Nelson, Smith in Wooden Award top 50

UCLA forward Reeves Nelson and center Joshua Smith were named to the Wooden Award preseason top 50 list, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Monday.

Nelson, a 6-foot-8 junior, led UCLA with 13.9 points and 9.1 rebounds per game last season and was an All Pac-10 selection. Smith, a 6-10 sophomore, averaged 10.9 points and 6.3 rebounds and earned a spot on the Pac-10 All-Freshman team.

The Wooden Award recognizes the top player in college basketball each season. The list is updated at midseason in order to account for incoming freshmen or transfers who did not play the previous season. It is then narrowed to 10 finalists during the third week of the NCAA tournament.

Two UCLA players have previously won the award: Marques Johnson in 1976-77 and Ed O’Bannon in 1994-95.

The complete preseason list:

John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 List

Name Position University

Tim Abromaitis F Notre Dame

Harrison Barnes F North Carolina

Will Barton G Memphis

Dee Bost G Mississippi State

William Buford G Ohio State

Allen Crabbe G California

Aaron Craft G Ohio State

Marcus Denmon G Missouri

Festus Ezeli C Vanderbilt

Ashton Gibbs G Pitt

Michael Glover F Iona

Drew Gordon F New Mexico

Draymond Green F Michigan State

JaMychal Green F Alabama

Jorge Gutierrez G California

Tim Hardaway, Jr. G Michigan

Elias Harris F Gonzaga

John Henson F North Carolina

Tu Holloway G Xavier

Robbie Hummel F Purdue

Joe Jackson G Memphis

Scoop Jardine G Syracuse

John Jenkins G Vanderbilt

Orlando Johnson G UCSB

Darius Johnson-Odom G Marquette

Kevin Jones F West Virginia

Terrence Jones F Kentucky

Perry Jones III F Baylor

Kris Joseph F Syracuse

Jeremy Lamb G Connecticut

Kendall Marshall G North Carolina

Trevor Mbakwe F Minnesota

Ray McCallum G Detroit

Doug McDermott F Creighton

Khris Middleton F Texas A&M

Reeves Nelson F UCLA

Andrew Nicholson F St. Bonaventure

Alex Oriakhi C Connecticut

Thomas Robinson F Kansas

John Shurna F Northwestern

Peyton Siva G Louisville

Joshua Smith C UCLA

Jared Sullinger * C Ohio State

Jeffery Taylor G/F Vanderbilt

Jordan Taylor G Wisconsin

Casper Ware G Long Beach State

Maalik Wayns G Villanova

Keith Wright F Harvard

Patric Young F/C Florida

Tyler Zeller F North Carolina

Players listed alphabetically

GS=Graduate Student

*indicates player chosen to the 2011 Wooden All American Team