Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist Among 15 Finalists for Wooden Award

March 6, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky freshmen Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist were named among 15 Finalists for the John R. Wooden Award were announced by The Los Angeles Athletic Club on Tuesday.

Davis enjoyed a tremendous freshman campaign with 14 double-double efforts and leading the Wildcats with 14.4 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. He set the new single-season block record by a freshman at UK as well as the best output by a first-year player in Southeastern Conference history with 146 rejections.

At the conclusion of the regular season, Davis leads the nation in blocks per game (4.7) and ranked second nationally in field-goal percentage (.661). Furthermore he was the only freshman to rank among the top five in the SEC in both points and rebounds.

Davis exceled at both ends of the floor, in addition to his blocking ability he led the Wildcats in steals for the season. To complement his efficient shooting clip, he was equally impressive at the free throw line with a .713 clip, sinking more than 100 made free throws for the year.

Kidd-Gilchrist was UK’s do-everything performer ranking in the top three in nearly every statistical category for the Cats including rebounds (7.8), steals (1.2) and blocks (33) and he was fourth in scoring (11.9). He posted six double-double efforts on the year including three against top-10 ranked opponents.

In one of his most explosive performances of the season, Kidd-Gilchrist scored a career-high 24 points and pulled down a career-best 19 rebounds against fourth ranked Louisville. The 19 rebounds are the most by a single player in the series’ history en route to earning Player of the Game honors by the Bluegrass Sports Commission.

The Wooden Award All American Teams will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament, making the Wooden Award unique among college postseason awards. Voters have until Monday, March 19 at Noon PDT to return their ballots, allowing them to take into consideration performance during the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.

The 36th annual Wooden Award Gala, will take place on Friday, April 6, 2012, and will honor winners, All Americans and the Legends of Coaching winner Geno Auriemma of Connecticut. The John R. Wooden Award winner will be announced on ESPN the weekend of the Final Four in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Kentucky will return to action in the SEC Tournament on Friday, March 9 at 1 p.m. ET. UK will face the winner of the Arkansas/LSU game.