Posted on November 13, 2013 at 12:37 AM
LOS ANGELES - Gonzaga University junior guard Kevin Pangos is among the 50 candidates announced Tuesday by the Los Angeles Athletic Club for the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 as basketball's Player of the Year.
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 the sport’s most prestigious honor.
Pangos was an All- West Coast Conference first-team pick a year ago, averaging 11.9 ppg, 2.7 rpg and 3.3 assists/game. The native of Holland Landing, Ontario, shot a team-leading 41.7 percent from 3-point range on 78-for-187. He was the only player to start all 35 games.
Pangos played last summer for the Canada’s Development Men’s National Team (DMNT) that competed in the FISU Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia, also known as the World University Games. Canada finished fourth in the tournament with a 6-2 record after falling 78-68 to the Russia Federation in the semifinals.
Creighton senior forward Doug McDermott, a Wooden Award All American in 2012 and 2013, looks to become the first three-time selection on the men’s side since North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough (2007-09).
Other players of note aside from McDermott include several stars who each had a huge impact on his team’s NCAA Final Four run in 2013, including Michigan’s Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III; Wichita State’s Cleanthony Early, and C.J. Fair of Syracuse.
The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the midseason list and the official voting ballot, which will consist 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 “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament.
The 38th 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 and the Legends of Coaching Award, which in 2013 will go to Stanford Head Women’s Basketball Coach Tara VanDerveer. The event will take place the weekend of April 11-12, 2014.
Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. It is bestowed upon the nation’s best player at an institution of higher education who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), Candace Parker (’07 and ’08), Kevin Durant (’09) and Maya Moore of Connecticut (’09 and ‘11). Michigan’s Trey Burke won the 2013 Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s.
Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed close to a million dollars to universities’ general scholarship fund in the names of the All American recipients. The Award has also sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps in the Award’s name. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament, which brings together Special Olympic athletes and the All Americans, takes place at The Los Angeles Athletic Club the weekend of the John R. Wooden Award Ceremony.