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By: CUBuffs.com
Alec Burks and Cory Higgins are one of the top guard tandems nationally.
Higgins & Burks Named to Wooden Preseason List
Release: October 04, 2010
By: Andrew Green, Assistant SID
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LOS ANGELES - University of Colorado senior guard Cory Higgins and sophomore guard Alec Burks were selected to The John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 list , announced Monday by The Los Angeles Athletic Club. The list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who, based on last year's individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketball's most prestigious honor.

Higgins and Burks are the fourth and fifth CU student-athletes, respectively to make the John R. Wooden preseason list. The other Buffaloes to make the prestigious pre-season list are David Harrison (2003-04), Chauncey Billups (1995-96), and Donnie Boyce (1994-95).

Higgins enters his senior year having started every game as a Buffalo (94) and ranks ninth on the school's all-time  scoring list with 1,391 points (14.8 ppg.). He has led the team in scoring each of the last two years and his 587 points scored in 2009-10 was the most in a season since 1990-91. Higgins also led the Big 12 Conference in steals the last two seasons.

"Anytime you get recognized for your hard work, it's an honor, especially to be named on this list," Higgins said.

Burks, the Big 12 Conference Freshman of the Year last season, ranked fourth nationally among all freshmen in points per game (17.1 ppg.) and field goal percentage (53.8). He became CU's all-time leader in freshman points scored with 512. Burks was also named to the Big 12 All-Rookie Team, and a number of other postseason teams including the Basketball Times' All-Freshman first team, the CollegeInsider.com Freshman All-America team, and the Sporting News Magazine All-Freshman second team.

"To be honored by the committee is a great feeling, and to be listed among the nation's elite, shows the hard work is paying off," Burks said.

Higgins (18.9 ppg.) and Burks (17.1 ppg.) form one of the best 1-2 guard combinations this season with the duo ranking third nationally of top returning scoring tandems at 36.0 points per game.

Five schools had two players chosen to the list: Colorado (Burks, Higgins); Duke (Singler, Nolan Smith); Gonzaga (Steven Gray, Elias Harris); Michigan State (Lucas, Durrell Summers); Syracuse (Kris Joseph, Brandon Triche).  Purdue (Robbie Hummel, JaJuan Johnson, E'Twaun Moore) was the only school with three players named to the Wooden Award preseason Top 50.

Returning players from past Wooden Award ballots include four seniors: Duke's Kyle Singler (2009, 2010), Robbie Hummel of Purdue (2008, 2010), Kalin Lucas of Michigan State (2009, 2010) and BYU's Jimmer Fredette (2010). Singler was the MVP of the 2010 Final Four, leading the Blue Devils to the NCAA title in averaging 17.7 points and 7.0 rebounds his junior season. Hummel was a 2008 and 2010 All-Big 10 selection, averaged 15.7 points and 6.9 rebounds in 2010. Lucas is considered among the nation's top point guards after leading the Spartans in scoring (14.8 ppg) and assists (4.0 ast) during their Final Four campaign a year ago. Fredette was his team's top scorer (22.1 ppg) and playmaker (4.7 ast) and was an All-MWC player as a junior.

Transfers, freshmen and medical redshirts are not eligible for the preseason list. These players and others who excel throughout the season will be evaluated and considered for December's Midseason list and the official voting ballot released in March. The National Ballot consists of approximately 20 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the "Elite Eight" round during the NCAA Tournament.

Eleven conferences are represented on the Wooden Award Preseason List. Leading the way is the Big 10 (10), followed by the ACC (8), Big East (7), SEC (3), Big 12 (7), Pac-10 (6), Atlantic 10 (3), Mountain West (2), West Coast (2); and Conference USA, and the Horizon League with one apiece.

The 35th annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the announcement of the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winners, a special tribute to Coach Wooden and Wooden Award founder Duke Llewellyn, and the presentation of the Wooden Award All American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, will take place the weekend of April 8-10, 2011.

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), Blake Griffin ('09) and Maya Moore of Connecticut ('09). Ohio State's Evan Turner and Connecticut's Tina Charles won the Award in 2010.

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 on the Friday prior to the John R. Wooden Award Ceremony.

