Kentucky's Julius Randle and Louisville's Russ Smith were among the Midseason Top 25 named Wednesday for the Wooden Award, which is presented to college basketball's top player at season's end.
Randle was one of four Kentucky players named to the pre-season watch list of 50 players but the only Cat to make the mid-season list. Smith was one of two Cardinals honored in the pre-season.
Randle, a 6-foot-9 freshman, leads Kentucky (14-4) in scoring and rebounding with averages of 16.7 points and 10.6 boards per game.
Smith, a 6-foot senior, leads Louisville (16-3) in scoring (18.4 points per game), assists (90), steals (37) and three-pointers (41).
The players on the mid-season list are considered strong candidates for the official voting ballot, which will consist of approximately 20 players. The players not chosen to the mid-season list are still eligible for the ballot.
Sophomore Willie Cauley-Stein and freshmen Andrew Harrison and James Young were among the pre-season top 50 for Kentucky. Sophomore Montrezl Harrell made that list for Louisville.
Randle was one of five freshmen on the Midseason Top 25, joining Tyler Ennis of Syracuse, Aaron Gordon of Arizona, Jabari Parker of Duke and Andrew Wiggins of Kansas.
Randle was one of three Southeastern Conference players named, joining senior Casey Prather of Florida and junior Jordan Clarkson of Missouri.
Smith and UConn's Shabazz Napier were the only representatives from the American Athletic Conference.
Wooden Award Midseason Top 25
Kyle Anderson 6-9 So. G/F UCLA
Keith Appling 6-1 Sr. G Michigan St.
Cameron Bairstow 6-9 Sr. F New Mexico
Jordan Clarkson 6-5 Jr. G Missouri
Aaron Craft 6-2 Sr. G Ohio St.
Sam Dekker 6-7 So. F Wisconsin
Cleanthony Early 6-8 Sr. F Wichita St.
Tyler Ennis 6-2 Fr. G Syracuse
C.J. Fair 6-8 Sr. F Syracuse
Aaron Gordon 6-9 Fr. F Arizona
Rodney Hood 6-8 So. F Duke
Nick Johnson 6-3 Jr. G Arizona
DeAndre Kane 6-4 Sr. G Iowa St.
Doug McDermott 6-8 Sr. F Creighton
Shabazz Napier 6-1 Sr. G UConn
Jabari Parker 6-8 Fr. F Duke
Adreian Payne 6-10 Sr. C Michigan St.
Casey Prather 6-6 Sr. F Florida
Julius Randle 6-9 Fr. F Kentucky
Marcus Smart 6-4 So. G Oklahoma St.
Russ Smith 6-0 Sr. G Louisville
T.J. Warren 6-8 So. F N. Carolina St.
Andrew Wiggins 6-8 Fr. G Kansas
Chaz Williams 5-9 Sr. G UMass
Joseph Young 6-2 Jr. G Oregon
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