Kentucky junior forward Willie Cauley-Stein, already considered a consensus All-American by the NCAA, was tabbed a 2015 John R. Wooden All-American on Monday. Cauley-Stein was one of 10 Wooden All-Americans announced on a 30-minute show on ESPNU on Monday.
Selected by nearly 1,000 national college basketball media members and the former award winners, the Wooden All-American team is made up of the 10 student-athletes who were the top vote-getters for the John R. Wooden Award, given annually to the top player in college basketball. Voting took place from March 16-23 and voters could take the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament into consideration.
All 10 players are considered finalists for the Wooden Award, which will be presented April 10 on ESPN2 from Club Nokia in Los Angeles on the first-ever ESPN College Basketball Awards Show.
This year’s 10 Wooden All-Americans are, alphabetically: Ron Baker (Wichita State), Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia), Cauley-Stein (Kentucky), Jerian Grant (Notre Dame), Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin), Jahlil Okafor (Duke), D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State), Seth Tuttle (Northern Iowa), Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga) and Delon Wright (Utah). Cauley-Stein, Grant, Kaminsky, Okafor and Russell have been invited to the awards show in Los Angeles.
To qualify as a Wooden All-American, all student-athletes must prove to their universities that they are making progress toward graduation and are maintaining at least a 2.0 cumulative grade-point average.
Cauley-Stein became Kentucky’s 25th consensus First Team All-American on Monday after the Associated Press and National Association of Basketball Coaches selected the 7-foot junior as a first-teamer. The NCAA recognizes the Sporting News, AP, NABC and United States Basketball Writers Association All-America teams in considering consensus All-Americans. Cauley-Stein was named a First Team All-American by the USBWA and Sporting News earlier this season.
Cauley-Stein has been one of the main forces behind Kentucky’s historic 38-0 season. Averaging 9.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.7 blocks per game, UK is the first team in NCAA Division I history to post a 38-0 record.
One of the nation’s most effective defenders, Cauley-Stein leads the nation’s top-ranked field-goal percentage defense in steals (46) while ranking second in blocked shots (65).
Cauley-Stein’s value has shined brightest in UK’s most difficult games. Against ranked competition, the Olathe, Kan., native leads UK in scoring average (10.6) and rebounding average (8.1).
In addition to the aforementioned All-America honors, Cauley-Stein has also collected the following honors:
· SEC Tournament MVP
· NCAA Midwest Regional All-Tournament Team
· All-SEC First Team (coaches and AP)
· SEC Defensive Player of the Year (coaches)
· USBWA Oscar Robertson Trophy finalist
· Naismith Trophy finalist
· Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award Finalist
· USBWA District IV Player of the Year