Georgia’s Anthony Edwards has been included on the list of 20 late-season candidates for the 2020 John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s. The list was released Monday evening by the Los Angeles Athletic Club, which administers the Wooden Awards program.
Edwards was the only SEC player included among the top 20, and he was one of only two freshmen featured along with Duke’s Vernon Carey Jr.
Edwards is the nation’s top-scoring freshman at 19.3 points per game and the only freshman ranked among the top-50 scorers in the country. The 6-5, 225-pound Atlanta native has recorded 10 20-point performances in 21 games this season, including a season-high 37 points against No. 3 Michigan State at the Maui Jim Maui Invitational.
Earlier on Monday, Edwards was named SEC Freshman of the Week for the second time this season. Last week, Edwards averaged 26.0 points and 12.5 rebounds in outings against Missouri and Texas A&M. He became the first Georgia freshman to post back-to-back double-doubles since Jumaine Jones did so in 1997-98. Edwards hauled in 15 rebounds versus the Aggies, the most by a Bulldog freshman since Jones had 16 in 1998.
The other candidates on the late-season ledger included Udoka Azubuike of Kansas, Saddiq Bey of Villanova, Jared Butler of Baylor, Carey from Duke, Anthony Cowan Jr. of Maryland, Devon Dotson of Kansas, Malachi Flynn of San Diego State, Luka Garza of Iowa, Markus Howard of Marquette, Tre Jones of Duke, Jordan Nwora of Louisville, Daniel Oturu of Minnesota, Filip Petrusev of Gonzaga, Myles Powell of Seton Hall, Payton Pritchard of Oregon, Jalen Smith of Maryland, Lamar Stevens of Penn State, Obi Toppin of Dayton and Cassius Winston of Michigan State.
Edwards was included on the Wooden Award’s pre- and mid-season Watch Lists. The award’s National Ballot, which will be announced in early March, will consist of 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they meet or exceed the qualifications of the Wooden Award. Nearly 1,000 voters will rank in order 10 of those 15 players when voting opens prior to the NCAA Tournament and will allow voters to take into consideration performance during early round games. The Wooden Award All American Team will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament. The winner of the 2020 John R. Wooden Award will be presented by Wendy’s during the ESPN College Basketball Awards on Friday, April 10, 2020.
Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award Program hosts the most prestigious honors in college basketball recognizing The Wooden Award Most Outstanding Player for men and women, The Wooden Award All American Teams for men and women and the annual selection of the Wooden Award Legend of Coaching recipient. Honorees have proven to their university that they meet or exceed the qualifications of the John R. Wooden Award as set forth by Coach Wooden and the Wooden Award Steering Committee, including making progress towards graduation and maintaining at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA. Previous winners include Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), Kevin Durant (’07) and last year’s recipient, Zion Williamson of Duke.
Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed nearly one million dollars to the universities’ general scholarship fund in the names of the Wooden Award All American recipients and has sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with the Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament brings together Special Olympics athletes and Wooden Award All Americans and coaches in attendance. It is hosted at the Los Angeles Athletic Club during the John R. Wooden Award Weekend.