Duke senior Grayson Allen and freshman Marvin Bagley III were selected as two of 25 players named to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25, as announced Thursday. The selection committee for the Wooden Award includes college basketball experts from across the country. The 25 individuals selected to the midseason list are considered frontrunners for the sport’s most prestigious individual honor, based on their performances during the first half of the 2017-18 season.
The number of potential candidates for the 2018 Wooden Award will be reduced to 20 players in early February, before an additional five players will be removed from the list, leaving 15 on the final ballot prior to the NCAA Tournament. The announcement of the Wooden Award All-American Team will occur during the week of the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament. Players not named to the preseason or midseason watch list are still eligible to make the ballot at the end of the season.
Allen has been a leader for the Blue Devils this season, as the sole senior and team captain. The Jacksonville, Fla. native has helped pace Duke as the nation’s best scoring offense at 93.5 points per game. Allen is seventh in the conference in scoring (16.4 ppg), fifth in 3-point shooting percentage (.411), third in threes made per game (2.8) and ninth in assists per game (4.3).
Bagley III has been a double-double machine in his first collegiate season, with his 13 double-doubles tied for second in the country and first among freshmen. He currently leads the ACC in scoring (22.1 ppg), rebounding (11.8 rpg) and is second in field goal percentage (.626). He owns four of the ACC’s six 30-10 performances this season.
The John R. Wooden Award, established in 1976, is presented annually to a student-athlete that not only showcases an athletic prowess on the court, but also demonstrates progress towards graduation by maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA.