Jackson -- 6-5/G/Sr./UTEP
Dominic James -- 5-11/G/Sr./Marquette
Damion James -- 6-7/G/F/Jr./Texas
Curtis Jerrells -- 6-1/G/Sr./Baylor
James Johnson -- 6-8/F/So./Wake Forest
Marcus Landry -- 6-7/F/Sr./Wisconsin
Ty Lawson -- 5-11/G/Jr./North Carolina
Eric Maynor -- 6-2/G/Sr./VCU
Jack McClinton -- 6-1/G/Sr./University of Miami
Jerel McNeal -- 6-3/G/Sr./Marquette
Patrick Mills -- 6-0/G/So./Saint Mary's
Raymar Morgan -- 6-7/F/Jr./Michigan State
A.J. Ogilvy -- 6-11/C/So./Vanderbilt
Jeremy Pargo -- 6-2/G/Sr./Gonzaga
Patrick Patterson -- 6-8/F/So./Kentucky
A.J. Price -- 6-2/G/Sr./Connecticut
Scottie Reynolds -- 6-2/G/Jr./Villanova
Tyrese Rice -- 6-1/G/Sr./Boston College
Kyle Singler -- 6-8/F/So./Duke
Tyler Smith -- 6-7/F/Jr./Tennessee
DaJuan Summers -- 6-8/F/Jr./Georgetown
Hasheem Thabeet -- 7-3/C/Jr./Connecticut
Robert Vaden -- 6-5/G/F/Sr./UAB
Terrence Williams -- 6-6/F/Sr./Louisville
Sam Young -- 6-6/F/Jr./Pittsburgh