Cauley-Stein Named Finalist for John R. Wooden Award
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky standout junior Willie Cauley-Stein is one of 15 finalists on the 2015 John R. Wooden Award. The Los Angeles Athletic Club announced its national ballot for the award on ESPN College GameDay on Saturday.
Voting will begin on March 16 and end on March 23. Fan voting will be taken into consideration. Fans can vote at woodenawardvote.com. One of the leaders of the nation's top-ranked team, which completed the regular season at 31-0 on Saturday, Cauley-Stein is averaging 8.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.
The 7-footer has been a shutdown defender for UK this season, leading the team in steals with 44 (1.4 per game) and ranking second in blocks with 49 (1.6 per game). He also leads the Wildcats in scoring (11.5) and rebounds (8.2) in UK's six games vs. ranked opponents.
As part of UK's platoon system, Cauley-Stein averages playing 25.6 minutes per game. Accounting for averages per 40-minute game on a pro-rated basis, Cauley-Stein averages 14.0 points, 2.5 blocks 10.1 rebounds and 2.2 steals. The Olathe, Kan., native has recorded 12 double-figure scoring games this season, including a 21-point, 12-rebound performance against then-No. 6 Texas in December.
Cauley-Stein is the first player in program history to amass 200 or more career blocks and 100 or more career steals, having achieved the feat earlier this season. He's also one of just eight players in program history with 500 or more rebounds, 100 or more blocks, and 75 or more steals.
Cauley-Stein is also a finalist for the United States Writers Basketball Association Oscar Robertson Trophy and a semifinalist for the Naismith Trophy.
Created in 1976, many consider the Wooden Award to be the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball.
Nearly 1,000 members of the national college basketball media vote for the winner. The aforementioned fan vote is also taken into consideration. Voters may take into consideration the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
All players placed on this year's Wooden Award ballot have proven to their universities that they are making progress toward graduation and are maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA.
The Wooden Award All American Team, consisting of the nation's top 10 players, will be announced the week of the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament and will be the focus of a 30-minute show on ESPNU on March 30th at 8 p.m. that will announce the Wooden All-American team and the five finalists for the Wooden Award. The women's ballot will be released next week.
The 39th annual Wooden Award ceremony will honor and reveal the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winners. This announcement of the winners will be televised live on ESPN2 from Club Nokia in Los Angeles at 5 p.m. on Friday April 10 as part of the first ever College Basketball Awards Show Presented by Wendy's.
UK has completed its regular season and will wait to play the winner of the Alabama-Florida matchup in the Southeastern Conference Tournament in Nashville, Tenn. UK's quarterfinal game on Friday is slated for a 1 p.m. ET tip on the SEC Network.
Wooden Award national ballot
Ron Baker, Wichita State
Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia
Wllie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky
Rakeem Christmas, Syracuse
Jerian Grant, Notre Dame
Tyler Haws, BYU
Buddy Hield, Oklahoma
Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin
George Niang, Iowa State
Jahlil Okafor, Duke
Bobby Portis, Arkansas
D'Angelo Russell, Ohio State
Seth Tuttle, Northern Iowa
Kyle Wiltjer, Gonzaga
Delon Wright, Utah