NORMAN – Oklahoma freshman Trae Young has been selected to the Preseason Top 50 for the John R. Wooden Award. Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who are the early front-runners for one of college basketball’s most prestigious individual honors.
The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2018 John R. Wooden Award Men’s Player of the Year. The award is bestowed upon the nation’s best basketball player at an NCAA Division I university who has proven to his university that he is making progress towards graduation and maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include Larry Bird (1979), Michael Jordan (1984) and Tim Duncan (1997).
Oklahoma is the only school with multiple John R. Wooden Award winners over the past 14 seasons with Buddy Hield (2016) and Blake Griffin (2009) each earning the honor.
A 6-2 guard from Norman, Young is one of 10 freshmen to make the top-50 list.
Young came to OU after averaging 42.6 points, 4.1 assists and 5.8 rebounds during his senior year at Norman North High School. A five-star recruit according to 247Sports, ESPN, Rivals and Scout, Young is the fourth McDonald’s All-American from the state of Oklahoma to play for OU, joining Sooner legends Blake Griffin, Wayman Tisdale and Jeff Webster.
The Norman native was selected as the Gatorade Player of the Year in Oklahoma in 2016 and 2017. Internationally, Young won gold at the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship as part of the United States U18 National Team.
Young made his collegiate debut on Sunday, producing 15 points, 10 assists, six rebounds, two blocks and two steals in 26 minutes to help lead the Sooners to a 108-89 win over Omaha. His performance earned him the honor of Big 12 Player of the Week, becoming just the second freshman to be named the conference’s Player of the Week in the opening week of the season, joining Michael Beasley of Kansas State in 2007.
A full list of the Preseason Top 50 can be found here.