DURHAM, N.C. — Duke seniors Seth Curry and Mason Plumlee were named to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 list as announced Thursday by The Los Angeles Athletic Club. Duke, ranked No. 1 in the AP and Coaches Polls, is one of three teams with two players on the list.
Plumlee leads the ACC and is tied for seventh nationally in rebounding (11.4), while also ranking among the national leaders in scoring (t-58th, 17.7), field goal percentage (t-33rd, .616), defensive rebounds (3rd, 8.5) and double-doubles (t-6th, nine). The Warsaw, Ind., native is the only player in the ACC – and one of 18 players nationally – averaging a double-double on the season. Plumlee has scored in double figures in 14 of 15 games with five 20-point games.
Curry ranks fourth in the ACC in scoring at 16.0 points per game despite being limited in practice throughout the season with a right leg injury and missing the Delaware game Dec. 1 with a left ankle injury. He has scored 10 or more points in 10 contests with a team-high six 20-point efforts and a career-best 31-point outing against Santa Clara. The Charlotte, N.C., native also ranks among the ACC leaders in field goal percentage (9th, .474), free throw percentage (6th, .804), three-point field goals (t-3rd, 2.2 3pg) and three-point percentage (4th, .413).
Selected by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board, the list is made up of 25 student-athletes who, based on their performances in November, December, and the beginning of January, are the frontrunners for college basketball’s most prestigious honor. The Women’s midseason list will be released next week.
Creighton forward Doug McDermott and Murray State guard Isaiah Canaan, both 2012 Wooden Award All-Americans, return to the midseason list in 2013. Canaan averages 21.4 points per game for the 11-3 Racers. McDermott is the nation’s No. 3 scorer, at 23.1 ppg, and has taken the Bluejays to a 14-1 record to start the season.
The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the official ballot. The National Ballot consists of approximately 20 top players who have proven to their universities that they are making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA.
The Wooden Award All-American Team, consisting of the nation’s top 10 players, will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament. The John R. Wooden Award Player of the Year presented by Wendy’s will be announced on ESPN during the Final Four Weekend in Atlanta. The 2013 Wooden Award Gala presented by Wendy’s will take place April 11-13, 2013, at The Los Angeles Athletic Club. The Gala will honor the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winners, All Americans and the Legends of Coaching Award winner, Kansas Head Coach Bill Self.
The Big East had five players chosen to the list, followed by the Big 10 and Big 12 with four each. The ACC had three selections; the Mountain West and SEC had two; and the Summit League, WCC, Patriot League, Ohio Valley Conference, and Missouri Valley Conference each had one player selected. Three freshmen were selected: Anthony Bennett of UNLV, Ben McLemore of Kansas, and Marcus Smart of Oklahoma State.
Two 2012-13 midseason honorees are younger brothers of previous John R. Wooden All Americans. Duke’s Seth Curry is the younger brother of 2009 Wooden Award All American Stephen Curry of Davidson. Cody Zeller of Indiana is the younger brother of 2012 Wooden Award All American Tyler Zeller of North Carolina.
About the John R. Wooden Award
Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. It is bestowed upon the nation’s best player at an institution of higher education who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), Candace Parker (’07 and ’08), Kevin Durant (’09) and Maya Moore of Connecticut (’09 and ‘11). Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis won the men’s Award in 2012.
Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed close to a million dollars to universities’ general scholarship fund in the names of the All American recipients. The Award has also sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps in the Award’s name. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament, which brings together Special Olympic athletes and the All Americans, takes place at The Los Angeles Athletic Club the weekend of the John R. Wooden Award Gala.