October 26, 2006

Stuckey Selected as Wooden Award Candidate

Oct. 26, 2006

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Eastern Washington University sophomore guard Rodney Stuckey has been selected as one of 50 players selected as a preseason candidate for the men's 2006-07 Wooden Award All-American Team as selected by the National Preseason Selection Committee for the John R. Wooden Award.

The list is composed of 50 student athletes who, based on last year's individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketball's most coveted trophy.

Stuckey returns for his sophomore season after leading Eastern in scoring for the final 27 games of the 2005-06 season. The 6-foot-5 graduate of Kentwood High School in Kent., Wash., was honored as Collegeinsider.com Freshman of the Year after a record-breaking season unmatched in the history of Eastern Washington and by any freshman in the 43-year history of the Big Sky Conference.

He set seven school records, including a 24.2 scoring average per game that is a Big Sky record for a freshman and the seventh-best overall in the history of the league. His average ranked eighth in NCAA Division I. His 726 total points is fifth-best in league history, the most in the conference in nearly 30 years (since 1978-79) and the most-ever by a freshman in the BSC.

But most importantly, Eastern won seven more games than the 2004-05 EWU squad. The Eagles open their season with an exhibition game Nov. 4 against Northwest Nazarene at 2:05 p.m., then officially open their season at Gonzaga on Nov. 10 at 5:05 p.m.

These top 50 candidates are comprised of returning players, although transfers, freshmen, medical redshirts and other players who excel throughout the season will be evaluated and considered for both the midseason top 30 list and the national ballot. Players not on the preseason list are eligible for the midseason top 30 and ballot.

"With so many talented players across the country the committee had a tough time deciding on 50 candidates," said Duke Llewellyn, Wooden Award chairman. "15 conferences are represented this year, which shows the parity in college basketball today. These preseason selections represent the elite and our team at the Wooden Award is excited to see the best players in the nation prove their case as college basketball's player of the year."

Candidates have been selected from 15 NCAA conferences, up from 11 last year. Conferences include the ACC (eight players), the Big 12 (eight players), the Pac-10 (seven players), the Big East (seven players), the SEC (six players), the Big 10 (four players), the Mountain West (two players), the Atlantic 10 (one player), the Conf. USA (one player), the Western Athletic (one player), the Mid Continent (one player), the Sun Belt (one player), the Horizon League (one player), the Colonial Athletic Association (one player), and the Big Sky (one player).

In January, the Wooden Award committee will release the midseason top 30 followed by the national ballot in early March. On Tuesday, March 27, the 10-player Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced.

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