DURHAM, N.C. – The John R. Wooden Award announced the preseason candidates for the award Tuesday with Duke University redshirt seniors Lexie Brown and Rebecca Greenwell among the 30 front-runners for the prestigious honor. The list of 30 were chosen by a preseason poll of national women’s college basketball media members.
Duke was one of eight teams with multiple honorees listed along with Connecticut (5), Louisville (2), Mississippi State (2), Oregon (2), Tennessee (2), Texas (2) and UCLA (2).
A product of Suwanee, Ga., Brown is coming off an All-America season where she averaged 18.3 points and dished a team-best 131 assists. She also drained 73 three-pointers and hit 92.8 percent from the charity stripe. Brown was rewarded with Associated Press All-America accolades along with First Team All-ACC honors. In the season opener at Grand Canyon, Brown filled the stat sheet with 13 points, six assists and six rebounds. Brown was the preseason pick for ACC Player of the Year by the Blue Ribbon Panel.
Greenwell, who hails from Owensboro, Ky., opened the 2017-18 campaign draining all five three-point field goal attempts on her way to finishing with a game-high 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists. The 6-1 guard is coming off a season where she drilled a team-best 83 three-pointers, while averaging 16.4 points and pulling down a team-best 6.4 rebounds a game. She earned First Team All-ACC accolades for the first time in her career, after receiving Second Team All-ACC honors as a sophomore. Greenwell is only 19 three-pointers away from matching the Duke career record.
Along with the Blue Devil duo, Kristine Anigwe (California), Ariel Atkins (Texas), Monique Billings (UCLA), Allazia Blockton (Marquette), Kalani Brown (Baylor), Jordin Canada (UCLA), Napheesa Collier (UConn), Sophie Cunningham (Missouri), Asia Durr (Louisville), Katelynn Flaherty (Michigan), Ruthy Hebard (Oregon), Myisha Hines-Allen (Louisville), Sabrina Ionescu (Oregon), Tynice Martin (West Virginia), Brooke McCarty (Texas), Brittany McPhee (Stanford), Kelsey Mitchell (Ohio State), Jaime Nared (Tennessee), Kia Nurse (UConn), Arike Ogunbowale (Notre Dame), Mercedes Russell (Tennessee), Katie Lou Samuelson (UConn), Azura Stevens (UConn), Shakayla Thomas (FSU), Victoria Vivians (Miss. State), Morgan William (Miss. State), Gabby Williams (UConn) and A’ja Wilson (South Carolina) are candidates.
The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2018 John R. Wooden Award Women’s Player of the Year presented by Wendy’s. Players not chosen to the preseason list are eligible for the Wooden Award midseason list, late season list and the National Ballot.
The National Ballot consists of 15 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. Voting will open prior to the start of 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 2018 John R. Wooden Award will be presented during the ESPN College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s on Friday, April 6, 2018.
Duke has featured one winner of the John R. Wooden Award as Alana Beard was presented with the honor in 2004.
The 11th-ranked Blue Devils (1-0) will next host High Point Thursday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m., in the home opener in Cameron Indoor Stadium. To purchase season tickets or receive more information, please visit GoDuke.com/tickets or call the Duke Athletics Ticket Office at (919) 681-BLUE.