Aug. 5, 2004
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech basketball players B.J. Elder, Jarrett Jack and Luke Schenscher have all been named to the preseason list of the top 50 candidates for the John R. Wooden Award, given annually to the top player in college basketball.
Tech is one of two teams with three players on the list – North Carolina is the other. Elder, a 6-4 senior guard, was on the Midseason Wooden Award list last winter before the Yellow Jackets advanced to the NCAA Tournament championship game and finished the season 28-10.
Elder, the ACC’s fifth-leading scorer during the regular season at 14.9 points a game, averaged 17.8 points in Tech’s four NCAA Tournament games before spraining his right ankle early in the St. Louis regional semifinal against Nevada. The Madison, Ga., native was named honorable mention All-America by the Associated Press, finishing the season at 41.5 percent from the floor, 37.4 percent from three-point range and 78.0 percent from the foul line. He comes into his senior year 20th on Tech’s all-time scoring list with 1,326 points, and ranked sixth in career three-point field goals with 179.
Jack, a 6-3 junior from Fort Washington, Md., is the only player to start every game the last two seasons. He led Tech in scoring during the NCAA Tournament with an 11.3 average, including a career-high 29 points against Kansas in the regional final in St. Louis, and finished the season fourth in the ACC in assist average (5.61 per game) and fifth in steals (1.95 per game), while shooting 45.6 percent from the floor. He begins his senior year No. 10 in career assists (398) and No. 12 in career steals (125) at Tech.
Schenscher, a 7-1 senior from Hope Forest, South Australia, averaged 10.8 points and 7.0 rebounds in the NCAA Tournament, including 19 points and 12 rebounds in the national semifinal against Oklahoma State. For the season, he averaged 9.2 points and 6.6 rebounds (8th in the ACC). He shot 56.5 percent from the floor and ranked fourth in the ACC in blocked shots (1.42 per game).
“I’m sure I speak for all three of them when I say we’re honored that they are on this prestigious list of players,” said Tech head coach Paul Hewitt. “It says a lot about what these young men have accomplished to this point in their careers. “Each of them knows they have more work to do.
The Wooden Award Preseason All-American Team is composed of 50 student-athletes who, based on last year’s individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketball’s most coveted trophy. These Top 50 candidates are comprised of returning players, although transfers and freshmen as well as other players who excel throughout the season will be evaluated and considered for the Midseason Top 30 list and the National Ballot.
A Tech player has never won the Wooden Award, but Mark Price, Dennis Scott, Kenny Anderson and Matt Harpring have each been finalists.
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 university that he is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Michael Jordan (’84), Larry Bird (’79), Tim Duncan (’97) and last year’s recipient, Jameer Nelson (’04).
In mid January, the Wooden Award committee will release the Midseason Top 30 on CBS Sports, and on Tuesday, March 29th, the ten player Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced. The 2005 Award ceremony, which will include the presentation of the Men’s and Women’s Wooden Award, the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on April 9, 2005 and will be broadcast live on a national CBS telecast.
The top five male and female finalists will receive a contribution from the John R. Wooden Award Scholarship Fund in their name to their university’s general scholarship fund. The Wooden Award scholarship fund was established in 2002 by Applied Materials and corporate partners through the California Community Foundation (CCF) to honor Coach Wooden’s dedication as an educator and mentor. Applied Materials distributed $15,000 last year to each university represented by a men’s and women’s Wooden Award All-American Team finalist (for a total of $150,000). Additional donations to Applied Materials’ John R. Wooden Award Scholarship Fund can be made by contacting the scholarship fund through the CCF (www.calfund.org).
2004-05 Wooden Award Preseason
All-American Team – Top 50 Candidates
(Based on a preseason poll. Players listed alphabetically.)
Sean Banks 6'8" So. F MemphisAndrew Bogut 7'0" So. F/C UtahKevin Bookout 6'8" Jr. F OklahomaDaniel Brown 5'11" Jr. G IllinoisTaylor Coppenrath 6'9" Sr. F VermontPaul Davis 6'11' Jr. C Michigan StateTravis Diener 6'1" Sr. F MarquetteIke Diogu 6'8" Jr. F Arizona StateB.J. Elder 6'4" Sr. G/F Georgia TechRaymond Felton 6'0" Jr. G North CarolinaTorin Francis 6'10" Jr. F/C Notre DameChanning Frye 6'10" Sr. F ArizonaFrancisco Garcia 6'10" Jr. F LouisvilleJohn Gilchrist 6'3" Jr. G MarylandRyan Gomes * 6'8" Sr. F ProvidenceJoey Graham 6'7" Sr. F Oklahoma StateJustin Gray 6'2" Jr. G Wake ForestChuck Hayes 6'6" Sr. F KentuckyChris Hernandez 6'2" Jr. G StanfordJulius Hodge 6'6" Sr. G North Carolina StateDaniel Horton 6'3" Jr. G MichiganJarrett Jack 6'3" Jr. G Georgia TechCarl Krauser 6'2" Jr. G PittsburghKeith Langford 6'4" Sr. F KansasDavid Lee 6'8" Sr. F FloridaJohn Lucas Jr. 5'11" Sr. G Oklahoma StateSean May 6'9" Jr. F/C North CarolinaJason Maxiell 6'7" Sr. F CincinnatiRashad McCants 6'3" Jr. F North CarolinaGerry McNamara 6'2" Jr. G SyracuseChris Paul 6'0" So. G Wake ForestLeon Powe 6'8" So. F CaliforniaJ.J. Redick 6'4" Jr. G DukeAnthony Roberson 6'1" Jr. G FloridaLawrence Roberts * 6'9" Sr. F Mississippi StateNate Robinson 5'9" Jr. G WashingtonLuke Schenscher 7'1" Sr. C Georgia TechWayne Simien 6'8" Sr. F KansasCraig Smith 6'7" Jr. F Boston CollegeSalim Stoudamire 6'1" Sr. G ArizonaChris Thomas 6'1" Sr. G Notre DameP.J. Tucker 6'5" So. F TexasRonny Turiaf 6'10" Sr. F GonzagaCharlie Villanueva 6'11" So. F ConnecticutHakim Warrick 6'9" Sr. F SyracuseDeron Williams 6'3" Jr. G IllinoisShelden Williams 6'9" Jr. F DukeKennedy Winston 6'7" Jr. F AlabamaCurtis Withers 6'8" Jr. F CharlotteBracey Wright 6'3" Jr. G Indiana* Indicates player was a 2003-2004 John R. Wooden Award All-American.