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Brewer Named to Wooden Award Watch List

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Brewer Named to Wooden Award Watch List

After tallying the ballots of the National Preseason Selection Committee, the John R. Wooden Award has announced the top 50 preseason candidates for the 2005-06 Wooden Award All-American Team, and Arkansas’ Ronnie Brewer is on the list.

The list of 50, based on last year’s individual performance and team records, will be trimmed to a midseason top 30 and placed on the national ballot.

“It’s a big honor,” Brewer says. “It shows a lot of respect for our team for them to take notice of us. Awards don’t mean anything before the season, but I will continue to work hard. Hopefully I can be more of a leader this year and get Arkansas back to the NCAA Tournament.”

Brewer, a 6-7, 220-pound junior guard from Fayetteville, is the top returning scorer (16.2) and field goal percentage leader (.475) in the Southeastern Conference. Earlier this summer he was a finalist for the USA Basketball Under-21 national team. He is also the only first-team All-SEC selection returning from last year.

Brewer was eighth in the league in scoring, led the team in rebounding (4.8), and was second in the conference in steals (2.5) and fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.66) while adding 3.4 assists per game. In SEC play, he was sixth in the league in scoring (16.4), 15th in rebounding (5.3), second in steals (2.3) and fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio.

“It’s an honor to be recognized as one of the top players in the country,” UA head coach Stan Heath says. “Ronnie has worked hard to be regarded in that group. His primary focus right now is this team and winning, but this is a very prestigious list for him to be a part of.”

Brewer led the team in scoring 15 times, and in rebounding and assists eight times each. He scored in double-figures a team-high 29 times, including a team-best eight 20-point outings.

Brewer is one of only 13 juniors on the list. There are also nine sophomores and 28 seniors on the list.

“With so many players jumping to the next level and so many standout athletes from last year, the committee had a tough time nominating these candidates from such a wide selection of tremendous players,” Duke Llewellyn, Wooden Award chairman, says. “These preseason selections represent the elite of college basketball, and our entire team at the Wooden Award is excited to see the best players in the nation prove their case as college basketball’s player of the year.”

Brewer is one of four starters and seven lettermen back from last year’s 18-12 Razorback squad. Joining Brewer at the top of that list are senior guard Jonathon Modica, who is 24th on UA’s all-time scoring list with 1,074 points; senior guard Eric Ferguson, who is ninth on the school’s all-time assists chart with 297 and was fifth in the SEC last year (4.27); 6-10 sophomore forward Darian Townes, who was second on the team in scoring (10.2), rebounding (4.6), shooting percentage (.519), free throw percentage (.698) and blocked shots (1.6); and 7-0 sophomore center Steven Hill, who was second in the SEC with 1.8 blocked shots per game.

On the Wooden Award watch list, 11 NCAA conferences are represented, including the Big East (nine players), ACC (eight players), Pac 10 (seven players), Big Ten (six players), Big 12 (six players), Atlantic 10 (four players), SEC (four players), Conference USA (two players), Western Athletic Conference (two players), West Coast Conference (one player) and the Missouri Valley Conference (one player).

In mid-January, the Wooden Award committee releases the midseason top 30 on CBS Sports, and on Tuesday, March 28, the 10-player Wooden Award All-American Team is announced. The 2006 Award ceremony, which includes the presentation of the men’s and women’s Wooden Award, the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, is being held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on April 8, 2006, and broadcast live by CBS Sports.

Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. It is bestowed upon the nation’s best player at an institution of higher education who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Michael Jordan (’84), Larry Bird (’79), Tim Duncan (’97) and last year’s recipient, Andrew Bogut (’05).

As a part of the John R. Wooden Award, the top five male and female finalists receive a contribution from the John R. Wooden Award Scholarship Fund for their university’s general scholarship fund. The Wooden Award Scholarship Fund was established in 2002 by Applied Materials and corporate partners through the California Community Foundation (CCF) to honor Wooden’s dedication as an educator and mentor. Applied Materials distributed $10,000 last year to each university represented by a men’s and women’s Wooden Award All-American Team finalist (for a total of $100,000).

