LOS ANGELES, Calif. (November 5, 2020) – Creighton University junior Ty-Shon Alexander has been named to the Preseason Top 50 Watch List for the John R. Wooden Award® presented by Wendy’s®. The list was unveiled today on ESPN’s SportsCenter and on ESPN.com.
Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who are the early front-runners for the most prestigious honors in college basketball, the Wooden Award All American Team™ and Most Outstanding Player Award.
Alexander led Creighton with 15.7 points per game, 41 steals and 97 three-pointers en route to Honorable Mention All-BIG EAST status a year ago. In addition to posting the league’s biggest scoring improvement (+10.2 ppg.), the Charlotte, N.C., native ranked fourth in the league in three-pointers per game, 10th in scoring, 11th in free throw percentage and 12th in steals per game.
Alexander was named Preseason First Team All-BIG EAST pick last month by league coaches, and a Preseason Second Team All-American by Street & Smith’s. He is also one of 20 preseason candidates for the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award.
Several universities boast multiple players on the list: Florida (Kerry Blackshear Jr., Scottie Lewis, and Andwew Nembhard) leads all schools with three selections, while Davidson (Kellan Grady and Jon Axel Gudmundsson), Duke (Vernon Carey Jr. and Tre Jones), Kansas (Udoka Azubuike and Devon Dotson), Kentucky (Ashton Hagans and Tyrese Maxey), Maryland (Anthony Cowan Jr. and Jalen Smith), Memphis (Precious Achiuwa and James Wiseman), Utah State (Sam Merrill and Neemias Queta), and Washington (Jaden McDaniels and Isaiah Stewart) each have two selections on the Preseason Top 50.
Of the 50 players on the preseason list, 34 are upperclassmen, including 22 seniors. The recent trend of recognizing outstanding freshmen continues with 10 named to the list: Memphis’ Achiuwa and Wiseman, North Carolina’s Cole Anthony, Duke’s Carey Jr, Georgia’s Anthony Edwards, Florida’s Lewis, Arizona’s Nico Mannion, Kentucky’s Maxey, and Washington’s McDaniels and Stewart.
The Preseason Top 50 list represents 12 conferences. The Pac-12 leads all conferences with 8 selections, followed by the BIG EAST and SEC with seven apiece, the Big Ten with six, the ACC with five, the Big 12 with four, the American and WCC with three apiece, the A-10 and Mountain West with two each, and the America East, Conference USA, and Horizon League with one selection apiece.
The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2020 John R. Wooden Award Men’s Player of the Year presented by Wendy’s. Players not chosen to the preseason list are still eligible for the Wooden Award™ midseason list, late season list, and the 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 2020 John R. Wooden Award will be presented by Wendy’s during the ESPN College Basketball Awards on Friday, April 10, 2020.
Creighton’s lone recipient of the John R. Wooden Award® is Doug McDermott, who was recognized following the completion of the 2013-14 campaign.