March 14, 2011
• John R. Wooden Award
MADISON, Wis. -- The John R. Wooden Award national ballots were sent out Monday by The Los Angeles Athletic Club, and the list included Wisconsin senior Jon Leuer and junior Jordan Taylor.
Selected by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board, the ballot is made up of 20 student-athletes who, based on their performances throughout the season, are the candidates for college basketball’s most prestigious honor.
This marks the first time Wisconsin has had a pair of student-athletes on the Wooden Award ballot. Leuer and Taylor join Devin Harris (2004) and Alando Tucker (2007) as recent finalists.
All 20 players have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and are maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The Wooden Award Men’s All-American Team will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round during the NCAA tournament, making it unique among college postseason awards. Voters have until Monday, March 28 to return their ballots.
Wisconsin is one of just three schools with two players on the ballot, joining Purdue (JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore) and Duke (Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith). The Big Ten boasts the largest number of players chosen to the list with five, while the Big East and Big 12 conferences placed four players each.
Leuer leads the Badgers and ranks among the Big Ten’s top five in both scoring and rebounding, averaging 18.6 points and 7.3 boards per game. Taylor, meanwhile, is second on the team in scoring (18.1 ppg) and leads the nation with a 4.24 assist-to-turnover ratio. Taylor is the only player to rank among the Big Ten’s top five in both scoring and assists.
Earlier this month, Leuer and Taylor became the first duo in Wisconsin history to both earn first-team All-Big Ten honors. Taylor was a consensus pick, and Leuer was named first team by the coaches and second team by the media.
The 35th annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the announcement of the men's and women's Wooden Award winners and the presentation of the Wooden Award All-American Team trophies will take place April 8 at The Los Angeles Athletic Club.
About the John R. Wooden Award
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), Blake Griffin (’09) and Maya Moore of Connecticut (’09). Ohio State’s Evan Turner and Connecticut’s Tina Charles won the Award in 2010.
Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed close to $1 million to universities’ general scholarship funds in the names of the All-America 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 tournament, which brings together Special Olympics athletes and the All-Americans, takes place at The Los Angeles Athletic Club the morning after the John R. Wooden Award Ceremony.