John R. Wooden Award names its 2014-15 All Americans

March 30, 2015

The Los Angeles Athletic Club announced the 2015 John R. Wooden Award All Americans, made up of 10 student-athletes who were selected by nearly 1,000 national college basketball media members and the Award’s former winners.

The ten-player team consists of, alphabetically, Ron Baker (Wichita State); Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia); Willie Cauley-Stein (Kentucky); Jerian Grant (Notre Dame); Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin); Jahlil Okafor (Duke); D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State); Seth Tuttle (Northern Iowa); Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga); and Delon Wright (Utah).

The five players who are invited to Los Angeles are Cauley-Stein, Grant, Kaminsky, Okafor, and Russell.

Of those five, it would be an injustice if the defensive-minded Cauley-Stein, who most would agree is not even the best player on his own team (see Karl-Anthony Towns), were to win the nation's most prestigious award.

Kaminsky, Okafor, and Cauley-Stein will see their seasons continue into this weekend’s Final Four. Okafor had 9 points and 8 rebounds in the Blue Devils’ win over Gonzaga. Kaminsky had 29 points to lead the Badgers over Arizona in the West Regional, while Cauley-Stein's Kentucky squad barely escaped an upset loss to Grant’s Irish team in the Midwest Region.

In one memorable sequence in that game, center Cauley-Stein's offensive limitations were on full display, as he caught the ball on the block against a much smaller 6'5" defender one-on-one with no double team, but still lacked the confidence to make a basic offensive post move against his opponent.  Ultimately, it was Towns and the Harrison twins who saved Kentucky down the stretch.

The Wooden Award ceremony will honor and reveal the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winners, and will include the presentation of the Wooden Award All American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, which in 2015 will go to San Diego State Head Men’s Basketball Coach Steve Fisher.

This announcement will be televised live on ESPN2 from Club Nokia in Los Angeles at 5 p.m. on Friday April 10 as part of the first ever ESPN College Basketball Awards Show Presented by Wendy’s.

As insisted upon by Coach Wooden at the Award’s creation 39 years ago, All Americans have proven to their universities that they are making progress toward graduation and are maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA.

Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball.  Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), Candace Parker (’07 and ’08), Blake Griffin (’09) and Maya Moore of Connecticut (’09 and ‘11). Creighton’s Doug McDermott won the 2014 Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s.

By Staff of and news services

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