The Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Thursday that Oklahoma senior guard Buddy Hield is included on its Late Season Top 20 list for the 2016 John R. Wooden Award® presented by Wendy’s®. The Wooden Award Trophy is bestowed annually upon the nation’s best male player and female player who has proven to their respective universities that they are making progress toward graduation while maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA.
Through 23 games this season, Hield is averaging 25.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.4 steals in 34.3 minutes per contest. He’s shooting .518 (192-371) from the field, .500 (96-192) from long distance and .902 (111-123) from the foul line. Hield is currently the only player in the country averaging greater than 50.0 percent from the field, 50.0 percent from downtown and 90.0 percent from the foul line (min. 20 FT attempts).
Hield currently ranks second in the nation (first among major conferences) in scoring. He has registered at least 30 points in eight games this season (same total as the rest of the players in the Big 12 combined). It’s the most 30-point games by a Sooner in a campaign since Jeff Webster in the 1993-94 season (10). Hield currently ranks sixth on OU’s all-time scoring chart (1,957).
The Bahamas native has 17 games this season scoring at least 20 points. He currently ranks first in the country with his 4.17 3-pointers per game and has made at least five treys in a contest nine times this year. Hield has shot at least 50 percent from 3-point range in 16 of 23 total outings.
Players not on this most recent list are still eligible for the final ballot, which will consist of 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and are maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Voting begins at the end of the season, and voters, consisting of nearly 1,000 members of the national college basketball media, will take into account the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
The 40th annual presentation of the John R. Wooden Award® will be the anchor presentation of the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show presented by Wendy’s®. The men’s and women’s John R. Wooden All-American Teams will be honored during the ceremony, as well as the 2016 Legends of Coaching Award™, which will be presented to Tubby Smith, head men’s basketball coach at Texas Tech. The event will take place the weekend of April 7-9, 2016.
Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award® has contributed close to a million dollars to the general scholarship fund of the honoree’s University in the name of the All-American recipient. The Award has also enabled more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long basketball camps in the Award’s name. 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 takes place at the Los Angeles Athletic Club the weekend of the John R. Wooden Award® presentation, and brings together Special Olympics athletes and the Wooden Award All-Americans.