Posted: 11/09/2012 | Last updated: November 9, 2012 at 12:10 PM
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Lehigh senior guard C.J. McCollum continues to rack in the honors as on Thursday, he was named to the Wooden Award preseason top 50. McCollum was the only Patriot League player named to the award’s watch list for the ultimate honor of national player of the year. The Canton, Ohio native was also named a First Team All-American by ESPN, his third First Team All-America honor (Associated Press and Sporting News).
The John R. Wooden Award has been distributed since 1977, when UCLA's Marques Johnson captured it. Media members vote on a list of candidates established by the award's national advisory board toward the end of the season. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible for the preseason list, but they can be added to the list as the season progresses and ultimately win the award.
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 and the Legends of Coaching Award, which in 2013 will go to Kansas Head Coach Bill Self. The event will take place the weekend of April 12-13, 2013.
McCollum joins 49 of the nation’s top players in the running for the prestigious honor. Kentucky’s Anthony Davis (now with the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets) took home the prize a season ago after leading the Wildcats to the National Championship.
The Wooden Award Preseason Watch List was announced on ESPN.com, where Myron Medcalf said of McCollum: "The Associated Press preseason All-American opened eyes around the country when he dropped 30 points during an upset against Duke in the NCAA tournament. His 113.6 rating was 10th among players who'd used at least 28 percent of their team's possessions in 2011-12."
McCollum enters his senior season with 2,074 career points and has his sights set on the Lehigh and Patriot League career scoring records. He led the Mountain Hawks in points, assists and rebounds last season in leading the squad to a school-record 27 wins. McCollum is a two-time Patriot League Player of the Year and was recently named preseason player of the year for a third straight season.
Also on Thursday, McCollum was named a First Team All-American by ESPN on Thursday, joining Indiana’s Cody Zeller, Ohio State’s Deshaun Thomas, Creighton’s Doug McDermott and Murray State’s Isaiah Cannon. McCollum, Zeller, McDermott and Thomas were named First Team All-Americans by all three outlets (AP, ESPN and Sporting News).
The Mountain Hawks open their season on Friday at 5 p.m. ET (4 p.m. local) at #19/18 Baylor. The game will air on Fox Sports Southwest (Dish Channel 416 and DirecTV Channel 676). Listen in on ESPN Radio 1230 and 1320 AM and Lehighsports.com.
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