Bogut, Augustus win Wooden awards
LOS ANGELES -- Andrew Bogut barely heard of John Wooden while growing up in Australia. He knows a lot more about the coaching great now.
Bogut and LSU's Seimone Augustus were runaway winners of the John R. Wooden awards, presented Saturday to college basketball's players of the year.
Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun, who received the legends of coaching award, filled in some details for Bogut about Wooden.
"I'd heard the name before. College basketball isn't very big in Australia," Bogut said. "He's a legendary coach -- one of the best of all time."
The award was first presented in 1977 -- two years after Wooden retired as the coach at UCLA, where he led the Bruins to 10 NCAA championships in his last 12 years on the job. The first winner was UCLA's Marques Johnson.
Now 94, Wooden didn't attend the award ceremony, but was expected at a banquet Saturday night.
Bogut, a 7-foot sophomore, became the first non-American to win the men's award, collecting 4,314 points from a national panel of more than 1,000 voters of sports media members and college basketball experts. Duke's J.J. Redick was second with 3,552 points.
Augustus, a 6-1 junior guard, received 422 points from a panel of more than 200 voters to win the women's award. Monique Currie of Duke was second with 155 points.
"It's very special just to have my name engraved on that trophy with the likes of Larry Bird, Michael Jordan and Tim Duncan," said Bogut, who is giving up his final two years of college eligibility to enter the NBA draft, where he's expected to be one of the top picks.
"I think he's going to be a great pro and have a long career -- as many years as he wants to play the game," Utah coach Ray Giacoletti said.
The 20-year-old Bogut averaged 20.4 points and 12.2 rebounds in leading the Utes to a 29-6 record this season.
"Bogut is a phenomenon," Calhoun said. "The greatest thing he has is a feel for the game."
Dee Brown of Illinois finished third in the men's voting with 3,003 points, followed by Sean May of NCAA champion North Carolina with 2,806; Wayne Simien of Kansas with 2,707; Chris Paul of Wake Forest with 2,659; Salim Stoudamire of Arizona with 2,395; Hakim Warrick of Syracuse with 2,257; Francisco Garcia of Louisville with 1,178, and Deron Williams of Illinois with 1,016.
The votes had to be in March 28. May probably would have finished higher than fourth had the deadline had been after the Final Four, where he was the MVP.
"You can pick any one of these guys. We're all winners," May said.
May, a junior, said Tuesday -- a day after North Carolina beat Illinois 75-70 to win the NCAA championship -- that he would return next season.
He hedged a bit Saturday.
"I'll sit down and talk with coach (Roy Williams) and weigh my options," May said. "It's not set in concrete that I'll return for my senior year. I love college, I love playing college basketball. I'll make my decision soon."
Augustus became the second woman to receive the Wooden Award -- Duke's Alana Beard won it last year.
"It's at the top because it has John Wooden's name on it," Augustus said. "He's a basketball icon as well as a legend."
Augustus averaged 20.1 points in leading LSU to a 33-3 record and a second straight Final Four appearance.
"Nothing about her has changed," LSU coach Pokey Chatman said. "I think that has to do with her work ethic. It helps when your most talented player is one of your hardest workers."
Kendra Wecker of Kansas State finished third in the women's voting with 130 points; followed by Janel McCarville of Minnesota with 94 and Jessica Davenport of Ohio State with 92.
The top five in both categories attended the nationally televised ceremony at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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