Jan. 4, 2010
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State University men's basketball sophomore Klay Thompson has been named as one of 30 midseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award, the organization announced Monday.
A native of Ladera Ranch, Calif., Thompson leads the Cougars and the Pacific-10 Conference and ranks third in the nation with 24.3 points per game. The 6-foot-6 guard has led the team in scoring in 13 of the team's 14 games and reached 20-plus points in 11 of the 14 games. His streak of six consecutive 20-point games to open the season matched the most since the school's all-time leading scorer, Isaac Fontaine, scored 20-plus in six-straight games Dec. 7-29, 1996.
At the Great Alaska Shootout, Thompson put up 43 points against San Diego in the championship game (Nov. 28), matching the third-most points by a Cougar in a single game. He also set a Great Alaska Shootout with his 43 points, breaking the record set by Glenn Robinson in 1993.
Thompson has earned Pac-10 Player of the Week twice this season and ranks 17th in the WSU career record books for 3-pointers made with 104 in his young career.
Thompson is one of just two Pac-10 players to be named to the list, being joined by Washington's Quincy Pondexter. He is also one of 10 players who were not named to the preseason list of 50 and is one of seven underclassmen in the top 30. Thompson is the first Cougar since Derrick Low in 2008 to be named to the Wooden Award Midseason Top 30 list.
Just as players who are not on the preseason list are eligible for the midseason top 30, players who do not make the midseason list are still eligible for the national ballot, which will be selected in March and will consist of approximately 20 players. The Wooden Award goes to the nation's top player and will be presented at the award ceremony April 9 at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. The top-five finalists will be invited to L.A. for the ceremony and receive a contribution to their university's general scholarship fund.
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 cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird ('79), Michael Jordan ('84), Tim Duncan ('97), and Blake Griffin ('09).