UCLAâ€™S LONZO BALL NAMED ONE OF FIVE WOODEN AWARD FINALISTS
Ball averaged 14.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 7.6 assists per game
UCLA freshman Lonzo Ball has been named one of five finalists for the 2017 John R. Wooden Award, as announced on ESPNU on Monday evening.
Ball, who averaged 14.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 7.6 assists per game as a freshman, has joined Villanovaâ€™s Josh Hart, Kansasâ€™ Frank Mason III, Purdueâ€™s Caleb Swanigan and Gonzagaâ€™s Nigel Williams-Goss as the top five selections from the final 15-man ballot. The Wooden Award is annually presented to the nationâ€™s top college basketball player.
A 6-foot-6 guard from Chino Hills, Calif., Ball has led the nation in assists per game (7.6) and total assists (274). He established the schoolâ€™s single-season record with 274 assists, the second-highest single-season mark in Pac-12 Conference history.
Earlier this month, Ball was named one of four finalists this season for the 2017 Naismith Trophy, annually awarded to the nationâ€™s top player by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. Ball has been named a first-team All-America selection by numerous national media outlets and organizations, including the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), USA Today, Sports Illustrated, Sporting News and Basketball Times. He has also secured National Freshman of the Year acclaim from the USBWA, USA Today, Sporting News and Bleacher Report.
One of six UCLA players to have averaged double-figure scoring this season, Ball helped lead UCLA to a 31-5 overall record and a 15-3 mark in Pac-12 play. The Bruins concluded their regular-season with a program-record-tying 28 wins, before advancing to the NCAA Tournamentâ€™s Sweet 16 for the third time in four seasons.
The 41st annual presentation of the John R. Wooden Award to the menâ€™s and womenâ€™s most outstanding basketball player will be the anchor presentation of the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show presented by Wendyâ€™s on ESPN2 on Friday, April 7.