UK Men's Basketball

Kentucky’s Ulis, Murray named to Wooden Award midseason list

Herald-Leader Staff Report

Kentucky guard Jamal Murray, left, jumps to score against Alabama forward Riley Norris during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Kentucky guard Jamal Murray, left, jumps to score against Alabama forward Riley Norris during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. AP

University of Kentucky guards Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray were named Wednesday to the Midseason Top 25 for the John R. Wooden Award, which is presented annually to college basketball’s player of the year.

The list is chosen through a poll of national college basketball experts.

Louisville senior Damion Lee also made the Midseason Top 25, as did Gonzaga senior Kyle Wiltjer, a transfer from Kentucky.

The candidates will be further pared to 20 top players in early February. Fifteen players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA will be submitted to the voters prior to the NCAA Tournament. The 10-man Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament.

Kentucky was one of only four schools to have two players chosen, joining Gonzaga (Domantas Sabonis and Wiltjer), Kansas (Perry Ellis and Wayne Selden Jr.) and North Carolina (Brice Johnson and Marcus Paige).

Murray and LSU’s Ben Simmons were the only freshmen named to the Midseason Top 25.

Louisville’s Lee was among five players not on the Preseason Top 50 who were named to the Midseason Top 25 along with Ryan Anderson of Arizona, Kay Felder of Oakland, Jarrod Uthoff of Iowa and Selden Jr.

Murray leads Kentucky in scoring at 17.6 points per game, and also averages 4.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists. Ulis, a sophomore, is second on the team in scoring at 14.2 ppg, with 3.3 rebounds and a team-best 6.0 assists per game.

The 40th annual John R. Wooden Award will be presented the weekend of April 7-9. The men’s and women’s Wooden All-American Teams will be honored during the ceremony, as well as the recipient of the 2016 Legends of Coaching Award, which will be presented to Texas Tech and former UK coach Tubby Smith.

Wooden Award Midseason Top 25

Name

School

Conference

Height

Class

Position

Grayson Allen

Duke

ACC

6-5

Soph.

G

Ryan Anderson

Arizona

Pac-12

6-9

Sr.

F

Malcolm Brogdon

Virginia

ACC

6-5

Sr.

G

Kris Dunn

Providence

Big East

6-4

Jr.

G

Perry Ellis

Kansas

Big 12

6-8

Sr.

F

Kay Felder

Oakland

Horizon

5-9

Jr.

G

Daniel Hamilton

Connecticut

The American

6-7

Soph.

G/F

Buddy Hield

Oklahoma

Big 12

6-4

Sr.

G

Brice Johnson

North Carolina

ACC

6-10

Sr.

F

Damion Lee

Louisville

ACC

6-6

Sr.

G

Caris LeVert

Michigan

Big Ten

6-7

Sr.

G

Nic Moore

SMU

The American

5-9

Sr.

G

Jamal Murray

Kentucky

SEC

6-4

Fr.

G

Georges Niang

Iowa State

Big 12

6-8

Sr.

F

Marcus Paige

North Carolina

ACC

6-2

Sr.

G

Gary Payton II

Oregon State

Pac-12

6-3

Sr.

G

Jakob Poeltl

Utah

Pac-12

7-0

Soph.

F

Domantas Sabonis

Gonzaga

WCC

6-11

Soph.

F

Wayne Selden Jr.

Kansas

Big 12

6-5

Jr.

G

Ben Simmons

LSU

SEC

6-10

Fr.

F

Melo Trimble

Maryland

Big Ten

6-3

Soph.

G

Tyler Ulis

Kentucky

SEC

5-9

Soph.

G

Jarrod Uthoff

Iowa

Big Ten

6-9

Sr.

F

Denzel Valentine

Michigan State

Big Ten

6-5

Sr.

G

Kyle Wiltjer

Gonzaga

WCC

6-10

Sr.

F

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