FAYETTEVILLE – University of Arkansas Daniel Gafford added to his list of preseason honors as the sophomore was named to the John R. Wooden Award, presented by Wendy’s, Preseason Top 50 Watch List as well as being named preseason first team All-SEC by the league’s coaches, it was announced today.
This season, Gafford has additionally been named to the Citizen Naismith Trophy National Player of the Year Watch List, the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award Watch List and preseason first team All-SEC as named by the league’s media.
Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts, the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who are the early front-runners for the most prestigious honors in college basketball – the Wooden Award All American Team and Most Outstanding Player Award.
The players on the Wooden list are considered strong candidates for the 2019 John R. Wooden Award Men’s Player of the Year presented by Wendy’s. Players not chosen to the preseason list are still eligible for the Wooden Award midseason list, late season list and the National Ballot. The National Ballot consists of 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they meet or exceed the qualifications of the Wooden Award. Nearly 1,000 voters will rank in order 10 of those 15 players when voting opens prior to the NCAA Tournament and will allow voters to take into consideration performance during 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 2019 John R. Wooden Award will be presented by Wendy’s during the ESPN College Basketball Awards on Friday, April 12, 2019.
Gafford was named to the SEC All-Freshman team last season. He averaged 11.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.2 blocked shots overall while averaging 12.7 points and 6.2 boards in league play. Gafford ranked 22nd nationally and second in the SEC with 76 blocked shots. This past summer, Gafford joined 24 highly-touted collegiate players that were invited to the Nike Basketball Academy, an annual developmental camp to learn and train with current and past NBA superstars through a series of off-court workouts, drills, film sessions and 5-on-5 competition.
Arkansas will open the 2018-19 season this Friday (Nov. 9) at the ESPN Armed Forces Classic. The game will be played on Fort Bliss military base in El Paso, Texas. The game will be telecast on ESPN and tip-off is set for 6 pm (CT).
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