Follow the candidates and get the latest news throughout the season by logging on to www.WoodenAward.com. For more information on the John R. Wooden Award, please contact the Wooden Award staff at 213-630-5206 or email at woodenaward@laac.net.

Name

Height

Class

Position

University

Conference

Ty Abbott

6-3

Sr.

G

Arizona State

Pac-10

Lavoy Allen

6-9

Sr.

F

Temple

Atlantic 10

Kevin Anderson

6-0

Sr.

G

Richmond

Atlantic 10

Talor Battle

6-0

Sr.

G

Penn State

Big Ten

Kenny Boynton

6-2

So.

G

Florida

SEC

William Buford

6-5

Jr.

G

Ohio State

Big Ten

Alec Burks

6-6

So.

G

Colorado

Big 12

Randy Culpepper

6-0

Sr.

G

UTEP

Conference USA

Malcolm Delaney

6-3

Sr.

G

Virginia Tech

ACC

LaceDarius Dunn

6-4

Sr.

G

Baylor

Big 12

Kim English

6-6

Jr.

G

Missouri

Big 12

Corey Fisher

6-1

Sr.

G

Villanova

Big East

Jimmer Fredette*

6-2

Sr.

G

Brigham Young

Mountain West

Austin Freeman

6-4

Sr.

G

Georgetown

Big East

Ashton Gibbs

6-2

Jr.

G

Pittsburgh

Big East

Steven Gray

6-5

Sr.

G

Gonzaga

West Coast

Jordan Hamilton

6-7

So.

G/F

Texas

Big 12

Elias Harris

6-7

So.

F

Gonzaga

West Coast

Jeremy Hazell

6-5

Sr.

G

Seton Hall

Big East

John Henson

6-10

So.

F

North Carolina

ACC

Cory Higgins

6-5

Sr.

G

Colorado

Big 12

Tyler Honeycutt

6-8

So.

F

UCLA

Pac-10

Robbie Hummel*

6-8

Sr.

F

Purdue

Big Ten

JaJuan Johnson

6-10

Sr.

F/C

Purdue

Big Ten

Kris Joseph

6-7

Jr.

F

Syracuse

Big East

Kawhi Leonard

6-7

So.

F

San Diego State

Mountain West

Jon Leuer

6-10

Sr.

F

Wisconsin

Big Ten

Kalin Lucas*

6-1

Sr.

F

Michigan State

Big Ten

Shelvin Mack

6-3

Jr.

G

Butler

Horizon League

Demetri McCamey

6-3

Sr.

G

Illinois

Big Ten

E'Twaun Moore

6-4

Sr.

G

Purdue

Big Ten

Marcus Morris

6-9

Jr.

F

Kansas

Big 12

Jacob Pullen

6-0

Sr.

G

Kansas State

Big 12

John Shurna

6-8

Jr.

F

Northwestern

Big Ten

Kyle Singler*

6-8

Sr.

F

Duke

ACC

Chris Singleton

6-9

Jr.

F

Florida State

ACC

Nolan Smith

6-2

Sr.

G

Duke

ACC

Tracy Smith

6-8

Sr.

F

North Carolina State

ACC

Durrell Summers

6-5

Sr.

G

Michigan State

Big Ten

Jeffery Taylor

6-7

Jr.

G/F

Vanderbilt

SEC

Isaiah Thomas

5-9

Jr.

G

Washington

Pac-10

Trey Thompkins

6-10

Jr.

F

Georgia

SEC

Klay Thompson

6-6

Jr.

G

Washington State

Pac-10

Joe Trapani

6-8

Sr.

F

Boston College

ACC

Brandon Triche

6-4

So.

G

Syracuse

Big East

Nikola Vucevic

6-10

Jr.

F

USC

Pac-10

Kemba Walker

6-1

Jr.

G

Connecticut

Big East

Derrick Williams

6-8

So.

F

Arizona

Pac-10

Jordan Williams

6-10

So.

F

Maryland

ACC

Chris Wright

6-8

Sr.

F

Dayton

Atlantic 10

*indicates player chosen to the 2010 Wooden Award ballot

Colorado Buffaloes Men's Basketball
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