The Kentucky Wildcats are off to a promising 13-3 start this season, and that's helped put a pair of players on several award watch lists.
The latest of which comes in sophomore point guard Tyler Ulis and freshman shooting guard Jamal Murray making the John R. Wooden Award midseason watch list. One of the most prestigious awards in college basketball, the Wooden Award is presented annually to the nation's top player. UK was one of only four schools with two players on the 25-man list, and Murray was one of only two freshmen to make the cut.
The players on the list are considered strong candidates for Wooden Award, and the list will be cut to 20 players in early February.
Later, 15 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 on the ballot 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, and the 40th annual presentation of the award will be the anchor presentation of the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show, which will take place the weekend of April 7-9.
In 15 games, Ulis is averaging 6.0 assists per game with 7.3 assists per game in conference play, tied for the most in the league. The two-time SEC Player of the Week is also averaging 14.2 points per game and has scored 20 or more points in three of the last four games. Against Ole Miss, he became the first player in school history to post at least 20 points, at least 10 assists and at least six steals in a game.
Murray is currently on pace to become the most prolific scorer in the John Calipari era. Average a team-best 17.6 points per game, the freshman from Kitchener, Ontario is averaging more points per game than Brandon Knight's 2010-11 final scoring average of 17.3. Murray has also hit a 3-pointer in all 16 games to start his Kentucky career, the only player in school history to do so.
|Kay Felder||Oakland G||Jr.|
|Brice Johnson||North Carolina||F||Sr.|
|Georges Niang||Iowa State||F||Sr.|
|Marcus Paige||North Carolina||G||Sr.|
|Gary Payton II||Oregon State||G||Sr.|
|Wayne Selden Jr.||Kansas||G||Jr.|
|Denzel Valentine||Michigan State||G||Sr.|