For more information on the John R. Wooden Award, please contact Matt Draper at 310-578-7050 or via email at draper@formulapr.com, or visit www.WoodenAward.com.

2005-06 Wooden Award Preseason

All-American Team – Top 50 Candidates

(Based on a preseason poll/Players listed alphabetically)

Hassan

Adams

6’4”

Sr.

G

Arizona

Maurice

Ager

6’5”

Sr.

G

Michigan State

Josh

Boone

6’10”

Jr.

F

Connecticut

Brandon

Bowman

6’8”

Sr.

F

Georgetown

Ronnie

Brewer

6’7”

Jr.

G

Arkansas

Aaron

Brooks

6’0”

Jr.

G

Oregon

Dee

Brown

5’11”

Sr.

G

Illinois

Nik

Caner-Medley

6’8”

Sr.

F

Maryland

Rodney

Carney

6’7”

Sr.

F

Memphis

Mardy

Collins

6’6”

Sr.

G

Temple

JamesOn

Curry

6’3”

So.

G

Oklahoma State

Chuck

Davis

6’7”

Sr.

F

Alabama

Glen

Davis

6’9”

So.

F

LSU

Paul

Davis

6’11’

Sr.

C

Michigan State

Taquan

Dean

6’3”

Sr.

G

Louisville

Guillermo

Diaz

6’2”

Jr.

G

Miami

Jared

Dudley

6’7”

Jr.

F

Boston College

Jordan

Farmar

6’2”

So.

G

UCLA

Nick

Fazekas

6’11”

Jr.

F

Nevada

Daniel

Gibson

6’2”

So.

G

Texas

Rudy

Gay

6’9”

So.

F

Connecticut

Justin

Gray

6’2”

Sr.

G

Wake Forest

Taj

Gray

6’9”

Sr.

F

Oklahoma

Vincent

Grier

6’5”

Jr.

G

Minnesota

Dan

Grunfeld

6’6”

Sr.

G

Stanford

Chris

Hernandez

6’2”

Sr.

G

Stanford

Jeff

Horner

6’3”

Sr.

G

Iowa

Jarrius

Jackson

6’1”

Jr.

G

Texas Tech

Ben

Jacobson

6’3”

Sr.

G

Northern Iowa

Carl

Krauser

6’2”

Jr.

G

Pittsburgh

Nana (Pops)

Mensah-Bonsu

6’9”

Sr.

F

George Washington

Paul

Millsap

6’8”

Jr.

F

Louisiana Tech

Gerry

McNamara

6’2”

Sr.

G

Syracuse

Adam

Morrison

6’8”

Jr.

F

Gonzaga

Steve

Novak

6’10”

Sr.

F

Marquette

Kevin

Pittsnogle

6’11”

Sr.

C

West Virginia

Leon

Powe

6’8”

So.

F

California

J.J.

Redick

6’4”

Sr.

G

Duke

Rajon

Rondo

6’1”

So.

G

Kentucky

Brandon

Roy

6’6”

Sr.

G

Washington

Craig

Smith

6’7”

Sr.

F

Boston College

Steven

Smith

6’7”

Sr.

F

LaSalle

Curtis

Stinson

6’3”

Jr.

G

Iowa State

Curtis

Sumpter

6’7”

Sr.

F

Villanova

Alando

Tucker

6’5”

So.

F

Wisconsin

P.J.

Tucker

6’5”

Jr.

F

Texas

Darius

Washington

6’2”

So.

G

Memphis

Eric

Williams

6’9”

Sr.

C

Wake Forest

Shelden

Williams

6’9”

Sr.

F

Duke

Curtis

Withers

6’8”

Sr.

F

Charlotte



Sports Category : Basketball (M)