LOS ANGELES – UCLA freshman guard Lonzo Ball has been named to the John R. Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 list, as announced Wednesday by the Los Angeles Athletic Club.
Previously selected to the 50-man preseason and 25-man midseason watch lists, Ball has averaged 15.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game through UCLA’s 24 contests.
Ball currently leads the nation in total assists (188) and ranks second, nationally, in assists per game (7.8). In addition, he ranks fifth in the Pac-12 Conference in three-point field goal percentage (43.0) and 10th in overall field goal percentage (54.1), through Feb. 7.
Ball has recorded more assists than any UCLA freshman in program history and currently ranks fourth on the Pac-12’s single-season freshman assists list, trailing the conference’s leader in that category, Gary Payton (Oregon State, 229) by just 41 assists.
The 6-foot-6 guard from Chino Hills, Calif., is the nation’s only player to have averaged at least 10 points, seven assists and four rebounds per game. He leads the Pac-12 and ranks No. 17 in the country in assist-turnover ratio, having compiled a 3.08 mark.
Ball, one of 10 midseason finalists for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award, has registered at least 10 assists in six games this season. He is one of just three players in the country with six or more 10+ assist performances, along with Creighton’s Maurice Watson Jr. (7) and Marshall’s Jon Elmore (6).
Student-athletes who did not make the “late season” top 20 list are still eligible for the Wooden Award’s final ballot, which will be announced on Saturday, March 4.
The 41st annual presentation of the John R. Wooden Award to the men’s and women’s most outstanding basketball player will be the anchor presentation of the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show presented by Wendy’s on ESPN2 on Friday, April 7.
The men’s and women’s John R. Wooden Award All-American Teams will be honored during the ceremony, and the 2017 Wooden Award Legends of Coaching Trophy will be presented to Muffet McGraw, head women’s basketball coach at the University of Notre Dame.
Ranked No. 10 in this week’s AP poll and No. 9 in the USA Today Coaches poll, UCLA (21-3, 8-3) will host No. 5/6 Oregon (21-3, 10-1) on Thursday, Feb. 9. Game time in Pauley Pavilion is 7 p.m. (PT). UCLA’s game against Oregon will be nationally televised by ESPN.