STANFORD, Calif.- Senior forward Dwight Powell has been named to the John R. Wooden Award preseason watch list, comprised of 50 players vying for the sport’s most prestigious honor.
Players listed are considered strong candidates for the midseason list and the finalists will be included on the official voting ballot in March. Candidates not appearing on the initial preseason watch list can be added throughout the year.
One of six Pac-12 players selected as a preseason candidate, Powell is averaging 22.5 points and 9.5 rebounds while shooting 56.3 percent from the field over Stanford’s first two games.
The preseason recognition is nothing new for Powell, who two weeks ago was named one of 30 candidates for this year’s Senior CLASS Award, which rewards notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.
A native of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Powell is coming off a breakthrough 2012-13 campaign in which he showcased the type of dynamic all-around game everyone expected when first arriving on The Farm. In addition to being tabbed the Pac-12’s Most Improved Player, he was also named an NABC Second Team All-District selection. One of only two Pac-12 players ranked among the league’s top-12 in both scoring and rebounding, Powell averaged a team-best 14.9 points while ranking second on the squad with 8.4 rebounds per game. In addition to notching 10 double-doubles, he produced nine 20-point games and reached double figures 27 times.
Just how much did Powell improve? During the 2011-12 campaign, he averaged 5.8 points and 4.6 rebounds while scoring in double figures six times. In 2012-13, Powell became one of three Stanford players over the last decade to register at least 10 double-doubles, joining Landry Fields (13 in 2009-10) and Matt Haryasz (10 in 2005-06). Scoring and rebounding aside, Powell also excelled from the foul line (79.6 percent) and three-point range (45.5 percent). He totaled 72 assists, 39 blocks and 26 steals.
Powell was equally impressive in the classroom, as he was the only player to earn a spot on both the Pac-12 All-Academic Team and All-Pac-12 First Team. A Science, Technology & Society major with a 3.026 GPA, Powell was also tabbed a National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Honors Court selection.
Powell made the most of his playing experience during the summer, leading Canada to a fourth-place finish at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia. In addition to starting seven of Canada’s eight contests, Powell averaged 12.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game while shooting 61.9 percent (39-63) from the field and playing just under 18 minutes per game. Just before the World University Games, Powell anchored Canada to a sweep of the Four Nations’ International Invitational Tournament played in three different cities in China. The 11-day competition saw Canada finish with a 9-0 record while registering three victories apiece against United States, Latvia and China.
About the John R. Wooden Award
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.