Nov. 8, 2012
ATHENS ---- Georgia's Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was named today to the Preseason Top 50 list for the 2013 John R. Wooden Award, as announced today by the Los Angeles Athletic Club.
Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball media members, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who, based on last year’s individual performance and team records, are the early front-runners for college basketball’s most prestigious honor.
The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the midseason list and the official voting ballot, both of which are open to freshmen and transfer students. The National Ballot consists of approximately 20 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The Wooden Award All American Team, consisting of the nation’s top 10 players, will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament.
Caldwell-Pope, a sophomore from Greenville, Ga., is the Bulldogs' top returning scorer (13.2 ppg) and rebounder (5.2 rpg). A Coaches' Freshman All-SEC pick last season, he scored 422 points in 2012, the fifth-highest total by a UGA freshman in school history. He's the fourth-leading returning scorer in the SEC this season.
"KCP" is one of six players from the SEC to make the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 list. He joins Kenny Boynton and Patric Young of Florida, Phil Pressey of Missouri, Jarnell Stokes from Tennessee and B.J. Young of Arkansas.
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 minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), Candace Parker (’07 and ’08), Kevin Durant (’09) and Maya Moore of Connecticut (’09 and ‘11). Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis won the men’s Award in 2012.
Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed close to a million dollars to universities’ general scholarship fund in the names of the All American recipients. The Award has also sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps in the Award’s name. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament, which brings together Special Olympic athletes and the All Americans, takes place at The Los Angeles Athletic Club the weekend of the John R. Wooden Award Ceremony.
The Bulldogs tip off the 2012-13 season Friday night at home against Jacksonville at 7:00 p.m.