NORMAN – Oklahoma freshman guard Trae Young was named to the national ballot for the John R. Wooden Award on Saturday. Selected by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board, the list is comprised of 15 student-athletes who are candidates for the Wooden Award All American Team and the Wooden Award Trophy as the most outstanding college basketball player in the United States.
A 6-2 guard from Norman, Young leads the nation in scoring (27.5 points per game) and assists (8.9). No player in recorded NCAA history has finished a season leading the country in both scoring and assists.
Young has totaled 826 points in his freshman season – the most ever in a regular season by a Big 12 player. He is just the second player from a major conference to reach 800 points during the regular season in the past 20 years, joining JJ Redick of Duke (833 in 2005-06). Young is also the only freshman in Division I basketball to score 800 points in a regular season during the Big 12 era.
The freshman is putting up his scoring numbers while passing out a nation-leading 267 assists. He is the second player in NCAA Division I history to total 800 points and 250 assists in the same season and the first ever from a major conference. Oakland’s Key Felder (2015-16) is the only other Division I player to produce an 800-point, 250-assist season since the NCAA began tracking assists in 1983.
Young’s 267 dimes rank fifth for most by a freshman in NCAA history - 21 shy of the NCAA record (288) set by Duke's Bobby Hurley in 1989-90.
In 30 games, the Norman native has put together 12 double-doubles, 23 20-plus-point games, nine 30-plus-point games and four 40-plus-point games. Young also averages 3.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals.
Young owns the Oklahoma freshman records for points (826), assists (267), 3-pointers (110) and made foul shots (226). He claimed the Sooners' freshman scoring title on Tuesday by surpassing Oklahoma legend Wayman Tisdale's 810 points from the 1982-83 season. Tisdale’s freshman year was so memorable (he averaged 24.5 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks), that the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) named its national freshman of the year award after him in 2010.
Young isn’t just breaking school records, he’s also tied one of the most impressive single-game records in college hoops history. By dishing out 22 assists against Northwestern State on Dec. 19, he tied the NCAA record for most assists in a game (assists became official in 1983-84) while breaking both Oklahoma and Big 12 records (both were 18 assists). Young is the fourth player in recorded college basketball history to register 22 assists and the first since Sherman Douglas of Syracuse in 1989. Since the NCAA began recording assists in 1983, Young is the only freshman to dish out 20 or more assists in a game.
All balloted players have been certified by their university to meet or exceed the qualifications for the Wooden Award as set forth by Coach Wooden when the Award was established. The qualifications include: candidates must exhibit strength of character, both on and off the court; candidates must be full-time students in an accredited NCAA college or university; candidates must be making progress toward graduation and have a cumulative 2.00 grade point average since enrolling in their school; candidates must contribute to team effort; candidates must excel in both offense and defense; and candidates should be considered on their performance over the course of the entire season.
Voting will take place from March 12th to March 19th, and voters, consisting of nearly 1,000 members of the national college basketball media, take into consideration a player’s entire season of play, as well as the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Fans may vote through the fan voting site, sponsored by Wendy’s, at www.woodenawardvote.com.
The Wooden Award All American Team, consisting of the nation’s top 10 players, and the finalists for the Wooden Award, widely considered to be one of the most prestigious honors in college basketball, will be announced following the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament and will be the focus of a 30-minute show March 28th on ESPNU at 7 p.m. CT.
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. Only one school (Duke) has ever had three student-athletes receive the award within a 10-year stretch.
Young is joined on the national ballot by DeAndre Ayton (Arizona), Marvin Bagley III (Duke), Mohamed Bamba (Texas), Keita Bates-Diop (Ohio State), Trevon Bluiett (Xavier), Mikal Bridges (Villanova), Miles Bridges (Michigan State), Jalen Brunson (Villanova), Jevon Carter (West Virginia), Carsen Edwards (Purdue), Keenan Evans (Texas Tech), Devonte' Graham (Kansas), Jock Landale (Saint Mary's) and Luke Maye (North Carolina).