LOS ANGELES, Calif. (January 6, 2021) – The Los Angeles Athletic Club announced the John R. Wooden Award® presented by Wendy’s® Midseason Top 25 Watch List today on ESPNU. Chosen by a poll of national college basketball experts based on their performances during the 2020-21 season thus far, the list comprises of 25 student-athletes who are front-runners for the sport’s most prestigious honor.
On the 2021 Wooden Award™ Midseason Top 25, three players make their debut on the Wooden Watch™: Derek Culver (West Virginia), Carlik Jones (Louisville), and Jalen Suggs (Gonzaga). Three schools have multiple players on the list, led by Gonzaga (Corey Kispert, Suggs, and Drew Timme), and followed by Illinois (Kofi Cockburn and Ayo Dosunmu) and Villanova (Collin Gillespie and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl).
The Big Ten leads all conferences with six selections on the Wooden Award Midseason Top 25, followed by the ACC with five, the Big East with four, the Big 12 and WCC with three selections each, the Pac-12 with two , and Conference USA and the SEC with one selection apiece.
The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2021 John R. Wooden Award Men’s Player of the Year presented by Wendy’s. Players not chosen to the preseason or midseason list are still eligible for the Wooden Award™ 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 2021 John R. Wooden Award will be presented by Wendy’s following the NCAA Tournament in April.
About the John R. Wooden Award
Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award Program hosts the most prestigious honors in college basketball recognizing the Wooden Award Most Outstanding Player for men and women, the Wooden Award All American Teams for men and women and the annual selection of the Wooden Award Legends of Coaching recipient. Honorees have proven to their university that they meet or exceed the qualifications of the John R. Wooden Award as set forth by Coach Wooden and the Wooden Award Steering Committee, including making progress towards graduation and maintaining at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA. Previous winners include Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), Kevin Durant (’07), Candace Parker (’07; ’08), Maya Moore (’09; ’11), Chiney Ogwumike (’14), Breanna Stewart (’15; ’16) and last year’s recipients, Sabrina Ionescu of Oregon and Obi Toppin of Dayton.
Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed nearly one million dollars to the universities’ general scholarship fund in the names of the Wooden Award All American recipients and has sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with the Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament brings together Special Olympics athletes and Wooden Award All Americans and coaches in attendance. It is hosted at the Los Angeles Athletic Club during the John R. Wooden Award Weekend.
Presented by Wendy’s
|2020-21 Midseason Top 25 Name||School||Conference||Height||Class||Position|
|Scottie Barnes||Florida State||ACC||6-9||Fr.||G|
|Charles Bassey||Western Kentucky||Conference USA||6-11||Jr.||C|
|James Bouknight||Connecticut||Big East||6-5||Soph||G|
|Garrison Brooks||North Carolina||ACC||6-10||Sr.||F|
|Jared Butler||Baylor||Big 12||6-3||Jr.||G|
|Marcus Carr||Minnesota||Big Ten||6-2||Jr.||G|
|Kofi Cockburn||Illinois||Big Ten||7-0||Soph||C|
|Derek Culver||West Virginia||Big 12||6-10||Jr.||F|
|Cade Cunningham||Oklahoma State||Big 12||6-8||Fr.||G|
|Ayo Dosunmu||Illinois||Big Ten||6-5||Jr.||G|
|Luka Garza*||Iowa||Big Ten||6-11||Sr.||C|
|Collin Gillespie||Villanova||Big East||6-3||Sr.||G|
|Ron Harper Jr.||Rutgers||Big Ten||6-6||Jr.||G/F|
|Trayce Jackson-Davis||Indiana||Big Ten||6-9||Soph||F|
|Remy Martin||Arizona State||Pac-12||6-0||Sr.||G|
|Jeremiah Robinson-Earl||Villanova||Big East||6-9||Soph||F|
|Marcus Zegarowski||Creighton||Big East||6-2||Jr.||G|
Press Release Credit: WVU Athletics Communications
Photo Credit: Joshua Gateley