06 Mar



Mohamed Bamba named to John R. Wooden Award national ballot

University of Texas freshman Mohamed Bamba is one of 15 players named to the national ballot for the John Wooden Award, which is given annually to the nation's top college player (photo courtesy of texassports.com).

LOS ANGELES, California — University of Texas freshman forward Mohamed Bamba has been named to the national ballot for the John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s, the Los Angeles Athletic Club recently announced. Selected by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board, the list is comprised of 15 student-athletes who are candidates for the Wooden Award All-American Team and the Wooden Award Trophy as the most outstanding college basketball player in the nation.

Bamba leads the team in rebounding (10.6 per game) and blocks (107, 3.82 per game) and ranks second in scoring (13.0 points per game) and fourth in minutes (30.8 per game) through his first 28 games. He has recorded a Big 12 Conference-leading 14 double-doubles, including nine in league play. Bamba has reached double figures in scoring 21 times and reached double figures in rebounds 18 times.

Bamba leads the Big 12 Conference and ranks second nationally (through games of March 3) in blocks per game (3.82 per game). He has already set the UT overall season record for blocks (previous was 92 by Chris Owens in 2000-01) and the school and Big 12 Conference freshman season mark (previous was 90 by Chris Mihm in 1997-98). Bamba also leads the league and ranks 12th nationally (through games of March 3) in rebounds per game (10.6 per game).

All balloted players have been certified by their university to meet or exceed the qualifications for the Wooden Award as set forth by Wooden when the award was established. The qualifications include: candidates must exhibit strength of character, both on and off the court; candidates must be full-time students in an accredited NCAA college or university; candidates must be making progress toward graduation and have a cumulative 2.00 grade point average since enrolling in their school; candidates must contribute to team effort; candidates must excel in both offense and defense; and candidates should be considered on their performance over the course of the entire season.

Voting will take place from March 12-19, and voters, consisting of nearly 1,000 members of the national college basketball media, take into consideration a player’s entire season of play, as well as the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Fans may vote through the fan voting site, sponsored by Wendy’s, at www.woodenawardvote.com.

The Wooden Award All-American Team, consisting of the nation’s top 10 players, and the finalists for the Wooden Award, widely considered the most prestigious honor in college basketball, will be announced following the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament. There will be a 30-minute show at 7 p.m. (Central time), March 28 on ESPNU to announce the Wooden Award All-American Team and finalists for the Wooden Award.

The 42nd annual presentation of the John R. Wooden Award to the men’s and women’s most outstanding college basketball player will be the anchor presentation of the ESPN College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s on ESPN2 Friday, April 6.

For up-to-date information on the Wooden Award, please go to www.woodenaward.com.

Texas (18-13, 8-10 Big 12) opens play in the first round of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship against No. 10 seed Iowa State (13-17, 4-14 Big 12) Wednesday, March 7 in Kansas City. Tip is set for approximately 8:30 p.m. Central at Sprint Center, and the game will be televised nationally by ESPNU.

Digital Editor for and article junkie for Horns Illustrated. Father of 4. Heisman Trophy winner winner.   Follow me on Twitter at @GoGoGonzilla .