A half-dozen Big 12 players are on the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50, including a pair of true freshmen and the Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year, Baylor’s Jared Butler.
Butler, a junior guard, entered this season after a 2019-20 campaign in which he led the Bears to a No. 1 ranking for most of that season. Last year Butler averaged 16 points per game, which made him the leading returning scorer in the conference entering this season. Butler also averaged 3.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists per game. Butler and the Bears face Illinois on Dec. 2 in the Jimmy V Classic in Indianapolis.
Also on the list is his teammate, MaCio Teague, who was an All-Big 12 preseason honorable mention selection. Teague was among the Big 12 leaders in points (13.9), rebounds (4.6), and assists (1.9) last year. Teague was an All-Big 12 Second Team and Newcomer Team selection last year.
Kansas guard Marcus Garrett, who scored 22 points in the Jayhawks’ season opener against No. 1 Gonzaga, is also on the list. A member of the Big 12 Preseason First Team, Garrett averaged 9.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.8 steals per game last year, along with winning the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year and the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.
Two other Big 12 Preseason First Team selections are on the list.
West Virginia forward Oscar Tshiebwe leads the Mountaineers against No. 1 Gonzaga on Dec. 2. Tshiebwe is coming off a 2019-20 season in which he earned All-Big 12 Second Team, All-Big 12 Freshman Team and All-Big 12 Newcomer Team honors. He led the Mountaineers with 11.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.
Oklahoma State true freshman Cade Cunningham was also named the Big 12 Preseason Freshman of the Year after entering college as the No. 1 recruit in the 2020 Class. Cunningham has led the Cowboys to a 3-0 start.
The final member of the list from the Big 12 is Texas true freshman forward Greg Brown, who has started the Longhorns’ first three games of the season. Brown entered the program as the No. 9 recruit in the 2020 Class.
The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2021 John R. Wooden Award Men’s Player of the Year.
2020-21 Wooden Award Watch List (Big 12 players in Bold)
Scottie Barnes, Florida State (6-9, Fr., G)
Charles Bassey, Western Kentucky (6-11, Jr., C)
B.J. Boston, Kentucky (6-7, Fr., G)
James Bouknight, Connecticut (6-5, So., G)
Garrison Brooks, North Carolina (6-10, Sr., F)
Greg Brown, Texas (6-9, Fr., F)
Jared Butler, Baylor (6-3 , Jr., G)
Marcus Carr, Minnesota (6-2, Jr., G)
Kihei Clark, Virginia (5-9, Jr., G)
Kofi Cockburn, Illinois (7-0, So., C)
Jalen Crutcher, Dayton (6-1, Sr., G)
Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State (6-8, Fr., G)
Oscar da Silva, Stanford (6-9, Sr., F)
Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois (6-5, Jr., G)
John Fulkerson, Tennessee (6-9, Sr., F)
Marcus Garrett, Kansas (6-5, Sr., G)
Luka Garza, Iowa (6-11, Sr., C)
Collin Gillespie, Villanova (6-3, Sr., G)
Kellan Grady, Davidson (6-5, Sr., G)
Ron Harper Jr., Rutgers (6-6, Jr., G/F)
Sam Hauser, Virginia (6-8, Sr., F)
Joey Hauser, Michigan State (6-9, Jr., F)
Matthew Hurt, Duke (6-9, So., F)
Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana (6-9, So., F)
David Johnson, Louisville (6-5, So., G)
Jalen Johnson, Duke (6-9, Fr., F)
Keyontae Johnson, Florida (6-5, Jr., F)
Corey Kispert, Gonzaga (6-7, Sr., F)
Isaiah Livers, Michigan ( 6-7, Sr., F)
Remy Martin, Arizona State (6-0, Sr., G)
Caleb Mills, Houston (6-3, So., G)
Evan Mobley, USC (7-0, Fr., F)
Landers Nolley II, Memphis (6-7, So., G)
Yves Pons, Tennessee (6-6, Sr., G/F)
Neemias Queta, Utah State (7-0, Jr., C)
Nate Reuvers, Wisconsin (6-11, Sr., F)
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Villanova (6-9, So., F)
Colbey Ross, Pepperdine (6-1, Sr., G)
Fatts Russell, Rhode Island (5-10, Sr., G)
Olivier Sarr, Kentucky (7-0, Sr., F)
Javonte Smart, LSU (6-4, Jr., G)
Chris Smith, UCLA (6-9, Sr., G)
MaCio Teague, Baylor (6-4, Sr., G)
Drew Timme, Gonzaga (6-10, So., F)
Oscar Tshiebwe, West Virginia (6-9, So., F)
Trendon Watford, LSU (6-9, So., F)
Joe Wieskamp, Iowa (6-6, Jr., G/F)
Ziaire Williams, Stanford (6-8, Fr., F)
McKinley Wright IV, Colorado (6-0, Sr., G)
Marcus Zegarowski, Creighton (6-2, Jr., G)
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