Nov. 8, 2012
LOS ANGELES – Baylor senior All-American point guard Pierre Jackson has been named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50, as announced Thursday by the Los Angeles Athletic Club.
Jackson is one of 50 student-athletes named to the preseason watch list. The players are the early front-runners for college basketball’s most prestigious honor, based on last year’s individual and team performance.
Additionally, Baylor freshman Isaiah Austin is among 15 players mentioned as transfers and freshmen who could make the midseason and final watch list. Transfers, freshmen and medical redshirts are not eligible for the Preseason Top 50. Austin is a top five national recruit from Arlington’s (Texas) Grace Prep Academy. He’s the third McDonald’s All-American to play for head coach Scott Drew at Baylor.
Jackson, who is the 2012-13 Big 12 Conference Preseason Player of the Year, led Baylor with 13.8 points, 5.9 assists and 1.8 steals per game in his debut season in Waco last year. His 223 assists were the second-highest single-season total in program history, and he posted double-figure points in 27 of 38 games, including an average of 17.6 points per game in the last eight contests.
Student-athletes in the Preseason Top 50 are considered strong candidates for the midseason list and the official voting ballot, both of which are open to freshman and transfer students. The national ballot consists of approximately 20 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The Wooden Award All-American Team, consisting of the nation’s top 10 players, will be announced the week of the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight.
The 37th annual Wooden Award ceremony will honor the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winners, and will include the presentation of the Wooden Award All American Teams. The event will take place the weekend of April 12-13.
Jackson is one of five Big 12 Conference players listed in the Preseason Top 50, joining Kansas’ Elijah Johnson and Jeff Withey, Kansas State’s Rodney McGruder and Oklahoma State’s Le’Bryan Nash. Austin is joined by Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart as the only Big 12 players listed among the 15 freshmen and transfers to watch.
No. 19/18 Baylor opens the 2012-13 season when it hosts Lehigh at 4 p.m. Friday at the Ferrell Center. The game will be televised live on FOX Sports Southwest and FCS Central as part of Baylor Vision on FOX Sports, Baylor’s third-tier television package. Single-game and season tickets can be purchased by visiting www.BaylorBears.com/tickets.
A complete list of the Preseason Top 50 and 15 candidates to watch can be found here: http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/66564/wooden-award-preseason-top-50-unveiled.