Baker, VanVleet named to Wooden Preseason Top 50

(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

WICHITA, Kansas — Wichita State guards Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet are in the mix for another major national honor. Both were listed on Tuesday’s John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 list.

The two seniors each made the preseason list in 2014-15.

In addition, Baker was among the final 15 at the end of the year, earning him Wooden Award All-American status. He joins Virginia’s Malcolm Brogdon and Gonzaga’s Kyle Wiltjer as the only returning Wooden All-Americans to make this year’s Preseason Top 50.

The complete list was released on today’s ESPN SportsCenter and online at Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who are the early front-runners for college basketball’s most prestigious individual honor.

WSU is one of 11 universities with multiple representatives. Baker and VanVleet are on a short list of just eight players from outside the six BCS conferences to make the list.

The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2016 John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s.

The Wooden Award National Advisory Board will select 25 players to the Midseason Top 25 in early January. In early February, the John R. Wooden Award will announce one final leading candidate list—the Late Season Top 20—prior to the selection of 15 players to the National Ballot.

Nearly 1000 voters will rank order 10 of those 15 players, who have been qualified as meeting the standards set forth by Coach Wooden. Voting will open prior to the start of the NCAA Tournament and will allow voters to take into consideration performance during the 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 John R. Wooden Award will be announced during the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show presented by Wendy’s on Friday, April 8, 2016.

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