Feb. 6, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame junior forward Luke Harangody (Schererville, Ind.) has been named to the Midseason Top 30 list for the 2009 John R. Wooden Award All-American Team and Player of the Year trophy. The midseason list is composed of 30 student-athletes who, based on individual player performance and team records during the first half of the season, are the frontrunners for college basketball’s most prestigious honor.
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 cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), and 2007 recipient Kevin Durant of Texas. Candace Parker of Tennessee won the Women’s Wooden Award in 2007 and 2008.
Harangody is the only player in the nation to rank in the top five in both scoring average (25.3) and rebounds per game (13.2) this season. After missing two games early in the season due to pneumonia, the junior has scored in double figures in all 14 contests since his return. He has posted 11 straight double-doubles and is on the verge of becoming just the seventh player in the 104-year history of the Notre Dame basketball program to score 1,500 points and grab 800 rebounds. He currently has 1,511 points and 799 rebounds during his two-plus seasons in an Irish uniform.
Last season, Harangody was a Wooden Award All-American as he averaged 20.4 points per game and 10.6 rebounds a game. In addition, he was named the BIG EAST Player of the Year. Harangody has been tabbed as the 2008-09 BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year along with being named to The Associated Press’ preseason All-America squad.
The BIG EAST leads the Midseason Top 30, tops among all conferences, with 10 players selected. The Pac-10 and ACC follow with five selections, followed by the SEC and Big 12 with three apiece, the Big Ten with two and the Horizon League and Southern Conference with one selection.
Players who do not make the Midseason list are still eligible for the national ballot, which will be selected in March and will consist of approximately 20 players, chosen by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board Committee, who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA.
The 33rd annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the announcement of the Men’s and Women’s Wooden Award, and the presentation of the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award to Rick Barnes from The University of Texas, will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club in April, 2009.
Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed nearly one million dollars to universities’ general scholarship fund in the names of the All American recipients and has 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) to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament.
The Race for the Wooden Award is on! Follow the candidates and get the latest news throughout the season by logging on to www.woodenaward.com.
2009 Wooden Award Midseason Top 30 Candidates
Player, Height, Position, Class, SchoolA.J. Abrams, 5-11, G, Sr., TexasJeff Adrien, 6-7, F, Sr., ConnecticutDeJuan Blair, 6-7, F, So., PittsburghJon Brockman, 6-7, F, Sr., WashingtonNick Calathes, 6-6, G/F, So., FloridaSherron Collins, 5-11, G, Jr., KansasDarren Collison, 6-0, G, Sr., UCLAStephen Curry #, 6-3, G, Jr., DavidsonJonny Flynn, 6-0, G, So., SyracuseTaj Gibson, 6-9, F, Jr., USCBlake Griffin, 6-10, F, So., OklahomaTyler Hansbrough ! #, 6-9, F, Sr., North CarolinaLuke Harangody #, 6-8, F, Jr., Notre DameJames Harden, 6-4, G, So., Arizona StateManny Harris, 6-5, G, So., MichiganGerald Henderson, 6-4, G/F, Jr., DukeJordan Hill, 6-10, F, Jr., ArizonaMatt Howard, 6-7, F, So., ButlerTy Lawson, 5-11, G, Jr., North CarolinaKalin Lucas, 6-0, G, So., Michigan StateWesley Matthews, 6-5, G, Sr., MarquetteJerel McNeal, 6-3, G, Sr., MarquetteJodie Meeks, 6-4, G, Jr., KentuckyGreg Monroe, 6-11, C, Fr., GeorgetownKyle Singler, 6-8, F, So., DukeTyler Smith, 6-7, F, Jr., TennesseeJeff Teague, 6-2, G, So., Wake ForestHasheem Thabeet, 7-3, C, Jr., ConnecticutTerrence Williams, 6-6, F, Sr., LouisvilleSam Young, 6-6, F, Jr., Pittsburgh
! 2008 John R. Wooden Award Winner# 2007-08 Wooden Award All-American