Spokane, WA - Gonzaga University senior forward Elias Harris is among the 50 candidates announced Thursday by the Los Angeles Athletic Club for the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 as basketball's Player of the Year.
It's the third straight year the native of Speyer, Germany, has been on the preseason list.
Last year Harris averaged 13.1 ppg, 8.5 rpg and 0.8 blocks/game in helping the Zags to a 26-7 record and a 14th straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. He was named to the All-West Coast Conference first team and to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District 9 first team. He had 12 double-doubles last year and has 21 in his career.
Harris is one of nine upperclassmen returning to the Preseason Top 50 list from a year ago. He's joined by Allen Crabbe (University of California), Aaron Craft (Ohio State University),; Tim Hardaway, JR (University of Michigan), Solomon Hill (University of Arizona), Ray McCallum (University of Detroit), Peyton Siva (Louisville University) and Patric Young (University of Florida).
The Wooden Award candidates are chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball media members. The list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who, based on last year's individual performance and team records, are the early front-runners for college basketball's most prestigious honor.
Transfers, freshmen and medical redshirts are not eligible for the Preseason Top 50. The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the midseason list and the official voting ballot, both of which are open to freshman and transfer students. The National Ballot consists 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 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.